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Advice, Beauty, Natural Beauty Secrets

Tips and Tricks from Top Makeup Artists

Concealing Acne: Tips and Tricks from Top Makeup Artists  

If you’re like many women, you probably thought your skin problems would go away with your subscription to Teen Beat. Unfortunately, as we grow older we realize that issues like pimples, acne and breakouts continue to affect us well into our 20s, 30s, and beyond. You don’t have to settle for zitty skin or rely on antiquated, disappointing “acne cures”. Instead, try these secrets, borrowed from some of the industry’s top makeup artists, for covering and concealing skin blemishes in a pinch.

Flattening the Problem

In an ideal world you’d have time to sit in a dark room waiting for your skin to clear up. But life doesn’t stop just because your skin isn’t cooperating. When a pimple pops up with no time to spare, your first course of action is to reduce the swelling. For an immediate fix, applying ice to your breakout may reduce inflammation, redness and swelling.

If you have a moment for a DIY mask, crush a few non-coated aspirin and mix with a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply this mixture to your face and wait 10-15 minutes to wash off. Aspirin contains salicylic acid. May acne sufferers report that this DIY aspirin mask dramatically reduces acne inflammation and swelling.   

Once you get your hands on these clever Duoderm patches, your nighttime acne routine may change forever. Originally designed as open wound dressings, these patches can also serve as tiny sponges to soak up your pimple overnight. Simply cut a dime size piece of the Douderm patch and apply to your pimple. The patches are most effective on protecting, absorbing and flattening broken skin acne allowing your skin to naturally heal faster. Apply the custom cut patches to your skin at night.

Heal and Conceal

Your next step is to camouflage the blemish. Unfortunately, many products designed to treat pimples and breakouts cause dryness and flaking. Our pick, instead? Organic Infused Aloe Concealer and Organic Infused Total Cover Concealer. Our Aloe Concealer is loaded with skin soothing organic botanicals like certified organic aloe vera, it not only conceals, but also nourishes skin while covering up discolorations, from acne to age spots. Our Vegan Concealer Brush, meanwhile, is perfect for precision blending for a naturally beautiful look with both the gel Organic Infused Aloe Concealer and the loose powder Organic Infused Total Cover Concealer.

When applying concealer to acne spots, start with a clean face and dab the natural concealer of your choice onto the acne spot. Gently blend in the edges of the spot for an even finish.

Focus on the Finish

Lastly, follow up with your favorite loose powder foundation, we recommend our Organic Infused Foundation, to set the concealer while delivering all over even, luminous skin.

Acne may be the country’s most common skin condition,impacting a whopping 40 to 50 million Americans every year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your best face forward. The right technique combined with the right products can not only help you hide blemishes, but also minimize future breakouts. Step away from that tube of toothpaste and start looking forward to a flawless future.

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Don’t let blemishes stop you. Stop them instead with these proven tips and tricks for concealing and healing.  


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Beauty, Natural Beauty Secrets

The 80-20 Rule for Beauty

Beauty and Pareto’s Principle

While the words “economic theory” and “beauty products” aren’t often used in the same sentence, we’re getting academic today here at Afterglow. Read on to learn more about Pareto’s Principle, along with how applying it to your daily beauty routine can transform your skin, body, and entire beauty regimen. Examples of this principle exist everywhere in life. I’m going to fill you in on this magic ratio and then tell you how I apply it to my own highly simplified beauty routine.

The Pareto’s Principle

Also known as the “80-20 Rule,” the Pareto Principle suggests that the majority of things in life are not distributed evenly. Rather, some make a greater contribution than others.

While originally suggested by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto as he observed that 80% of his country’s wealth belonged to a mere 20% of its population, and that 20% of the pea plants in his garden yielded 80% of peas. Pareto’s Principle has since been shown to carry over to countless other areas of life in which the most significant outcomes derive from the minority of proportional efforts. This means that you should observe that 80% of your actual results come from 20% of your efforts… even in the beauty department.

After many years researching and experimenting in the health and beauty industry, I’m convinced that this principle applies to health and beauty as well. It might not be sexy or sell a lot products, but once you observe your beauty routine through this 80-20 lense, you’ll experience more joy, more vitality, more radiance and have more time. How beautiful is that?!

Now it’s time to determine which 20% of your health and beauty routine is important to focus on to yield the greatest (hopefully at least 80%) of your health and beauty results. While the 80-20 breakdown is statistically variable, the takeaways are the same: less truly can mean more.

Beauty and Pareto’s Principle

Now that we’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck is this doing on a beauty blog?” Well, the answer is twofold.

Let’s start with how we choose between the multitude of natural cosmetics and beauty procedures on the market. While many consumers fall into the trap of assuming that the natural cosmetic products with the most organic and natural ingredients must also be the best, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, what really matters is the seeking out products with the most effective natural ingredients and certifications to backup their claims — not to mention prioritizing formulas which promote better health instead of compromising it through the inclusion of unsavory, potentially toxic ingredients.

Then there’s your beauty regimen itself. Rather than loading your skin up with tons of heavy, synthetic chemical-laden cosmetics, a few key products and supplementing with non-invasive, skin rejuvenating techniques can achieve the same or better results while simultaneously helping you avoid the time and money trap of selecting the wrong natural cosmetic or spa service. In other words, it’s not about how many products you use, but instead about making smart natural cosmetic purchasing choices, and incorporating them into your natural beauty routine in the most efficient way.

