f thoughts of a half cat: The Importance of a Good Canvas

January 3, 2013

The Importance of a Good Canvas

The Basics

One of the most important things to remember, in my opinion, is to treat your skin well and take care of its needs even before applying other things like bronzer, blush, highlight, eyeshadow, liner, mascara, etc. It's extremely important to have a good canvas as a base for the rest of the products you put on your face, in addition to promote the general health of your skin. Pictured above and below are the things I consider the basics for myself, perhaps minus the Lush cleanser which is more a pampering thing than absolutely necessary.
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil: I've searched far and wide for the best make up remover (specifically for eyes too) for my dry, sensitive skin. After trying various removers from just pure Vaseline to Clinique, Urban Decay (honorable mention though, their Meltdown Make Up Remover is pretty great), Bobbi Brown, and others (wipes, oils, regular removers, whatever) -- I came back to this dual cleanser/make up remover from MAC. Although it's an oil, it's not "oily" in the sense that it doesn't leave any residue on my skin at all nor does it feel greasy. It's one of the only products I've found to completely remove my make up (I hate waking up with "panda eyes" no matter how cute it sounds!), including eye make up all in one go. It's also a cleanser, which makes it that much better because my skin feels SO clean after I use it. It's not terribly expensive either, and honestly I would pay more for it if it was. 
  • Tweezers: Pretty self explanatory! I put these in the photo because I do use them for maintenance purposes but I mainly get my eyebrows threaded or waxed.
  • Vaseline: The only thing that cures chapped lips, for me anyway. After being on Accutane, it's been the only lip product to ever keep my lips from getting dry (I've talked to other people who have been on it that agree), not to mention Vaseline is just useful in general for all sorts of things!
  • Laura Mercier Brow Pencil: I cannot emphasize enough how important well shaped brows are for a good canvas! My brows are already pretty dark, so I mainly just use this to emphasize the general shape/arch.

  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil (described above)
  • Lush "Angels on Bare Skin" Lavender Scrub: I just picked this up recently actually to use a few times a week as an exfoliant and because it smells super heavenly. It's one of their best sellers, suitable for all skin types. The product description says: "The Kaolin clay base deep cleanses while ground almonds gently exfoliate the dead skina way. Rose and lavender are added to soothe and help balance out combination skin." I'm a sucker for rose, lavender, and chamomile as it is - so I pretty much adore this stuff.
  • Lush "Oatfix" Fresh Face Mask: A life saver for sensitive, dry skin that gets worse during the cold months. It has "calming oats, softening mashed banana (nanners!!!), and ground almonds to slough away flaky skin," and is very moisturizing. Smells like banana oatmeal cookies too :). I'd say I use it about once a week to help calm my skin and restore some of the moisture that's lost from cleansing and in general from daily wear.

The Canvas
  • Bobbi Brown EXTRA Repair Moisturizing Balm: On the left, one of my "couldn't live without" products. I have not found a better moisturizer, and I've tried many! It's a bit steep in price for sure, but I buy it twice a year and it's WELL worth it. It's probably the most luxurious thing I've ever put on my face and it's also incredibly moisturizing. I'd be hard pressed to find a better one. 
  • Make Up Forever HD Foundation: Great buildable coverage (but still lets my freckles show through!), long wearing, smooth application -- I really can't say enough good things about this foundation. It's right up there with my Chanel Vitalumiere and I'd say a more moisturizing version of NARS Sheer Glow but not as pigmented. I think my color is #117 or #118, for reference and I apply it with my Sigma F80 Kabuki brush. 
  • Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15: In Tender Rose. I used this as my main foundation for YEARS and just recently purchased it again after realizing how much I loved it while rediscovering it in Sephora. I apply just a little over my MUFE HD Foundation with a Real Techniques buffing brush and it works like a charm -- flawless, even complexion that covers up what I want it to without removing my freckles :). As someone with dry skin, I tend to steer away from powders in general but I highly suggest it for all skin types. It's absolutely fantastic.
  • Bobbi Brown Corrector: In Porcelain Peach. As I've mentioned before, I've been blessed with a tendency for rather dark under eye circles - courtesy of genetics and terrible allergies. I'm constantly on the look out for good products to neutralize them that aren't too drying but don't settle into creases. I apply it lightly (pat) with my fingertips underneath my eyes, and it's designed to have a concealer over that but most of the time I just leave it at that or apply my YSL Touche Eclat pen to brighten up a bit. Definitely one of my all time favorites. 
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: In NC20. Just picked this up recently actually. I've been searching for a good concealer after MAC (sadly) discontinued their Studio Sculpt concealer to touch up any blemishes or imperfections when I do get them, which is luckily not often unless I'm stressed out. I quite like it, it's pigmented enough to cover up, blends well, and is not drying. I usually just apply it with a fingertip but the Real Techniques crease brush is also fantastic for applying concealer in general (especially under eyes). 

And those products are what I use for my "good canvas" :). I'd love to hear what other people consider to be their essentials for a good foundation before applying all the other fun stuff, so please feel free to comment below and let me know! In other news, I'm going to make it a point to keep this blog more updated -- I've been neglecting it for far too long. Cheers!


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