Monday, September 16, 2013

Chronicles of a Ph.D Partner: His and Her's Introductions

I can recall months and months ago, helping my partner to determine which schools he would apply to for Ph.D programs. I can remember hearing him say something about California and probably giving him the death stare, as I had just moved to Illinois for my second full time job, my first choice position in my search process and California was a $500.00 plane ride away. I knew that committing to him meant taking on the role of eventually becoming a Ph.D partner, but I am not quite sure I was ready for the transitions I would endure through his journey, a journey that had inevitably become my journey as well.

This blog post is an introduction to a series that I am hoping to sustain over the course of the next three years as I navigate the life of a ph.d partner. My loving partner will also contribute to this series from time to time, and I do believe that there will be quite a few duo posts (such as this one) which will give you two interesting perspectives on various challenges and triumphs throughout our journey. I am sure that my perspective will be the most enjoyable to read as well as the closet to the truth, but I must afford him the opportunity to share his thoughts as is only right!

We add to this journey the joy of being a newly engaged couple, the excitement and stress of wedding planning, the patience of navigating a long distance relationship, and the sometimes competitiveness that comes with being both student affairs/higher education professionals. Having been in a relationship for a little over a year (when its right, its right)...we also are continuing to learn each other each and every day.

Our journey is unique and our journey is real. Join us as we travel to Ph.D.  :)

In the words of President Barrack Obama, “let me be clear”… I am not a blogger. I barely understand why one would blog and why another would read it. To take it a step further, I don’t have a Twitter account. Yes… a student affairs associate who doesn’t tweet. We exist. I share this seemly off topic mini rant because I was told that I had to be “honest and transparent.” So I’m putting my cards on the table. This “ain’t my thing.”
However, I am in a relationship with a fantastic woman whom I love dearly. I wooed her (yeah, I said wooed), we feel in love, I proposed, then left. I moved two states away to pursue my dream of making someone call me Dr. and/or Professor; benefiting the community and creating intellectual property to affect change are bonuses. In following my dream, I bought a bit of turmoil to the relationship. So… I may not like blogging. I may create posts that scream, ever so slightly, “this ain’t my thing” but I do it gladly.
In a relationship you compromise. You watch Four Weddings and Say Yes to the Dress, you plan birthday celebrations when you could care less, and you take a break from reading “Understanding College and University Organization” to write a blog post when you would rather be playing Skyrim. These compromises seem meniscal when compared to creating a situation where some of life is postponed about 3 years.
So… here it is… The first of many of my posts. She says “join us as we travel to Ph.D. J”. I say, enter at your own risk and hang on… it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Oh… and my posts will DEFINITELY be more fun to read. They will be LEGEND… wait for it…

Friday, September 13, 2013

Putting your Best Face Forward: Creating the Masterpiece

By this time you should have already read Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series. You should have an idea of the type of foundation that will work best for your skin type. I am sure many of you are sitting with it in hand as you read this blog post wondering what to do next. The next step to creating your beautiful flawless professional look is to get the right tools. Having a great foundation is one thing, but knowing how to apply it is crucial to create a flawless look.

I use a variety of tools to apply my foundation and my tool of choice is dependent on the temperature outside, the type of foundation I am using, and the type of finish I want.

Tool number 1: My Fingers!
Yes, my trusty fingers. I utilize my fingers a lot during the summer time to apply tinted moisturizers and sheer foundations. The heat generated from your body helps liquid and cream foundations to blend seamlessly into your skin. This can get a bit messy so make sure you keep some makeup wipes near your vanity so that you do not get foundation all over yourself. Also be sure that your fingers are CLEAN. My favorite method to apply foundation to my face with my fingers is to put small dots of foundation all over my face and blend it in an upward motion utilizing my fingers. This will create pretty shear coverage so if you are looking for a fuller coverage I would recommend you utilize another tool.

Tool number 2: A Sponge
Sponges are great to use and will give you a nice amount of control over your product. They provide pretty sheer to medium sheer coverage and also absorb some of your product, so I personally refrain from using sponges often. To use a sponge correctly, you want to dab it into the foundation and lightly blot it over your skin. Do not sweep the sponge across your face as you will create streaks. You want to bump or press it all over your skin in order to create a seamless look. My favorite way to use a sponge is to dampen it with water and squeeze the excess water out of it. Next, I dab it into my foundation to pick up the product and apply. By dampening the sponge, I create a dewy look to my skin which is perfect for those days when I am going for a "my skin but better" look.

Tool number 3: A Makeup Brush
My tried and true tool to apply my foundation is a makeup brush. I use brushes on an everyday basis to apply my foundation as I much prefer a medium to full coverage look and brushes provide me with the opportunity to deposit more pigment onto my skin evenly. For liquid foundations, you want to use a brush with synthetic fibers as they do not absorb as much product, and you want to make sure the brush has a tapered tip as this will allow you to deposit product around the curves of your face. For powder foundations, you want to use a thick fluffy brush with natural fibers as natural fibers will soak up some of the powder preventing you from applying too much on your face and creating that ghostlike look. When applying using either type of brush, be sure that after you pick up product you tap off the excess product ever so lightly...this will help you to control how much product you are depositing on your face. Too much liquid product on a brush can cause you to leave brushstrokes on your start off with a little and apply more as needed.

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope it is helpful. Below are some of my favorite sponges and brushes to use to apply foundation. Until next time, Stay Pretty :)

Favorite tools for foundation application
Sponge: Beauty Blender
Sponge: Sonia Kashuk Blending Sponge
Brush for liquid foundation: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Brush for liquid foundation: MAC 187 brush
Brush for liquid foundation: MAC 190
Brush for liquid foundation: Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki – F80
Brush for liquid foundation: ELF studio powder brush
Brush for powder foundations: Ecotools buffing brush
Brush for powder foundation: ELF studio powder brush
Brush for powder foundations: Any quality Kabuki brush

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Putting your Best Face Forward: Starting with the Right Foundation

If you read my first installment of this series, then you are ready to move on to finding the right foundation for your skin type. If you haven't not be that person that skips ahead, go read the intro to the series first!

