Formal Hair

bb11Whether you’re a bride, a bridesmaid, or someone who’d like to help the wedding party with your talents, knowing how to give someone (or yourself) a formal hairstyle can come in handy.

Helpful websites

Since I don’t consider myself to be a hair expert, I thought I’d share a few websites to help you out. offers instructions on several types of formal updos. has a how-to video specifically about wedding hair. offers good tips on giving yourself an updo if you’re doing your own hair without help. If you are unsure about what type of updo will look nice with your face shape, visit

Other tips

Depending on your location and salon choice, a formal updo can cost anywhere from $20 to over $100 per person, so if there’s a family member or friend who can help with hair for free as a wedding gift to the bride, make sure the bride knows about her!

Also, make sure to have a trial run, at least for the bride’s hair, so she can make sure her and the stylist are on the same page. This will also allow for a chance to discover any time-consuming hair issues—something you don’t want to encounter on the wedding day! The trial run should be as far in advance as possible so if the beautician isn’t going to work out, there’s time to find somebody new.

One idea is to schedule the trial run for the day of a wedding party or bridal shower, so the bride can have fun showing off her new style!

– Davonne Parks

The Eyes Have It

Ecclesiastes 11:7: “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.”

One size does not always fit all. You know that to be true about clothing, but it also applies to other things. With the more pleasant weather, many of us are venturing outdoors. And you may be realizing that it’s time to update an essential part of your summer wardrobe––sunglasses. But before rushing out to the store to grab the cutest, trendiest pair, consider which ones will best work for you.

Comfort matters

Vera Wang rectangular sunglasses, available at Kohl’sObviously, one of the first things to consider when buying a new pair of sunglasses is comfort. I’ve bought many pairs that were perfect in the store, but when I got home and started wearing them, they were awful. They were too tight, giving me a headache. Or they seemed to sit crookedly on my face, bothering me the entire time I wore them. Even though I don’t pay a lot for sunglasses, if they are not comfortable to me, they are never a good deal. Make sure you spend a decent amount of time wearing the glasses in the store to get the best idea of how they’ll fit. Wear them home with the tags on so that if you notice that they start to get uncomfortable during the ride home, you can take them back. If you’ve already removed the tags and find yourself cringing every time you have to put them on, offer to give them to a friend who might have better luck with them.

Price matters

Yes, there are $150 pairs of sunglasses out there that are great. And stylish. And come in a cute case. And cook dinner. But, consider how worth it they are if you accidentally sit on them in your car. Or lose them at the mall. I have friends who are constantly ruining sunglasses by leaving them on the seat of their car and then sitting on them later. It’s much easier parting with the $10 sunglasses than it is the $100 pair that was so necessary just weeks before.

Style (kinda) matters

I say “kinda” because, while there are certain sunglasses that look better with specific face shapes, you can certainly buy whichever glasses you like best. Style might matter to you, but it shouldn’t be our ultimate objective. But since it’s nice to have a place to start, here are some tips for shopping for sunglasses for your face shape.

Start by looking in a mirror. Using a lipstick or lip liner pencil, trace the shape of your face. You should come up with an oval, circle, square, or triangle.

If your face is oval:

Congratulations! You have a very versatile face shape. More sunglasses look good with this shape than any others. You could go with round or square frames. Just make sure the size of the frames is proportionate to your face size. Meaning: If you have a small face, don’t buy oversized frames, or your face will get lost behind them.

Sonoma oval sunglasses, available at Kohl’s

Sonoma oval sunglasses, available at Kohl’s

If your face is round:

To minimize the fullness of a very round face, opt for frames that are more angular. Square frames or ones with straight lines are your best bet.

Vera Wang rectangular sunglasses, available at Kohl’s

Vera Wang rectangular sunglasses, available at Kohl’s

If your face is square:

Opposite rule applies here: To soften a square, angular face and jawline, go with frames that are slightly curved. A square or rectangular frame will make your face look harsh.

Merona small oval sunglasses, available at Target

Merona small oval sunglasses, available at Target

If your face is triangular:

This face shape is defined by a broader forehead and narrow jawline and chin. Go with thinner frames to balance the bottom part of your face. Avoid heavy, thick frames, or very bold colors.

