All posts by Jance Curry-Witzman

BE_you_T_Ful Brows

Welcome Back Beauties!

Let’s say a little prayer before we get started. Why!? Because this subject is a sensitive one. What I will share with you is a very much needed aspect of our beauty regimen, yet it is often discounted as a cheap trick. When it’s not overlooked, let’s say, uuhhmm (clears throat) it can be handled with much disrespect and lack of care. What in the world are you talking about, you might ask? The Infamous Eyebrow!!! (dun dun dun).

Whilst everything we do when it comes to making up our faces can be regarded as a form of artistic expression, of particular note is the infamous eyebrow. There are feather brows, ponytail brows, squiggly brows colored/glitter brows, brow extensions, brow stamps/stencils…and on and on!! Our eyebrows come in different shapes, textures, colors and thicknesses, naturally. They change after years of waxing, plucking, threading and razors.  As we age, they can become thin, turn color, or be completely non-existent.

For daily use to help our small furry friends out, there are many items – powder, wax, dye, pencils, wiz, pomade, etc. Some of us use too many products, some too few, and others, none at all. This is a personal preference, of course. My concern lies in whether or not brow grooming is performed to the features of our face and eye shape. Eyebrows are NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL!! Let me repeat, Eyebrows are NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL.

As I have expressed in this column in the past, we all have different shaped faces, different shaped eyelids and guess what? Different shaped eyebrows. Whoa!… (gasps and bucks eyes here). Before any aesthetic treatment is applied to the brows, they must be the most complimentary to our face and appropriate to the eye shape that we all have been uniquely and individually blessed with. We must also remember that eyebrows are sisters, not twins. Just ask yourself this question, is any body part, eye, ear, leg, foot the exact same as the other? Ummmm, NO. So your eyebrows should not be. That does not mean they should look like lopsided distant cousins, but they should be very close in appearance once you’ve had them done.

Can you tell you how much I love the eyebrow?! And I’m always looking…lol.  Eyebrows have the ability to transport us from one era in time to another. They frame the face and can complete a makeup look (or look like something is missing). An eyebrow can bring us to complete horror or extreme laughter.

I’ll use myself as an example. I have been guilty of many beauty trends like the extremely thin eyebrow and the “overdone” eyebrow,  meaning my eyebrows didn’t meet in the middle and/or the tail of my eyebrow went all the way down to the corner or my eyes. I’ve had them too large or too dark for my small, hooded eyes. Forgive me!!  There are some trends that are better than others. I have changed eyebrow color based on the look I was creating. If it was a more natural look, I used more of a natural pencil color.  For a more creative look, I would use a darker color. Some looks are about personal preference. I absolutely never use black, ebony or granite on myself.  Granted, I have seen those colors work well on others. I have personally used all forms of eyebrow filler except dye. I must say that I am in love with eyebrow pencils. L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer is one of my most absolute favorites, and it is affordably priced.

As I’ve stated, everything here is largely my opinion and my personal preference, but I will add that I get quite a few compliments on my eyebrows. And some days I only fill them in, put on eyeliner and maybe add a strip lash.   With that said, I hope you will consider my opinions the next time you stand before the mirror to handle your eyebrows.

Here are a few tips for filling in brows and photos for one of my latest looks below.

1.  Brush with a spoolie brush prior to applying anything to them.

2. If the hairs in your eyebrows are long, you may need to trim them.

3. Use a firm angled brush for applying eyebrow defining concealer.  (Any other firm brush that you like is okay, as long as you have a steady hand). This is for use under the brow, and should match your skin color as closely as possible, especially if you aren’t wearing any other makeup. When applying a full face, the concealer color you use can be up to 2 shades lighter on your brow bone area.

 

Always remember to be a girl with hope, a lady with faith and a woman in love with the Lord!

All About That Base

Welcome Back Beauties!

We previously left off with, “What happens if I don’t use primer?” We talked about the importance of priming your eyelids and how priming your eyelids and setting them with powder gives your eyeshadow longevity and allows your eyeshadow to pop.

Well, there’s more. I left off at the end of my last submission discussing the importance of building a good base.

Have you asked yourself, “Do I use a base in addition to using a primer?” Probably not, but the answer is, Yes! While primer and base serve similar purposes, eyeshadow base alone will not hold your eyeshadow in place like your eyelid primer (there are a couple of brands that utilize eyeshadow base and primer interchangeably). Eyeshadow base can improve eyeshadow colors and increase its vibrancy or cause it to be deep and rich (depending on the colors used). Truthfully, it’s all about building the proper foundation to set the stage for a breakthrough…. lol. It’s that deep and that serious (insert laughing/crying emoji here). After you apply your eyelid primer and set it with a translucent or neutral toned setting powder, apply your transition color(s) and you go from there.

