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10 Skin mistakes you’re probably making

For the longest time I would get little breakouts along my forehead and cheeks or chin and could never figure out why. I am very strict about my skin care routine, so this was really getting on my nerves, until one day I noticed some patterns in my breakouts and daily life that could be causing my breakouts. Here I list some common skin mistakes you are probably making and how to avoid them.
Common skin mistakes by makeup artist kimberly ortega brooklyn ny
1. Chatting on the cell phone all day.
When you’re glued to your phone, you kind of forget it’s attached to your face. If you aren’t cleaning your phone screen then all that bacteria from your fingers and face are just sitting there spreading themselves all around. Clean your phone screen at least once a day!
2. You wear glasses.
The reason for all those breakouts on my forehead and temples was partly my glasses. Sure, I cleaned my glasses when they got dirty, but I wear makeup almost daily and eventually I found some of it caked under the lens, hiding in the hinges, and under the nose pads. Make sure you are cleaning your glasses daily, or wiping them down with alcohol if you don’t wear makeup to avoid spreading bacteria.
3. You don’t drink water
Whenever someone tells me they don’t drink water, after my initial shock I start looking at their face. People who don’t drink water age faster, your skin needs moisture, from the inside AND the outside. Water also helps keep toxins flushed out of your body. Water IS life, so drink up and watch your skin plump up after your body is properly hydrated. I carry a giant bottle of water around with me all day and drink. I make sure I drink a second one at home. Space out your water consumption for best results and to avoid running to the bathroom every 10 minutes.
4. You eat like crap and never exercise
Sure a healthy weight or weight loss is a nice perk to eating well, but eating healthy foods leads to better skin too. If you can’t or won’t eat healthy fresh foods, then at least invest in quality supplements and get your vitamins that way. Your skin gets vitamins and water LAST as far as your body is concerned your vanity is the least of its worries. To reap the skin benefits of a healthy diet you must change your lifestyle, but I promise the perks extend beyond weight! Exercise increases blood circulation and keeps muscles firm.

5. You LOVE makeup
A common misconception is that makeup causes breakouts, but really, the failure to properly remove makeup causes breakouts.  You are leaving something full of chemicals and heavy ingredients in your skin, and it’s not enough to just wipe it off with some makeup remover and call it a day. You have to get it ALL off. No matter how tired you are, wash your face! I tend to do this when I get home so when I am ready for bed it isn’t such a chore. Keep in mind, some ingredients can be irritating to skin too, so you have to pay attention to what is inside your cosmetics and make sure nothing is bothering your skin. Bismuth and fragrance are usually big culprits for most people, although even something like talc can bother some skin types. Another culprit in this category? Not washing your makeup brushes!!! I am a little appalled by the number of clients and people I meet who say they never wash their makeup brushes. You are applying your makeup with a brush covered in old bacteria, old makeup, and dipping it into your makeup and on your clean face. STOP! It’s as gross as it sounds, and although the risk is slightly less when you only use everything on yourself, there still is a risk for breakouts, skin infections, and skin reactions.

6. You smoke
We all know smoking is bad for you, but it’s really terrible for your skin, you are basically surrounding your face in a cloud of toxins multiple times a day. Quit smoking and enjoy younger looking skin in just a few weeks. Not to mention all the other health benefits of quitting.
7. You love to tan
Growing up in the 90s, no one told us we HAD to wear sunscreen, in fact we mostly avoided it out of laziness or just because sunscreen was so heavy and greasy. These days we know the problems of skin cancer, sun spots, and skin damage caused by the sun. We also have access to tons of sunscreens that aren’t greasy or heavy at all, we have sprays, lotions, and sunscreen built-in to our makeup. There is no excuse to skip the sunscreen, and this is probably right up there with smoking for aging skin at a rapid pace. Slather on at least SPF 30 daily NOW and you will reap the rewards when you’re hitting old age.
8. You don’t sleep on your back
Did you know sleeping on your face causes wrinkles? Especially if you sleep on the same side? You may not realize it, but if you go to your dermatologist I bet they can tell you what side of your face you sleep on with you even saying anything! Sleeping on your back allows your skin to breathe, and it keeps your face off your pillow case. If you must sleep on your side, invest in silk or satin pillowcases and change them often. Changing them often prevents bacteria buildup, and using fabrics like silk or satin allow your face to glide over the fabric and are less likely to cause creasing and wrinkles in the skin from increased pressure.
9. You have a crazy schedule
Lack of sleep causes dark circles, dehydrates skin so wrinkles are more visible, and throws off the way your body functions by causing stress. Remember your beauty is your body’s LAST concern, if you don’t take care of your health it will show there first. Getting plenty of sleep is hard some times but make a schedule and stick to it until it becomes second nature. At least 7 hours is ideal but the more the better! Keep stress levels to a minimum as high levels of stress can affect your sleep schedule also.
10. You hate routine
Ask anyone with great skin their secrets and most will tell you about some awesome product they are using, but the reality is it’s not just the products you use, but how often you use them. If you are not consistent you will never know if a product truly works for you or not, and you won’t see results as intended. Not everyone needs the same skin routine, but you should be following the basics every day to keep your skin healthy and clean. Wash your face, keep it hydrated, don’t sleep in makeup. These little tips add up to healthy skin when done on a daily basis.
Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, I challenge you to keep up your skin care routine for a full 60 days! Let me know if you notice any changes after 60 days, many of you will see results even sooner than that! Remember that flawless makeup starts with a flawless base, so keep on top of your skin care and you won’t even need such heavy makeup anymore.

