Type below and hit enter...

HAPPY 2016 EVERYONE! New year, new segment… Let me explain. To this day, I respond to every comment on the Sham Frip because I love you AND you ask fabulous, insightful questions. A little heat map analysis tells me that very few people read the comments, which is a pity because a lot of cool discussion is going on down there.

Enter Ask Karima, a segment where you ask and I answer and we turn it into a blog post! Revolutionary. If you have a question that you’d like answered in the next Ask Karima post, leave it in the comment section. Any topic goes here: personal, makeup, youtube related, blog related… relationship advice? YOUGETIT.

…and if the segment is a flop, let’s all pretend it never happened okidoki 🙂

What’s your top skincare splurge item? What skincare item do you recommend most often? 

– Katie

Love skincare questions! A lot of my skincare routine can be purchased at the chemist/drugstore (watch my updated skincare routine here) and I don’t think skincare splurging is a MUST. That being said, I do love a bit of Sunday Riley Good Genes – essentially a lactic acid exfoliating gel that I leave on overnight. I prefer it to say… the more affordable Makeup Artist’s Choice Lactic Peels because it doesn’t leave me with any awkward downtime/redness/peeling.

There isn’t a single skincare product that I would recommend to everyone and anyone (skincare is too personal, methinks) but my standard skincare advice is: remove your makeup very thoroughly. So many products to choose from here (micellar water, cleansing oil, coconut oil, whatever you want to use) and all work well, just remove makeup properly *twitches*

What helps you keep your makeup look fresh, more specifically, what do you do to get yourself out of a makeup rut? Such as always wearing a red lip, or always wearing the same shade of blush?

– A different Katie!

I’m probably not the best person to ask because I spend hours a week conjuring fresh looks because makeup is my life LOL. I do have a ‘daily’ stash of makeup that I quickly whack on my face for instances where I just need to get out the door; I make sure to rotate that stash a bit so I don’t wear the same lip colour for a month, simply out of habit.

So my advice would be: rotate your stash. Take a moment in the evening to coordinate a different lip, blush and eyeshadow palette combo and aim to give it some love this week. The coordination step is important, most of us are rushing and therefore gravitate to the same old products that ‘work’.

Your top 3 favourite pieces of makeup of the moment please?

– Jade

This is like asking about my favourite child D: D: D: By the way, my mother asked about that emoji and I realised it’s not exactly obvious, tilt your head to the right, do you see a horrified face? Yeah? Okay, carrying on.

I guess I’m inclined to list my new and shiny stuff 😀 I just purchased that damn Tom Ford Face Highlight Duo and it’s SAH pretty.

Ask Karima #1: Powder For Special Occasions & Makeup Ruts

My good friend Sharon Farrell (check out her channel here) gave me one of her favourite products, Gorgeous Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Qiana, it’s very nude on my skintone but gorgeous topped with a pink gloss. Um Um Um… It Cosmetics Brow Power in Grey! Still not as grey as I would like but about as ashy as western brow pencils go.

Which is your favourite powder: Rouge Bunny Rouge or It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed? What’s the difference? Are either good for flash photography?

– Paraphrased from dozens of comments

I really love both! Both are silica based (which you know I lerveeee), I’d recommend the Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous Loose Powder to dry skins because it sets makeup without much mattifying. I’d recommend the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder to more combination skin types as does have some oil absorbing properties and a more matte finish.

I wouldn’t recommend either for photography. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used silica in flash photography without a problem but you need to be rather careful with application so as a blanket rule: if you’re not sure, steer clear of silica.

For flash photography and special occasions, I recommend Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. It’s not as invisible or lightweight as the aforementioned silica powders but it’s reliable under flash settings and it sits well on most skin types (especially great on oily skin types).

Do you like the new Ask Karima segment? If so, leave a comment and a question for the next post! I’d love to post these frequently 🙂


Complete list of products mentioned

Skin Illuminating Powder Duo
Skin Illuminating Powder Duo
Lip Pencil
Lip Pencil
Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil
Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil
Good Genes Treatment
Good Genes Treatment
Pressed  Powder
Pressed Powder
* Denotes products sent for consideration. Iā€™m always honest with my reviews :)

Leave your comment (167 comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dearest Karima, if one wasn’t a makeup artist / youtube guru and needed to own just a few (widely available) stellar makeup brushes, could you please share what you’re top draft picks might be? Thanks!

  2. I love the idea of these blog posts! I appreciate your frankness when it comes to your opinions on products too! Have you come across any products for really dry lips that you have found helpful?

      1. I seriously struggle with this every day. I have tried nearly everything on the market, high- and low-end. I was so pleased that our counter lady at Chanel gave me a sample of the Hydra Beauty lip hydration balm there (Wha?! It’s like $60!) – but to no avail! Cracked/peely lips within a few days.

