Mini-Tutorial: Smokey brown eyeshadow

My first ever pictorial! Enjoy this easy-to-achieve brown eyeshadow pictorial & please leave your comments & feedback! ❤

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C. Johnson Makeup has been Featured on EvokingYou.com

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Christy from C. Johnson Makeup was recently featured on EvokingYou as a guest writer.

Check out our article Professional Makeup Tips for Photography to learn the best techniques for highlighting your natural beauty for a photograph.

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Photo by S. Strine Photography

 

Here’s a before & after sneak peek image from the article:

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Photo by S. Strine Photography

 

Click here to read the full article.

Thank you to the wonderfully talented Stephanie of S. Strine Photography for the accompanying photos.

Makeup  & hairstyling by Christy of C. Johnson Makeup.

Sugar: Another Amazing Multi-Purpose Beauty Item

After a positive response to my prior post about the multi-functionality of  Coconut Oil, I’ve been thinking about all the other multifunctional items I incorporate into my daily beauty routine. As much as I love makeup, lotions, creams, balms & all things beauty, I also really appreciate a clean, tidy, organized space. Because of this, I prefer to have only a few really wonderful products that I can use for multiple purposes; it’s nice not to have handfuls of products cluttering up my counters.

Sugar

Sugar is AMAZING for exfoliating the skin. The molecular structure of sugar is 8-sided which causes it to be rounded instead of square or jagged. Because of this, sugar doesn’t cause micro-abrasions to our skin, the way salt or walnut shells might. Exfoliating with sugar is gentle enough to be done a couple times per week and it does an incredible job of removing all the yucky dead and dry skin that sits around, clogging pores & making a mess of our complexion.

Although there are many companies that sell salt-based scrubs, I find that sugar is just as effective & much more gentle. I have had hundreds of clients come to me with sensitive skin & my homemade sugar scrubs have worked wonderfully. I always recommend a sugar scrub for all my clients with an upcoming special event. As long as you apply this scrub gently (as you should any time you apply any cream, lotion, or scrub to your face) there will be no redness or sensitivity. As an added bonus, sugar is all-natural!

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Pre-shave scrub: Mix 1/4 C granulated sugar with 3 TBS gentle, fragrance-free lotion, jojoba oil, or olive oil. Mix sugar with lotion or oil to create a thick paste & scrub legs in a circular motion for 3 to 5 minutes. There’s no need to apply pressure while scrubbing, the sugar will do all the hard work for you & slough off all the dry skin. The sugar may begin to disintegrate as you scrub & that’s okay. Once you’re finished, rinse well & shave as normal. You’ll notice your legs will feel incredibly soft & smooth. Additionally, the exfoliation helps to prevent razor burn or ingrown hairs; this is especially helpful in the armpits. Exfoliating helps avoid bacterial build-up by removing dead skin, & therefore may help reduce sweat-odor. Exfoliation helps prevent bumps, blemishes, & ingrown hairs by unclogging blocked pores & hair follicles. This mix also works wonders for dry elbows or knees. *NOTE: avoid the bikini area with this mixture.

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Lip Smoother: Mix 1 TBS granulated sugar with 1 tsp. skin-friendly oil of your choice (vitamin E, jojoba, olive oil, grapeseed, coconut oil), you may also want to add a drop of spearmint, peppermint, or cinnamon essential oil. Create a thin paste & scrub over lips in a gentle, circular motion. This gentle scrub is totally safe, edible, & gentle; it will leave your lips completely soft & smooth, eliminating all dry skin. This is a great treatment for dry/cracked lips, especially followed-up by a rich, moisturizing lip balm. (This recipe is similar to Lush’s lip scrubs, which are far more pricey to purchase than to make yourself).

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Dandruff Eliminating Scalp Scrub: Before mixing your scrub, part & clip your hair into 1 inch sections. Mix 3 TBS shampoo with 1/4 C brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. water. Mix thoroughly & use quickly (as the brown sugar will begin to dissolve). Apply the paste along the parted sections of your hair & scrub, gently into your scalp for five minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse thoroughly & condition, dry, style hair as normal. *NOTE: I recommend using a sulfate-free, phthalate-free shampoo for this mixture, particularly if you have a sensitive scalp. As an inexpensive, commonly-available brand, I like Organix which is widely available at most chain drug stores.

