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  • Foundation Matching and Undertones Demystified

    Posted on December 03 2016

    by Shenoa Riegel at Vapour Beauty
    Vapour Undertone Image
    Vapour’s globally inclusive shade range

    Artists are familiar with color as a language for expression and the same goes for Makeup Artists. But, with skin as their canvas, Makeup Artists have the unique challenge of selecting colors that will harmonize with a person’s specific surface skin color and their subtler undertones.

    In our conversations with Annie and the Credo team, we’ve learned that most women have a lot of uncertainty when it comes to picking their foundation shade and identifying their undertones. If that confusion describes you, don’t worry. Color is subjective and emotional, and undertones are subtle.

    Undertone is a color theory term, describing how different colors mix and whether they appear warm, cool or neutral. Your skin isn’t just one even color—its surface color varies depending on what lies beneath and how thick or thin it is. At Vapour we’ve designed our foundation shades to be versatile and forgiving by including warm and cool pigments in almost every formula, making color matching easier on you.

    Knowing your undertone helps you find complementary shades of makeup and clothing to accentuate your natural beauty. Undertones fall into three main categories:

    WARM — earthy yellow, bronze or gold
    COOL — jewel-toned pink, blue or silver
    NEUTRAL — a blend or balance of warm and cool colors
    Vapour Undertones Credo Blog
    Warm, neutral, cool skin tones

    So, how do you know where you fall? Below are several techniques for determining your undertone(s). These suggestions may not work for everyone—you may need to experiment to discover your true undertone, and don’t underestimate your natural inclinations toward color in makeup and wardrobe. What makes you feel good inside reflects on the outside.

    • Vein Color
    One common way of determining your skin undertone is by looking at the veins on the inner wrist or elbow in natural sunlight. If they look bluish, your undertone is cool, and if they look more green or yellow then your undertone is warm. If they are a mix, or you can't really tell, then you probably have a neutral skin tone.

    • Jewelry
    Silver, white gold and platinum accentuate cool undertones, while yellow gold accentuates warm undertones. The metal that harmonizes with your undertones will give you a fresh, bright look. Neutral undertones are complemented by both silver and gold.

    • White Cloth
    First pull your hair back and put a white cloth, like a towel or T-shirt, around your neck and shoulders. The white fabric will draw out a subtle cast of color in your face. Blue or pink indicate cool undertones, while yellow and peach indicate warm undertones. Neutral undertones tend to look greenish next to the white cloth.

    When researching undertones, we found there is much more information available for lighter and Caucasian skin so we asked Vapour friend and MUA, Dionne Bell-Pressey, for advice.

    To identify undertones on darker skin, Dionne recommends looking under the eye (on top of cheekbones) and on the side of the palm because skin can be lighter there. She also says that wearing white clothes can be really helpful. “It’s important to look at yourself in natural light as well because artificial lights can change how your skin looks,” she says. When asked how she likes using Vapour makeup Dionne replied, “I love working with Vapour, the colors are beautiful and so forgiving. They cover such a wide range of race and ethnicities; they really work for everyone.”

    It’s not accurate to assume skin undertones are based on race. For example, we can’t assume all Asians have warm undertones. The surface yellowness of skin does not necessarily mean warm undertones—there are warm yellows and cool yellows. There’s also a difference between brown skin with warm orange-red undertones, and brown skin with cool, jewel undertones. This also applies to olive-toned skin.

    Similarly, a person who has rosacea does not necessarily have cool undertones because of the “pink” seen on their face. There is such a broad spectrum of colors with skin, we recommend trying the above tips for all skin tones.

    At Vapour we design Fine Art Infused color. Unlike synthetic FD&C pigments that lay flat on the skin like latex paint, we exclusively use natural pigments. Our color blends are more like oil paint, permitting light to pass through and harmonize with a wide range of skin tones. Our foundation shades are more versatile than those of some other brands, both because they include warm and cool pigments and they utilize the play of light on your skin. It can be surprising to see the same Vapour foundation shade or lipstick working perfectly on women who seem to have very different skin tones. We create color that responds to your unique coloring, so every shade becomes a custom shade.
    Thank you Vapour for this great advice!
  • Our Absolutely Beautiful 2016 Gift Guide