        I’ve realized this problem may not be easily corrected by making a trip to the drugstore, but by adjusting a few things lifestyle-wise.

        Best solution I’ve found: staying super hydrated, eating a balanced diet (with good fats included!), and ditching the habit of lip-licking. The products I keep going back to: Aquaphor lip repair and plain old petroleum jelly. I have super sensitive skin, so sometimes going back to the good ol’ basics helps me a lot.

      2. As someone with really dry lips and a really bad habit of pulling dry skin patches, not touching your lips is robably the best advise. I find that petroleum jelly dries me out, but probably the best chapstick i’ve found is an Apivita one, castor oil based, with propolis.

    1. I’m embarrassed at how many comments I’ve left here but I think I can help you.
      I have struggled with dry lips for more than five years and nothing worked, except for aquaphor, which helped a tiny bit. Funny that J mentioned it too. Like J, I tried every balm, high end and low, in the market, even super expensive ones like the $60 Chanel hydra, $42 lip oil from Hourglass, the Bite agave mask. I easily tried close to forty lip treatments and drank enough water but my lips were still horribly chapped and peeling.
      I was ready to give up. Then a couple of months ago I had to choose a $5 item to reach the minimum for a discount. I chose the Hurraw lip balm because the store girl said everyone loved it.
      Wow! I kid you not, it healed my lips in two days. I didn’t even think that was possible. It’s a natural balm with a ton of oils but I had tried other quality balms with natural oils, yet they didn’t work. So not sure why this one did. Anyway, the reviews are stellar, it seems to work for almost everyone. Just make sure if you try to get the Hurraw moon nighttime treatment. It’s cheap and you can find on eBay or iherb.

    2. Lip balms are a bit personal, I find. Some people prefer petroleum based products to work best, others prefer lanolin based balms and I much prefer oil based balms. My two absolute favourites are the Nuxe Reve de Miel and the Soul Sunday Rose Vanilla Lip Balm šŸ™‚ Both absolute lifesavers for me!

  3. What a great idea! Yours is one of the few blogs where I do actually read the comments because they’re so entertaining and informative! And as a viewer and reader it makes the experience of reading your blog and watching videos so much better because I know that I can actually interact with you, so thank you for the time you spend on responding to comments. It is so much appreciated!
    I absolutely agree with Susan’s question above but perhaps would put it in a slightly different vein; if you had to pick ten (or some relatively small number) of your makeup brushes, what would you pick? A high end brush starter kit if you will! This makes me think that I would be incredibly intrigued to know what your core essentials would be; a cost-independent minimalist make up kit I guess!
    Some other questions that have popped into my head over the years of reading are: what does Karima’s “no makeup makeup look” entail? And what is your best recommendation for pizza proof bold lips?
    On the video note, I absolutely love your out there looks but would love to see a few more really pared down looks which I feel are sometimes harder to achieve. A casual red lip, a “I just woke up like this” smokey eye, etc. I do these but always end up looking more put together than I would like!
    Thanks again for so much great content and many laughs Karima! xx

    1. That would be Susan’s comment below not above (fail) and just one more question – what is the jacket you’re wearing in the photo at the top? It’s to die for!!

    2. I’ve just spent three hours writing a dedicated blog post about high end brush starter kits šŸ™‚ Hopefully I can get this up within the next week, thanks for your fabulous suggestion!

  4. Do you have any updates about your eye? A long time ago you mentioned a possible surgery, but then decided against it.

  5. Hi there –

    How do you pick a coordinating (harmonious) blush and lip for an eye? I can come up with lid, crease, transition and outer v colors okay, but I don’t know how to pick a blush and lip to go with them. Thank you!

  6. Yay! Such a cool and interesting blog post! Can’t wait to read more šŸ™‚ question: which is your favorite eye palette? Oh…. And something personal. How did you meet your boyfriend Adrian? šŸ™‚ You guys look like such a sweet couple. Xoxoxo

  7. Dear Karima, a while back I was on a hunt for purple fuschia-ish lipsticks at the pharmacy (carries high end and drugstore) I veered mostly to the high end side, because a lot of drugstore lippes feel too dry on me. My problem is that I had a hard time finding colours that were purple enough (too much pink!) To be flattering on my skintone (fair leaning neutral to warm) so what are your favourite purple, no magenta lipsticks? I know lisa eldrigde made a video with one, but that one was crazy when I swatched it (from ysl too) and I’d like something that you can probably turn into a stain? :DDD

    Also I love your casual red lip tutorial, because it opened up a new world of red lippiez for me! I’ve always had small lips and thought I couldn’t wear colourful lipstick, but that tutorial just gave me so many possibilities šŸ˜€
    I think my first high end red lip is gonna be Shiseido Dragon (such a gorgeous red, you should try it!) and before your tutorial I wouldn’t even have thought of if! I’m so thankful that words might not describe it without sounding cheesy :’)

