Choose The Right of Foaming Facial Cleansers

In our new facial cleansing series, we asked skincare experts everything they know about cleansing the face. In part one, Indie Lee, founder of the eponymous natural skincare line Indie Lee, gives us the 411 on everything there is to know about foaming facial cleansers. With so many options out there for face-washing, you may have a couple of questions: what’s the best type of cleanser to use? Am I even doing it right? Let’s find out!

Q: What’s the proper way to use foaming facial cleansers?

I’m so glad you asked. Believe it or not, many people don’t wash their face properly. They are in a rush and simply don’t get their faces clean. The proper way to clean is to splash warm water on your face, then massage a small amount of cleanser all over it in a gentle circular motion (scrubbing hard can irritate skin and make acne worse). Not only does this help the cleansing process, it also increases the circulation, which contributes to healthier skin by removing waste and promoting cell growth. Next, rinse off completely with warm to cool water.  Rinse more than you think you need to, because leaving dirt and cleanser behind can lead to clogged pores. Gently pat dry (don’t rub) with a clean towel.

Q: What types of facial cleansers are good to use?

Facial cleansers are great for your skin if they are gentle and the ingredients are right for your skin type. I recommend staying clear of harsh cleansers with sulfates and parabens that not only strip skin, but can also cause breakouts and lead to premature aging and may be detrimental to your long term health. Assuming you are using a gentle, natural cleanser, it will not only remove dirt but the nutrient rich ingredients will help promote healthier, radiant, hydrated, younger looking skin. Cleansing wipes and cleansing oil can be beneficial as well.

Q: How much of the product should we use each time?

In this country, the feeling is if a little is good, then more is better. That isn’t always true. A dime-sized amount of cleanser applied properly to the face is all you need.

Q: How long do we keep product on and how much time should we spend washing our face?

You should spend more time washing your face than you might think. The key is to be gentle with your skin, to make sure you cleanse everywhere, including around the hairline and jawline and then to completely rinse off the cleanser and dirt.

Q: Should we/can we use facial sponges or a Clarisonic?

Absolutely. If using either, make sure that they dry completely in between use so they do not become breeding grounds for bacteria. In addition, remember to replace the sponges or Clarisonic brushes regularly.  I love my Clarisonic and use it often. While it has been designed for daily use, over cleansing and over-exfoliation can strip the skin of its natural oils leading to irritation and even breakouts. For that reason, I prefer to use mine every few days to once a week.

Q: Are facial cleansers best for people with specific skin types? Should other skin types use something else?

I believe that all skin types should avoid cleansers with parabens, sulfates, fragrance and alcohol, which can be harsh and drying. When choosing a cleanser, read your labels and see which ingredients are right for you. More and more people have skin sensitivities and allergies. If you have dry skin, look for a cleanser that is great for hydration. If your skin is oily, you may prefer a foaming wash with fruit acid in it for better oil removal and an extra clean feel.

How to Choose Mascara For Your Eye Shape

Even though mascara is a staple for many makeup wearers, it’s one of the more misunderstood products in your kit. Mascara opens the eye to help you look more awake. Most think there is nothing to applying mascara—they swipe it on the lashes the same way, every time. But there are methods to apply it based on your eye shape that will transform your makeup into something that looks more polished and professional.

Every mascara application should start with these two easy steps:


Curl the lashes

Always begin with an eyelash curler. I like one with a silicone strip, like Kevyn Aucoin or Billy B Beauty. Gently press the band against the root of the lash and turn the curler until the curve is parallel to the crease of your eye. Press gently, release, and presto! This will give even the most stubborn lash a beautiful curl.


Basic mascara application

The next step is to apply your mascara at the root of the lash. My favorite trick is to bend the wand slightly to get right in to the base of the lash. Next, comb through the top lash, wiggling the wand gently as you work your way through. You want to brush through the top of the lash from root to tip, brush through the bottom of the lash from root to tip, and then weave the wand across back and forth through the lash until every individual hair is liberally coated on all sides. I recommend using both a lengthening and a thickening or volumizing mascara. I also prefer to use one mascara with a smaller brush and one with larger bristles—the combination of the two makes any lash look longer and more full.

Now let’s talk about eye shape and placement.