My Natural Beauty 80-20 Beauty Routine for the Best Results

What I know for sure is that consistency and focus is key to maintain beauty and vitality. I focus on the following three areas to maintain my health and natural beauty.

I Choose Inside Out Beauty First All beauty starts with what’s going on inside. That’s why your first line of defense for maintaining vibrant skin, hair and nails is your diet. Your dry skin or acne is likely not just a topical issue that can be cured with a cream. Everything you see on the outside from wrinkles to acne and eczema is due to a systemic imbalance issue that starts on the inside; often in the gut. The sooner you come to terms with this, the sooner you can start address the root cause and heal. Your most focused effort and long term “bang for your buck” will be had getting your eating habits, food allergies, digestion, water and supplementation nailed down. Then create a systemized and reproducible routine out of your new body awareness.

For me, this means healing with food and focusing on being consistent with a healthy low allergen diet and quality, targeted supplements. To get there, I took a shortcut by going to a functional medical doctor. She ran a hormone test and a few blood panels to give us a baseline. We came up with an easy supplementation strategy and food focus. For my own hormone balancing challenges, I followed the hormone balancing class Cooking for Balance to easily create a low allergen cooking and eating routine.  I loved the Cooking for Balance program so much I became an affiliate. All of this supports long term health and beauty. Am I crazy, stressed out and dogmatic about it? No… not usually. I know that if I do the right thing for my body (almost) all the time I will naturally keep it in a state of healing and move steps closer to sustained ease, joy and beauty.

I Choose Natural Cosmetics  Of course I use all of my Afterglow Cosmetics but I also choose other natural cosmetics including my toothpaste, hair products and deodorant based on the same philosophy I use when creating Afterglow. I read ingredients. Choose products free of as many synthetic chemicals on my Never Ever List as possible and choose the less is more approach.

I Choose Light, Energy and Movement
It might surprise you to hear that I never waste my money on facials. I choose instead to put my money and time towards sessions that promote subcutaneous regeneration and healing through light (laser) and movement (self-massage). I feel I get the most natural lift and best results from Laser Genesis which is a non-ablative laser that promotes elastin and collagen production while reducing redness, acne and overall inflammation.

I also use a tool from Ashley Black called Mini 2 Fascia Blaster to massage my face a few times a week. This tool breaks up fascia on my face and body while promoting blood, oxygen and lymph movement throughout my face and body.

What do you choose?

With so many options available to us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even in the world of natural health and beauty, less is still more. The trick is finding the few products and services that honor your body and beauty at every level. By applying Pareto’s Principle to your overall beauty philosophy, you can embrace your inner economist while putting your best face forward. Have you stopped to reflect which things you spend your time and money on have the biggest impact on your health and beauty? I would love to know, please comment below!

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Advice, Natural Beauty Secrets

5 Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

5 Makeup Tips for Women Over 50

For “women of a certain age,” makeup can be a powerful beauty enhancer or a dead giveaway of age-related skin issues. These five tips can help you maximize your makeup, offering living proof that 50 is indeed the new 30.

  1. Choose the Right Foundation and Concealer

While you might have skipped concealer and foundation in your 20s and into your 30s, it’s a valuable tool as you grow older. Concealer serves as a your most important tool to even out skin tone, brighten up your under eye area and camouflage general discoloration and sun spots. Go for a shade that’s closest to your natural skintone shade. We recommend our Organic Infused Perfecting Under Eye Concealer to brighten up under eye areas. This amazingly emollient concealer can also double as a spot concealer when applied with our Professional Vegan Concealer Brush.

Using the right foundation for your skin tone is the ideal next step after spot applying concealer. The right foundation can further brighten and even out your skin tone without looking cakey or heavy., Unfortunately, not all foundation is created equally. Heavy, synthetic chemical-laden foundation can weigh down skin and actually put on years as opposed to taking them away. For the most natural results, choose a product that blends well, along with the right tools for a flawless application. Our Organic Infused Mineral Foundation was specifically formulated to offer buildable coverage. It’s infused with certified organic botanicals which offer all day moisture to hydrate dry skin.

  1. Stick with SPF

Today’s beauty products are marvelously multitasking. One essential component for women looking to safeguard their skin from future damage? Sun protection. We recommend our own Organic Infused Foundation, which offers everything you need in a foundation, including chemical-free SPF 20.

  1. Open Up Your Eyes

While eyeliner is one of the most effective ways to brighten up your face, you’re not realizing its full benefits if you’re only lining the bottom of your eyes. Makeup artists swear by lining both top and bottom for an automatic, non-surgical “eyelift.” Apply as close to your lash line as possible, beginning at the outer corner and working inward. For an elegant look we recommend the eyeliner technique called ‘tightlining’ which simply entails applying a deeper eyeshadow shade to the lash line with a brush. Simply dip our Professional Vegan Angled Liner Brush in a deep eye shadow shade such as our Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow in the graphite grey shade ‘Etch’.  

  1. Get a Blush Boost

While potential beauty blunders abound when it comes to blush, its beautifying benefits far outweigh the negatives. Select the right shade by matching the color to your natural blush. (Our trick? Pinch your cheeks for an automatic flush.) And while many women mistakenly apply blush below the cheekbones in an attempt to contour, a higher placement — beginning at the top of the “apple,” of your cheek and blending upward and back — delivers an age-defying “lift.”