    Posted on December 01 2016

    Credo's 2016 Gift Guice

    Load up your loved ones with little luxuries. Shop our picks:

    Ilia three mini lipstick kit baggu

    Adorable mini lipsticks of ILIA’s best selling shades in a custom Baggu leather pouch.  ILIA Lip Trio $48

    Ursa Major SHave Set Gift Credo

    A combo of spectacular shave products for men who like to    shave smart and stay cool. Ursa Major Fresh Tracks Travel Shave Gift Set $54

    ELLIS BROOKLYN Rrose Eau de Parfum

    Small-batch goodness at it’s best, this perfume smells of citrus, rose, cashmere, and vanilla orchids. Simply addicting, perfect for your favorite person. Ellis Brooklyn Rrose Eau De Perfume $100 

    RED FLOWER Petal Topped Candle Japanese Peony

    This super fresh and floral smelling candle will light up your hostesses’ face. Red Flower Candles Japanese Peony Petal Topped Candle $38 

    Designed for that the girl on the go who only has time for a simple pampering. Contains Skin Savior and the Brand New Day Microderma Scrub + Masque.  One Love Organics Kit $35 

    This complete luxury box with three masks will take your glow to the next level. Perfect for your beautiful mom who loves you unconditionally. Tata Harper Multi-Masking Kit $178


  • Say Goodbye to Breakouts

    Posted on October 24 2016

    We love Zyderma HS® Clarifying Cream for how well it works on troubled skin without creating trouble!

    Zyderma Before and After Credo

    Many topical and prescribed products used to treat acne compromise the skin’s own defense system, known as the microbiome (microflora that reside in the stratum corneum, and play a significant role to help heal and protect the skin). They contain harsh, dirty ingredients that have contraindications and can strip away these organisms that our skin relies upon to maintain its healthy and balanced appearance; treating only the symptoms and not the cause (i.e. colonization of bacteria).

    Zyderma’s Clarifying Cream differs from many topical products, as it is drug-free, formulated with only skin nurturing ingredients like MicroSilverBGTM that reduces the colonization and growth of harmful bacteria and microorganisms; and, it helps to support the skin's own natural healing process.

    Using the cream is super simple (wash, dry & then apply). What’s truly amazing is that it works all day, or until washed off. Even under make-up! If you’re wondering how that’s possible, we’d love to tell you. MicroSilverBGTM continuously releases silver ions which effectively deactivate the nasty organisms on the surface of your skin which can cause or worsen acne symptoms. Better yet, this hero ingredient is nano-free which means its particle size is so large that it simply cannot be absorbed into your skin. It stays there working away to protect your skin; hence the name, SilverShieldTM.

    Supporting a healthy skin balance is a safe and responsible approach to skin care, especially for those who suffer from acne prone and problem skin.

    All components of the formulation are Eco Certified and no contraindications exist. It does not contain parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, or animal-derived ingredients. MicroSilver BGTM is also included in the Certified Natural Products Association, registered in the Vegan Society, and registered with the BDIH organization.


    Written by Kelly Muciy- Co Founder of Zyderma HS

  • What is an Ingredient?

    Posted on October 10 2016

    What is an Ingredient?

    Written by Amy Galper, Credo's Education Director and In-House Beauty Expert

    What is an ingredient?

    Becoming more conscious about what we put on our skin means we are paying closer attention to the ingredients found in our skin and body care products. This is especially important as more and more research surfaces showing how many of the chemicals present in our cosmetics are proving to be concerning for our health and the environment.

    We try to stay up to date; we check different online resources, read up on brands that align with our values and look to places like to us to help find what’s “clean” and authentic. But it can still be dizzying sifting through what is, or is not, “clean” or "dirty.”

    One tip to help you navigate, before embarking on distinguishing the “clean” from the “dirty” - is to step back and first ask: 

    What is an ingredient?

    Ingredients used in cosmetic formulations have two functions. And when designing a new product, the formulator considers both of these functions when selecting which ingredients to use.

    Function One:

    How the material functions on the skin. This is basically determining the therapeutic actions of the material; Is it emollient?  Is it cell regenerative? Is it nutritive? Is it anti-inflammatory?