Adi Designs frameless sunglasses, available at Target

Adi Designs frameless sunglasses, available at Target

Time to go shopping!

For more on sunglasses for your face shape, search online or visit Frames Direct.

Having a friend along will help you to judge which sunglasses work best with your face. Don’t just consider frame size and shape. The color of the lenses is also important when thinking about your complexion. So, grab a tactfully honest friend and head out to accessorize your face.

By Lisa Grimenstein

Giveaway: Make-up Bag

giveaway1Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7


We have a fun giveaway this month, perfect for a late summer vacation or a college or camp kit!

Our make-up bag includes a bag filled with these items:

Rimmel mascara in black
Cover Girl nail polish in a sparkly golden tone for summer
Estee Lauder eye make-up remover
Bath and Body Works nail file
Loreal HiP eye shadow in Exhilarating (blue)
Loreal colour juice sheer juicy lip gloss in Watermelon Crush
CG wetslicks lip gloss in shimmershell (light pink)


To enter, just leave a comment below by Wednesday, July 29, 2009, letting us know something you’d like to see appear on the magazine in the future, and you’ll be entered in our drawing.

Comments are moderated, so they may take a day or so to appear. Make sure to include a valid e-mail address in your information (this will not appear in the post). The winner will be announced on July 30 and will be e-mailed with simple instructions on how to claim this prize. The winner must contact us back within seven days of our initial contact, or the prize will go to someone else.

A special thanks goes to Lisa (the editor) for putting this bag together!

– Davonne Parks

Visit our Monthly Issues page to view all of our past themes, and visit our July 2009 page to read our entire current issue, in a blog-type format, about preparing for college.

Sunless Tanning

bb1We’ve recently had a two-part article about sun safety, and while we all know how important it is to protect ourselves, many of us still want to look tan. The good news is that we can look tan without compromising on safety.

Spray-on tan

Spray-on tans are generally more expensive than a bottle from the drug store, but last longer (up to two weeks), and they’re much safer and cheaper than going to an actual tanning bed.

If you want to try out a spray-on tan, call around to your local tanning salons to find out rates and ask for any specific instructions. You may need to take your sister or mom with you to help you evenly rub the tan into hard-to-reach places.

Drugstore tan

You may want to do a little online research before deciding on the best type of tan for you, but I’ll share my top three choices.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. This is a lotion-based formula that has sunless tanner in it, which helps prevent streaking. The smell is fairly strong, so I suggest applying this at night, then showering to wash the smell away in the morning. It tans gradually, with the deepest color appearing after about a week with daily use, so if some body parts do start to get too dark or streaky, it’s not very noticeable and all you have to do is stop using it for a couple of days.

Olay Touch of Sun Overnight. While the name suggests that this needs to be used at night, this sunless tanning lotion is fine to use during the day. The color starts to develop within an hour or so, similar to the Jergens moisturizer, but the smell is very mild, which makes it perfect for applying after a morning shower and wearing all day. This is my personal favorite.

bb2Banana Boat Summer Color. I haven’t actually tried this product, but a friend recently walked into church and her tan looked so real that I asked her what she’s been doing. She told me she picked up the cheapest tanning bottle at the store and tried it out. The best part is it only needs to be applied once or twice a week, so it’s less time consuming than the other moisturizers. This is definitely top on my list of the next tanning product to try out!

General sunless tanning tips

Wear loose-fitting clothes. If you put jeans on right after applying sunless tanner, whether in a booth or at home, some of it may rub off on your clothes. Instead, wear loose gym shorts and a baggy t-shirt until the tanner is completely dry.

Always shower, shave, exfoliate, and lotion up before “tanning.” If you plan on keeping the tan, you won’t be able to shower for several hours afterward in order to allow the solution time to set on your skin. Shaving and exfoliating will help the tanner to stay on longer, because it will get rid of dead skin cells and allow the tanner to penetrate deeper into healthy skin. The lotion will help the tanner to go on smoothly, and keep it from getting too dark in one area.

Follow instructions. Read all labels and instructions completely and carefully, taking special note of their ingredients if you have allergies.