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Facial Scrub: This is my personal favorite recipe for using sugar in my beauty routine. I use this mixture, on average, once or twice per week. I mix 4 TBS granulated sugar with a couple squirts of bottled lemon juice (fresh lemon juice is better, if you can squeeze it, but I don’t usually have the time for that). I make a thick paste with these two items & gently scrub my face in circular motions for a few minutes while showering. Avoid the eye area & don’t scrub too firmly; a light touch is sufficient because the sugar does all the work removing dead, dry skin. Rinse thoroughly and moisturize well. *NOTE: Even though this mixture is gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, it is important not to exfoliate more than twice per week for extended periods of time. Exfoliating too often can cause thinning of the skin, which isn’t apparent immediately, but it causes visual thinning of our skin as we age. For those who may already have thin-looking skin, a chemical exfoliation is likely a more appropriate choice (lactic acid from dairy products is a great, all-natural, gentle option).

The final use I have for sugar in my beauty routine is ‘sugaring’. Sugaring is a hair removal process by which you boil sugar, water, & lemon juice to create a thick, sticky, glob (for lack of a better word). You then, use the sticky, candy-like, sugar mix to remove hair from the body, similar to waxing. I am not include a full description of this process in this post today, however I will create a dedicated post in the future. Sugaring is very inexpensive & easy to do. It is also a process that has been widely used for many, many years. More info to come…

For now, I hope you enjoy these super simple, easy sugar beauty recipes. Are there any sugar uses that I missed? Please let me know.

Best,

Christy J.

Cute & Thrifty Makeup Storage

I love saving money however I can because that means I can splurge on the really important things (like high-quality makeup!). One area where I often save is in makeup storage & display. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers & makeup artists feature storage ideas like office storage or Ikea products which are both nice & work well, but they can REALLY get pricey fast. Instead, I like to use vintage tea-sets or dishes from the thrift store. Here’s what I found, & I got everything for under TEN DOLLARS!

Ceramic Finger Bowl $.99

I use this small finger bowl for MANY things in my makeup routine. It is the ideal size for cleaning makeup brushes. The small size helps prevent too much cleaning product from being used &/or washed down the drain. It is also important not to wet the handle when washing makeup brushes (it loosens the glue & causes the bristles to fall out) so this little bowl is great because it’s not too deep.

I also use this bowl to hold mineral makeup or loose pigments. I never use any kind of powder makeup directly from the container in order to prevent cross-contamination (getting bacteria in your product container). I always dump a little bit of the powder out & dip my brush into the powder, not the container. Dumping the powder into the little bowl is also great for avoiding wasting the mineral products; just cover any excess in the bowl after your done & it’s fine to use the following day. No more wasted product & no powdery mess in your makeup bag, on your counters, or anywhere else!

The final thing I love this little bowl for is mixing makeup. Sometimes I need to darken or lighten my foundation & this little bowl is easy to clean & the perfect size to custom-mix a day’s worth of foundation. The ceramic is the ideal surface to clean because it doesn’t stain or absorb any of the makeup or pigment. It is very easy to wipe out & sanitize.

I have also seen small containers like this at Target recently too, however the ones I saw were plastic.

Rose Ceramic Creamer Container $1.99

This little rose-covered ceramic creamer container is so adorable & the perfect height for standing up makeup brushes on my bathroom counter. I think it might just be the cutest container I own. I occasionally use it to hold other small items (lip-gloss, chap stick,  mascara) that I use daily.

Rose Pie Pan $3.00

I use this larger dish to set all of my other containers on & to keep everything in one place & tidy. I always have one or two of my current favorite perfumes sitting out on it for easy access. When I wash my face & need to remove my rings or earrings this is where they temporarily go. This makes a great ‘catch-all’, without looking crowded or boring.

Ceramic Flower Cup $.99

I use this in a similar way to the ceramic creamer container. I put things in it that I use often & that fit easily. Right now I have hand cream & a nail file in it but it sometimes holds mascara tubes, lipsticks, lip liners, lip gloss, eyeliners etc… I also have a matching one that I keep in my medicine cabinet for toothbrushes/toothpaste.

Small Rose Bowl $.99

I currently have a handful of mini perfumes in this little bowl, but I have also used it for my contacts cases, chap sticks, eye shadows & various other small items in the past. It sits perfectly with the rest of the ceramic items & can hold larger items that wont stand up in a cup well. It also makes a great spot for miscellaneous jewelry, loose buttons, or nail polish. The possibilities are pretty much endless for these little dishes.

Opaque/Shell Candle Holder $3.99

I added this container to the collection recently & use it to hold all the taller things I can’t put in the cups or other shorter containers. Right now it holds a couple combs, hair trimming scissors, hair clips, & a full-size hairbrush. I like that this container is tall enough that I don’t have to see all the items inside but can reach them easily when I need them. (The items in this container actually sit a little lower & aren’t visible unless I’m standing right over it, but I pulled them up a bit so they’d be visible for these photos).