  8. Hi Karima,

    Lover this series already. As one of the very few Aussie beauty gurus I trust, I would love to see more posts/tutorials geared to Australia. In saying that what would you recommend highly from Australian Drugstores?
    What are you favourite online makeup websites to purchase from?
    If you could only use 10 beauty products to get ready, what would they be (any beauty including skincare)

    Thank you šŸ™‚

  9. Karima, I truly love your product reviews! They are so entertaining. From what I have read, you have redness in your cheeks like me that you have to cover or control. You do it so well, but I fail miserably at correcting it daily. I have lupus & guess it must be rosacea. My cheeks burn when I put most anything on my face. I have recently started using chemical-free products & my face doesn’t hurt when I apply this new makeup anymore. However, I still look like I’m not wearing makeup except for the dry areas on my cheeks where foundation sticks in a way scales are stuck on alligators. I tried RMS uncover up, but it covers nothing. On the bright side, it doesn’t sting my skin though. I am trying the MV Skincare that helped your redness, Karima. If these dark red areas on my pale skin won’t heal, what can I do? Any natural makeup options for dry, mature, painfully red skin? I’m thinking of Vapor Organic Beauty or RMS? Something safe & without anything that causes inflammation to these areas. I’m not sure what else to do, or if you will even have time to help. I need to turn things around for my skin, & then my life. May God bless you in the New Year!

    1. Hey Beth,
      Have you been accessed for Rosacea? There are topical treatments available that would help treat the cause and that way, you could have more freedom in the makeup sphere.

      1. I’ve struggledwith the above problem. I’ve used clarins gentle care skin beauty repair concentrate when my skin felt burning and out of control. It is 90 % plant extracts to calm skin. It absorbs and treats the problem fast. Is put it on at nite and skin felt better in the am to put makeup on. As for coverage, Kevyn aucoin sensual skin enhancer doesn’t irritate me and provides great coverage. just trying to help

    2. Karima is right. You should treat the rosacea first. My mom had great success with metro cream prescribed by a dermatologist.

  10. Hii karima..i’m 28 and i’m just stepping into the world of eye makeup… i know u hate the idea of a quick makeup look with single cream eyeshadow. . But i’m a doctor & i have 2 kids..i would love to wear a flattering swipe on cream shadow without glitter ..can u pleaae suggest a subtle bronze or gold shadow for nc42 skin? I heard that estee lauder shadow paint chained is good but it is out of stock everywhere i looked..

  11. I am looking forward to the next undereye concealer smackdown!

    Also do you ever carry a compact powder in your bag? I have only found a good one, the Chanel Pressed Powder but wondering if you have tried any good ones


  12. There are days when i need a full coverage foundation but whenever i use them, (and ive tried several full coverage foundations) my face always looks so cakey and heavy looking. I have discovered that using a Beauty blender creates the most natural compared to a brush but it still doesn’t work completely. The end result never looks quite lik my skin like it does in your videos. Help?

    1. I really think that full coverage foundation can only look good on people with great skin like Karima. If you have any type of texture or you’re older, it’s going to look cakey or just not close to natural. It’s just something we have to accept.
      For instance, I can put full coverage foundation on my 5 year old niece and it still looks beautiful because her skin is smooth and pore less. It’s a big reason why so many young youtubers can pile on the makeup and still look fine. There are no tricks except beautiful young skin.

      1. While I totally agree with the 5 year old analogy, I (unfortunately) don’t sit in that category šŸ˜› Full coverage foundations do look heavy on me, hence why I opt for a medium coverage and supplement with concealer šŸ™‚ xx

    2. Hey Denise,
      The truth is, I don’t wear a full coverage base. The majority of my face I apply a sheer coverage and build to a medium coverage on my nose. Can you provide a picture or describe your skin? In most instances, I think a full coverage foundation can be substituted with a sheerer formula paired with a great concealer where needed.
      It takes longer but the outcome is far more skin-like.

  13. This is a really good idea! Over the years my makeup collection has grown considerably, a lot of products neglected at the back of my draw. So my question is, have you revived any of your dud products for other uses? Maybe something crazy like Vaseline across the lids as a gloss or blue pencil liner for lips etc… Something whimsical and offbeat so I can get ideas on how to re use these products. After all beauty products are very versatile ?

    1. Honestly I try to keep my makeup collection as curated as possible (if it’s not a fabulous product across the board, I generally give it away because NO SPACE!) but I do love the MAC Prolongwear (or any eye primer) over the bridge of the nose to avoid migration where my glasses sit šŸ™‚

  14. Hello, lovely Karima! Loved your post, as ways; what a clever idea!

    I actually always read through your comments as I also find them helpful and informative. You just never know what clever ideas other readers will be sharing!

    I’m quite interested to read your upcoming post on a great, “higher-end starter kit” for brushes; fab idea!