    This function of the material is important for defining the intention of the product and what is does for our skin. Materials are selected to support the main intention, or purpose, of the product. For example, shea butter might be selected as a main ingredient because of its skin nutritive, emollient and cell regenerative properties. Or lavender essential oil may be included in the formula as a strong anti-inflammatory. We love seeing whole plant based ingredients used in this way.

    Function Two:

    How the material functions in relationship to the other ingredients. This function generally focuses on how the specific ingredient works with the other ingredients to affect its texture (touch and feel) as well as how it supports the function of the other ingredients, like a preservative, or an emulsifier.

    For example, xanthum gum is a gum used to thicken and affect the texture of a product, it has little to no therapeutic properties. Other examples, that provide little to no therapeutic actions but only functional ones, are citric acid, which is added to formulas to help adjust the pH, so the product does not irritate the skin and plant based emulsifiers like Cetyl Alcohol NF, or Soy Lecithin or antioxidants like Rosemary C02 extract or Tocopherol.

    Understanding how the ingredients function can offer great insight into how and why they are being used. We’ve found that cleaner products tend to use more whole plant based ingredients that focus on their affect our skin, while those products more heavily loaded with concerning synthetics tend to be more focused on aesthetics.

    To learn more about the 25 ingredients we will never carry in any of our products, check out our dirty list.

    For any questions or comments, please email

  • Founder 1 on 1 - Cary Caster, 21 Drops

    Posted on September 29 2016

    Cary Caster, Founder of 21 Drops

    We were fortunate to grab a moment with Cary Caster, founder of 21 Drops, to talk about her path into essential oils and how these magical blends can help solve every aches and pains. 

    Cary Caster Founder of 21 Drops

    How did you get started? What was your inspiration to starting 21 Drops?

    As an Ethno botanist, I have been studying and using plant based alternative medicine and essential oils for over 30 years. I raised my 3 children with only natural solutions and had my own massage practice where I incorporated these oils with so many positive results. I was always surprised more people weren’t on board! When I felt essential oils were becoming more familiar to a larger audience, I found the products that were on the market 6 years ago didn’t offer the utmost quality that I was used to, especially having sourced my oils directly from different distillers across the globe for my own practice.

    I wanted to create a brand with simple essential oil solutions that were easy for the consumer to understand and also find appealing to use. That’s why our blends are safely diluted and packaged in a convenient rollerball packaging solution.

    De-stress 21 Drops Essential Oils 

    How did you choose to develop each blend? Do they have special meanings behind them? 

    Each 21 Drops® blend is a combination of 3-5 essential oils in an organic jojoba carrier oil that were selected for their chemical components and how they effect the body, mind and emotions. These combinations have a synergistic effect because they work in unison on various aspects of one problem. A perfect example is our De-Stress blend: Frankincense helps to quiet the mind chatter, German Chamomile is an antispasmodic and works on tension, Lavender is calming for the nervous system, and Ylang Ylang is a wonderful, sensual oil that helps to settle the nerves and a racing heart. These 4 oils work in synergy to bring our “fight or Flight” response into balance and help to manage stressful conditions.

    While each oil within each blend is selected for it’s active properties, there are also the principles of The 5 Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine which takes into account the energetics of the blends as well. We also added meaning to the numbers assigned for each blend according to various numerological systems.

    21 Drops

    Can you layer essential oils together?

    Yes, one can layer essential oils together and you can also layer the blends together. Once again, you can have a synergistic effect of multiple oils working together to address numerous indications.

    21 Drops Essential Oils Detox

    If you could pick one essential oils to use everyday, which one would you choose? 

    If I were to have to choose just one blend from our 21 Drops® collection, I would choose #04 DETOX. I love the way it smells and in addition, it helps to cleanse the body. Everyday our bodies have to work hard to detoxify the pollutants and toxins from our environment no matter how careful we are. Each oil in the Detox blend helps support the different detoxifying systems of the body. Cardamom EO aids the digestive track and is an overall tonic for the body, Lavender EO works on the nerves and immune system, Geranium EO is nourishing to the lymphatic system and Juniper EO has an affinity to support the kidney and bladder. This blend is also wonderful when you indulge a bit too much with drinking spirits, so that’s another benefit!

    San Francisco- Join us on Saturday, October 1st.  21 Drops is hosting an Essential Oils 101 Class on Fillmore.


    Thank you Cary! 


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