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Blackheads, whiteheads… people shudder at the thought of them yet half of the people out there prolly have them. If you are one of the few lucky ones who do not, congratulations and good job on keeping your skin free of blackheads and whiteheads! As for those who are less fortunate, don’t fret! Read on for a couple of solutions on how to treat/prevent them.

What Are They
Before we start, let’s first get a better understanding of what blackheads and whiteheads are. Basically, they are comedones – sebaceous follicles which are clogged with sebum/oil, dead skin cells, and possibly small hairs and bacteria. The only difference between a whitehead and a blackhead is that a blackhead is an “open” comedo with a visible dark head caused by oxidation while a whitehead is a “closed” comedo with a whitish or skin coloured protruding plug caused by cellular debris at the follicle opening.

Solutions
Here are a few things you can do to treat/prevent blackheads and whiteheads:

1. BHA (Beta hydroxy acid)
Unlike AHAs, BHAs are lipid soluble meaning they can dissolve dead skin cells not only on the surface but also in the pore. This makes blackheads easier to extract and helps to prevent new ones. BHAs work best at concentrations of 1% to 2% at an optimal pH of 3, diminishing in effectiveness as the pH increases beyond 4.

2. Benzoyl peroxide
BP has an anti-bacterial effect and may also decrease the chemical reaction that changes the lining of the hair follicle. This may help reduce the plugging that causes comedones. Benzoyl peroxide may be used for a mild case of comedones or to help prevent formation of others.

3. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, Renova)
Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A and works by increasing cell turnover and reducing the “stickiness” of the sloughed cells. It causes expulsion of the plugged material and converts closed comedones into open comedones. The material in these newly converted open comedones can be easily extruded. Tretinoin can be irritating though so please use with care.

4. Extraction
This can by done on open comedones either at a beauty salon or at home. This process is performed using a device called a comedone extractor which is a small, metal, circular instrument that is centered on the comedone and pushes down the surrounding skin, causing the plug to extrude. To help make extraction easier, steam your face with a facial steamer or a pot of hot water for 10-15 minutes to loosen embedded blackheads.

*Credits to About.com

Summer is here and that hot icky weather is definitely one of the biggest nightmare for all of us, especially if you wear makeup. So what can you do to make your makeup stay on your face and last longer in the heat?

* Pick a foundation that is either water-based or oil-free. With too much oil in your foundation, your makeup will only slide right off your face in the hot weather. Better yet, skip foundation completely and use a tinted moisturizer with SPF instead.

* Use a primer before you apply your eye makeup. Urban Decay Primer Lotion and MAC Paints are too great choices.

* To avoid smearing, use a waterproof liner like MAC Liquidlast Liner and waterproof mascara like Max Factor Aqua Lash.

* Pick an eyeshadow in a cream or cream-to-powder formula for minimal creasing. Try MAC Shadesticks or MAC Paints.

* Sweep a thin layer of translucent powder over your eye to soak up excess oil when you are done.

* For the lips, just go with a sheer gloss and skip liner to avoid smearing.

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Here’s a picture of my pigments so you all can stop wondering what the different shades look like *lol*



A huge thanks to Lorrie, I got my hands on the super cute Smashbox Slideshow Focus Palette($36). I really like the clever design of this palette. The slide-open-slide-close design is very user-friendly and perfect for people like me. The top tier contains four shimmery eyeshadows – a soft baby pink, light lavender, light shell and pale blue-gray. Each eyeshadow is lasered with a classic image from the Smashbox Studio. The second tier has 3 lip colors – a sheer plum, sheer pink and sheer champagne. It also came with a brush with two ends – one for the lip and one for the eyeshadow. I can really see myself using this palette a LOT… if only I can just stop staring and drooling over it *lol* Will update after I have tested out the colors.