Healthy glow without the risk

If you want that “healthy” summer glow (which actually isn’t healthy), try using a sunless tanner to achieve the look, then slather up with sunscreen to protect yourself when you’re in the sun. In cases like this, you really can have the best of both worlds.

Ecclesiastes 11:7 “The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.”

By Davonne Parks

The Perfect Pedicure

bb3Ok, so maybe the perfect pedicure would be described using the words free and spa, but for now, we’re going to talk about doing the perfect at-home pedicure. It’s sandal season, and our feet need to be ready!

As with our at-home manicures a couple months ago, there are several supplies we need for this at-home day at the spa. Make sure you have all of them on hand before you get started.

  • Tub with warm water
  • Scented lotion
  • Pumice stone
  • Foot scrub (peppermint, if possible)
  • Nail file or emery board
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail polish (in a bright, summery color!)
  • Clear polish (for base and top coats)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • q-tips/cotton swabs
  • towel

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to sit back and get started. You’re only a few simple steps from summery, sandal-ready feet!

  1. Remove all old polish with the remover and cotton balls. Make sure you also remove any polish that bleeds onto your toes as you do this––you don’t want blotchy feet!
  2. Soak your feet for 20 minutes in a tub or bowl of warm water mixed with a little scented lotion. This is the perfect time to grab a book, or your Bible, and catch up on some reading. When time’s up, thoroughly dry your feet with the towel.
  3. French Pedicure (click image for tuturial)Use the pumice stone (Pumice stones look like a hard, rectangular sponges––very porous––and can be found in the nail sections of most stores.) to slough off the dead, dry skin on the heels and balls of your feet. Doing this will make them much softer and smoother (especially after the cold winter weather). Wipe your feet with the towel.
  4. Gently massage the foot scrub (peppermint-scented is great, since it’s a naturally relaxing scent, which goes well with a foot massage––just don’t fall asleep!) onto your feet to finish scrubbing away any dead skin. Rinse with warm water when done, and dry.
  5. Clip your toenails to a desired length. Don’t go too short; allow them to extend just barely beyond your nail bed.
  6. Slowly file your toenails to remove any parts that might snag or scratch.
  7. After pushing back your cuticles, apply a basecoat of clear polish to protect against staining the nail. (When out in the sun, your nail polish tends to stain your toenails yellow more easily.) Allow to completely dry.
  8. Apply a coat of your favorite colored polish. (I love OPI Cajun Shrimp––perfect for summer!) When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat. If you get some on your toes, use the q-tip to carefully wipe off the excess.
  9. Apply your top coat of clear polish to protect against chipping and fading.
  10. Once the polish is dry, massage some scented lotion onto your feet and you’re ready to go.

Now that your toes look so fabulous, I think it’s time for a new pair of sandals to show them off…very soothing to the sole!

“How beautiful your sandaled feet…” Song of Solomon 7:1

By Lisa Grimenstein

The Eyes Have It

On a recent trip to the mall I decided to get my eyebrows waxed and found a new store that advertised “threading.” Since it cost a few dollars less than what I had planned to pay for waxing, I decided to try it out and save some money. My results were amazing!


bb2I would have to say that by far, tweezing is the most economical way to trim your eyebrows. Other than the cost of tweezers, all it takes is some time. Many people have no trouble with tweezing; however, my eyes water so bad that I can’t see. Now, since I had such a hard time tweezing, I have asked around for some tips that have enabled me to tweeze without the unbearable pain, or the bleeding that I always had due to sensitive skin.

1. Soften the hair first with some hair conditioner.
2. Tweeze after a hot shower or use a hot cloth for 5 minutes to help open pores so the hair will be easier to remove.
3. If the pain is too much, use some baby orajel or other tooth numbing product on the area before plucking.
4. Always pluck in the direction of hair growth.
5. To close the pores after plucking, apply warm petroleum jelly.

If you choose to pluck at home, also keep these tips in mind:

  • Use a magnified mirror your first few times if possible. This will help you to really see which hairs need plucked and which ones to leave alone.
  • The highest point of the arch should be diagonal from the outer corner of your eye.
  • The start of the brow (inside) should line up above the inner corner of the eye.
  • In this case, less isn’t more. Pluck one hair at a time to avoid over-plucking. Too thin brows take a long time to grow out.
  • Always follow the natural shape of the brow. Don’t pluck above the brow – just pluck the stray hairs underneath and on the side the brow.