None of these items were part of a set, but they all coordinate well. The great thing about finding a variety of cute dishes at the thrift store is that you can look for any item that ‘speaks to you’. The items you choose can be as unique as you are. You can look for sets that match perfectly or do what I did & look for items that coordinate, but don’t match.

Lipstick Repair & Organization (Makeup Artist Tips & Tricks)

Have you ever gotten to the end of a tube of lipstick only to find that there’s plenty of your favorite shade left inside the bottom of the tube, but you can’t get to it? Or have you ever accidentally smashed your lipstick into the cap, creating a huge mess? Or do you simply want to transfer your handfuls of lipsticks in to a more manageable lipstick palette? Well, I recently got a new travel case & as I was transferring all my makeup into it I realized I had way too many broken, smashed, & cumbersome lipstick tubes. Because of this, I decided to transfer them all into one, easy to manage, compact palette. It’s a great space saver & much easier to organize. I was able to put all the similar shades into one palette & with my handy-dandy labeler, I labeled them & can get to anything I need at a moments notice. Here’s how I did it all:

Step One: Gather your supplies

You’ll need: a metal spoon that you wouldn’t mind getting very dirty, a small candle & matches or a lighter, an empty makeup palette (more information on this further down), & something to keep things from getting too messy (paper towels, an old bath towel, or cloth rags).

**Tip: think about the organization of your palette before you begin. Maybe you’d like all the reds in one place & all the pinks in another? Or maybe cool shades separate from warm shades. Depending on the amount of lipstick your transferring & how many palettes you’re filling; it’s good to think about organization.

Regarding the makeup palette: I happened to have an old empty blush palette from www.coastalscents.com (very inexpensive) that I had never used. The wells are a bit wider than I think necessary, but I was using almost new/full tubes of lipstick, so it worked well for me. There are more expensive palettes that are designed specifically for lipstick on other makeup artist websites, but I’m not convinced they’re worth it when more generic palettes do the trick just fine. You may also want to consider reusing another household item; depending on how many lipsticks you plan to use, you might find that a pillbox from the dollar store/drug store works just fine. Some times old, repurposed makeup containers do the trick. Don’t be afraid to reuse things; you might surprise yourself.

(This is the palette I used. Removable, metallic pans are great for being able to clean it out/reorganize it in the future).

Step Two: Prep your workspace

I started by laying down a towel & setting some paper towels nearby in case of a spill. I made sure my palette was easy to reach, clean of any dust/debris, & sanitized (spray it with a bit of rubbing alcohol & wipe it out well before starting). Then took the tops off all the lipsticks, rolled them up as far as they would go & then scraped out all the lipstick. Finally, I lit the candle.

Step Three: Melt those babies!

Using the tip of the spoon, remove as much of the lipstick as you can & make sure it is sitting directly in the center of the spoon. Carefully, suspend the lipstick, in the spoon, over the flame. Be careful not to dip the spoon too close to the flame, otherwise you’ll see soot gather on the underside of the spoon & it’ll begin to smoke & get very messy. This may take a while, but as the spoon heats up, it’ll start to go much faster. Of course, be very careful not to spill any of the lipstick or candle wax on yourself, it is extremely hot.  Also be very careful not to hold the spoon to low on the handle, the metal also gets very hot. If the handle of the spoon begins to get too hot, you might use a potholder or take a break, although I didn’t run into the problem. As long as you focus the flame on the shovel end of the spoon, it shouldn’t get too hot farther up on the handle. Overall, just use your best judgment & be careful.

Step Four: Transfer your lipsticks into the palette

Once the lipstick is fully melted, carefully pour the liquid into the palette. It will begin to harden again almost immediately as soon as you pour it, so be cautious not to spill it anywhere on the palette itself. If you do make a mistake, just let the lipstick cool & harden & then scrape it off.

Step Five: Repeat

Once you’ve started, pick up a rhythm & you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get through a mound of lipsticks. The spoon retains heat very well & each lipstick will melt faster than the previous.

Step Six: Clean up & Admire your work!

One final note: once you’ve finished you might think about labeling your palettes; it was very helpful for me, since I have a lot of black palettes that all look very similar. Now that they’re labeled it makes finding the right palette/product a snap.

Coconut Oil: The All-Natural, Do-It-All Beauty Miracle

One all-purpose kitchen item that I love to use in my beauty routine is….

 ❤ coconut oil ❤

It is really the best, multi-functional item I can think of. I use it for everything from eye-cream, makeup remover, moisturizer to toothpaste. At the end of this post I have included a few of my favorite coconut oil beauty “recipes”.

