DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

The latest high-impact addition to my make-up stash has been a $2 sack of corn starch. No, I haven’t turned into a “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your face” woo-meister… here’s the lowdown.

DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

Why Am I Putting Corn Starch on My Face?

I am an oily beast. My skin is generally hydrated and non-irritated, so it’s not my skin overproducing oil – it’s just naturally oily.

This means I tend not to wear moisturiser during the day, and even them my make-up will generally slide around and bunch up during the day. There are a few things I’ve found really handy for dealing with it, and one of the most effective things has been using a starch-based face powder.

DIY Mattifying Face Powder: Just a bag of corn starch

I’ve tried a lot of different translucent powders to try to soak up oil, but the one that have worked best for me so far have been Williamspro Zero Powder, Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder and Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder. Their top 3 ingredients:

  • Williamspro Zero Powder: Certified Organic Arrowroot Powder, Australian Green Clay, Australian White Clay
  • Jurlique Rose Silk Finishing Powder: Zea mays (Corn) Starch, Oryza sativa (Rice) Starch, Silica
  • Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder (now slightly reformulated and called Matte Mineral Setting Powder): Silica, Corn Starch Modified, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer

So you can see – the top ingredients all include some form of starch.

There’s also been a trend of people using talcum powder on their face, so I unearthed this from Amazon:

Johnson’s Pure Cornstarch Baby Powder With Aloe Vera & Vitamin E

Ingredients: Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Fragrance

Note: no preservative. So why not try corn starch from the grocery aisle?

Issues with Corn Starch as Face Powder and Solutions

These are the most common objections to using food-grade corn starch as face powder that I’ve come across:

Corn starch can grow bacteria/fungus while in the container

This is probably the most common one: corn starch is food, and can breed fungus and bacteria while in the container. If you put that on your face, it can give you breakouts.

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Face of Australia Glamazon Contour Kit review

face-of-australia-glamazon-contour-palette

Face of Australia’s Glamazon Contour Kit is back and is joining the permanent range! I wasn’t really into contouring when this contour/highlight duo first came out, but as I got into subtly sculpting my cheekbones and jawline and trying out different products, I discovered that the brown shade in this kit is perfect. It’s cool-toned, which is important if you want a natural looking shadow, and it’s sheer and smooth, which is important if you’re not absolutely amazing at placing the shadow exactly where you want it.

face-of-australia-glamazon-contour-palette

Compared to the old Glamazon Leopardess Contour Kit (launched as a limited edition around the end of 2013), the contour looks slightly darker in the pan and the highlighter looks slightly paler, but on the skin they blend out to be almost indistinguishable. The ingredients lists are identical, so I think there’s just a slight batch difference.

face-of-australia-glamazon

I’m not much of a highlighter person, since my skin is oily and provides its own highlight 10 minutes after I apply makeup, but I’ve been using the warm champagne shimmer on the tip of my nose and on the tops of my cheekbones, as well as mixing it into my everyday powder to add a subtle glow all over.

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Fact-check: What is micellar water and how does it work? An Update

micellar-water-face

Over the past two years, my post on the chemistry of micellar water with dodgy photographed scrawlings has become one of the most popular, so I thought it was high time to update it with nicer drawings and finetune the explanation of the science.

This also comes in video form – check it out here!

There are tons of micellar waters on the market now, many of them with similar active ingredients.

The essential ingredients in any micellar water are:

  • Water (obviously) and
  • One or more surfactants.

Surfactants are cool ingredients that I’ve written about a lot (including in my guest post on The Toast). They’re useful molecules with a hydrophilic head that’s attracted to water (and repels oil), and a lipophilic tail that’s attracted to oils and grease (and repels water).

surfactant-molecule
Oil and water normally repel each other, so they try to stay away from each other. This means that oil doesn’t dissolve in water (which you’ll know if you’ve ever tried to wash an oily dish), and instead sits on top like a bad toupee.

water-oil

When surfactants are added to an oily dish, for example, and then scrubbed with water, they help it break up into droplets (emulsion droplets). They surround the oil and “hide” it from the water, allowing it to be smuggled out and washed away to leave a clean surface. Surfactants are the key ingredients in micellar water, as well as in detergent, soap, shower gel, face wash, shampoo and so on. You’ll also find them keeping oil and water happy together in emulsion products like moisturisers and mayonnaise.

emulsion-droplet

So let’s get back to micellar water. When enough surfactant is added to water (more than something called the critical micelle concentration or CMC), the surfactant molecules assemble themselves into clusters called micelles. These micelles are spherical arrangements of surfactant molecules, with the tails pointing in and the heads facing out – this means the hydrophobic tails are protected from the water by the hydrophilic heads. Some brands of micellar water contain oily substances, like Nivea Sensitive 3-in-1 Cleansing Water which contains grape seed oil. In these products, the oily substance will sit in the middle of the micelle, like in the emulsion droplet.