    I foolishly fondled some Japanese brushes (Hakuhodo) brushes last year (I’m a brush fondler, not ashamed!! LOL) and I wanted to keep them as little pets – like bunnies! And these were just the Hakuhodo for Sephora; maybe others are even better??!

    I dream about the Suqqu you use, and so much more… But, oddly, I feel a bit nervous about having and using such fancy brushes! Silly, right?? For now I’m using my fairly soft, sturdy, and wide variety kit from Sigma, but I secretly lust over Japanese brushes! Ha ha.

    Always a pleasure!!


  15. I love this idea Karima and I’m sure it will really take off! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to ask questions. I have a few questions:

    1. Do you think mature women can carry off colorful eyeshadow such as purples, greens and teal as well as bright lippies such as bright corals and pinks? How do we wear it tastefully without looking like a teenager wannabe or looking like we are trying too hard?

    2. How would you describe your dressing and fashion style? What are the must have items in your wardrobe?

    1. Question #1 will feature in Ask Karima #2 šŸ˜€ As for the second question: my fashion style is rather monochromatic and minimalistic! The exceptions are: coloured leather jackets (I own… too many) and statement dresses (because they’re require little styling, they speak for themselves!).
      Clearly makeup is my experimental avenue šŸ˜‰

  16. Yes love this new segment! Ive always wanted to ask; okay so i love brushes im a bit obsessed. I enjoyed the bobbi brown face brush loved the shape but my skin is quite sensitive so im a little picky. so i tried some here and there and i got the hakuhodo face brush and blush brush and OMG i love them!! But ive been quite intrigued to try the rae morris brushes and the wayne goss brushes and more hakuhodo brushes!!!! And tom ford brushes.. So as you can see im going a little crazy so i decided i will only choose to try one or two brushes so what brand do you recommend?

    Thank you!! Love you karima and love your recommendations and taste in makeup
    You are just elegant.

  17. Another question! I have a problem with foundation settling in my laugh lines. i dont have a problem with pores and i dont like the pore filling kind of primers so what kind of primer should i opt for? I have quite sensitive easily reddned dryish skin

    Thanks again! I hope youre having an awesome day

    1. Hi, Karima! I really enjoy your blog and look forward to this segment. xoxo

      This would be my #1 beauty question/challenge, as well. Under my eyes, I am able to conceal and set with powder so that it doesn’t crease, but the same does not hold true for “smile” lines around my mouth. I have slightly dry skin, and I’m over 40, so fine lines come with the territory, but I can’t stand seeing foundation settle into them. NARS crystal pressed setting powder is the best I’ve tried, but doesn’t completely eliminate the problem. Laura Mercier translucent powder and Ben Nye luxury powder are nice, but still settle into my lines. Using primer, and fluid-like thin foundation, applied with fingers, brush or Beauty Blender, doesn’t seem to make a difference. Any suggestions?

  18. I loooooove Ask Karima šŸ˜€
    There’s so much to learn from you – you’re the makeup goddess!

    Lots of Love,

  19. Hey Karima! I desperately need your help. I have sort of a slight depression scar/rolling scar & also a 1/2 chicken pox marks on my face, I was wondering what would be the best type of concealers to smooth textures on face! Thanks in advance!

  20. i agree with others who want to more about your makeup brush recommendations! in addition to high end handmade japanese makeup brushes, i also like to have an arsenal of synthetic makeup brushes for cream products. can you do a video on those as well?

  21. Yes!! Love your new segment idea! I’ve been meaning to suggest a post on liquid highlighters. I’ve been having my eye on the rouge bunny rouge sea of clouds highlighter but haven’t made up my mind, what are your thoughts on it? <3

  22. Loooove this new segment! Keep them coming. And I do have a question. What is your advice on treatments for a super oily Tzone? As far as skin care, best primers, which powder will help control oil but not look caked on? I struggle with this because the rest of my face is super dry. Thank you for your time. Keep the amazing content coming. Xoxo Alex

    1. Hey! Look for a serum containing essential oils such as lavender, palmarosa, carrot seed, rosewood and geranium. These all regulate sebum production and will balance both the oily and dry areas of your skin.

    2. For me personally the only thing that has ever worked for that is a face anti persipirant gel. I use one by 3B that is aluminium based that I apply here mainly in the summer to prevent my sunscreen from coming off. The funny thing is that it also mattifies very well.

    3. Primer-wise, I really like the MUFE primers (the Step 1 primers). Don’t feel bad if you need to buy two. You can try the mattifying primer on your t-zone and use one of the hydrating ones on the rest of your face.

    4. Hey Alex,
      The Make Up For Ever Mattifying primer and the Becca Matte Primer are HARDCORE. Try get a sample if you can šŸ™‚ I also find that clay masks (the Fango one is great) used weekly on oily areas helps.