Wide-set eyes

Start with your curler and the basic application mentioned above, and be sure to coat all of your lashes. For wide-set eyes, I recommend working from the inner corner of the eye out towards the middle of the lid. You want the darkest area to be at the inner corner to create the illusion that the eyes are closer together.


Close-set eyes

For close-set eyes, we want to pull the eyes apart so the darkest part of the application needs to be at the outer corner. Curl and apply your first coat with a focus at the outer corner of the eye. Apply a second coat from the middle of the lash and work your way out. For more drama, add a liquid liner along the lash line or really pack the mascara in at the root to ensure that the darkest part of your mascara application is at the outer corner. This will give lift and the illusion that the eyes are further apart.

Choose Oil Cleansers

Oil is a popular alternative to regular facial cleansers these days, but more than likely you still have a lot of questions about it. Our face wash series continues with a look into the magic of oil cleansing. RMS Beauty founder and makeup artist Rose Marie Swift tells us everything we’ve been dying to know about this type of cleansing method. Read on to learn all the secrets of oil cleansing!

Q: Why are oil cleansers good for face washing?

It isn’t the fact that oil cleansers are better. It’s all about which oil “walks the talk”. Oils that naturally contain high levels of lauric and caprylic acid are ideal for cleansing the skin and have the ability to minimize acne and pimples. My oil of choice, hands down, is raw coconut oil. But not just any coconut oil—many are refined and hydrogenated which destroys the healing properties of the oil. Most oils other than coconut oil go naturally rancid fast and really have no anti-bacterial or anti-fungal properties, so for cleansing the skin, those would not be a wise choice, especially for people with acne or skin irritation.

Q: What’s the proper method for cleansing with oil? Step-by-step, how long to keep product on, do you wipe or rinse, etc.?

Cleansing with oil is very easy. Apply a small amount on fingers and gently rub away all traces of makeup—including mascara (waterproof or not) and wipe with a tissue or a cloth. coconut oil will remove every little trace of makeup easily, gently and safely without stinging the eyes.

Some people need to have a complete skin regime that includes cleanser, toners and scrubs but I do not come from that mind set.  I believe if we do too many treatments, it’s aggressive to the skin…less is more.  Once I have cleansed my face of the leftover makeup and oil, I simply rinse with water (filtered of course). There will be a slight oily feel to the skin, but I do not strip that away with cleanser—that is the oil doing its job to help the skin! I then apply a few drops of RMS Beauty Oil to my damp skin and off to sleep.

Q: Are there certain people who shouldn’t use oil-based products for cleansing? Can they work for people who are prone to acne or have oily skin?

If it is the right oil, such as a high grade coconut oil, it actually works. Remember coconut oil contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as many other healing properties so it is almost impossible not to see results. Why dry out the surface with harsh chemicals? That actually sets the skin up for aging over the long term. I am a firm believer that the skin on the face is a mirror to your gut, so whatever is going on inside the intestinal tract will reflect on the skin. Probiotics are a must for anyone with acne prone skin, no matter what anyone says. I have seen superior results from probiotics then any “hope in a jar” remedy. Also, every model I have ever worked with that had bad skin also had a soda pop (mostly diet pop) addiction as well as a sugar addiction. I hope that tells you something.

Q: Are oil cleansers a better option for specific skin types?

The Secret Makeup Artist of Theo Kogan

Theo Kogan, the owner and founder of Armour Beauty, has earned a permanent place on the list of ladies we look up to. She’s had a wide range of awesome experiences—from being the front woman of 90’s punk band The Lunachicks, to a high fashion model and actress. In 2008, after launching her lip gloss line, Kogan began her career as a makeup artist. She has worked backstage for New York Fashion Week – keying Rachel Antonoff’s 2009 show, and more recently working on the Maybelline NYFW Teams. Her work has also been seen in fashion editorials for Nylon Magazine, as well as on the band members of Echosmith and Delta Rae for their television appearances. Theo dances to the beat of her own drum when it comes to her career, so we thought we’d track her down for some valuable advice.

What is some of the best makeup artistry advice you’ve ever received?

I know it sounds simple but most people don’t know it–concealing that little crease under the nose and around the nostril. It may not sound earth-shattering, but it makes a huge difference. Otherwise it tends to read as dry. Or red. Or dry and red. It was James Vincent who got that through to me when I was starting out.

