OK, gather round, Chickens - Mother is about to preach!
About That Skincare...
The condition of your skin is the single most important factor in how good your base makeup looks. You can beat an eye and overdraw a lip until the streetwalkers come home, but if your foundation is busted and crusted, you will not turn the party, Cyst! In this series of articles, Mother will share advice, tips, techniques and products to help you improve and maintain the look and health of your skin.
If you have not been taking excellent care of your skin up until now, today is the day you start! It may seem complicated, but trust and believe it is much easier to take a little extra time with skincare and prep than it is to master corrective makeup camouflage on top of problem skin. If you have been looking after your skin, good for you, girl! But keep on reading - Mother has a nugget or two to drop on ya.
Most people with genetically male skin naturally have more surface texture than people with genetically female skin - no shade, it's just hormones. In addition, there's that pesky shaving area always popping out to say hello when she should sit her ass down and leave you be! Both overall texture and beard area coarseness tend to worsen as the years roll by. But, don't you worry - Mother is going to serve you all the tea on how to get your skin looking smooth and healthy, so your beat goes on lovely now, and for years to come.
First, always wash your hands before beginning your skincare routine - even if you are certain they are clean. You don't want to transfer any dirt or germs that can cause irritation or breakouts to your face.
Wash your damn face morning and evening - your skin type, the condition of your skin, the weather, and what you have been doing during the day (or Night) will determine HOW you should cleanse and WHAT cleanser you should choose.
To thoroughly cleanse normal, problem free skin (no breakouts, decent texture, moderate to no pore issues) choose a non-foaming enzyme cleanser, such as Aquation Gentle Moisturizing Cleanser for morning, and a foaming cleanser containing Alpha Hydroxy acid (AHA, also called Glycolic acid) or Beta Hydroxy Acid such as Petitfée D-off Phyto Foam Cleanser for evening. Yes, two different cleansers.
The creamy cleanser cleanses gently without disrupting the moisture and pH balance of the skin, while the foaming cleanser chemically exfoliates and acidifies the skin's mantle to enhance the natural moisture barrier function. Also, your skin, like your hair, will adjust to any one cleanser over time and whatever you choose will become less effective. Using two cleansers keeps both working effectively, especially important if you need to ensure that all makeup is removed when you cleanse. Wash your face with your clean hands. You can use a face cloth, face brush, or sonic cleaner with the foaming cleanser to deep clean 2-4 times a week (or when you have been wearing makeup).
Do not use cleansers with physical exfoliants like grains, nut shells, salt, sugar, or microbeads on your face - these can cause irritation, redness, and added texture. Do follow up after cleansing with a hydrating toner (no matter your skin type), such as Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner or Biotherm Biosource 24 Hr Softening and Hydrating Toner. Using an exfoliating glycolic acid treatment like Magic Beauty Magic Pads 2-4 times a week after cleansing will help with skin cell renewal and exfoliation, without causing damage or roughness. Cell turnover is what gives you that fresh, glowing, soft look, Mawma.
For oily, acne prone, large pored skin, you'll need to follow the steps for normal skin cleansing, but with a few dips and swerves. Do not try to completely strip your face of all oil - the resulting dryness will just make your oil glands kick into overdrive, producing even more unwanted sebum (face grease). What you want is to balance your skin, so the oil production doesn't get out of control. Cleanse morning and night as directed above, and follow up with a glycolic treatment every night until you see improvement. Swipe Magic Pads over areas with issues such as redness, enlarged pores, subcutaneous acne, whiteheads, and that oily ass T zone. Then follow with Biotherm Moisturizing Toner to restore balance.
For dry, sensitive, skin (talking to you, my more mature heifers). Cleanse morning and night, but do not use a foaming cleanser. Use a cream cleanser or cleansing oil, such as Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt Cleanser at night. Also, do not scrub with a brush or rough cloth as this may cause more irritation. Just the texture of your hands or a soft cloth should provide enough agitation to cleanse your skin effectively. Use a gentle, alcohol-free toner like Biosource with moisturizing ingredients.
On days when you are in makeup, thoroughly remove your makeup with your choice of Remover before commencing your nighttime cleansing routine. Mother recommends all-natural emollient Drag Off and The Bianca Remover , Crown Professional Makeup Wipes and Kryolan Makeup Wipes for on the go, and Glamorous Chicks Get It All Off Makeup Remover or Crystal Hearts Glacial Water Cleansing Sherbet to remove stubborn longwear products.
Shaving your face can be annoying af, but unless you want to be known as a Bearded Queen (no shade, fierce Bearded Queens), it's gotta be done. Let's talk about the way to shave properly, so Mr. Barba stays put away while Mother is being a WOMAN.
The most convenient way to shave is while cleansing your face. The cleanser acts as a lubricant for the blade(s), your beard is nice and wet (that's what she said) and you will follow up immediately with a toner that will rebalance the freshly shaved area.
- Hydrate - thoroughly wet your beard area with warm water before you shave. If you can manage a warm wet towel or cloth for at least 5 minutes, like traditional barbers do, that's great. If not, at least splash and rub the area until you feel the hairs soften.
- Blades - multiblade razors with 2, 4, or as many as 6 blades on one razor have become very common, but everyone's skin and beard are different. Unfortunately Mother can't make a general recommendation that will suit everyone. If you have normal skin without excessive sensitivity, multiblade may be the best option (just be sure to get one with a single trimmer blade on the back for thorough detailing). If you have sensitive skin, very little, or very fine facial hair, a single blade disposable, or safety razor might work better for minimizing irritation. Straight edge or 'cut throat' razor allegedly give the closest possible shave, but Mother is scurred of those and prefers to see those in the hands of a professional. Experiment and ask people in your orbit (your barber is a good source of information about male grooming) what they prefer to use.
- Cut a Bish - you don't have to use a new blade every time you shave, but be aware of how many shaves you get before the blade starts to drag (pun intended). Hairs shaved with a dull blade are more likely to grow inward, creating ingrown hair pustules (yuck!) and to grow out more quickly, while you're still trying to look kanty. Keep it sharp, fresh, and cute!
- Do In Da Bumps- if you are blessed with facial hair that curls, you need to be aware of the direction and closeness of your shave, so those little kinks don't turn into unsightly bumps. Feel for the grain (the direction your beard hair grows) and never shave against the grain. It's better to make more passes in the correct direction to achieve a closer shave. Apply toner to the beard area immediately after shaving. If you do not have sensitive skin, go over the area with a Magic Pad. Yes, it will sting like a mothertucker, but not as bad a your sisters reading you for having a mug like a gravel driveway.
That's cleansing done! Don't you feel refreshed? In the next post, Mother will school on serums, treatments, and moisturizers to add after cleansing to nourish, hydrate and protect your smooth healthy skin.
Please feel free to drop your questions and comments in the box below. Talk amongst yourselves as much as you like. Each one teach one. Or email Mother@DragQueenMakeup.com if you would like a personalised response.