Mindful Tip: Do not apply your eyeshadow base to any part of your eyelid or eye that you do not want to show a dramatic change in color. If you want the mobile part of your eyelid to pop or display depth in color, apply the base to that area only. Make sure to blend out the edges of base and try not to cover or cancel out the work you spent applying your transition colors.

So, what do I use as a base!? Well, lucky for you, I’m here to help!! There are a plethora of things that can be used as base, depending on the look you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to make bright colors pop, use a white base or lighter colored base such as an NYX eyeshadow base or NYX eyeshadow base pencil. Other products that can be used for base, MAC paint pots, Tarte lid lock and some concealers. If you want a deeper, richer hue, the most common “go to” color, to make dark colors appear full, is a black base. Your base should only be applied to the parts of the eye that you want to show a dramatic difference with, i.e., the mobile part of your eyelid, your waterline or lower lash area of your eye.

The key to making colors look good is to make sure that you blend and smooth out any base color applied to your eyes. If your makeup brush is not accomplishing the desired look, it’s okay to use your finger-tips to smooth out your base. Oftentimes, the warmth from your fingertips will cause the application of the product to smooth out easily. If you’re not already using a primer and a base, give it a try. I’m sure it will improve your eyeshadow looks as well as increase longevity of your eyeshadow. After using these mindful tips and techniques, use #Nouveaubeauty for a feature on our IG page!

Always know how valuable and uniquely beautiful you are! Until next time.

Waterproof Goes Poof

Welcome Back Beauties! Let’s just jump right in! As promised, I said I would come back with a full review of Mac Prolong Wear Foundation and Concealer. Welp, here it goes! I put my MAC products to the test utilizing MAC Prep + Prime and MAC Fix + as the base and setting spray. I put my products to the test in the good ‘ole Southern Illinois heat. This particular evening, the temperature was right at about 100 degrees and the humidity was just, DISRESPECTFUL. I must say, I waited until the very last minute to apply a very neutral full face of makeup because I knew I was taking a chance. I looked very good in the car on my 25-minute drive to my destination, snapped a couple of selfies. Everything was great!

Stepped out of my car and the drama began! I felt the perspiration beading up on my face, I desperately attempted to fan my face as I stood outside in the shade, but blistering heat, nonetheless. One gentleman asked me if I needed a napkin, I politely declined (mind you, I hadn’t seen my face yet). I had had a conversation with a young lady that was holding a camera, etc. SHE DID NOT SAY A WORD (insert angry face, aren’t we supposed to help each other out!?) I felt the beadlets rolling, but I tried to remain optimistic, praying that my face wasn’t melting, but clearly….clearly, it was. Lights, camera, action, my face was plastered across the jumbotron as I sang. I also didn’t have my phone to check my face or to capture the damage. One hour of sweating for 2 minutes of a song and COMPLETE HUMILIATION! I immediately exited stage right, to the restroom, to get a look at my face. Screaming. Hollering, Melted Chocolate! I mean, turn the hot blow dryer on a chocolate candy bunny and let it burn, baby.

With that being said, it was horrible. So, I vigorously blotted. Waterproof!?….#issajoke in my young voice. I’m not going to completely slam the product though. In my opinion, it is effective as long as the temperature is not above the mid 80’s and the humidity is not extremely high. After I blotted my face, there was still remnants of my makeup on my face`. The company could work on increasing the shade range, which anyone who is extremely fair or deep in tone can attest to with beauty products in general. This product is still about a 3 on a scale of 1-5 in my book. I will wear this product again, because I paid for it. I also like the coverage and the matte finish. BUT, this is exactly why I typically do not wear any makeup during the summer months.

Moving right along! Let’s talk eyes and eyeshadow. Eyeshadow is important. Just as important as eyebrows. We’ve seen it applied in the most simplistic and beautiful ways and in the most creative, artistic formats. Truth be told, we’ve also seen it look a mess! I am, personally, a fan of both simplistic and artistic forms of eyeshadow. Before we talk about creativity or lack thereof, we need to talk about making your eyeshadow last and how to make them pop. (sidebar) Eyeshadow should be applied to your eyes based on your specific eye shape and the amount of eyelid space you have. It takes a very skilled hand to apply certain looks to eyelids that can be challenging, ie., hooded lids and/or monolids.