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Australis AC on Tour & Models Prefer Contour Comparison

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Australis brought out their AC on Tour (get it?) contouring and highlighting palette a bit earlier than Models Prefer, who brought out their Contour/Collection highlighting and contour palette recently with very very similar shades. Here’s the inevitable comparison, including side-by-side swatches!

contouring-kit-comparison-australia-models-prefer-IMG_7064

Price

Both palettes are $16.95, for 6 x 3.5 g pans.

Packaging

australis-ac-on-tour-contouring-IMG_7067models-prefer-contour-IMG_7069

Australis’s AC on Tour palette is housed in a matte black plastic case. Models Prefer’s Contour/Collection palette has a glossy black plastic case, with a full sized mirror which puts it in front, but Australis are repackaging theirs to also include a mirror. The glossy Models Prefer case collects fingerprints, but I actually like it more than the matte black. It’s really a matter of preference – there’s no real winner here.

Availability

Australis palettes can be found in Priceline, as well as Big W, Kmart and some pharmacies. Models Prefer are a Priceline brand, so you can only get them at Priceline…which isn’t really a problem for most people, because Pricelines are everywhere. Australis’ palette is currently available online, but the Models Prefer kit isn’t on there.

Shades

The shades look almost identical in the pan. In both palettes, there’s a nude highlight, a banana highlight and a shimmery illuminating highlight, along with a neutral, cool and warm contouring shade. On the skin is where you really start to see a difference:

australis-models-prefer-highlight-1australis-models-prefer-highlight-2

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IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream review

it-cosmetics-snail-CC

it-cosmetics-snail-CC

IT Cosmetics has landed with Sephora in Australia recently, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their base make-up products. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is the product that got me researching snail slime science recently.

It’s not actually the first snail slime product I’ve tried – that was actually a tiny sachet of Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream. At the time, I assumed that the strong fragrance was necessary to cover up the scent of snail secretion, but since then I’ve come across unscented Mizon and Benton products in my travels through the blogosphere.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is much less strongly fragranced, though it does have a citrus scent. It’s a medium coverage foundation-like product – I’m not really seeing any colour correction in this CC cream, but I don’t mind, because I really don’t need my entire face’s colour corrected and I don’t think most people do either! It applies easily with your fingers or with a sponge or brush, and blends in easily. I’ve seen some people say that this doesn’t work that well for oily skin, but with a bit of powder I found that it works quite well, and doesn’t wear off throughout the day.

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MAC SS15 Trend Forecast Collection review

mac-pro-ss15-trend-forecast

MAC’s SS15 looks had lots of bold eye colours and natural, understated lip shades. Here are the matching SS15 Trend Forecast palettes:

mac-pro-ss15-trend-forecast

These are MAC’s descriptions of the eye shades:

Superfresh – light mint green
Humble – soft muted beige-taupe
Power Player – deep burgundy
Blue Forecast – light periwinkle blue with white pearl
Urbanist – muted plum brown with slight pearl
Night Walk – deep eggplant with slight pearl

mac-ss15-eye

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Face brush comparison: Benefit, Essence and Real Techniques

Two short years ago, I owned one makeup brush, and it came in a blush compact. Now I have about 50 (don’t ask me to actually count!), and I’m addicted. The smooth application is fun, not to mention the face tickle you get from the touchably soft brushes! Here are some face-stroking ranges I’ve been using a lot lately: Essence …

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How to read an ingredients list: Face moisturisers

Earlier this week I posted about the different types of base ingredients in moisturisers: occlusives, emollients and humectants. I’ve dug up a few facial moisturisers I have lying around to deconstruct. When looking at most product ingredients lists, the ingredients will be in order from the highest concentration to the lowest. Typically, when deciding if a moisturiser will suit your …

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