MVL Beauty Chat {In Case You Missed It}

October 10, 2011

By Katrice

Last Thursday, My Vicarious Life hosted makeup and beauty extraordinaire AJ Crimson for our first virtual beauty chat on facebook. The online gathering gave MVL followers and fans first-hand access to AJ and he didn't disappoint. If you missed it, you're in luck because I've decided to transcribe the entire chat for you as a massive Q&A! This was too much goodness to waste. Thank you again to all who participated!

Q: My question is about foundation. I use foundation everyday but I find that it starts to look faint and I lose coverage by the end of the day? How can I make it last better?

AJ: It all depends on the coverage you’re starting out with and how you’re setting the makeup. From my experience, water-based products tend to lose their coverage faster than cream set with a good powder.

Q: Do you think we need a foundation for summer and the winter?

AJ: I think a little foundation never hurts.

Q: I find I wear tons of neutral tones for lip glosses, etc. What colors are hot for the fall and what would you suggest I try to ease my way into color?

AJ: I love neutrals but I also love warm berries for fall and pinks to brighten up things especially in place that is gloomy! Ease into light pinks.

Q: When you're going from no makeup at all to wanting to start wearing makeup on a more regular basis (but still look natural) what are some basics/essentials to incorporate into your daily routine that can freshen things up a bit?

AJ: Start with mascara; It makes a huge difference! Lip color and bronzer, or blush.

Q: I don't wear foundation, just powder. Is that a good thing or do I need both?

AJ: Depends on the skin... If you don't need to cover blemishes, power can be great just not to heavy! You don't want a cake face.

Q: What's your opinion on correctors (like Bobbi Brown's) versus concealers? And is there potential skin damage from long term use?

AJ: If you mean correctors as in tinted concealers like pink and green, etc., to add to your foundation or concealer, I think those are fine to help match the color properly or diffuse dark circles or blemishes.

Q: Which primers work best for oily skin? Or are there any natural techniques to controlling the oil before applying makeup?

AJ: Good cleansing with a bit of toner is good. I don't regularly use primer, so I can't speak to its usefulness. I use products that work with the skin I'm working on. No sense in putting an oily product on already-oily skin.

Q: What is the best inexpensive foundation to use for sensitive skin? I love the foundation I use now but after 2-3 days of use, small acne type blemishes begin to appear on my chin area.

AJ: I like Black Opal, actually, and its not expensive.

Q: I really don't wear much makeup (as in foundation), but I have eczema that flares up from time to time on my upper eyelid (where you would apply eye shadow). What do you suggest I use to make the skin smooth so I can apply shadows?

AJ: I would try wetting the shadow you want to apply first. Unfortunately, texture on the eyelid is going to be hard to camouflage.

Q: I need a good concealer for my eyes … any suggestions?

AJ: The brand Amazing Cosmetics concealer works really well.

Q: Is there a face cleanser/regimen that you recommend. I like wearing makeup but only wear it on occasion because my face tends to break out. I clean my brushes often. I was using Clinique's system then I switched to Philosophy. I am not happy with either one.

AJ: Cetaphil, Noxema or Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. You don't have to break the bank to look great!

Q: I'm contemplating taking a walk on the wild side... red lipstick! With so many different shades how do I go about finding the best shade for my complexion?

AJ: Go with something more blue based so that it won't be so scary! Try Kissable couture in Fantasies. Works wonders!

Q: What's the best way to remove makeup?

AJ: Probably Albolene; its gets everything off.

Q: I tend to have “raccoon” eyes and I usually have to apply a little more foundation under them. And in the end I still look like a raccoon because now I have put on too much foundation under my eyes. Are there any home remedies/ natural ways to help reverse the discoloration (other than more sleep)?

A: First, if you're are using the same shade under your eyes as all over your face this will surely happen. Try beginning with something that has more of a peach hue as concealer first and apply lightly just to tint the area. Then, applying your foundation over top should offer a brighter eye area and nice gradation of color.

Q: I tend to look washed out at times. What is the best way to add color without looking overdone?

AJ: Bronzer or a shade or two darker of foundation, or powder on the perimeter of the face.

Q: What primer/product would you recommend to help control oil in the T-Zone that works all day with a little blotting powder here and there? 

AJ: To be honest, I'm not sure. I like a little shine. Try Smashbox photo finish primer; It has a great texture!

Q: What  foundation would you say is the best for dark-skinned ladies? Also, for everyday makeup wearers, what do you think we should always do when applying makeup {i.e. always use a primer, etc.}?

AJ: I like Makeup Forever. They have one of the best ranges. Always take your time and blend! Use more than one shade of foundation and moisturize first.

Q: I have extremely sensitive skin. Should I use an exfolliant? If so, how often and can you recommend a product?

AJ: Use something that is lightly granulated, once or twice a week. Borba has a good skin care line and Caudalie.

Q: If I already have extremely oily skin, should I still be using a moisturizer before applying my foundation?

AJ: Not in my opinion. 

Q: I have smile lines around my mouth, chin and cheek area that I think are becoming more visible as I get older. I was told to wear less makeup around that area because of this. I also use primer which sometimes works to smooth them out. My question is am I doing the right thing by using less makeup around that area or what do you recommend?

AJ: Cover the area lightly like a stain so that it gives coverage but not collection in the creases.

Q: Is there really a difference between products such as MAC and drugstore brands such as Maybelline? I love Maybelline's eye shadow, but I love MAC's mascara. Should I not use drugstore brands and is there a difference in the content ingredients or are they the same, but one cost more than the other and that makes it better?

AJ: Well, part of this question you can answer on your own by compare the ingredients list. See how many things differ. I do believe that there is a lot of delevopment that goes into formulation, which will yield a different result. No one skin is the same so you have to find what works for you. Mix it up -- expensive and not so expensive. Just make sure it works for you. 

Q: What are some of the most common make up mistakes you see on women?

AJ: Not taking chances with the makeup; wearing the same outdated look from high school because it was cute in high school; not blending; overdrawing or filling in eyebrows! And over tweezing eyebrows.

Q: I'm 50-pus with reddish brown skin, and dark brown, almost shoulder length locks. I live a natural lifestyle and want to know what I can do for makeup for this web cam era?

AJ: Dip, tap, swirl! Bare Essentials mineral makeup.

Q: I'm darker skinned but I want to experiment with colors on my eyes that pop outside of work, what colors should I try?

AJ: Greens, blues, turquoise, gold, sooo many. I had the best time working with Estelle on looks that popped!

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