In the beginning, it felt weird doing other people’s faces. I would practice on my friends, which most of them were actually pretty happy about. A lot of my early experience came through happy accidents and things I just had to figure out on my own. So in a lot of ways, I learned a lot more through experimenting than from specific advice.

In the beginning, did you ever receive any hard advice?

I showed my makeup work to an agent pretty early on who basically told me I didn’t have anything in my book worth showing—that made me feel like crap. I had a lot of experimental work in my book at the time and they wanted to see more natural looks. The experience didn’t make me feel good or like I wanted to go back once I had more work to show. It made me say “I’m gonna do it my own way” which is basically what I’ve been doing my whole life.

What advice would you like to share with aspiring makeup artists?

Even though it stung, it was true what I learned from the agent. New makeup artists tend to want to do more crazy and imaginative makeup, but what most clients want above anything is clean basic beauty. If you’re working on building your book, avoid putting in too much “kookoo” makeup in the beginning.

Products for your face are really important too because there are so many people with allergies. I’ve been on jobs where say, someone is allergic to soy, and I realize how much of that ingredient is in various products and creams—even in makeup. There are tons of cheap products that may have a good payoff, but I’ve used everything from drugstore to high end makeup and I’ll find certain cheaper brands might look really amazing but I’ll have a reaction to them which makes me not want to use them on anybody anymore. I’m really sensitive to products so I’m a good guinea pig for that type of stuff.

The Ingredients In Your Favorite Skincare Products

Big words and fancy scientific language may make your favorite product sound effective, but how many of us really know what all these terms really mean? We browsed the skincare aisle and selected some of most mystifying terminology to create our glossary below (and don’t worry, we left out the science speak so there’s no translation needed).

Allantoin naturally occurs with the oxidation of uric acid in the body, and while allantoin is naturally found in many mammals, a synthetic version is used in cosmetics. According to numerous tests, the lab-made version is just as effective at not only moisturizing, but even helping to shed the top layer of skin cells, giving skin a fresh appearance. It’s a major player in our Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body moisturizer which keeps our arms and legs smooth and toned in ways we weren’t aware of before.

It’s the main player in our Gold Omorovicza line, but what exactly is colloidal gold? When one substance is broken down and blended with another in order to enhance its distributive effects, it becomes a colloid. This one is actual gold, broken down into microscopic particles which are then blended into these products. The mineral helps soothe skin and restore elasticity and firmness, and the key to its effectiveness is its colloidal properties.

Humectants, in a nutshell, keep things hydrated. Not only does this substance retain moisture, it attracts it, drawing moisture from the air. In the case of our Korres Showergel, it distributes moisture onto your wet skin. Humectants are a key ingredient at making the most of your daily moisturizers effective. They’re even used in some medications to improve system absorption. Humectants are the friend your skin never knew it had.

How to Play with Color Mascara

So you’ve been wanting to try color mascara, eh? Maybe you just bought some, or maybe you’re eyeing that cute green, cobalt, or burgundy shade online. But…how do you wear color mascara without having it be such a Look? Is there a way to wear color mascara for a subtle pop of color without having everyone for 300 feet know you are WEARING BLUE MASCARA?

Why, yes. Yes there is. You can combine a color mascara with your regular black or brown mascara, making your lashes look different and interesting without getting too bright. Color mascara in class or an office? Definitely! Color mascara for a meet-the-parents dinner? Why the heck not?


Just the tips

Grab your normal, everyday black mascara (we used Inglot Cosmetics Perfect Length Define Mascara, $13), and sweep it on your top and bottom lashes. Next, try a crazy color! We went with Inglot Cosmetics Colour Play Mascara in 02 Green, which is a highly pigmented, almost electric green, and applied it just to the tips of the top and bottom lashes. Presto! A subtle-yet-still-visible color on the tips of your still-proper eyelashes. You can’t even see it unless you get pretty close, but when you do, it’s like your entire soul suddenly gets how awesome this is.



For a more obvious look that is still not in “Rainbow Brite” territory, try swiping your top lashes with black mascara and putting color mascara on just your bottom lashes. This can be fun to try with gently varying shades, say, black on top and navy on bottom, or add a cobalt on the bottom for a little more oomph. This works especially well with blue shades, because they’ll make the whites of your eyes look brighter, the same way blue-based red lipsticks will make your skin tone look cooler. “You look different! But…why?” – Everyone at work.


