Just A Hint Of Tint For Healthy Summer Skin

With summer fast approaching, many women prefer to ditch foundation for a lighter alternative, to avoid covering up sun-kissed vitamin D infused skin.  Tinted moisturizers are the answer, here are my three favourites, which are also perfect year around!

BOBBI BROWN TINTED MOISTURIZER WITH SPF 15 (also available in an oil-free version) $40  & Balm (more coverage) $52

I chose Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer because it is hydrating and contains jojoba oil which is extremely beneficial to the skin.  I am prone to breakout if I am not careful with foundations, this is the reason I prefer the department store brands, the quality of ingredients is usually higher than with drug store brands.  While I’m all for cutting corners when possible, because foundation sits on the skin throughout the day, it is more likely drugstore brands may lead to clogged pores.  However, I have many clients who are able to slather the cheapest of the cheap of products on their face, and seem to effortlessly maintain gorgeous skin.  Of course, these are the same women who sleep in their foundation… go figure, if I did either I’d be ashamed to leave the house, my skin would be such a disaster.  My point is, if you can rock a drugstore brand without paying for it later in acneic skin, go for it!


Chanel’s tinted moisturizer is the Mercedes Benz of tinted moisturizers, as I am sure you were able to discern upon reading the price.  The unique benefit of this tinted moisturizer is an ingredient called Ceratonia PFA, it is said to stimulate hydration, and as far as I can tell this claim is true for my skin.  Yes, it is expensive, however, one thing I am able to state unequivocally is Chanel products are made to last a lifetime.  I am not exaggerating ladies, I have everything from foundations to shadow palettes which I’ve been using for upwards of 3 years.  Honestly, I get tired of the products long before it’s time to replace them.  The great thing about this foundation as well as the others posted here, is they are all packaged in a tube, this means no contamination to the product, hence a longer shelf life.  The only downside to Chanel products is many are discontinued at the blink of an eye, however, the last I checked, this product continues to be available on the site.


Laura Mercier is one of my favourite professional makeup artists, not only because of her skill and talent, but also for her attentiveness to offer women of colour a wide range of choices, which is no easy feat.  Many cosmetic companies struggle with formulating foundations (tinted moisturizer included) for women of colour because there are numerous, stunning hues, with varied undertones within this segment of the population.  Patronizing a cosmetic line established by an actual makeup artist, has its perks, and this is simply one of many.  Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is rated the #1 selling and has, understandably, earned numerous beauty awards.

 So there you have it, my top three tinted moisturizer picks.  The most common complaint I hear regarding tinted moisturizers is how they are too light in consistency.  This always puzzles me, after all, isn’t this the whole point, hence the name ‘tinted moisturizer?’  That being stated, if you understand application, any tinted moisturizer can be layered.  This means, start with a primer, add your tinted moisturizer of choice, wait a few minutes, add more, follow with concealer on the areas where you’d like more coverage and finish with a pressed powder which will give some degree of coverage.  This is actually a great way to take this little tube from summer into fall/winter, since summer is such a short month, leaving you with plenty of product to spare.

Five Faves

Today is the debut of “Five Faves” where I choose 5 of my favourite products, today the focus is on skin care.  The items are in no particular order since they are all favourites.  So without further ado, today’s five faves:


This AMAZING soap is imported from Ghana in it’s raw form, and is completely natural.  It’s made from dried plantain skins, palm leaves, cocoa pod powder and kernel oil.  The plantain skins are largely responsible for the efficacy of this soap, as they contain vitamins A, E and iron.  In addition, cocoa pod powder has natural healing properties.  African Black Soap is an excellent remedy for acne, blemishes and hyperpigmentation.

It is offered in numerous quantities, I prefer ordering it in bulk for the value, since I know it works wonders on my skin.  Furthermore, it remains fresh when stored properly.  If you simply want to try it in a small quantity to test it first on your skin, try etsy.com where it’s sold for as little as $5 per bar. On a side note, when in use, it is best stored in a dry container, as it dissolves if left to sit in water.  Upon receiving it, I like to cut it into bars, wrap them individually in wax paper, then all of them collectively in saran wrap.  The portions not in use at the moment should be stored in a cool, dark area until ready for use.

African Black Soap is available through a litany of online vendors, I’ve ordered through both ebay.com and amazon.com with great success, just do your research on the vendor of your choosing.  The price ranges dramatically based on the quantity.


Not only do I love coconut oil on toast in the morning, it is also an amazing skin care item.  I prefer to have one for the kitchen and a separate jar in my bathroom, as you might agree.  I won’t digress and cite all of the benefits of ingesting coconut oil, as well as using it as a hair conditioner, since the focus is skin care. I will revisit these benefits in a forthcoming post.

Coconut oil is a highly effective moisturizer, which can be used all over the body, however, I use it only on my face, as it may seep through clothing, although it washes right out in the laundry. It smooths the skin while protecting it from free radicals, which in turn helps to prevent the signs of aging.  In terms of packaging, many appreciate the appeal of great packaging.  I recommend simply transferring the product into a glass container more fitting for your sink area.

This product can be purchased online or from Whole Foods and a number of other healthy grocers.


I typically receive looks of surprise, which I completely understand, when I suggest this product.  I remember hearing how Clinique Clarifying Lotions are strong enough to strip off nail polish.  I have never tested this, therefore, don’t know the validity, however, I do know it has been of great benefit for my skin.