Those who are avid fans of waxing boast about how long this treatment lasts (usually 3–8 weeks). And, while I admit that it does last a while, it also has drawbacks. Waxing takes off a lot of hair at once. We’ve all at one point or another had a band-aid that needed to come off. Some people peel it off slowly to try to lessen the pain, while others rip it off to get the pain over with. Waxing is more like the latter. With waxing, it can also take off the top layer of skin, and in my case I always bleed when I have my eyebrows waxed. Usually the redness lasts around a day or so (possibly longer for people with sensitive skin). With waxing there are many different kinds of wax, some of which can cause skin irritation.

I personally have not waxed my own eyebrows. Usually if you go to a salon to have it done it costs $15 or less, and by doing this, you have someone who does it all the time and is accustomed to shaping brows and using the wax. However, for those of you who want to try it at home, there are several options for you. You can use a hot wax. This method is best if you are going to have someone else help you. Or, if you have the patience to try it, use wax strips (often referred to as cold wax). I have used them several times, and although it takes some time (and a little pain), it does not affect my skin as negatively as hot wax does. Another plus for this method is that it is a lot less mess than the hot wax and is more economical at around $6 and usually has enough product to wax twice depending on how much product you use.


This did hurt. However, for me, it was not as bad as waxing, and I didn’t bleed afterward. This technique uses sewing thread to pull the hair out. This cost me $8, which I feel was worth it. My eyebrows looked great, there was no bleeding and only slight redness, and it lasted for 3 weeks. The great thing is that I have found a video how-to that really seems to help. I do recommend, however, that if you decide to try this yourself, practice with the thread for a while before doing it on yourself. Try it out on other unwanted hair first (like before shaving), just to practice. If you practice and are able to do it at home, this method would be about as cheap (or cheaper) than tweezing because all it takes is about 2 feet of thread each time you do it. However, for the price of doing it at a salon, I would recommend having a professional do it, at least at first.

Home Tweeze

bb1If you decide to do any of these methods yourself, there are some things you can do to help ensure that you don’t take off too much hair. It’s far better to take off too little at a time than to take off too much! Use an eyebrow pencil to color what hair you want left. Then only remove the hair around it. Take your time. Trust me, through my own trial and error, I have been that girl who took off too much of my eyebrow and had to let them grow back and start over. And always…always remember that beauty is really what is inside (Proverbs 31:30).

By Sarah J. Ancheta

Let’s Give Our Nails a Hand!

Psalm 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

beautybuzz1As the months are warming up, thoughts tend to go toward the newness of spring. And what better way to celebrate the approach of this warm season than with a manicure! But who wants to––or can––shell out $40 for a half-hour at the salon, when you can give yourself a manicure in the comfort of your own home? So, grab your mom, sister, or best friend, or spend an quiet evening alone, and give your nails a hand.

There are two ways you can do an at-home manicure: slap on some polish and call it a day, or spend some time pampering your hands and nails. Since we’ve probably been doing the first approach all winter, let’s opt for the pampering. But, since we all tend to be pretty busy, I will offer simple tips for your tips. Before you start, gather all the products and tools you’ll need. A simple, quick trip to just about any store––from Walmart to Kroger to CVS––will provide you with most, if not all, of your manicure supplies. This will include the following items:

  • nail file
  • nail clippers
  • hand lotion or exfoliating scrub
  • bowl of warm water
  • cotton balls
  • cotton swabs (Q-tips)
  • nail polish remover
  • nail strengthening polish or clear polish
  • nail polish––definitely something soft and pastel or bright and cheery (leave the deep, dark colors for winter!)