  1. Brow Power

Whether your eyebrows have naturally thinned with age or just succumbed to years of plucking, sparse brows can wash out your features. For full brows, choose a matte brow powder in the same shade as your hair, then gently fill in, following the natural line of your brow with an Angled Liner Brush. In fact, you might already have a product in your cosmetic bag that could easily double as a brow filler. Our two matte Organic Infused Eco Eye Shadow shades in Horizon and Still Life also double as a great natural brow filler.

And remember: plenty of cosmetics companies make claims about their products, but don’t stand behind them. Afterglow’s certified organic, natural anti-aging products are backed by our commitment to helping women of all ages look and feel their youthful best.

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Advice, Beauty, Daily Tips, Natural Beauty Secrets

4 Ways to Shrink Pores Naturally

Shrink Pores Naturally

Our skin is constantly working to protect our bodies from the environment. One common result? Large, clogged pores, and a corresponding multitude of dermatological issues ranging from dull skin to breakouts. You don’t have to settle for these skincare woes. While pore size is genetically determined, minimizing the appearance of your pores is well within reach. Try these four techniques to shrink pores naturally and you’ll be well on your way to more beautiful skin.

  1. Clean, Clean, Clean

Did I happen to mention “clean”? Oil, sweat, and dirt are major pore offenders. The key to making pores appear smaller? Keep them clean. Remember, keeping your skin clean doesn’t mean scrubbing it raw, washing every few hours or using harsh cleansers. However, your skin accumulates dirt, environmental toxins and other unwanted nasties throughout the day. They mingle with your natural oils and can exacerbate pore size, not to mention create other skin issues such as acne.  

Please don’t believe the hype! There is no makeup “so natural that you can sleep in it”. You need to remove your makeup and cleanse your face at night, every night. Choosing the right natural cleanser and being consistent with your cleansing and skin care routine — particularly before bed — can flush out pores and whisk away skin clogging elements helping you to shrink pores naturally.

Skip subjecting your skin to synthetic chemicals and instead look for gentle, natural, organic skin care formulas. I suggest you wash your face twice a day with a gentle natural facial cleanser like our sister company, Exuberance Beauty’s, Green Tea Fragrance-Free Facial Cleanser. Up your daily cleansing game and wash using a microfiber facial cloth for a deep, gentle clean.

Targeted natural clay facial masks offer pore purifying benefits you do not want to miss. I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mixed with Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar once a week to remove additional impurities, increase circulation, and tighten my pores. 

  1. Exfoliate

Cleaning skin alone isn’t enough when you’re dealing with the buildup of dead skin cells. Slough them away to reveal brighter, more youthful skin below. Sonic cleaning brushes combined with gentle exfoliation yields powerful, pore-reducing results. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, plan to exfoliate once or twice a week. I exfoliate once a week using my Clarisonic Facial Cleansing Brush  with the brush heads specifically made for delicate skin. For a non-mechanical alternative, try cleansing your face using this non-sensitizing, non-irritating Viabuff Mini Buff Exfoliator two times a week.

Remember, exfoliation makes your skin more vulnerable to UV light damage and subsequent skin discoloration. Be sure to use a natural, mineral based SPF sunscreen every day to safeguard your skin  from damaging sun exposure.

  1. Moisturize

Skin hydration plays an essential role in protecting pores from environmental assaults. Steer clear of known facial pore-blocking ingredients like Mineral Oil, PEG, Propylene Glycol, Shea Butter, Isopropyl Myristate and Lanolin in your facial skin care products.  Instead seek out balancing or clarifying formulas. I use and recommend our sister company, Exuberance Beauty’s two amazing facial lotions: Indian Rose Calming Facial Lotion and the richer Wild Blueberry Intensive Day & Night Cream.  Apply your lotion or cream after you cleanse and apply toner but before your sunscreen.

  1. Laser Love

Skip the chemicals, ditch those irritating, harsh, synthetic Retinol products and look into pore-shrinking laser treatments instead. The Lasers offer a gentle yet dramatic way to shrink the appearance of pores. They are literally the chemical-free “big guns” of skin care rejuvenation on many levels.

Laser Genesis is hands-down my favorite laser treatment. All of my Laser Genesis sessions have felt warm and wonderful. I’m in and out in 30-45 minutes and there’s no recovery time. In fact, my skin has a fresh faced, rosy glow after a session. A Laser Genesis session will not only reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, it will also increase collagen, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, facial redness and light scarring. While you will see some immediate shifts in your skin after your first treatment, it generally takes at least six treatments every two-four weeks to see results. While laser treatments may cost more than topical remedies, I believe that this one is worth it.

If large, clogged pores are the bane of your skin existence, you’re hardly alone. Luckily, these four simple tips can help you banish pore problems, shrink pores naturally and leave skin looking its clear, radiant, and supple best.

Please click here for our medical disclaimer & FTC disclosure statement.

Kristin Adams - Natural Beauty Expert
Kristin Adams is a Natural Beauty Expert as well as the Founder & CEO of Afterglow Cosmetics. Kristin is dedicated to bringing you products and information to encourage safer, more natural lifestyle choices that support your health and beauty at its highest and best.  Click here to read more about Kristin.

Beauty, Health & Vitality, Mindfulness, Natural Beauty Secrets

8 Great Vitamins for Glowing Skin

8 Great Vitamins for Glowing Skin
One of my favorite creative parts of my life is uncovering hidden natural ingredient and supplement gems that take my health and beauty to the next level. I put the same amount of obsessiveness, research and experimentation into my own internal beauty routine as I do my cosmetic creations for
Afterglow Cosmetics and Exuberance Beauty. These are my top 8 favorite vitamins for glowing skin.