Have you ever heard of, seen, or used eyelid primer? Well, it’s your best friend! Eyelid primer adds longevity, life and vibrancy to your eyeshadow. Eyelid primer can be purchased at any beauty supply, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Ulta or Sephora, online too. Eyelid primer can be affordable or quite expensive. Ranging from a couple of dollars, up to high double digits for higher end brands. Some people even use concealer as eyelid primer. Whichever base you choose to prime your eyelids, you must set your base with a neutral shade setting powder/ or a translucent setting powder, then proceed with your eyeshadow application.
Eyelid primers that I have personal experience with that I prefer are: E.L.F. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer, Sally Girl Eyelid Primer (Sally’s Beauty Supply). L.A. Girl Pro Conceal, Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
What happens if I don’t use eyelid primer?

Have you ever applied your eyeshadow and wondered why you had what appeared to be a beautiful color in the pan? Or you’ve applied your shadow and it did not apply evenly or smoothly? Better yet, have you applied your shadow and after a few hours, it is oily and creased? How about, you applied your eyeshadow and it is barely visible? That is the direct result of zero eyelid primer. It is a must if you want to keep your eye look fresh. Give it a try! You will thank me later.
In my next submission, we will build on how to create a good base color when applying bright colored shadows. Until next time!

Help! I’m Melting…

Summer is officially here and I want to talk about a few things concerning the heat and our beautiful faces! First off, who here is a major sweater during the summer months? (insert hand raised high) Le sigh!

Yes, yes, I know, some of us don’t sweat. As I was told by someone a few years younger than myself, “I don’t sweat, I glisten.” Well, well, young child when you mature, you just may sweat. I am a SWEATER! So, I’ve decided to do my first product review on MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation with MAC prep + prime and MAC Fix plus along with NYX Proof It Eyebrow Primer for my eyebrows and so I put it to the test. I must say that I am not a fan of all things MAC, but I thought I would give their waterproof foundation a try.

I ordered the deepest shade NW50 at the MAC store online. Upon arrival, I was a little concerned that that the deepest shade was not going to be dark enough for the rich deeply baked shade that I’d become during the time between when I placed my order and the arrival of the product.

I put my products to the test in the hot South Carolina humidity and heat. On the first day, I applied MAC prep + prime to the high points of my cheeks with some Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator to see how it would work. I did not apply any foundation, I was going for a gentle glow. By the end of the night, I had sweat and oil in the t-zone area of my face where I did not apply any product, but my high points continued to slightly glisten with no sweat beading and my illuminator stayed intact.

I decided to give my products a full test run the second time around. This time, I applied a full face of makeup, utilizing all of my MAC products in addition to my Tarte concealer and Ben Nye Setting Powder. I wore these products for a period of about 8 hours. On this particular day, I also went to the beach as well and was even splashed by ocean water. I was feeling pretty confident with my makeup despite having to utilize the beauty blender on at least one occasion to my t-zone area. I would consider that day a success! My face stayed intact and I glistened.

We all know that the third time is supposed to be a charm. Welp, the third time was no winner, winner chicken dinner. The temperature was moderate, but the humidity was high. In a matter of roughly 15 minutes, my face began to melt in the t-zone area. Even with vigorous blotting with a beauty blender, the humidity and my sweat were no match for the MAC waterproof products. I had blot so much, I blotted away all of the makeup in my t-zone area. Shame!

If I had to rate this product on a scale of 1-5, I would rate it a 3. Why? My face never actually dripped in perspiration, I looked more like a melting, glistening piece of warm dark chocolate candy. The coverage of this product is medium with a matte finish which works well in the summer months. This particular foundation does not feel cakey or drying and is very blendable. It is mid-range in price ranging from $30-$35 depending on where it is purchased. If the humidity is not too high, the product works fairly well, even with temperatures in the mid 70’s up to low 80’s. The reliability of the product should increase with the use of MAC Pro waterproof concealer. Please take into consideration that Tarte concealer was what I used in my t-zone area (it was what I had at the time). I can almost guarantee that the mixture of those two formulas were not compatible resulting in the “melted” look. If you’re interested in water proof foundation, the shade range is what I would consider to be limited. In my opinion, there is a need for deeper hued choice options. Would I purchase this product again? I’m still torn. There are many qualities about the product I like and the others are what I would consider, “workable.” I am also going to test the success of the product with the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer to see if the success rate of the product increases. I will include my findings in a side note in the upcoming issue.