    Steps for a simply perfect manicure:

    1. Completely remove old nail polish. If it’s dark, you may need to work a little at this to get it off your nails and fingertips. Your pretty pastels won’t look quite as attractive next to berry-stained nail beds.
    2. Soak your hands for 10–15 minutes in the bowl of warm water. This will soften the cuticles (that little part of skin that tends to grow up and cover your nails).
    3. Clip your fingernails to the desired length. I like my nails a little shorter, but don’t cut them too short; leave some extending beyond your nail bed (meaning, don’t clip right down to the skin––ouch!).
    4. File your nails to smooth out and round the edges. File in one direction; a sawing motion will weaken and break your nails.
    5. Push back your cuticles. This should be relatively easy after the warm hand soak.
    6. beautybuzz2Use the hand lotion to massage and soften your hands. If they are really dry after the winter, use an exfoliating lotion or scrub to loosen and remove dry, rough skin.
    7. Apply a coat of clear polish to keep your colored polish from staining your nails, and to allow for a smoother color application. Allow time to dry.
    8. Apply your colored nail polish. If you get any on your fingers, carefully wipe any excess with a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover. (This works best with cotton swabs that have a pointed tip.)
    9. Depending on the color, you may want to add a second coat of nail polish.
    10. Finish with a top coat of strengthening polish or clear polish to guard against chipping and peeling, and to add a nice shine.

    Tips for your Tips

    • If your nail polish is sticky or separating, toss it. It’s too old, has probably gotten too warm, and will just make a mess.
    • Keep your polishing simple. Do not go over and over the same nail, or you will have a goopy mess.
    • Move the brush from the cuticle to the tip of your nail in straight, even strokes.
    • Until you find a color that works well with your skin tone, don’t spend a lot of money on expensive brands. The cheaper stuff will work too.
    • In a hurry? Dip your polished nails into a bowl or (clean) sink of cold water for a minute. This will set the nails.
    • DO NOT polish your nails on the carpet or bed––or anywhere else that spills could ruin. Use an old towel or cloth to place under your hands as you paint.

    Sometimes the occasion calls for a classier look. In this case, I recommend the classic look of the simple French manicure. To learn how to give yourself a great, and simple, at-home French manicure, visit ehow’s tutorial.

    Whether you decide to go simple or elegant for this fresh, new season, enjoy the time to relax and pamper yourself––and your nails!

    By Lisa Grimenstein

Love is in the Hair

beauty5Song of Solomon 7:5 “Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses.”

It’s time to fall in love—with your hair. One of a girl’s biggest love/hate relationships is with her hair. It’s too straight, curly, thick, thin, stringy, frizzy, flat, or poufy. Whatever your feelings, whatever the trend, it’s time to mend your split-end relationship with your locks.

I’ve got thick, naturally curly hair—and I love it! However, my feelings have not always been so positive toward my hair. Do you know how many seasons have come where the trend is perfectly straight hair? A tough trend to follow for us curly-locked gals. At one point I was spending an hour every morning before classes straightening my hair, only to have it curl as I walked out the door. And then someone made the simple comment about how beautiful my hair was when I just left it alone. I think it finally hit me how much I was working against something that should be left as it is.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to experiment with our looks for the enjoyment of a new style. However, we need to be careful about the amount of time and energy we put into trying to change our looks. Not only should we love and care for the hair God has given us, but we should also love and be content with the hair God has given us. 1 Peter 3:3: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.” So, as we take a look at how to love and care for our hair, let’s remember that we are God’s beautiful daughter, and love the body He created for us.

General Hair Care

  • DO NOT brush wet hair! This will only promote split ends, which will make your hair look frizzy and dry. Use a wide-toothed comb instead.
  • Do use as few chemical treatments as possible.
  • Don’t wash your hair until it’s “squeaky” clean. This means you have stripped the good oils that are naturally beauty6found in your hair.
  • When towel-drying hair, do not rub—this will cause your hair to break off. Pat dry just enough to stop the dripping.
  • After shampooing and conditioning, rinse your hair with cold water to seal the shaft and generate shine.

For Curly Hair

  • You do not need to wash your hair every day. Although you may shower and condition every day, using shampoo will dry your hair out faster, giving it a frizzy, not curly, look. Two or three times a week is usually enough.
  • If you must comb wet hair after a shower, use a wide-tooth comb. Hair is most fragile when it is wet, and harsh brushing will cause breakage.
  • Air dry, if possible. If you must blow dry, use a diffuser and only dry until damp.
  • Use minimal styling products. Mousse has a tendency to dry hair out, as does hairspray. I recommend using a styling gel, such as Scruples Smooth Out.
  • Leave it alone!!! The more you play with curly hair, the frizzier it will be. Dry it, style it, and keep your hands off it.
  • Don’t chemically straighten your hair, because that will damage your hair. If you want it straightened for a special occasion, find a good straightening iron at beauty supply store and do it yourself.