NYC: Your guide to makeup shopping in New York City

I decided to be nice and make an entire list of places you can shop for makeup in NYC so if you live here or are ever visiting you can plan out your shopping day! I know a lot of tourists often want to know where to shop for makeup in New York City, and since it’s a little running joke among my friends that I know all the makeup spots in town,  I hope this helps someone else. If you can’t make it to NY then I also included the website links so you can shop online instead!


322 West 49th Street (Between 8th and 9th ave)

This tiny gem of a store is my favorite shop to go in! They are located in the heart of the Theater District and I love them, the staff is super friendly and helpful as well as knowledgable in the products they sell – I can be in and out in under 10 minutes if I have a list ready to go! The prices are very fair without any pro discounts and they carry their own brand that is the same professional quality makeup we all know and love, in super cute packaging! Make sure to pick up their makeup remover wipes and do not miss their disposable sponges, they’re like little disposable beauty blenders! This is their main location, but they also have a warehouse in Long Island City that is open to the public during the week.


590 Broadway in SoHo

*This is just my favorite location, they have a ton of stores in the city

Ricky’s reminds me of Alcone’s laid back little sister, they carry a nice mix of products but they specialize in hair more than makeup. They sell hard to find Special Effects hair dye and specialty hair care products. For Halloween they offer a ton of Special F/X makeup such as Mehron, Ben Nye, and Graftobian at pretty great prices and they offer a huge selection of false eye lashes too! This is my go to store when I am looking for products people consider “online only”, they also just started carrying Dose of Colors!

Kenig + Alcone

638 6th Ave

Ricky’s NYC and Alcone had a baby and this store is it! A two story sophisticated gem in the city well stocked with hair care products down stairs, and makeup upstairs. They carry a great variety of hard to find brands and unique hair clips, you can often find Ricky Kenig himself at the register and helping customers along with his daughters in store. You always feel welcome walking in here, and everything is so neat and clean it makes shopping a breeze. They also have a salon inside if you need to get your hair done.


*Union Square is my favorite.

We all know and love Sephora, so no lengthy descriptions here. The Union Square and Time Square staff know how to handle their crowds and still offer friendly service. The selection here is huge and sometimes never ending, but at this location the nail bars and testers are always stocked and readily available. There seems to be a Sephora in every zip code in Manhattan so you’ll be sure to find one easily.

Nordstrom Rack

60 E 14th Street

Located right in the heart of Union Square this little hidden gem of a place keeps loads of NYX products in stock (regular prices), as well as Urban Decay, Lorac, Too Face, OPI, Stila and other brands products all at a discount price! This location is pretty small but well stocked and easy to find the products you want, the selection is always changing so if you live in the city come often for the best deals. I have scored $60 palettes for $15 plenty of times!


505 8th Avenue

(No online shopping)

A little hidden gem right around the corner from Penn Station, this place is well stocked full of wigs, hair products, makeup and much much more. The prices are great and kept fair and some things are downright cheap. This is the place to get Essie and OPI polishes! They not only carry hard to find colors but they offer both brands at $5 and $6 a bottle! They have a huge selection of NYX products and Jordana and have testers for both! The staff knows their store and can help you find anything you need. This place closes pretty early for a NYC store though so make it one of your first stops!

Cosmetic Market

15 E. 37th St

(No website or online shopping)

Another hidden gem but this one is near Grand Central Station, I like to think of this place like a TJMaxx for makeup, you never know what you’re going to get, but it will be cheap. This store is for the bargain shopper and not the place to go if you want top customer service (the staff is very nice but they are not very knowledgeable about cosmetics) Some items have been known to be open or ruined, so shop carefully but you will be happy you did because they offer fantastic prices especially on drug store brands but, you can find high end brands at drug store prices as well!

Makeup Forever (MUFE)

8 E. 12th St.

 Most people know this brand so not much description here, but this store carries almost the entire line of MUFE products, has a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and its easy to apply for a backstage or pro card here. Pros get 40% off!

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC)

174 Ludlow St

Small store, but well stocked, they offer makeup lessons (call ahead) for a fee and then let you trade in the fee for OCC products! One of my favorite makeup lines ever, bring lots of money and definitely stock up on their lip tars and pure pigments.


1592 Broadway

My favorite eye shadows! Inglot offers a setup similar to MAC and they only carry their brand. This store is often out of stock of a few of the more popular colors but the ability to try and see every color at once is not only amazing and can be downright overwhelming if you never been here before. The store is small for being in Times Square but it’s always clean and organized and the staff is great here. The quality of their products is highly comparable to MAC but at a fraction of the price! They carry their stuff in the Macy’s down on 34th street as well and they also have a location in the Chelsea Market building over on 14th and 9th Ave (5th floor) that is better stocked, offers a mixing pigment station, nail bar, and a beautiful view of the city.


413 Bleecker St

Another favorite of mine, I stay away from here because it’s dangerous to my budget! This store is beautiful because it is always neat, clean, and organized. The store is a bit small and I found this store wandering around SoHo one day! The staff here is great not only are they really friendly but they are also very helpful if you don’t know what you really want, I have never been here on a weekend but I hear it can be a zoo!


99 Greene St

Sephora’s European cousin! You can find a lot of hard to find brands and products here and they carry a bigger selection of brands like Laura Mercier and Nars than Sephora does. I mostly come here for Kevyn Aucoin and Oribe products because I don’t really find them anywhere else. Nice little pit stop if you have some free time or need something specific that isn’t carried anywhere else

There are actually way more stores for makeup shopping in NYC including local beauty supply stores and free standing brand stores but these are my top favorites! We also have Benefit, MAC, ELF,  Kett, and don’t forget to visit the Container Store, IKEA, and Muji to score makeup organization to store all your new purchases!