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Makeup Master-class with Billy Orr!

It's sods law, the one day that you've got the biggest interview of your life, or an event you've been planning for six months, is the very day you wake up with Mount Etna on your chin!

Spots have an incredible knack for appearing at the worst possible moment, or nastier still; the dreaded cold-sore! You could try the 'paper bag over the head trick', but we've a much better solution.

We met 'concealing king' Billy Orr. Billy demonstrated a makeup master-class on spot victim Laura Carroll. Laura has experienced a major spot outbreak and needs to learn some tricks of the trade!

To cover a spot, Billy advises:

1. Treat the area first with some tea tree oil or toner. This will calm the area down and make it look less oily.

2. Pat it dry, then apply your makeup.

Tip: Apply concealer on top of your foundation using a clean dry concealer brush. Using your fingers will only transfer more dirt and oil to your face, making your spots bigger! Otherwise, mix a small amount of foundation and concealer on the back of your hand, and apply to the spotty area using a concealer brush.

3. Set the concealer using a translucent powder…and voila: the spot is concealed!

To cover a cold-sore, Billy advises:

1. Dab a bit of Liquorice Root on the area before applying makeup and it will dry the area out. Apply the liquid neat on to the affected area or take 15 drops in a glass of water three times a day. Available in many health food shops nation-wide or to order from Naturalife in Co Wicklow ph: 0404 62444.

2. Use a lip pencil as close to your own lip colour to define the outline of your lips.

3. Use a pink toned concealer on your lips, pick one that is as close as possible to your bare lip colour.

4. Then apply a glassy clear lipgloss. This will reflect the light so that you can't see the nasty cold-sore underneath.

Video Clip >>> View the streaming video for the Makeup Magic story.

To disguise tired eyes:

Yves Saint Laurent were the first to create a product for tired eyes that really works. Touche Eclat is a light concealer that contains tiny light diffusing particles. Applied to the eye area with the soft brush, the eye area is instantly opened and awakened. Clarins Instant Light Perfecting Touch follows in a similar pattern and has great results. Nationwide, cosmetic counters are bursting with similar products, you will be spoilt for choice!

Hiding Fine lines:

One of the best-kept secrets of many make up artists is a translucent foundation from Shiseido called The Veil. The lightweight see-through foundation helps makeup sit delicately on the skin without seeping into the cracks and fine lines which form with age.

It can also be used on its own to give your skin a fresh, dewy look without altering the colour. Perfect for days when you really don't need any covering up.

Treating lines and wrinkles:

Retin-Ox Correxion is the latest solution for the wrinkle dilemma from Roc…use at night when skin is resting and more receptive to anti wrinkle treatments. Reduce expression lines and deep wrinkles. Saggy skins feels slightly tighter and wrinkles are plumped out from within. Can be used on all the age prone spots on face…crows feet around eyes, frown lines on forehead and furrows between eyebrows.

Covering up Spots and blemishes:

Lancome concealer palette is quite possibly the best product for covering up spots and blemishes. It has three shades that you can mix to cover every conceivable blemish. This product is particularly handy as our skin tone changes from season to season. This is also great if you have a bruise that needs covering up.


Treating spots and blemishes:

Sans Soucis have come up with a great product called Active Anti-blemish Gel. Apply to the problem area morning and evening after cleansing. The active ingredient helps dry out the spot and clear up bacteria. You can even use it during the day as it is totally clear - handier than waltzing around covered in Sudocreme!

Tea Tree oil is another great way to dry-up spots and clean out bacteria. It is available from most pharmacies and health food shops in many shapes and forms. However, use sparingly! Too much at once and it burns like hell!

Covering up Coldsores:

SLA concealer pencil. This is literally like an eyeliner pencil except for spots and blemishes. Great cause you can pinpoint tiny areas rather than covering a small blemish with a big circle of colour.

This is also fab for lining around the lips if you have a coldsore. It allows you to reshape your lips when they look swollen. But you don't need to have a coldsore to use it. Handy for tidying the line around your lip if you're wearing a dark lipstick that might tend to bleed outside the edges.

Treating Excessively Dry, Irritated Skin:

Sea Dragon from Naturalife is a great product. A godsend for anyone who wants to keep their skin in good nick but seems to come out in a rash at the first sign of creams. Sea Dragon is a new arrival to the Irish market. It's an Australian formula made from completely natural, hypo allergenic ingredients and is gentle on even the most hypersensitive skin. Available from Naturalife in Co Wicklow ph: 0404 62444.

Facial Facts

Why use a Toner?

The toner is usually the least expensive part of your daily facial routine, yet it's one of the most important. It is also the step that is most frequently left out due to lack of understanding of the benefits that it provides. A professional toner will provide:

  • Refreshing light hydration to the face
  • Even out porosity of the skin to allow moisturiser to be more evenly absorbed.
  • Reduce irritation, redness and inflammation (especially soothing for men after shaving)

After the face has been cleansed and exfoliated, a toner should be applied by spraying directly over the entire face and throat area. It can also be applied with the fingertips or a cotton pad.

Highly recommended:

Dermalogica Multi-active toner €29 suitable for all skin types
Dermalogica Soothing Protection Spray €30 for sensitive skin
Both available from The Buff Day Spa

To Steam or not to Steam?

During the cleansing and exfoliating procedure of a professional facial, steam will often be used. This helps to open up the pores so that the skin can be cleansed at a deeper level also allowing extractions to be performed easily. However, steam should not be used under the following conditions:

  • If you have broken capillaries (fine red lines usually in the cheek area)
  • If you have acneic skin. (steam may help spread infection)
  • If you have a tendancy to redness or blush easily when nervous. This shows heightened capillary activity, undue heat in this case could result in broken capillaries and sensitivity.