For Straight Hair

  • beauty7Use a shampoo that is made for your hair type. If you have thin hair, get a volumizing shampoo. Oily hair? Use a shampoo that specifies that.
  • Do not over-condition if your hair is thin or oily. This will only leave your hair limp and stringy. You only need a quarter-sized drop of conditioner.
  • Don’t over-style your hair. Keep your hair routine and products as simple as possible.
  • If you must do something to your hair, occasionally use a straightening iron for smoother looking hair in just a few minutes.
  • Spritz a small amount of flexible hold hair spray over any problem areas for all- day style.
  • Save the curling iron or hot rollers for special occasions. Constant use of these heat products will start to damage hair.
  • If you really want layers, start out with just one or two longer layers. Depending on your specific hair texture, face shape, and personal preference, layers can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Keep in mind that, generally, the more layers there are, the more styling time is required.

Recommended Products

beauty1Scruples Smooth Out Straightening Gel—although this says “straightening,” it is great for curly hair. It holds the curl but fights the frizz—and there are no “crunchy” curls as a result (a characteristic I’ve had a hard time finding in other products). Not the cheapest gel product out there, but it lasts awhile, and for the quality, I think it’s worth it.
*Note: This product comes in 8.5 oz. or 1 liter sizes. If you want to try it, get the smaller size; if you like beauty2what you get, the 1 liter size is the better deal.

Conair Mega Ceramic Vented Round Boar-Bristle Hair Brush – Large (Target). This brush is highly rated and is a good price for a natural-bristled brush. The vents allow air flow, which helps dry hair faster when blow-drying, and also helps to add soft curls; natural bristles are a stylist’s sign of a good brush.

beauty3Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics. These also come in bright, fun colors, or choose the natural colors to blend in with your hair. You can snag these for a few dollars at most grocery and retail stores. They are a great way to beauty4get the hair out of your face, while not breaking the strands.

Goody Rake Comb (Walmart, Target, and other retail and drug stores). An inexpensive wide-tooth comb for detangling wet hair without creating frizz.

There are many hair products out there, and that can often be overwhelming. Remember to stick with varieties that are made for your hair type––don’t be tempted to buy certain products just because they are popular. If needed, experiment with different brands until you find the one that works. Don’t hesitate to ask someone whose hair is similar to yours––and whose you like––what product they use; you may find your next favorite thing. And don’t forget––if all else fails, wear a ponytail!

By Lisa Grimenstein

Beauty Winner

beautybuzz… Or should I say “Beauty Buzz winner,” because that’s the new name for our beauty column! Thanks, Ashley K. for your suggestion! We will be in touch with you so you can claim your bag of Beauty Buzz products.

And, to everyone else, thank you for your title suggestions. Some of them were very good and we appreciate everyone who participated in our first-ever magazine contest.

We have a very exciting giveaway planned for next month, too, so stay tuned!

Davonne Parks

Beauty Beginnings


Since this is beauty’s first month away from fashion, I thought it’d be great to start at the beauty beginning, and offer a refresher course for beauty and skincare tips.  As a thank you to our readers, there is a giveaway posted at the bottom of this article, so keep reading!

Skin Care

A previous Fashion and Beauty article covered skin care in depth, including product recommendation, so I’m just going to touch on the basic concepts.

Choose good products! You don’t have to purchase really expensive products in order to take care of your face, but using bar soap and body lotion won’t cut it. If you want a clear, beautiful face, you’re going to need a product that is made just for your face. You may need to experiment with several products before you find one you love, so refrain from purchasing more than one bottle at a time until you know you’ve found your match. If money is an issue, keep an eye open in the Sunday paper for coupons and local sales. Once you have a product you love, stock up when there are good sales (buy one, get one free is a great sale). Note the characteristics and ingredients of products that are not good for your skin, and stay away from them. Fragrances in facial lotions may be harsh on sensitive skin (go frangrance-free), and benzyl peroxide can often cause breakouts and rashes on sensitive faces.