Years ago I worked on an editorial shoot with an executive from Chanel Beaute, he raved about how this product is perfect for preparing the skin for everything to follow such as: moisturizer and foundation for us ladies.  He said he’d been using it for years despite his commitment to EVERYTHING Chanel, including the skin care of course.  He assured me this was the only exception, and with that, I was convinced.  I bought the Clarifying Lotion 2 for my combination skin, and haven’t turned back after a 5 year run thus far.  In fact, I was without it for several weeks a few months ago, and my skin didn’t like anything about it and neither did I.

Available at department stores nationwide                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6.7 0z- $12.50/13.5 oz- $21.00


This product is a cult classic, packaged in a cute little .8 oz tin, it was first launch in 1895, and has been going strong ever since.  I’ve seen a few copy cats surface lately, which bare a striking resemblance to this original, and anything other may not offer the same benefits.  This product addresses: chapped lips, stings, burns, minor skin irritations and diaper rash.  It also serves as an excellent moisturizer on the skin due to the many different essential oils contained in it.  Smith’s Rosebud Salve is also packaged in a tube, I prefer the consistency of the tin, although I’ve been told it is the same.

Available at Smith’s Rosebud Salve and Sephora $5-$6


Queen Helene products have had great longevity, as the company was established in 1930.  The Apricot Facial Scrub is natural and gentle on the skin, while being highly effective.  I’ve been using this product since my college days, and can attest to its effectiveness in sloughing off dead skin cells without being abrasive.  The skin feels baby soft after use, and on some skins it is gentle enough to be used everyday.  You will know if you fit into this category by starting with 2 days per week and increasing from there.  Your skin will respond accordingly if you seem to be overdoing it.

Queen Helene Apricot Facial Scrub is packaged in a 6 oz. tube and retails for approximately $8 depending upon where it is purchased.  Many beauty supply stores stock it, however, it is available online at this price point with free shipping.


Cleansing Oil: The Quest Toward Healthy Looking Skin

Every culture has something great to offer, and among my favourites is Asian.  Asian men and women have been using oil as part of their skin care regimen for several decades because of its remarkable benefits.  Cleansing oils serve as an excellent asset for every skin type, however, attempting to convince an oily skin of this is no small feat.  Oily skins, keep reading, your reformation is on the way!

So here’s the deal, our skin naturally produces oil to help it to remain moisturized and supple.  Unfortunately, because of misinformation, we strive to strip the skin of any traces of oil, which causes the largest organ in our body to work in overdrive to replenish the loss of oil.  This in turn causes the skin to over-compensate for the lack of moisture, thus producing more oil.

The reason skin issues begin to surface as a result, is because this over abundance of oil being produced, will eventually harden on the skin, trapping impurities underneath the skin’s surface.  When this happens breakouts are soon to follow.  For those with an oily skin a vicious cycle begins with them believing the culprit is their oily skin, when in fact, it has more to do with diet and fragrance or other harmful ingredients contained in their skin care.  Fragrance is the number one offender, so read the labels, even so-called “unscented” products may contain fragrance.

Aside from a healthy diet and plenty of water, a good cleansing oil should be a staple.  Oil breaks down oil, therefore, when you cleanse on a consistent basis with an oil cleanser first, you are essentially breaking down the oils causing debris to be embedded underneath the skin, and allowing the pores to be unobstructed.  Hence, allowing the skin to breath and clear of any breakouts and blemishes.  Following up with a natural, sulfate free cleanser is preferential for most people who use oil cleanser as the first step in their skin care regimen.

Two of my absolute favourite cleansing oils are: DHC ($20-$25) and Shu Uemura (starting at $30 and up). Shu Uemuracleansing oils are available in many different formulas. Both items are available online at the respective sites or on Amazon.

The Amazing BB Cream

BB cream, also known as Blemish Balm, Blemish Base or Beblesh Balm is a cosmetic item sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets as well. Originally formulated in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek in the 1950s, the cream was initially used to protect skin after laser procedures and surgery, while also providing light coverage.  BB cream has been named “the secret of Korean actresses” and has been heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities, which helped it gain large exposure in these Asian markets.  Although this cream has not gained the popularity here in the States equal to Asia, it is definitely a hidden little gem.  I ordered the Super 79 Beblesh Balm from Amazon for a mere $15.00 with shipping and I’ve been using it for the past 8 months now, and the results have been amazing.

BB creams provide moisturizing, sunscreen protection, whitening and anti-wrinkle benefits.  Regarding the whitening, I have no desire to be lighter, this caused a bit of skepticism, however, I have found it has not whitened , but evened out the hyperpigmentation (dark splotches) on my skin.   The product is also VERY light in tone, this doesn’t pose a problem because I simply add a bit of concealer and powder to add the warmth I need.  I’ve also known of women to use a light foundation over it as well to deepen it.  The packaging is in a pump form, which is great because this way, there is no chance of contaminating the product.   The Super 79 Beblesh Balm only comes in one tint, however, there there are options for those who may want options, such as Missha BB Cream, which is also great.  Because I use it as a skincare product for it’s many benefits, I am not concerned with the tint shades since I am able to alter it with cosmetic products.

BB Cream has been a welcome addition to my skincare regimen, it is a hidden little gem, which I believe your skin will appreciate as well.