To steam your face during your home care regime you could fill a clean bowl with hot water, add a few drops of eucalyptus or lemon essential oil for a real treat. Place your face 30-40 cms over the bowl, cover your head with a towel ensuring that the towel is big enough to cover the bowl also (to prevent the steam from escaping). Remain in this position for 3-5 minutes depending on the sensitivity of your own skin.

How long should I leave in-between facials?

4-6 weeks is the norm. However it wouldn't do any harm to have them as regularly as once every two weeks. Be sure to build up a good relationship with your therapist so that they know the history of your skin and treatments/products that have been used on it. If you have a specific goal to reach with your skin for example treating acne, or over sensitised skin or if you are trying to improve the texture of your skin, your therapist will generally suggest regular weekly or bi-weekly treatments.

If I go for facials regularly is it necessary for me to keep up the routine at home?

You'd be crazy not too! To keep the great look and feel that your skin has after visiting your skin care therapist takes on average 5 minutes, twice a day. Its also the only way that you are going to achieve consitently good results with your skin. Not only that, omitting to put on a moisturiser daily is one way to almost guarantee prematurely aged skin.

Extractions - when to leave well alone?

Whenever you get a spot, pimple or black head on your face it is tempting to pick at it or squeeze it, but before you do consider the following:

1) Are my face and hands thoroughly clean? Extracting a pimple will leave the pore exposed which will let bacteria from your hands or the surrounding area get into the pore easily, creating more pimples.
2) If you have acneic skin, infection will spread easily. Only attempt to extract a pustule (spot) when a white head has formed and your hands are thoroughly clean.

A method for home extraction:

1) Cleanse both your hands and face
2) Wrap tissue paper around the tips of your index fingers to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
3) Squeeze gently using the pads of your fingertips, do not use fingernails as this can damage the skin.
4) Clean the extracted area again before applying a toner and moisturiser.

Does using expensive products really make a difference?

The cost of the product isn't as important as the ingredients used in it. However, better ingredients and formulas often are more expensive to produce. There are several brilliant mid-range products on the market that won't break the bank. When choosing a skin care range always ask the help of a qualified Esthetician or Skin Care Therapist. It is better to buy your product from a spa or salon where they will be able to give you professional advise for your specific skin type. Also remember that the initial outlay for a skin care home regime may be high but these products all run out at different times so you should end up only having to replace 1 product every 4 -5 weeks which will be more affordable in the long run. Your skin is with you forever, it is worth making a little early investment in it.

Can you ever get rid of blackheads?

People with oilier skin types generally have larger pores and therefore are more prone to blackheads. Often they appear on the nose and in the chin area and occasionally on the forehead. You cannot change the size of your pores however, you can greatly diminish the appearance of blackheads. Obviously cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin every morning and evening is the first step towards cleaner, healthier skin. Adding a grainy exfolient into your routine twice a week will slough off dead skin cells releasing the trapped dirt and oil within the pore that causes the black heads. Also use a clay or mud based pore refining mask in the affected areas once a week. Adding these 2 steps to your routine will greatly diminish the appearance of blackheads.

Highly recommended:

Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub €29 (exfoliant)
Dermalogica Skin Refining mask €34

I have small white lumps underneath my skin, which won't come out when I squeeze them. What are they?

These are called Milia. Milia are small deposits of sebum between the follicle and the corneum. They are often perfectly round in shape and do not have a natural outlet such as the pore in the case of the blackhead. For this reason they are difficult to extract by squeezing alone. They can form for several reasons the most common one being the association with the use of heavy creams loaded with emollients for treating dry, dehydrated skin.

Some salons may suggest lancing the milia with a small sharp instrument in order to remove it, however if you are trying to treat milia at home, be warned against lancing the skin as infection and damage to the surrounding tissue may occur. The best way to treat milia at home is regular exfoliation of the affected area. This will thin the skin covering the milia making them easier to extract. Also massaging the affected area with small circular movements will help loosen the milia, sometimes they can also dissolve when treated in this way.

Why is it that I always get a big spot on my face before an important engagement? Is there anything I can do to make it go away more quickly when it does?

There are several reasons that spots form on the skin and one of the most common ones is stress, this is why spots often appear when we least want them to. A classic example is on the bride the week of her wedding. There is a fairly simple explanation for this relationship. Stress causes the brain to manufacture a hormone that, in turn, causes the adrenal gland to make more hormones, which causes an abundance of oil to be produced. The excess oil will often bind with dirt and bacteria to cause a spot.

All is not lost. There are several things that we can do to minimise the appearance of the spot on our big date. First of all if the spot does not have a white head do not try to squeeze it. This will only make matters worse. The surface of the skin will become red and irritated or even worse form a scab, you may also spread the infection to surrounding tissue. If the spot does not have a white head apply a professional spot treatment as soon as you feel it forming. Dermalogica's Special clearing booster is a little miracle in a bottle for getting rid of your unwanted guest. A highly active (5%) Benzoyl Peroxide Gel helps dry, peel and destroy bacteria in the follicle. A 65% plant base soothes irritation and discomfort. The perfect spot/blemish treatment. Apply sparingly to clean skin using a cotton bud. Do not use moisturiser under or over. Use twice daily maximum. €47 available at the Buff Day Spa, 52 South King Street.

If you can, make an emergency appointment with your skin care therapist. Ask them if they have a High Frequency machine. If they do, ask them if you have any contraindications to having it performed on you, some of these include wearing pacemakers or having recent dental fillings. This is a totally painless procedure which sterilizes deep within the skin helping to reduce infection usually overnight. If the spot does have a white head feel free to extract it using the home extraction procedure above.

Makeup: Billy Orr
Location: The Buff Day Spa, Dublin