  23. Hi Karima, this is random but where do you get your beauty blender from? Yours is such a pretty pink and mine doesn’t look like that! Also are you going to do a Favorite Makeup from 2015 video?

    1. Hey Becca,
      I just pick mine up from Sephora! I have like… 5 in rotation, which is probably why they look to be in good condition šŸ™‚ My 2015 favourites video will be up this week!

  24. Love the new Ask Karima post! I would love to know your updated lighting set up and what programs you use to edit your photos. I absolutely love how your photos turn out! The exposure is never too much but you still get a beautiful highlight on the tops of your cheekbones! Thanks Karima, happy New Year!

    1. Hey Ellen,
      This is a tricky question to answer because recently, I changed my lighting setup and have included some big (and pricy) lights, which I doubt most people would want to replicate.

      If we date back a few months, to this photo:

      I used the same setup as in my first portrait photography post:

      BUT I switched the soft box for a more directional light, this one:

      That way I achieved more contrast in my shots, hence the greater highlights and greater shadows šŸ™‚

      1. Thanks for the info! I have soft boxes which definitely help on cloudy days it’s just hard to maintain my contrast but I may just have to play around with positioning and distance from my lights and what not. Thanks so much for the help!

  25. Any advice for step-saving measures you’ve discovered. For people trying to shorten their makeup regimen, or trying to bring fewer products when they travel, this would be helpful! So has there been a time you’ve discovered one product/tool that could do the job you used to use three or four products to achieve? Has there been a technique you discovered that significantly reduced the time you spent on a particular aspect?

  26. I am attempting to make the perfect brow product. My first go is a powdery balm, and it applied quite nice! Separates the hairs, darkens, but I didn’t go heavy enough with the pigment and it is too light for my brows. Since I am giving this another shot, I want to know your favourite “brow formula”. If you could only choose one product to do your brows with would it be pencil, shadow, gel, pomade,…? Also, why you chose that formula! Your brows are my inspiration so I just want to make sure I am thinking on the same track.Thank you! xx

    1. p.s. I don’t mean for this to be answered in the next segment, I know it is rather specific, and most people are more interested in purchasing cosmetics.

  27. Can you recommend a heavy duty concealer that great for concealing redness. I’ve tried using green color correctors, but those don’t work for me.

  28. I work as a cleaner where a major British magazine holds its HQ so I’ve picked up a few products here and there that have been thrown out. And among the reject pile sat the glory of this bronze and highlight duo. Albeit a bit battered I’ve tried it with Avon’s Flat Contour brush and it is pure perfection! The highlight is a bit light and I tend to amp it up with TopShop’s Glow highlighter pot. But for a more toned down version it is great!

  29. Hi Karima,

    I haven’t commented in ages and I used to quite frequently. I still get very excited whenever I see a new post or video of yours, I always learn something new. I was wondering how often and how you wash your brushes, especially the ones with squirrel hair. I think Lisa Eldridge uses them on clients and must be washing them like crazy, right? But somehow I am always so afraid to use them often.
    I have been lusting over the Marc Jacobs contour powder duos and I was wondering if the lighter side can also be used as an all over powder? I’m around an NC15.
    I was also wondering whether you want to blog full time after you finish your degree? I vote yes!

    1. Oh and I was also wondering whether you wear sunscreen everg day and if/how you change how you apply make up on top of that.

    2. Hey Sarah šŸ™‚
      Good to see you again! I’ve received a lot of questions about brush washing so I think that warrants a video šŸ™‚ Will do that soon.
      As for the Marc Jacobs Contour Powder in Mirage, the lighter portion is about an NC15 but very yellow, so keep that in mind. It’s a beautiful formula!
      PS: I think I’m at the stage where I am full time blogging/youtubing (it definitely eats up enough hours!) and I’m trying to juggle uni at the same time!

      1. Thanks for answering! That must be really difficult, but you’re doing a great job. Good luck with uni of course and I look forward to the video.

  30. I can’t believe so few people read the comments section, I absolutely love the discussion and think it’s simply incredible how you respond with such thought and effort to each comment- much appreciated! Love the new segment idea too, though- I’d love to know more specifics on how you care for you’re Japanese/squirrel hair brushes… what do you wash them with, how often, how do you dry them (brush guards?)etc. Thank you, you’re the best!!

  31. I’ve wanted to buy some good makeup brushes without spending a fortune on it (preferably a kit instead of buying them all separately) also, how do you keep your dark lipstick on the whole day even when you eat and drink and do lip primers work? do you reapply the lipstick or is their a trick to it? I don’t wear a lot of lipstick because I forget to reapply and then the lipstick looks messy.

    1. Hey Marie,

      For good brush kits, I would recommend Zoeva. They’re not my first pick but the best in terms of bang for your buck.

      Longevity of dark lipsticks starts at application, I work the lipstick into the lips with a lip brush and blot many many times. Reapply, blot, rinse and repeat. That way you’ve developed a decent stain. Beyond that, I’m afraid it requires reapplication and a mirror!

