Makeup tips for a confident new you

I want to carry on with my life, but I hate how I look. If only I could look good, I could learn to love myself. I use foundation to hide my spots and scars but, admittedly, more so to hide my face from others. Please help.

Your discomfort with how you look may be brought about by unresolved negative emotions. You've got to work on relating to those emotions so you can cease to hate the way you look. Although you can't destroy emotions -- they're always there and part of who you are -- you can deal with them creatively. Confronting your emotions will help you accept your individual "you-ness," including your looks, which are perfect as they are anyway. If you can't see your own beauty, you may want to find a counselor or therapist to help you work through your emotions. In the meantime, I can offer these makeup tips:

  • Makeup is an enhancer and sometimes a practical tool. It's also a delight, not a mask to hide you from the world. The world needs to see you. Use makeup conservatively and only in the areas needed. For example, if you have blemishes, discoloration or scars you wish to conceal, apply directly to the area, not to the entire face.
  • Start by finding a well-lit store with a friendly environment, and have a staff makeup artist match a suitable foundation to your skin tone. One of my favorite lines is Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Foundation, a foundation and concealer in one that gives smooth, natural coverage. And for the more confounding spots, scars, vitiligo, etc., I recommend Derma-Color by Kryolan.
  • If you have an oily complexion, choose a foundation color a trace lighter than your skin tone, as oil darkens the tone.
  • Go easy on face powder -- too much creates a drying, unflattering texture.
  • Don't forget to treat your skin especially well. If it's in your budget, treat yourself to a facial; aside from the deep cleaning and exfoliating aspects, the hands-on touch of an experienced esthetician is deeply soothing. I recently had a microdermabrasion facial at the recommendation of my dermatologist, where my skin was gently exfoliated with micro-crystals; the results were dramatic, and my skin feels like buttermilk.
  • If a facial is out of your budget, turn to the gamut of amazing products that you can use at home, as listed below.

In closing, I wish you love on your journey to discovering the singular, amazing individual you are.

Recommendations:

Location: Completely Bare Beauty Center
Okay, I have to gush about my visit to Completely Bare in New York City. This is unequivocally as high-tech, professional and sophisticated a beauty center as I have ever experienced, and I've pretty much seen them all. It's an extremely clean, soothing, sophisticated -- yet laid-back -- environment with friendly, solicitous employees. The professional staff features a dermatologist, a dentist and highly skilled estheticians. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my visit was a haven for me, that I was pampered like royalty and can't wait to return.
Price: Subject to treatment
Available: www.completelybare.com or call 212-366-6060

At-Home Products:

Product name: Avalon Organic Botanicals Exfoliating Enzyme Scrub
Blends organic floral water, fruit enzymes and exfoliating granules to smooth away dull surface cells, leaving a radiant, smooth complexion.
Price: $9.95
Available: www.avalonnaturalproducts.com

Product name: Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask with Green French Clay
I'm loving the stuff, a natural blend of dried herbs and flowers that stimulate the complexion. The rosemary, peppermint and sage aroma is amazing, and the cardboard container is delightful.
Price: $8
Available: www.burtsbees.com

Product name: Completely Bare's Completely Buff
You mix the crystals, composed of tiny aluminum oxide, with your own* cleanser. The crystals encourage cell regeneration.
Price: $25
Available: www.completelybare.com

* I use N.V. Perricone's Olive Oil Polyphenols Gentle Cleanser, $35, available at www.clinicalcreations.com

Product name: Tweezerman Facial Cleansing Brush Set
An ultrasoft bristled brush that helps remove dead skin cells, leaving skin smooth and healthy. Also contains an adorable white cotton headband, good for keeping hair off the face while working out, etc.
Price: $9.50
Available: www.tweezerman.com

Product name: Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Foundation
This is one of the foundations that I carry in my professional kit. It's a creamy foundation and concealer in one; the coverage is extremely smooth and sets light and matte.
Price: $19.50
Available: 800-540-8181

Product name: Derma Color by Kryolan
Try Camouflage Cream, Fluid Foundation or the Mini-Palette with 16 colors. All are designed to correct skin disfigurements and are waterproof and long lasting.
Price: Camouflage Cream: $25, Fluid Foundation: $23, Mini-Palette: $27.50
Available: 800-579-6526

Product name: L'Oreal Air Wear Long-Wearing Foundation
Available in both liquid and powder formulas, this product offers "stay put" coverage without clogging pores or feeling cakey. Has a soft, natural matte finish. Contains SPF 14 in the liquid and SPF 17 in the powder.
Price: $13.95
Available: Drug and department stores

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