  1. Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil was a favorite of Native Americans for wound care and other natural wellness therapies. Derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant (Oenothera biennis), evening primrose oil is loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Evening primrose oil may contribute to your glowing skin goals from the inside by positively impacting your natural hormone balance.  This means softer, firmer, more supple skin and less acne. In fact, a study in The International Journal of Cosmetic Sciences found that supplementing with 3 x 500 mg per day of soft gel evening primrose oil capsules for 12 weeks significantly improved participants’ skin moisture, transepidermal water loss, elasticity, firmness, fatigue resistance and roughness compared to a placebo. Solgar makes my favorite brand of cold-pressed, gluten-free evening primrose oil supplements. Buy Solgar’s evening primrose oil here on or from your local natural food store.

  1. Zinc

Found in every cell of the human body, zinc is essential for our bodies to function. But did you know that this trace mineral also has powerful properties when it comes to skin care? While not technically an antioxidant, zinc does its part to promote healthy skin from the inside out by fighting free radicals and safeguarding the production of collagen, which is a vital part of skin elasticity, firmness and suppleness. Due to its impact on immune function, zinc may also help prevent acne breakouts. Zinc at its best works synergistically with other trace minerals like copper. Try a trace mineral blend that includes zinc like Life Extension’s Only Trace Minerals supplement  here on or at your local natural food store.

  1. Horsetail

Also known as Equisetum, this vascular plant has a multitude of medicinal properties, including antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits. In addition to purifying skin and preventing acne, horsetail is also thought to be an effective defense against wrinkles and other effects of aging due to its role in maintaining healthy connective tissues. Many supplementing with horsetail report much stronger, longer and healthier nails and hair growth as well. Flora makes my favorite horsetail supplement called Vegetal Silica. Buy Flora’s Vegetal Silica here  from

  1. Biotin

This water-soluble B vitamin supports a number of biological functions, including everything from metabolic functions to the digestive system. Sufficient biotin is a key part of the skin’s role as a protective barrier. Biotin deficiency, meanwhile, has been connected with dull, dry skin. Just how important is biotin? It’s earned the moniker of “vitamin H” for its impact on both hair growth and skin health. I love this Biotin – Hair, Skin & Nails supplement made with coconut oil found here on

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Primarily found in fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acids keep the aging process at bay by blocking the release of enzymes which break down the skin’s collagen. The result? Firmer, more hydrated, taut skin with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

Do you think you’ve got it covered with your healthy diet? Apparently, even most healthy Western diets that include fish are still not getting the crucial quantity of Omega-3s necessary to maintain glowing skin and vibrant health. Even more critical and unaddressed by the Western diet is the poor balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3s you need to ingest via food or supplementation to really see glowing skin and overall health benefits. Personally, my body loves this Omega-3 supplement from Nordic Naturals which you can find here on or at your local natural foods store. A great vegan alternative is Udo’s Oil – 3*6*9 Blend by Flora which you can find here on or at your local natural food store.

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C has long been known to boost immune function, protect against heart disease and even safeguarding eye health. Here’s one more reason to add Vitamin C to your list of near-magical must-haves: brighter skin. In fact, one study showed that, in combination with Vitamin E, people who took a Vitamin C supplement had more vibrant skin after just four months. The Synergy Company makes my favorite brand of Vitamin C, Pure Synergy – Pure Radiance C 100% Natural Wholefood Vitamin C, which you can find here on

  1. Astaxanthin

Ultra rich in antioxidants, this “super nutrient” is particularly celebrated for quickly manifesting glowing skin from within. Astaxanthin is a dark red carotenoid found in a specific microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis.

Fun fact, flamingos are actually born grey and white. They don’t turn pink until they consume this amazing nutrient. You won’t turn shades of pink, but you might just be amazed at how quickly you see glowing skin. A 2002 Japanese study of women around 40 years old taking 2mg of astaxanthin a day demonstrated visible signs of improved skin tone, texture, fewer fine lines and less under-eye puffiness within 2 weeks of daily supplementation.

In fact, natural astaxanthin’s unique molecular structure makes makes it a far more powerful antioxidant than Vitamin C or Vitamin E.  Studies show natural astaxanthin antioxidant power is 1000 times more effective than Vitamin C and up to up to 500 times more effective than Vitamin E.   

Personally, my skin was noticeably softer, brighter and smoother within three weeks of supplementing 1 x 12mg per day with this brand of Astaxanthin which you can purchase here on or from your local health food store.

  1. Probiotics

All additional supplementation is useless if your digestive system doesn’t have the ability to absorb nutrients. Unfortunately, gut and absorption issues have reached chronic levels. There is mounting evidence that a healthy gut means better beauty.  By now we’re all aware of the incredible health boosting potential of probiotics, AKA “good” bacteria, when it comes to promoting digestive regularity. However, you may not be aware of their potential for skin beautification. As part of a clean diet, probiotics have been linked with reduced inflammation, less acne, rosacea, skin rashes and even hair loss, prompting the Dermatology Times to declare them to be an important part of achieving the “glow of health.”