      I’m yet to find a lip primer that I love, to be honest šŸ™‚

  32. I love the concept of this segment and i think it will be a success! When i saw your recent get unready with me video with Stephanie i was curious as of why you aren’t using the MV skincare anymore? You were so in love… Does it have to do with needing the cloth to remove? I, like you, have thin skin that does not like physical exfoliation. A muselin cloth is waaaay to rough for me, so i use paper towels as you would a cloth (the reusable ones that don’t desintegrate with water) and works for me, more gentle and hygienic.

    1. Hey Catalina,
      I used the MV for about 1.5 years straight and loved it, unfortunately my skin had a bit of a freak out and I don’t think the cloth was helping the situation. I’ll likely go back in time, at the moment I’m just enjoying my old routine (which dates back to when I was 14!).

  33. Hello!

    I recently went and watched your skin care series from a while back. I have been struggling with finding a skin care routine that is effective for my skin. With my dehydrated, combination, acne prone, and sensitive skin it feels almost impossible to find skin care routine that I feel helps, I just don’t see any results, it just makes my skin constantly break out and texture appear. My question to you is how does one start to find a skin care routine that actually improves my skin.

    P.S. I luuuuurvvvvvv your videos!

    1. If money is not a problem I think you should try MV skincare. Karima loves it and that’s how I discovered it. She has a post on it.
      I too struggled with dehydrated skin. Yet everything I used to hydrate would make me break out. I was stunned when I tried this line because their products didn’t break me out even though the Rose Soothing moisturizer is rich and the Gentle Cream Cleanser is a cream.
      I actually found that the moisturizer helped soothe acne and the cleanser got rid of these stubborn clogged pores that I couldn’t get rid of.
      I would start with the moisturizer and move to the cleanser if it works for you. That way if one breaks you out, then you know which one is the culprit. They aren’t cheap though.

      1. Again if money isn’t a problem like above you can look at Aesop, I love that brand and Its good for dehydrated sensitive skin which I have. The good thing is if there’s a shop near by you’ll be able to pop in and bring testers home with you to try before you commit to any brand.

      2. I have looked into aesop extensively and would not recommend it to anyone especially if one has sensitive skin. Aesop hardly uses any beneficial ingredients plus their products are stuffed with fragrance and essential ojls which can be very irritating. Same goes for brands as Jurlique and other high end skincare. I would always recommend to anyone starting out is getting a gentle and relatively cheap cleanser into gour routine, possibly an exfoliant and a good moisturiser and sunscreen. I always look for niacinamide, vitamin c and vitamin e in moisturisers. Those really help with making your skin healthy and they help your skin to deal with sun damage, which is the main problem in terms of skin aging.

    2. Hey Fabiola!
      So pleased you like the videos, thanks for your support šŸ˜€
      My advice for navigating skincare, especially with complicated skin – start very simple and basic. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money at first, a lot of drugstores/pharmacies have great basic skincare.
      What are you using currently? That way I can push you in the right direction.

  34. Hey Karima! Could you give tips or maybe do a video ? (there was no hint there…I promise haha) On how to use lip and cheek tints,which ones are good and what to look out for when you don’t want so much product on your face.

    Thank you

  35. So excited for this series!
    Karima, can you please answer this question? (It would help me a lot!)
    I’m trying to decide between the Viseart matte palette and the Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage. I know they’re completely different animals but I’m only interested in 4 or 5 shades that are similar to CM. What I want to know is which eyeshadow formula do you prefer? If the Viseart palette was a quad with the exact same colors as CM, which one would you buy, TF or Viseart and why?
    Also if you have a moment, can you tell me the differences: blendability, pigmentation, wear, fallout, etc?
    Thank you so much in advance!
    Anyone else is welcome to give their opinion!

    1. Hi, I don’t own the TF quad but have swatched it in store and it is lovely. I do own the viseart palette which is very good quality and around the same price as TF with more colours. My pick would probably be Viseart although the TF packaging would be sturdier.
      Wear means how long an eye shadow for example stays put. If it doesn’t look faded at the end of the day, the wear is very good. Fallout can appear when an eyeshadow is very powdery and some of the powder ends up below your eyes or on your cheeks when applying eye shadow. An eye shadow is pigmented when the colour isn’t sheer. This means you would typically need less of the product. Blendability is a bit harder to describe but it basically means an eye shadow is smooth and is easy to use with others when blending it out with a brush on your eyes.

      1. Thank you so much for answering my question. I think you misunderstood me about my question on the differences: blendability, pigmentation, etc. I wasn’t asking for a definition. I was asking her to explain the differences between Viseart and CM when it came to blendability, pigmentation, etc. I realize now that I wasn’t clear when I wrote it. So I’m sorry that you wrote all that because of my mistake. But thank you so much for being so kind to go into detail on each thing. Karima’s folowers are truly some of the most thoughtful online.