Now on to the good stuff. After reading the introducation you are probably more confused than ever about which foundation to choose as you can go with Revlon, Covergirl, NARS, MAC, Chanel, Clinique, and the list goes on and on...Below I will explain how to choose the type of foundation for your skin type and some of my favorites. This is not an all inclusive list and everyone is going to be different. So if you try something that I suggested and it does not work for you, please, do not blame me, it is all trial and error with this thing called makeup.

If you have dry skin, you want to stick to formulas that are hydrating and moisturizing as these formulas will put moisture back into your skin. You will more than likely benefit from using cream based, liquid, and some stick foundations. On the market are these new hydrating powder foundations, but that just sounds odd to me so I am not sure if I would recommend those, but to each their own, check them out, they may be amazing.
If you have oily skin, like mines, please for my sanity use oil-free foundations. Your skin will respond better to oil-free liquids and powder foundations. I have sometimes used souffle foundations and creams but I have to set them very well with powder. Mineral makeup has also been known to work well for Oily girls...think bare minerals.
If you have combination skin, you can go either way. Determine if your skin has more oily or more dry spots and choose a foundation accordingly. You will have more of a trial and error period than others, simply because your skin may respond to foundation differently in different areas. There are quite a few foundations geared toward combo skin out there such as Revlon ColorStay for Combination/Oily skin.
For all of you that are blessed to have "normal" skin...whatever that means, you might want to stick to just using a powder foundation or cream to powder as it is the easiest to apply. If you want full coverage or have some blemishes that you want to cover up, a liquid foundation may be a better option for you.
I know you are saying that is a ton of information Bobbie and there are a million products out there. You are most certaintly correct reader, and this is where you may have to do a little research. First decide what your price range is. Once you have that in mind, you can narrow done the brands that you will be looking to purchase from. I suggest you to go to a department store or local beauty store like ULTA and tell them the type of foundation you are looking for and get color matched. It may be a bit pricier than grabbing some Covergirl from Walmart but the initial investment of a higher end foundation is worth it.
Plus, insider tip, once you know your coloring for higher end foundations such as Chanel and MAC, you can just google them and compare them to drugstore and other brands. For example: I would google the following phrase: (MAC NC45 and Revlon Colorstay) and I would get tons of information on the best color of revlon colorstay foundation for someone who wears MAC NC45. WINNING!
I hope that this was helpful.  Please find below a list of some of my favorite foundations and the skin types I think they may work the best for. Feel free to ask any makeup questions in the comment box or send them to me on twitter @Bdenisecole

Favorite Foundations and suggested skin types:

MAC Studio Fix Fluid: Oily Skin
MAC Matchmaster Foundation: Normal/Combo Skin but I have found my Oily skin loves it.
Revlon Colorstay: Comes in Formulas for all skin types
Chanel Mat Lumiere: Oily/Combo Skin
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Foundation: All Skin types
Benefit Cosmetics Some Kind-A Gorgeous: Normal/Combo/Oily Skin
Makeup Forever HD Liquid Foundation: All skin types, trial and error
Makeup Forever Mat Velvet: Oily Skin
Mac Mineralize Satin Finish Foundation: Dry and Normal Skin
Chanel Vitalumiere Satin Smoothing Fluid Make up: Dry Skin
Urban Decay Naked Liquid Makeup: All skin types, trial and error
IMAN Second to None Stick Foundation: Oily skin and dry skin

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Putting your Best Face Forward: The Intro

I get asked all the time about makeup. Many people knew me from my Health and Beauty Youtube videos before they ever met me in real life. Throughout the course of my work day my students always comment on my makeup, and I get emails and messages on youtube from my subscribers to come back and do more beauty reviews and videos. In an effort to share some knowledge about a topic that I most certaintly love while also helping individuals to put their Best Face Forward, I have decided to start a short little blog series devoted to
Makeup and Image for the Professional Woman.
A few days ago, I received a facebook message from a woman asking me how I achieved flawless skin. She was specifically referring to my skincare regimen...needless to say, I responded to her in big bold letters: FOUNDATION! I am laughing even as I write this, because good foundation applied correctly will give you the appearance of flawless skin and people will think you use miracle berries as face wash when really you just applied a little Estee Lauder before you left the house.
Do not get me wrong, skin care is key to achieving great makeup. You have to start with a great canvas before you can paint a masterpiece, right? I will not go into the specifics of skin care here, but please, before you tackle the fine art of makeup application, make sure that you have a great skin care regimen that works for your skin. This might require some trial and error, but do your research. There are quite a few factors that will affect what products you use and how you use them including but not limited to: type of skin, your age, skin conditions, your environment, research based on those factors and remember to K.I.S.S (keep it simple, sweetie) ...the simpler and more natural you can go with your skincare, the better.
Now on to foundation. Makeup foundation is a tricky beast to tackle and will probably require a few posts to really explain it thoroughly. One important thing to note when trying to find the right foundation for you is your skin type. If you do not know your skin type, it will be very hard to find the right foundation. I have oily severly oily skin. By midday depending on the type of primer I've used, I look like a disco ball. The foundation that suits my skin the best are oil-free liquid foundations, souffle type foundations, and powder foundations. So my first order of business is to help you find the right type of foundation for your skin.
Check out the next installment of this series for all of my tips to find the right foundation.
In the words of my youtube personality, Akabobbiedoll03: Stay Pretty :)