On to the NYX Proof It! I absolutely love it! My eyebrows stayed intact, even after I rubbed across them. I utilized the NYX Proof It Eyebrow Primer with both an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and Colour Pop Brow Colour. While my face was a struggle, my brows were all together. I was excited about that! Being a sweater, I blot and wipe quite frequently. If I had to rate this product on a scale of 1-5, I would give it a 5. The consistency of both brow products stayed intact while using the primer. The price is very affordable ranging from $5-$7. This is a must have if you need to keep your brows in place at a very cost-efficient price. The product is a gel consistency, it’s easy to apply and dries matte. I would consider this product very reliable and would recommend it to anyone trying to keep their brows on their face during the summer months.

While I’ve only mentioned a couple of waterproof products, I am going to continue on my search to find what I feel is a more reliable waterproof foundation and concealer and I will keep you all informed. I’m really anxious to find something that works well for me and hopefully for you too. I typically do not wear makeup during the summer months.

As always, stay bold and beautiful! Most importantly, keep on believing!

What Lies Beneath

Hello Beauties and Welcome Back!

Today we’re going to talk about beauty and the skin you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you love makeup, you hate it, you wear it every day or only on special occasions. There are several things that are important and many things that factor into the success of your glam look no matter how fabulous or basic.

Your Canvas
Your skin is your canvas and whether you do or don’t care for it can affect the way your makeup looks and can affect your life. There are many different skin types, oily, dry, combination, clear, textured (acne- prone), mature (seasoned) and hyperpigmented (discolored). Every canvas should be cleansed on a daily basis and moisturized with some type of non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) facial moisturizer that includes SPF as well. That applies to all skin types and melanin rich people too. Notice I said all skin types, that includes oily and dry skin as well. Questions and problems tend to arise when we have to pick what is going to work best for our skin.

Some of us may be under the impression that oily skin does not need to be moisturized That is not true. When oily skin is not moisturized or hydrated, it causes stress to your skin glands and your skin will produce more oil. Hydration is also important for dryer skin as well. Mature skin requires the same kind of love, care and attention in addition to some type of regenerating or rejuvenating skincare.
For all skin types consuming adequate amounts of water daily is very important, it works on our skin and many other things from the inside out. The foods we eat, the beverages we drink, the amount of sleep we get also impacts what our skin looks like. Utilizing toners, astringents, masks and night creams can also help the skin look fresh and vibrant.

If you experience more serious skin conditions such as severe acne, dermatitis, extreme redness or hyperpigmentation, there are many products on the market. It is easy to become overwhelmed and you must be precise about what you’re trying. You must also use a product line long enough to see results. If you have an adverse reaction you should stop using the product immediately. Remember that every product does not render the same result for every person even if they share the same skin type or condition. In that case, it would be wise to see a Dermatologist or Esthetician for a professional assessment on what is the best course of action to treat your skin. It should be noted that most Estheticians give a free consultation if you’re concerned about the cost.

Beauty and skincare can be overwhelming, that’s why the cosmetic and beauty industry’s revenue is well in to the billions.

Before We Apply

As I previously stated, cleansing your skin is one of the most important things to do daily. After cleansing your skin, a face primer should be applied. Facial primers are created for skin types as well, oily, dry, combination, pore and line fillers, etc. Do your research and choose accordingly. There are water and oil/silicone based primers. DO NOT mix water and oil/silicone based primers together. Color correcting should take place after prep and priming. Some facial primers come in color correcting colors. We’ll talk about how to color correct later. Whichever base/primer you use, your foundation should also contain the same main ingredient to help minimize creasing. Remember oil and water don’t mix. So, if water is one of the main ingredients in your primer, it should be the same for your foundation. If oil/silicone is one of the main ingredients in your primer, you should choose the same for your foundation. You will need to read 4-5 ingredients down on the list to be able to fully determine what ingredients are in your foundation. Even if you set your foundation, if the main ingredients and foundation are not the same, you may experience creasing or separation at some point. In some rare instances, you can use a water base primer and an oil/silicone base foundation, but you should really massage your primer into your skin and let it sink in prior to the application of your foundation.

If your primer and foundation routine is working well for you, continue as you were. Keep popp’n!
I want to note that I am not an Esthetician nor do I have any dermatological experience. I personally see a dermatologist as needed and an Esthetician. These views are my opinion based on my experience with many different skin types.

As always as we beautify ourselves on the outside, let’s continue to let God’s beauty radiate from the inside!