    2. Hi Karima! I also have a similar question. Which do you think is overall better: the Viseart neutrals palette or the Kat Von D Shade and Illuminate? The Viseart is almost double the price of the Kat Von D! But they both seem to have a similar purpose?

      1. Actually, could I please expand that question to also include Burberry matte eyeshadows? Actually, what about just all matte eyeshadows lol? Including Mac/Colourpop/Makeup Geek/Makeupstore? (The options are endless!) The emphasis being on price?

        Also I never hear you talking about Inglot eyeshadows other than hearing about your jumbo colours palette (which is epic, btw)! So I wanted to ask, what are your thoughts on Inglot mattes?

        Thank you in advance Karima, you epic makeup guru, you! šŸ˜€

  36. I have a suggestion for a powder I think you will love. It’s the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. I think it’s better than both powders you like. Only small criticism is that it makes the skin look a bit white but it only lasts about 10 minutes. Most people who this happened to say the same.

  37. Yes!! I love that you’re starting this series. I find your videos so fascinating and informative, and love your honesty.

    As an American living in Australia, I’d like to know – what are some of your favorite Australian makeup brands and products?

    Bonus question – have you tried many Asian skincare of beauty products? Which ones are your favorite?

    Thanks for all the amazing content you product!

  38. Karima! Have just discovered you in the past week, and I’m a bit obsessed <3 I have a big problem with my mascara falling off my lashes and giving me black smudges under my eyes, Do you have any tips to help with this?

    1. Hey Lara,
      Three tips: consider waterproof mascara, apply eye primer on both lid and lower lash line (this helps the area remain dry, moisture encourages migration) and set the area around the eye with a powder (for the same reason as the eye primer).

  39. I think you may have opened a Pandora’s box with this segment!

    I love reading your blog and watching your videos. I am a little late to the makeup game (husband thinks I am mad, and I cannot convince my 2 year old son that colouring his cheeks, lips and eyelids with crayola textas is not appropriate). My question relates to colours. How do you choose an eye look, a blush and lip colour so the whole look is coordinated (or when to use bronzer or not). I love your minimalist looks – the casual red lip is one of my favs and I stick to this sort of thing for my day time look, but struggle with special occasions. Am I tonally challenged, or do most people just replicate looks viewed in the tutorials (I find this hard unless I have the exact same products)?

    Thanks for all your awesome makeup guidance.


    1. Hey Sophie!
      I know HUH? I’m totally overwhelmed at the response, lots of inspiring ideas here!
      The next Ask Karima segment touches on coordinating eyes, blush and cheeks so keep your eyes peeled for that šŸ˜‰
      Thanks for your feedback on the minimalist looks – I’d love to do more of them. If you have any concepts or ideas that you’d like to see in a tutorial, I’m all ears šŸ™‚
      PS: I’d say many people struggle with coordinating, it can be tricky and you are definitely not tonally challenged!

  40. Not a question, but I just wanted to say that this is really great idea for a segment! I do try and scroll down and read comments but sometimes I don’t have the time to find the gems that can get hidden. This is the best of both worlds!
    Thanks Karima šŸ™‚ x

  41. Hey Karima I just wanted to ask (spoiler alert: controversial) what do you think of beauty youtubers that photoshop the f out of the thumbnail of their videos just to attract viewers “oh look how perfect her skin looks oh and her lashes they look so voluminous” it is so annoying if I wanted to see fake people I would open a fashion magazine I’m clicking on a makeup tutorial to get inspired to learn and to see products in action (sorry for the grumpy post long tiring day)

    1. Hey Katerina šŸ™‚
      I can see where you’re coming from, however I’m too busy trying to make my content better than I don’t really concern myself with critiquing others.
      While I strive to make my videos/photos as true to life as possible, I recognise that the internet can be an incredibly critical place. Maybe that’s why some people choose to edit themselves to perfection.
      Live and let live, I say!

  42. I love this segment! Thank you!

    I also would love an update on what your favorite brushes are but I would also love to know how you care for them. Please tell us what your brush washing/drying/care routine is.

  43. I have a question about the notorious Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel. Now, I would LOVE to try this product, however, I am allergic to any fragrance (unless it’s the tiniest tiniest amount) in skin care/makeup. Is there any alternative product that would produce a similar result (I will not say a dupe because I pretty much know there is none. I know you mentioned the L’oreal Primer, however, I’m allergic to that one as well! Drugstore products usually don’t fare well for my extremely delicate and sensitive skin. Any recommendations on your part?