Use your products! Your skin care products will do nothing for your skin if they sit, barely used, on a shelf. Place the cleanser in the shower, and keep the toner and moisturizer with the rest of your after- shower products so they will be convenient to use.


Have a good foundation. It’s okay to use cheaper eye shadows and blush, but make sure to have a decent foundation to avoid breakouts. I’m not saying to go to the make-up counter at department stores (we’re talking big bucks here), but the dollar store isn’t the place to shop, either. Purchase something that’s fairly inexpensive, but good enough to not damage your skin. I personally love Cover Girl, but you can experiment and find something that works for you.

Don’t shell out a ton of money for trendy looks. If you want to try silver eyeliner or blue eye shadow, go for it, but this is where you’ll want to purchase cheaper products. There’s no sense in spending a lot of money on something you may only use a few times!

beauty2Choose flattering colors. Purchasing foundation that is darker than your natural skin color will not make you look tanner – it will only make it look like you want to look tan, and it will not blend in with the rest of your skin, giving you a clown-face look. If you’re fair skinned, avoid harsh black for eyeliner and mascara; instead go for a softer brown look. If you have a darker complexion, avoid pastels. They will look washed out on your face. Generally, if you look pretty in a certain color top, you will look nice wearing that same color as your eyeshadow (be careful not to go overboard though). For example, if you receive compliments when you wear a certain shade of purple, try out that color in an eye shadow. You may be pleasantly surprised with the result!

Less is more. When my mom taught me how to apply make-up, she told me that make-up is to enhance our natural beauty, not to change our looks. That is so true! Some people wear a ton of make-up all the time, but they’re missing the entire point! God made all of us beautiful in our own unique ways, and we don’t want make-up to hide that (Psalm 139:13–14). We need to let our natural beauty shine through.

Apply it

Start with a fresh, clean face and clean hands. Apply your foundation first, smoothly over your entire face (but not your neck). If you have a liquid foundation, you can use your fingertips. Otherwise, use a make-up sponge. To go really low-maintenance, use a tinted moisturizer, and skip the foundation and concealer.

Once the foundation is in place, use a concealer, if you need one. I love all-in-one concealers – I can fix under my eyes and any blemishes in one quick step. Be careful not to go too light with a concealer under your eyes, or you will have the reverse raccoon effect. A good rule of thumb is to go a shade darker than your normal skin tone.

Now comes the really fun stuff! If you’re going to use eyeliner, use that next. Pull your eye slightly out to the side with one finger, and apply the eyeliner in short sweeps around the outside edges of your eye with the other hand. Repeat on the other side.

beauty3After the eyeliner is applied, put on your choice of eye shadow. Doing this after eyeliner softens the harshness of the liner, giving a fresher, more natural look. The lighter color goes on the lid, and the darker shade goes in the crease. Applying white eye shadow directly under the arch of your eyebrow and in the inner corners of your eyes instantly brightens the entire eye area. Make sure to blend all of the shades or they will look too harsh and unflattering.

Next it’s time for the blush! This is an easy step to mess up. Apply blush only on your cheeks–on the apples, or cheekbones– where the sun naturally touches. You’ll probably have to experiment with this a little before getting it just right. I’ve found that crème blushes are easier to use because I can apply them with my finger to get just the right amount. Some common mistakes are using the wrong color, applying too much, or covering too large an area. Experiment to get the right shades and placement on your face.

Add a light powder over your face to set your make-up in place, and to keep down any possible shine. Put on a little mascara, your favorite lip gloss (save lipstick for special occasions), and you’re ready for a refreshing night out, or in, with your favorite people!

Beauty Product Giveaway

As some of you know, the Pierce My Heart editors have decided to begin hosting monthly giveaways. This month, we’re giving away a bag of fun beauty products!

To enter the contest, simply leave a comment below (comments are moderated so they may take a day or so to appear) by Thursday, January 29, 2009, telling us your idea for a new name for our beauty column. Make sure to include a valid e-mail address in your information (this will not appear in the post). We will choose the winning title, and the winner will be e-mailed on Jan 31 so they can claim their prize.

Ready, set, begin!

Davonne Parks