Fermented foods and beverages such as fermented sauerkraut and kimchi or kombucha are great natural probiotic sources and sold at many grocery stores.  I personally have a brewing batch of kombucha in my kitchen as I type this. Another wonderful probiotic supplement is Garden of Life’s Primal Defense ULTRA which you can find here on or in your local health food store.

Supplement your beauty routine from within with these 8 vitamins for glowing skin! Have these supplements worked for you? What success have you had using supplements to support your health and beauty? I’d love to hear about your success in the comments below!

Please click here for our medical disclaimer & FTC disclosure statement.

Kristin Adams - Natural Beauty Expert
Kristin Adams is a Natural Beauty Expert as well as the Founder & CEO of Afterglow Cosmetics. Kristin is dedicated to bringing you products and information to encourage safer, more natural lifestyle choices that support your health and beauty at its highest and best.  Click here to read more about Kristin.

Advice, Beauty, Daily Tips, Natural Beauty Secrets

How to Choose the Right Foundation Shade

How to Choose the Right Foundation Shade

Do you have foundation shade paralysis? You’re not alone! Nailing the perfect foundation shade can be tricky, but it all comes down to determining your undertone. The goal of a foundation is to match your natural skin tone and even out the overall appearance of your skin. Using the correct foundation shade will allow your natural skin tone to shine through. Use these quick tips to determine your perfect foundation shade by first understanding your beautiful skin’s natural undertone.

What is an ‘undertone’?

Your undertone is the underlying shade of your skin.  Undertones generally fall into four groups; Warm (yellow or golden light and medium skin tones), Cool (pink or red light and medium skin tones), Olive (medium and medium deep skin tones), and Neutral (balanced light and medium skin tones).  In fact, your undertone has nothing to do with how light or dark your skin appears. It also has nothing to do with the amount of pink or redness you see on your skin due to irritation, rosacea, eczema or acne.  Focus on your undertone first, rather than matching your foundation to your skin color in the moment.

Look at your face, neck and chest in daylight. Then, read the following descriptions and select the one that most resonates with you.


Cool undertones in skin has a beautiful pink, red and may even have subtle hints of blue. Does this sound like you?

Your skin shade is:  very light with hues of pink to medium tan if you are on the lighter end of the spectrum.  If your skin tone falls towards the deeper end of the spectrum, you could characterize your coloring as coffee or chocolate with varying degrees of cream. No one would ever say that your skin has a “golden” or “honey” glow to it.

You look amazing wearing:  jewel toned clothing (fuchsia, rosy pink, violet, emerald green, sapphire blue, aqua), grey and black clothing

You don’t look so hot wearing:  mustard yellows, burnt sienna, ochre, tomato red, orange, brown, hunter green, spring green, olive green, orangey red, burnt orange, coral and peach clothing

You look best in:  silver jewelry

Check the underside of your wrists:  your skin has red or pink hues and the veins on your wrists are mostly blue and purple

The wrong foundation will look:  too orange

You have:  blue, green, grey or brown eyes

You have:  light to medium ash blonde or light to medium ash brown hair, neutral brown or black hair

When you get in the sun: If you are at the lighter end of the spectrum, you burn first and then tan (maybe).

Celebrities with cool undertones:  Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, January Jones, Christina Aguilera, Amy Poehler, Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Emily Blunt, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kate Middleton, Olivia Wilde, Oprah Winfrey and Alek Wek

Choose foundations with:  cool undertones and stay away from anything that looks golden

Try our cool Organic Mineral Infused Foundation in:  Cameo, Bisque, Shell, Camel, Sunset, or Clay 

Try our cool Organic Infused Blush in:  Cozy, First Blush, Majestic and Dusty Rose

Try our cool Organic Infused Lip Love Lipstick in:  Adore, Lovely, Enchant, Wink, and Kiss 

Try our cool Organic Infused Lip Gloss in:  Cirque, Swing and Fortune


Warm undertones in skin has a beautiful golden, peachy or honey glow. Does this sound like you?

Your skin shade is:  very light with hues of peach to golden beige if you are on the lighter end of the spectrum.  If your skin tone falls towards the deeper end of the spectrum, you could characterize your coloring as honey or golden. No one would ever say that your skin has a “pink” or “red” hue.

You look amazing wearing:  earthy brown, olive green, orangey red, burnt orange, mustard yellow, brown, coral, cream, ivory and peach clothing

You don’t look so hot wearing:  jewel toned clothing (fuchsia, rosy pink, violet, emerald green, sapphire blue, aqua), grey and black clothing

You look best in:  gold jewelry

Check the underside of your wrists:  your skin has peachy, yellow or golden hues and the veins on your wrists are more green

The wrong foundation will look: too pink, red or ruddy

You have:  blue, brown, hazel or olive green eyes

You have:  golden blonde, brown or black hair

When you get in the sun:  you tan easily and don’t burn very often

Celebrities with warm undertones:  Jessica Biel, Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Taylor Swift, Kate Hudson, Gisele Bündchen, Amanda Seyfried, Cameron Diaz, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Beckinsale, Beyonce and Mary J. Blige

Choose foundations with:  yellow or golden undertones

Try our warm Organic Mineral Infused Foundation in:  Pearl, Ivory, Porcelain, Tan, Sand, Beige, Caramel, Honey, Amber, Fawn, Sepia or Sable

Try our warm Organic Infused Blush in:  Tickle and Smitten

Try our warm Organic Infused Lip Love Lipstick in:  Muse, Afterglow, Innocent, Divine, Haiku, Courage, Tango, Secret, Moxie and Autumn

Try our warm Organic Infused Lip Gloss in:  Aerial, Levitate, Illusion, Carousel and Hypnotist


Olive skin tones are comprised of a variation of two undertones, yellow undertones or green undertones. This beautiful combo generally comes off as a muted bronze with subtle hints of green coolness. Does this sound like you?

