As we bid summer adieu and say hello to fall, new makeup trends will come and go, but a flawless complexion will always be on trend. Soft, glowing skin is truly timeless. I seem to be on an endless quest to find the holy grail of foundations, concealers and powders. Although I never stick with one product for long (not because they aren’t great but because I am always down to try something new), I have found some tried and true favourites.
Presenting my step-by-step guide to creating the flawless face! Seeing as half the battle is actually finding the best application technique for different formulas I also want to share my favourite products to get the job done. I have listed my favourites for normal, oily and dry skins after each step!
STEP 1: PREP YOUR SKIN
No matter how great a product is, if your applying it to dry, flakey, or greasy face it isn’t going to do much! Always apply foundation to clean, well moisturized skin. You want to create a smooth and moist canvas to apply your product to. I have recently added eye cream to my routine and I find this really helps my under eye concealer to go on more smoothly and not look dried out later.
STEP 2: PRIME
I sometimes skip this step, however, if I want my base to stay all day or I am going to an event I always put it on. Primer is used after moisturizer and before foundation to create a smooth, even surface to apply foundation too. It can help fill in wrinkles, smooth out blemishes, and hydrate dry patches. Like priming a wall before you paint it, primer ensures an even application of foundation and can help make your foundation last longer! There are primers for specific skin types – ones that moisturize, correct discolouration, mattify, the list goes on. I am currently obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Wonder Glow’ for giving you that lit-from-within glow.
- Everyone/Normal: Charlotte Tilbury ‘Wonder Glow’
- Oily: Hourglass ‘Veil Mineral Primer’
- Dry: Marc Jacobs ‘Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer’
STEP 3: FOUNDATION
Foundation comes in many shades, formulas, and textures. To keep things simple I am going to describe my tips for applying liquid and powder formulas.
MINERAL POWDER FORMULAS:
As an oily-skinned girl, I love my mineral powder makeup especially in the summer. Mineral powders will help you stay matte longer and generally provide light to medium coverage. A kabuki brush is essential to applying a powder base. These dense slightly stiff brushes pick up the right amount of product and can be used to buff your makeup to an airbrush finish.
- Swirl or dip your kabuki brush in your powder and tap your brush to rid it of excess product.
- Starting in the center of the face gently move the brush in small circles to buff the product into your skin.Keep adding product to the skin until you reach your desired coverage.
- For powder products I definitely recommend applying your cream or liquid concealer before hand as putting a liquid overtop of powder can make it hard to blend. Putting powder overtop also sets your concealer.
- Normal: Jane Iredale ‘Amazing Base Loose Minerals’
- Oily: Jane Iredale ‘Pure Pressed Base’
- Dry: Go with a liquid formula.
I love using a liquid foundation when I want a more medium to full coverage look. However, there are also tinted moisturizers and/or BB and CC creams that offer a light to medium coverage if that’s what your after. For the perfect match swipe foundation on your bare cheek/jawline in natural light. Whichever colour ‘disappears’ is the right shade. Liquid and cream products are well suited to normal and drier skin types. My favourite way to apply these foundations is with the ‘Beauty Blender’. This sponge is honestly life changing! It makes getting an airbrushed, perfectly even finish foolproof. This ain’t you’re mother’s makeup sponge! The ‘Beauty Blender’ is edgeless and made with an “open-cell structure” that is unlike any other.
- To use, soak the sponge with water (it will almost double in size). Wring out the sponge so that it feels damp, not wet.
- Using your finger apply a nickel sized dab of foundation to your forehead, each cheek, nose, and chin.
- Bounce/stipple your damp beauty blender all over the face until foundation is blended.
- You can go back in and add more product to areas where you need a little extra coverage (for me this is around my nose and chin).
- Everyone/Normal: Charlotte Tilbury ‘Magic Foundation’ (What I am currently using).
- Oily: Makeup Forever ‘Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation’
- Dry: Bobbi Brown ‘Skin Foundation SPF 15’
STEP 4: CONCEAL
UNDER EYE CONCEALER
- Using a flat concealer brush or your fingers dot a small amount of concealer from the inner corner of your eye (by your nose), to the outer corner. You can also bring some concealer down towards the bottom corner of your nose to form a sort of triangle if you really want to brighten your eye area.
- Pat concealer into the skin using your finger (I find your fingers warm up the product and help to really work it into the skin under the eyes).
- Blend, blend blend. I also bring some concealer onto my eyelids to both conceal any redness or veins and to provide a good base for any eyeshadow.
- Everyone: Charlotte Tilbury ‘Mini Miracle Eye Wand’, brightening concealer on one end, eye serum on the other…enough said.
- Everyone: Makeup Forever ‘Ultra HD Concealer’Makeup Forever ‘Ultra HD Concealer’
- Using a flat concealer brush apply a creamy/thick concealer in the exact shade of your skin to the reddened area.
- Allow to sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute – I find this helps to thicken the concealer so that when blending it doesn’t just disappear.
- Gently tap with your ring finger blending at the edges so that the concealer blends into the surrounding skin.
* I plan on doing a future in-depth post on covering pimples as it is an art I have somewhat mastered. I have tons of tips and tricks to share so stay tuned.
- Everyone: Makeup Forever ‘5 Camouflage Colour Correct and Conceal’, I use palette #1 which is for medium to light skin-tones with redness concerns.
- Everyone: Laura Mercier ‘High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye’, yes, I know it says for under eye but it’s so intensely pigmented and thick I think it is ten times better as a concealer for blemishes.
- Everyone: NARS ‘Creamy Radiant Concealer’
STEP 5: SET
Ever look in the mirror at 3pm and wonder what the heck happened? I know you ladies with oily skin can relate! Only the driest of complexions can skip this step. Everyone else, powder is your best friend. If you used mineral powder foundation you can skip this step!
- Using a large fluffy powder brush pick up a finely milled loose or pressed setting powder (not all powders are created equal make sure the one you are using is meant for setting makeup).
- Tap off any excess product then lightly dust all over face including the eyes where under eye concealer was applied.
- Everyone: NARS ‘Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder’
- Everyone: Makeup Forever ‘HD Microfinish Powder’
Some people like to ensure an ultra long lasting finish by using a setting spray after all their makeup has been applied. I only do this if I am going to an event where I might be dancing all night, sweating or just will not be able to touch up my makeup at all.
- Everyone: Kat Von D ‘Lock N’ Load Makeup Setting Mist’
- Everyone: Urban Decay ‘All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray’
WOWZA. That was intense. This probably seems like a lot, especially if your not a “seasoned foundation wearer” (which I am, out of necessity). However, if you really want your skin to look flawless, and your not one of those people who was genetically blessed with perfectly even, acne-free, baby skin, this is how you can fake it. Now off you go girl, ace your base.
What’s your holy grail foundation? As you can tell I love trying new products so please share!