Let’s Blend

Your black mascara is about to get a facelift. Sweep on a coat of black mascara, and then do a second coat of a vibrant color mascara of your choice (what about purple? or burgundy?) Look at that! Is it black mascara? No. Is it color mascara? No….or is it? Adding a coat of color mascara to black makes the black appear multifaceted and a bit more interesting, without making you commit to Krazy Kolor Lashes all the way.

How to find the cleansing wipes

In part three of our face-cleansing series, we’re focusing on wipes and cloths. Diane Nakauchi, CEO of skin care line, Koh Gen Do, answers all of our queries about using wipes as part of our daily regimen. Below, Ms. Nakauchi gives us wisdom about using wipes, including her own line of organic Cleansing Water Cloths.

Q: What makes using cleansing wipes a good option for cleansing the face?

They remove makeup easily without causing irritation or leaving an oily residue that makes re-application of makeup very difficult to do. It is also a ‘Rescue Remedy’ for those nights where you just can’t take the makeup off, but you know leaving it on will enlarge pores, cause blemishes. Over time, eye makeup pigments, if deep in shade, may darken the thin delicate skin around your eyes if left on, so it’s important to take it off.

Q: What’s the best way to go about cleansing with wipes? Should we start at a certain part of the face? Should we use more than one at a time? Should we rub or dab?

You will not be rubbing with the wipe—starting in the area with the most pigments to remove, the wipe is applied to the skin and held for a few seconds so that the skin can be saturated properly. Then, gently make one sweep and repeat again if necessary. One wipe is generally enough to clean the entire face because you can use both sides.

Q: Koh Gen Do makes an organic alternative. What makes your Cleansing Water Cloths special?

The Cleansing Water Cloths are made with organic fabric (certified organic in Japan) and were originally created to remove makeup in professional settings—between runways, filming and print. They are also pH balanced with moisturizing skin care ingredients like the xylitol and minerals from the white birch sap harvested once a year that help keep the skin soft and moist. This is a wonderful option as it requires no rinsing and doesn’t leave any tautness of the skin usually experienced with wipes that are non-oily.

Q: Is it necessary to be concerned about using wipes or cloths on tender areas like under the eyes? Is there a technique for cleaning this sensitive area?

The only time we have found cloths irritating to the eyes is when too much product is being applied, which dissolves the eye makeup and runs that makeup into the eyes. Our cloths are also used on clients with eyelash extensions as it is oil-free and non-irritating to the eyes. The technique for wiping is to place the cloth over the area to saturate the skin and then gently wipe.

Q: Are wipes alone fine for a complete cleansing? Or do we need to follow up with a foaming cleanser for a thorough cleanse?

Should you use this as your ‘only’ daily facial skincare cleanser? Absolutely not. Skin requires more than just removal of makeup and daily grime with a makeup remover in its consistent daily care. Often the cloths are used to remove the darker color makeup and then we suggest our skin care ritual that consists of the Double Cleansing method—a deep, pore cleansing with a cleansing cream that is followed with a facial wash which can be a foaming cleanser. It is very necessary to massage in the cleansing cream as it will soften deep into the surface layer of the skin, allowing the products that follow to be absorbed properly. This method resolves many combination skin issues as the dry patches are softened and can be treated.

Know Lip Liner Work For You

Everybody, and we mean everybody can benefit from a little lip liner. While lining your lips runs the danger of creating an outdated, overdrawn, unblended pout, it’s time to stop shying away from lip liner for fear it may leave you looking like a Real Housewife. Here are the real 3 ways to make lip liner work for you.


Nude: The Shaping Liner

Why use a lip liner that matches your skintone? Flesh toned liners can help shape your lips before lip products are applied by filling in parts of the lip area to match your face. This is a great technique for achieving dramatic looks such as a cupid’s bow shape, but it also works wonders for reshaping uneven lips—especially when finishing with a sheer lipstick or gloss that wouldn’t so easily mask the characteristic.