Your skin shade is:  very light to medium tan bronze that could be mistaken for a classic “cool”. However, the “olive” skin tone is a slight deviation from the classic “cool” due to the subtle green hue that gives you that gorgeous cool bronze tone.  

You look amazing wearing:  almost anything! light pink, light apricot, plum, emerald green, olive green, turquoise, faded blue, denim blue, marine blue and golden yellow

You don’t look so hot wearing:  neon colors, brown, mauve and beige

You look best in:  both gold and silver jewelry

Check the underside of your wrists:  your skin has a muted golden hue and the veins on your wrists are more green than blue

The wrong foundation will look:  too white, ashy or pink

You have:  green, hazel, amber or brown eyes

You have:  blonde, red, brown, dark brown or black hair

When you get in the sun:  you tan very easily

Celebrities with olive undertones:  Eva Longoria, J-Lo, Jessica Alba, Selma Hayek, Lucy Liu, Kim Kardashian and Demi Moore  

Choose foundations that:   look balanced or are very subtly leaning towards golden.  Stay away from any bright yellow/golden foundations, cool pinks and reds.

Try our Organic Mineral Infused Foundation in:  Bisque, Camel, Sunset or Sable

Try our Organic Infused Blush in:  First Blush, Tickle, Smitten and Dusty Rose

Try our Organic Infused Lip Love Lipstick in:  Afterglow, Muse, Moxie, Innocent, Divine, Haiku, Tango, Lovely, Secret, and Wink

Try our Organic Infused Lip Gloss in:  Aerial, Cirque, Levitate, Illusion, Carousel, and Hypnotist


Neutral skin tones are comprised of a beautiful balance of cool and warm with no obvious undertones of pink, olive or yellow. If you have this skin tone you may have noticed that you are able to wear many foundation shades in a specific shade range. Does this sound like you?

Your skin shade is:  very light to a deep coffee or chocolate with no specifically distinguishing pink, red, golden, or honey hues to your skin. It’s exactly how it sounds, perfectly neutral.

You look amazing wearing: muted shades of baby pink, rose, ruby, jade, mint, grey, taupe, pink, beige and lavender

You don’t look so hot wearing:  electric colors, bright yellow, hunter green, bright pink, bright purple, red and black

You look best in:  gold and silver jewelry

Check the underside of your wrists:  your skin has a balance of golden and pink with no obvious undertones and your veins appear both blue and green

The wrong foundation will look:  too white, ashy or pink

You have: grey, blue, hazel or brown eyes

You have: light to medium ash blonde or brown hair

When you get in the sun:  you may or may not burn first and then tan

Celebrities with neutral undertones:  Sarah Jessica Parker, Adele, Miley Cyrus, Natalie Portman, Kelly Clarkson and Victoria Beckham

Choose foundations that: Look balanced or are very subtly leaning towards golden tones. Stay away from any bright yellow/golden foundations, cool pinks and reds.

Try our Organic Mineral Infused Foundation in:  Pearl, Porcelain, Bisque, Camel, Sunset, Sepia or Sable

Try our Organic Infused Blush in:  First Blush, Cozy, Smitten, Tickle and Dusty Rose

Try our warm Organic Infused Lip Love Lipstick in:  Muse, Afterglow, Innocent, Divine, Haiku, Courage, Tango and Secret

Try our Organic Infused Lip Gloss in: Aerial, Cirque, Levitate, Illusion, Carousel and Hypnotist

Test the Color Properly

Once you’ve chosen a foundation to test, use a Q-tip to swipe a small dab of foundation on your cheekbone, around your nose and at your jawline on one side of your face. Then, stand near a window or outdoors where you can utilize natural light for a true reading. You’ve picked the right color if your foundation disappears.

Don’t “correct” your skin tone. Your skin tone is perfect the way it is! If you have blemishes or redness, address the color inconsistencies first with a concealer. Then use the foundation that most accurately represents the beautiful skin tone you were born with.

Don’t try to change your skin tone. You will be much more radiant using the foundation shade that most closely matches the beautiful skin you were born with. And remember, depending on your skin, you might need different foundations for different seasons. Evaluate your foundation in the winter and again after sun exposure to make sure you still have a good match.

Still unsure where to start? Check out our Skin Tone Color Matcher here to identify your perfect products and shades visually. We also offer a free color consultation with one of our Beauty Advisors for a personalized color analysis and product suggestions!

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Natural Beauty Secrets

Redefining Standards of Beauty

Image Source: everMaya / Graham Cowan

What makes a woman beautiful? Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old aspiring model from Brisbane, Australia, thinks beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and she’s aspiring to redefine the world’s beauty standards.

Maddy has Down syndrome, and she’s struggled with her weight for years. She has been getting healthy and dreamt of becoming a model, giving her the platform to challenge and change the way the world defines beauty. She’s been swimming, dancing and cheerleading to lose 40 pounds, gain energy and build her confidence. Despite doctors telling her mom that she would never achieve anything, Maddy is showing the world that a person with Down syndrome can be sexy, beautiful and celebrated as she redefines the beauty standard. Fitness wear brands Manifesta and everMaya agree and just signed Madeline to modeling contracts.