The Basics:

Coconut oil typically comes in a jar & is the consistency of thick butter when cool. It melts at about 70° F & when completely melted it is a clear lightweight oil. In solid form, it rubs into the skin easily because body heat & friction are enough to melt it immediately. Occasionally, there may  be small granules that are more resistant to melting, but will eventually melt as you continue rubbing the oil between your palms. A large tub of coconut oil usually costs me about $20 & lasts 4-6 months; it is widely available at most grocery stores. You can purchase it either in the cooking isle or the beauty isle; I get mine at Sprouts Farmers Market, but I have seen it at Whole Foods & Trader Joes as well.

This is the brand I use. (It’s also good for cooking).

Coconut Oil As Skincare:

Many clients express to me the concern about applying oil to their faces, particularly if they have oily skin already. Having struggled with acne & oily skin for many years of my adult life I understand the fear of adding oil to an already oily face. I was very reluctant to try it in the beginning myself, but I’m soooo glad I did. Now that I am more aware of how our skin works & how all the chemical-filled beauty products negatively impact our skin, I understand how coconut oil makes a perfect skincare product. When you add oil to your skin, it balances & moisturizes the skin causing it to stop producing it’s own oil. Coconut oil doesn’t cause blemishes because the molecular structure is similar enough to our own oil that the coconut oil is able to penetrate the skin without clogging the pores. Unlike other moisturizers which contain chemicals, coconut oil is able to penetrate the skin, rather than sitting on the top layer leaving a greasy film.

Uses & Beauty Applications:

  • Deep Pore Cleanser: Take a quarter-sized scoop of oil & work it between your palms until it melts. Apply the melted oil to your skin & gently rub in circular motions, focusing on areas where your pores seem clogged. Then, with a washcloth steeped in hot water, gently wipe the oil away. The hot washcloth works to steam open your pores while the oil bonds with dirt & debris in your skin, unclogging your pores. Repeat 2 to 3 times. Rise with cool water & finish with your favorite moisturizer (or a small amount of coconut oil- see the next bulleted point).
  • Moisturizer (facial/body): Coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizer. A very small amount is needed for your face & it smells heavenly. To use, take a dime-sized scoop of coconut oil, working it between your palms until melted. Massage the oil into your skin in circular motions. Wait 5 to 10 minutes before applying makeup in order to allow the oil to penetrate & moisturize the deeper layers of your skin. I use coconut to moisturize daily, both in the  morning & evenings. I tend to use a larger amount at night. Use a larger amount for your arms & legs. It leaves a beautiful non-greasy glow to the skin.
  • Eye-cream: Coconut oil mixed with a few drops of vitamin E oil makes an easy & effective eye-cream. Apply a small amount nightly, after cleansing to help prevent wrinkles. This eye-cream also moisturizes your eyelashes, keeping them supple & preventing breakage.

  • Toothpaste: This is one of my favorite coconut oil uses. Mix 2 TBS coconut oil with 1/4 C baking soda to form a thick paste. You can use the mixture just like this to brush your teeth, but the flavor is difficult to get used to. To make it taste better, you might add stevia, peppermint or cinnamon essential oils. This homemade toothpaste is very effective & will leave your teeth feeling incredibly smooth. Even without the addition of flavored essential oils, it will leave your mouth completely odor free & fresh & the results last much longer than typical store-bought toothpaste (no more morning breath!!)
  • Makeup remover: This application is similar to the pore cleansing method. Use a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil, mixed with a bit of vitamin E oil, spread between hands & then over your face. Wipe away with a warm washcloth & watch even the toughest makeup come right off. Repeat if necessary.
  • Shaving lotion: Shaving with coconut oil is great because it simultaneously moisturizes your skin while keeping the blade sharp. The only drawback is that it will clog your razor & cause your tub to get slippery (if you use too much). To prevent this, rinse your razor with very hot water every few strokes. Also, to prevent a slippery bathtub, avoid using too much coconut oil, a thin layer is sufficient. If your tub does get slippery, simply wipe the excess oil away with a mild household cleaning product & a rag.
  • Hair balm/ Anti-frizz serum: Before blow-drying my hair, I usually soften a dime-size amount of coconut oil between my palms & then gently rub it into my hair, starting about halfway down & focusing on the ends. As I blow-dry I work the oil through my hair with a comb. It doesn’t leave the hair oily, but does smooth away frazzled ends. This also works on dry hair, just start with a very small amount of coconut oil & focus only on dry/damaged areas of your hair.

Do you use coconut oil in your beauty routine? If so, are there any applications that I have forgotten? If so, drop me a line & let me know 🙂 I’d love to know what you all think about coconut oil & how you’re using it.