Matched: The Sharpening Liner

When you’re on the go, you don’t have time to fumble with a lip brush to get those sharp artist-esque lines every time you reach for a reapplication. Save energy by lining your lips first with a liner that matches as close as possible with your lipstick. You’ll get a crisp, creamy line that can be filled in with a smudge of lipstick. The center of your lip shade wears the fastest throughout the day while your liner is likely to stay put, so enjoy faster touch-ups that only require a swipe of lipstick with no edge lining drama.


Dark: The Contour Liner

Dark lip liner doesn’t have the greatest reputation, but a well-blended choice can work wonders for those who wish for fuller lips. Try lining lips in a dark shade and filling in with a creamy lipstick in a lighter shade. Using a lip brush, blend the shades together where they meet and you’ll end up with ombre results that look injection-worthy. Don’t want to step out looking like you’re auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race? The closer the shades are in the color family, the more subtle the results will be.

Life Of Your Eyelash Collection

Are you keeping your false lashes clean? We know, at the end of a long day adding yet another step to our beauty regime can feel like a chore—but you’ll thank us when your lash stash is still going strong months into wearing them.

That’s right, keeping your falsies sanitized and clean can extend the life of your favorite set so you can wear them again and again like new. Built up mascara and glue can both dry out real hair lash sets, as well as warp artificial fibers. Plus, worn lashes can carry bacteria that could be harmful to eyes with extended use. There are a few ways to clean a false set, and we promise they’re quick and easy. Your falsie collection will thank you.


Peel away the glue

Glue build-up can warp the shape of the eyelash band over time, causing lashes to look uneven. Plus, built up glue is a bacteria trap. Use tweezers to carefully peel away glue bits on the backs of your lashes without tearing out lash hairs in the process.


Rinse in warm water

Fill a clean sink with a small amount of warm water and drop lashes in for about 30 seconds to loosen any mascara, eyeshadow, or other potential makeup residue. Hot water is a good choice for especially stubborn makeup—but only for artificial lash fibers, as human hair or fur lashes can permanently lose their curl in the heat.


Wipe down and sanitize

Artificial lashes can be sanitized with rubbing alcohol but real hair sets should be treated with a mild water-based makeup remover such as Bioderma Sebium that won’t dry out the fibers. Wipe from base to tip on dry lashes with an alcohol or remover soaked cotton ball to sweep away pre-loosened makeup.

How To Get The Most Natural Effect


It’s official—contour has gone mainstream.  It used to be reserved for runway or editorial, where lighting required additional bone structure, or when someone was performing in drag. But now, contouring has made its way into selfies everywhere and you can’t enter a makeup store without seeing a wide range of contour kits. Just take a look at the last few seasons of reality TV or look on YouTube and Instagram.

In real life, if you’re going to contour, you should do it right, otherwise it can look false and awkward. Here are a few tricks to make your contour more realistic and to prevent it from looking drag-queeny or harsh.



Contour is when light and dark shades are used to mimic the effect of light falling on the face, giving shape or a spotlight to a certain area. It is all about enhancing or manipulating facial structure with makeup. The goal is to make it look realistic so it’s not noticeable. Just like filling in the brow or adding lashes, it’s all about illusion and understanding the fundamentals of color, light and texture. Where you place your color on the face will determine what the finished application looks like.



Choose a lighter shade when you want lift. A light color opens something up, brings something out or makes something look larger. The same goes for a product that has shine, sparkle, or shimmer. Lighter colors or a product that reflects light should be used on the higher points of the face or when you need to create an illusion of space. For example, if someone has a short forehead or a flat chin, adding light to an area will produce balance, width or length.

A darker color is going to pull something back and make something appear deeper or smaller. To ensure the best contour, stick with matte textures and use the shimmer shades only for your highlights.



When choosing your contour shade, stay away from colors that are too warm or too red, and avoid using bronzer. You need to choose a color that gives the illusion of an actual shadow. Think of it like the shade from a tree. You want cool tones of taupe, brown-beige, grey, or even a lighter, saturated black. From the lightest to the darkest skin, these cool shades will look like naturally occurring shadows—not makeup. For the most natural contour, use a soft blush shade or a darker pressed powder or foundation. Choosing a product two or three shades darker than your own complexion will achieve the most natural contour.


The correct formula is essential for the perfect contour. Powders will give a more matte finish, while creams will look more dewy. Try combining a powder for contour paired with a cream for highlight. This will soften the line between the shades, and will create a look that leaves everyone thinking this is your natural bone structure.