Maddy wrote on her Facebook wall, “I hope that I can … change the world’s views on beauty and help everyone to feel beautiful in themselves and [to feel] included.”

At Afterglow Cosmetics, we agree with Maddy. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and appearances, and it ultimately shines from the inside out.  While Maddy has worked on her health and changed her hair and makeup, her confidence and inclusive intention around her modeling ambitions send a message to the world.

Sure, makeup can enhance a woman’s beauty. While most women look beautiful without makeup, the right color and makeup application enhances a woman’s facial features and accentuates cheekbones, brightens eyes and evens out skin tone. Like the right cut of cloth on your favorite dress, makeup serves as a tool to accentuate your most beautiful features while minimizing the appearance of blemishes, fine lines and uneven skin. Makeup is fun, too, with the ability to transform your look or mood with the sweep of a brush or swipe of lipstick.

Interestingly, makeup has the ability to bring out a woman’s inner beauty. By accentuating the most beautiful and positive features on your face, while minimizing areas of concern, makeup opens the space within us to step out with our most confident self. When we are confident, head-up and eyes shining, we are often more comfortable allowing our inner beauty to shine through.

Wearing makeup doesn’t make you a better woman, but it can shift your mood, improve your confidence and contribute an aspect of fun and creativity to your daily routine. Like Madeline Stuart, you can choose to accept a new standard of beauty, that you create for yourself. Start like Madeline did by getting healthy, setting exciting positive goals for yourself that give you joy to pursue and accentuate the positive at every level.

What’s YOUR new standard of beauty? Tell us below!


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Natural Beauty Secrets

The ‘Naked’ Truth about Organic Makeup

The word “organic” is simultaneously the most buzzy and confusing cosmetic label of the last ten years for women. In the United States, as it relates to cosmetics, the word “organic” is defined in a few ways, taken advantage of by many and regulated by none. At its most high-level definition, Merriam-Webster defines the word “organic” as “related to, or obtained from living things” and “…containing carbon compounds”.

Technically, we can all call ourselves “organic” because, by this definition, we are all living and carbon-based, as is every cosmetic sold. Does that mean that all cosmetics are organic in the sense of using a certain quantity of certified organic ingredients and sustainable practices? No. However, many cosmetic companies jumping on the “organic” and “natural” bandwagon make natural, and even organic claims, with no basis in a certification standard.

Who regulates organic cosmetic claims? When most people look for organic ingredients and products, they are looking for a third-party certification such as the “USDA Organic” seal.  However, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s own website, they only regulate the term “organic” as it applies to agricultural products through its National Organic Program (NOP) regulation. This means that the USDA doesn’t have a separate standard for cosmetics.

Since the USDA restricts its certifications to a food-grade standard, the product sold with the claim and USDA seal must be comprised of 95-100% regulated, third-party certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water). The other 5% may be comprised of a very short list of approved non-certified organic, natural ingredients.

What about the FDA? Do they hold and regulate organic cosmetic claims?  The USDA confirms on its website that this issue can’t be bounced over the to FDA either, stating that the “FDA does not define or regulate the term “organic,” as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products.”

What does this mean for cosmetics? The short answer is that, unless your cosmetic is essentially food, as in a blend of oils and butters, it’s unlikely to qualify under the USDA food-grade standards to be considered “organic” and carry the “USDA Organic” seal.

Conscientious cosmetic companies formulate many skin care products to meet the USDA’s strict food-grade USDA Certified organic standards. However, with the USDA Organic standards as they currently are, it’s impossible to formulate an effective color cosmetic like lipstick, mascara or blush that meets the 95%+ certified organic ingredient standard.

As the founder of a makeup company, I know what goes into making an effective natural makeup. I can see false “organic” and “natural” claims a mile away. I also know when a certification is counter productive to the function of a product. Striving to meet a 95%+ food grade standard simply doesn’t make sense for the natural makeup industry.

Why is it so difficult to formulate a “USDA Organic” makeup carrying the seal? Makeup is all about color; rich, nuanced, deeply pigmented color. All of that color and pigment, even when naturally sourced ingredients (i.e. mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, zinc, ultramarine), takes up a very large piece of the pie. Generally, an effective color cosmetic product with a great application and pigment pay-off will show up in well over 20% of the formula. Thus, excluding it from qualifying for the coveted “USDA Organic” seal.

Makeup is effective only when it contains enough pigment to give you a great lip color, to cover those blemishes and dark under-eye circles and to give you that beautiful flush on your cheeks. It’s our priority to create products that hit the sweet spot of safe and effective. We use as many USDA Certified Organic ingredients as possible in our formulas along with the safest, most refined natural pigments we can get our hands on.

We are in the color business! For now, that means that we will be creating makeup with as much pigment as possible to give you the color, coverage and consistency you desire. If the day comes when the FDA or USDA offers an “organic cosmetic” certification, we will be the first in line.

Check out our full line of super natural makeup packed with certified organic ingredients here. Also, don’t forget to visit our blog regularly as we continue to share organic beauty insider secrets and the latest updates about the organic industry.

Natural Beauty Secrets

Makeup Guilt

Written by: Kristin Adams, Founder & CEO

You know that moment when you open the refrigerator, reach for the milk and wonder how old it actually is? I’ll admit it, I usually have a flash of internal debate if I should even try the food in question to see if it “tastes bad” before acknowledging that there is no good that can come from me ingesting something past its prime and conceding to throw it away. I suppose it’s my own guilt for being wasteful that bubbles to the surface at times like those and competes with my own need to protect my health.

