What is AHA and BHA?

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If you frequent skincare sites, you will probably hear a lot of acronyms like AHA and BHA floating around. For the longest time, I had no idea what those meant. What is this weird sounding chemical people were putting on their faces, and why do people rave about how amazing it is?

AHA = Alpha Hydroxy Acid. The most common types of AHA are glycolic acid (sugar cane), lactic acid (milk), malic acid (apples) and tartaric acid (grapes).

BHA = Beta Hydroxy Acid, also known as salicylic acid.

Both are chemical exfoliants. Exfoliating is important because while your skin naturally sheds its dead skin cells, the process can be effected by different factors such as skin type, sun damage and genetics. Not shedding the dead skin cell properly can cause things like clogged pores, bumps, flaky patches and blemishes.

There are different methods of exfoliating. A common one is with the exfoliating face washes that have those bead things such as the St Ives Apricot face scrub. Those bead things actually scratch the surface of the skin, therefore damaging the skin in the long run. AHA and BHA uses chemicals to exfoliate without damaging the top layer of the skin, making it a more efficient and gentle method of exfoliating.

AHA is suitable for dry /  sun damaged skin types since it gently removes the top layer of dead skin cells by detaching it from the skin. AHA is water soluble, therefore better for sun damaged skin since it works on exfoliating the surface while retaining moisture in the skin. AHA is also great for mature skin / wrinkles, since it contains properties that improves the thickness and collagen in the skin.

BHA is suitable for oily / acne prone / clogged skin, since it penetrates the skin and declogs the pores. It also contains more anti-bacterial properties, so it is suitable for acne skin and skin that has a lot of hyper pigmentation. BHA is oil soluble, therefore it is more suitable to breaking down oil / sebum in the pores.

AHA and BHA should be used after cleanser and toner, and before any moisturizers and serums. It can be used everyday, but if you’re unsure about how your skin might react, start by using it 2 – 3 times and week and slowly build it up depending on how well your skin reacts to the products.

Image: Source

Bronzer vs Contouring

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As any member of the makeup obsessed community would know, contouring has been the new IT thing for the longest time. However, outside of the small circle of beauty addicts online and in real life, a lot of people don’t seem to know the difference between contouring and bronzing.Both methods just use a darker shade of something under the blush area, right???

Wrong.

Bronzer focuses on warming up the skin so they tend to have a bit more warmth to them. Contouring is supposed to give your face more dimensions, which is why contouring products tend to be grey toned since it is supposed to mimic a shadow effect. Some bronzers contain shimmer to really give you that sun kissed look, but you should never ever use a shimmery product for contouring because the shimmer will reflect the light, which kinda defeats the purpose of making it look shadowy.

Bronzer can be applied around the face with a fluffy brush, from the temples to under the cheekbones, and then down to the chin in a “3” motion. It is meant to bring warmth and colour to the face, which is why a lot of bronzers lean towards a orange / gold tone.

Contouring is mainly applied under the jaw with a more precise brush right underneath the cheek bones in a diagonal line, stopping when it lines up to the iris of your eyes, and down the sides and bridge of your nose. Basically, you want create a shadow illusion by shading in the areas you want to appear slimmer. Contour is meant to sculpt your face, while bronzer warms up your complexion.

Recommended bronzers: Nars Laguna (contains shimmer), Hourglass ambient lighting bronzers (also has shimmer), Benefit Hoola (Leans grey, so can be used as a contour)

Recommended contour: Sleek contour kit, Anastasia contour kit, Mac mineralized skin finish natural (2-3 shades darker than your natural skin tone)

Prepare to see my amazing art on paint….

Ready

Set

Boom

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Isn’t it amazing?

Perfect Palette Tag

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I love eyeshadow palettes, and I probably own more neutral eyeshadow palettes than I will ever need in my life. With so many options, it is hard to pick a favourite, but I narrowed them down to do the perfect palette tag.

  1. Best Packaging – Urban Decay Naked 3 – I love the rose gold wavy packaging on the naked 3 palette. It is in a tin case with a snap closure, which makes it great to travel with since it won’t just randomly open like a magnetic closure.

  2. Best Color Payoff – Lorac Pro – Especially the shimmer shades. The lorac shadows are the definition of pigmented and buttery. The matte shades can be a bit chalky sometimes, but it is still creamy and extremely pigmented.

  3. Most Versatile – Lorac Pro – It has wide range of 16 shades, with 8 matte and 8 shimmer shades. There is just such a range of colours for so many different looks.

  4. Best for Traveling – Urban Decay Naked Basics – A tiny palette, smaller than my phone. The packaging is sturdy and the shadows are great for an everyday look, to a darker smokier look. The only thing missing in this palette i feel is a sparkly shade.

  5. Biggest Regret – Too Faced Smoky Eye Palette – I only use 3/9 shadows in this palette since I don’t wear grey or purple tones so it was kind of a wasted purchase. The formula is very nice, like all of the Too Faced shadows, but the colours just weren’t for me.

  6. Best Colour Names – Too Faced Chocolate Bar – With names like salted caramel and milk chocolate, it is easy to see why this would be my favourite when it comes to colour names.

  7. Least Used – Naked palette. I know, I know, how could I? I love this palette, I just don’t reach for it as often as I should, considering how much I like it.

  8. Most Used, Most Loved, Desert Island – Too Faced Natural Eye Palette – This is the palette I reach for the most. It is small and convenient, with pretty colours that can great a range of looks.