      1. I like primers to enhance the foundation but I adore illumination products as well! Since I am so dry and dehydrated I have no concern with longevity!
        It’s more about giving my skin a boost of hydration and the ability to have my foundation go on smoothly over dehydrated skin, I also like having the option of mixing primers with foundation to sheer the product if needed (or if I just desire a sheerer foundation day).
        So yes, I am very lucky with my dry, dehydrated, super sensitive skin;)

      2. Okay, some other illuminating products (not necessarily dupes for the Chanel) that you might like: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquids, Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid, Laura Mercier Radiance Primer (I wasn’t a fan but you might be).
        For a more hydrating primer, I like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer.
        You’ll have to check these ingredient lists, to make sure you’re not sensitive to anything šŸ™‚

  44. Love this segment, Karima! I value and appreciate your work and talent highly, so I am very happy you started Ask Karima!

    Do you have any tips on how to avoid a base settling/slightly caking up in certain areas? My chin and inbetween brows area are most affected by this. While I am probably the only one really noticing this – it is very minor and I am quite the perfectionist when it comes to make up, I do like to hear your advice regarding this. I am a Normal to dry, dehydrated skin type, exfoliate and stick to face oils at night šŸ™‚

  45. Hi Karima,
    First time poster. Your site is lovely and been coming for months. I have a similar skin tone as you, light olive. I am using Hoola for light face contouring. My lids are a bit ruddier than my face – enough red tone so that the Hoola pulls more orange than is attractive. I am looking for ideas on where to find a appropriate crease contour for an easy eye look and/or transition shade. I prime my lids and use a flesh toned shadow or thin layer of cream base first. My other brown shadows are too dark or warm as well. Should I find a straight up cool greige, or perhaps an olivey-greige? Or other product suggestions!? Thanks!

  46. Karima! You are literally one of my favourite people on the Earth right now. Thank you for the awesome excerpt of your matte eyeshadow smackdown. Can’t wait to read the whole thing. I had another few questions for you.

    Do you think the Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel is comparable to the Burberry ‘Fresh Glow’ Luminous Fluid Base? I, like you, prefer not to have discernible shimmer on the face other than when purposely strobing. Another issue is, I have about an NC40 skin so I’m worried the ‘whiteness’ of Le Blanc De Chanel might look odd on my yellowish skin whereas the Burberry has a gold version which I think might take care of that? So I was wondering whether Le Blanc De Chanel is actually white or transparent?

    Also, what are your thoughts on the new wave of high end matte foundations coming out in the last year and a half or so? Chanel Velvet/Burberry Cashmere, etc. Do you think dewy foundations and strobing will slowly be phased out? I know your staples since you’ve started the blog are the more dewy ones e.g. Armani/Koh Gen Do. Do you think the dewy ones tend to picture better? Despite this, do you have any recommendations for matte foundations that picture well? Also, I was wondering if you’d consider featuring some more of your matte foundations in your looks? (If you own them?)

    Also what are your thoughts on the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation?

    1. The Le Blanc De Chanel is suited to a paler skintone, yes – it can leave a white cast on deeper skintones so the Burberry may be better suited to you.

      When it comes to foundations, I think less in terms of ‘trends’ and more about finding a formula that fits your skintype. Since I’m dehydrated/dry, my favourites tend to be satin veering on dewy. If you’re on the oilier side, then the demi matte formulas might be a better fit.

      Both dewy and matte foundations can picture well, I don’t think finish is a major factor as long as the formulation is suited to the skintype.

      I haven’t tried the Laura Mercier Oil Free, it’s on my to-do list though šŸ™‚


  47. Great post! I would love to see a video on hero products….products you rely on and go back to time and time again. Thanks x

  48. Karima – have you tried RMS Un-powder (100% silica formula like MUFE HD Microfinish), Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder (silica + silica derivative) and/or NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder (probably more similar to the RBR Diaphanous multi-ingredient formula minus the talc). How do you think they compare to RBR and IT Cosmetics? I’m not looking for a mattifying effect – just a very sheer silica-based formula to set foundation, so probably wouldn’t go for Bye Bye Pores… RBR Diaphanous has been out of stock for a while on their US site, so sad šŸ™

    Also, have you tried the new Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer? My concealer search struggles have been about as epic as yours and that’s a pretty great one.

    p.s. all of your content (blog, youtube, insta) is just wonderful – you’re hands down my favorite beauty blogger! Plus your complexion (skin/hair/eye color etc.) is identical to mine so your base shades and general color recs always work great for me šŸ˜€ THANK YOU!!!

    1. I own the MUFE HD and don’t love it quite as much as the RBR. I use the Laura Mercier powder for photography but it’s rather mattifying and nothing like the RBR. Out of the powders you mentioned, the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed version is closest to the RBR.
      Also, am yet to try the Shape Tape but will get my hands on it asap! I’ve heard great things šŸ™‚

  49. Hi Karima! For flash photography or a night time look, is there a translucent powder that you’d recommend for the under eye area? I use the Laura Mercier and it’s lovely but not great under the eyes.