Most consumer products “go bad” eventually. It’s not just your food you need to look out for. Your cosmetics will also expire. You should throw away your cosmetics once they pass their expiration date, regardless of how much you spent on them. Your health is worth more than hanging onto a product that could actually do more harm to your skin and eyes than anything it was ever intended to do.

There are three main reasons for making sure your products are fresh, usable, and out of your drawer after the expiry date.

1. Product contamination: A number of mineral cosmetic companies circulate the myth that mineral makeup “doesn’t expire” because it only contains inert minerals. This is only half of the story. It’s true that mineral makeup with no other botanical ingredients is simply an inert mixture of ingredients.  Therefore, in a sealed, airtight container there is very little chance of contamination. However, once opened and in use, contaminated objects such as your cosmetic brush, dirty fingers, and air particles could eventually contaminate your inert mineral makeup.

Any cosmetic will degrade, become contaminated, and expire eventually regardless of how intensely it is preserved. You often won’t be able to see if your cosmetic has been contaminated. Therefore, it’s best to stick to the company’s suggested expiration or ‘use by’ date.

Applying a product to your face that has expired may be stressful for your skin causing rashes, infections, irritation, or breakouts.

2. Key ingredient efficacy: Many key ingredients are most potent when you first open the cosmetic. The most expensive part of your anti-aging makeup or skin care is generally found in the key ingredients. Once a cosmetic is opened and exposed to air and the elements, those key ingredients will begin to oxidize, degrade faster, and become less effective. If you use this product after its expiry date, you should expect that those key ingredients claiming to do all sorts of goodness to your skin will probably not be delivering the results you want.

3. Product application: Formulating a great cosmetic is a balance of delivering effective results and a consistent user experience. When you throw color into the mix, the formula must also include ingredients that suspend and deliver the pigment in a way that is consistent, smooth, and even.  The older your cosmetic is, the more the ingredients will have settled, separated, and simply changed. The product won’t look or work as well on your face as it would have if it were newer. It may also not last as long and the color won’t be as consistent.

Next time you open a new cosmetic, mark the date with a pen on the label so you know when you opened it. Then, follow the guidelines below:

Mascara: discard 3 months after opening
Liquid and gel cosmetics
: discard 6-8 months after opening
Creamy cosmetics: discard 1 year after opening
Powders: discard 1 year after opening

If a cosmetic company is claiming you can use their product for 24-36 months after opening, the products are generally intensely preserved with a synthetic preservative like Parabens. There is simply no other way to sustain the stability of an open cosmetic for that long without the assistance of highly toxic cosmetic preservatives commonly used by certain cosmetic companies. Alternatively, the long shelf-life claim may be from a manufacturer that simply doesn’t perform laboratory stability tests to confirm the actual shelf-life of their products. This generally occurs with brands and manufacturers that are very small and simply can’t afford the tests.

The FDA doesn’t require that cosmetic companies disclose all ingredients on the label. However, you can understand what undisclosed preservative system they are using by simply looking at their stability and expiry claims.

Right now, you are probably mentally digging through your cosmetic bag and remembering that you have a dark red lipstick in there from the early 90′s and some insane blue eye shadow from that theme party ten years ago. A wave of makeup guilt may wash over you. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for that purchase. Now show that expired product the trash!

Natural Beauty Secrets


By Afterglow Founder Kristin Adams

Bamboo cosmetic containers have become really popular lately.  The suggestion often comes up that I should consider using bamboo cosmetic containers instead of the recyclable plastics we currently use. While I really do appreciate the sentiment, and the intent behind the request, it simultaneously makes me cringe.

When I look at bamboo packaged cosmetics, I often see a big fat lie and a consumer public that still doesn’t see the green washing marketing tactics of cosmetic companies jumping on a green bandwagon their actual product formulas could never stand up to.

The two most ironic parts about bamboo packaged cosmetics are:

1. Bamboo packaged cosmetics are often much less easily recycled due to the glue that holds the bamboo onto the actual plastic container as shown below and makes recycling virtually impossible.

2. The actual cosmetic product inside bamboo packaged cosmetics is no indicator of how ‘natural’ the product is.

Yes. You heard it. Bamboo cosmetic containers are actually plastic containers covered in an additional layer of bamboo to give you a “green” appearance. Furthermore, the bamboo packaging may also be a marketer’s way of overcompensating for a less-than-natural formula.

With few exceptions, all cosmetics need to be filled into containers that are airtight and will not be porous enough to leach or introduce bacteria into the product. This makes glass, plastic, and metal ideal containers for cosmetics. You cannot safely hollow out and pour mascara, lotion, or any other creamy or liquid cosmetic into a bamboo container.

Can bamboo be used to simply decorate a consumer product? Yes. Using bamboo can be beautiful. In my observation, the use of bamboo on cosmetic containers is no indication that the product inside is in any way natural.

Always read the ingredients, regardless of the woodsy packaging. Even if you aren’t a chemist, look for the following ingredients as dead giveaways that the bamboo lined product you love isn’t as natural as you think it is.

  • Butylene Glycol
  • D&C dyes
  • FD&C dyes
  • Lake dyes
  • Nylon
  • Paraben
  • PEG/ PPG
  • Polybutene
  • Propylene Glycol