Some women are born with flawless skin. Other women, myself included, need to put in a little work to achieve the look. The good news is that getting gorgeous skin is easier than you might imagine.
What’s the secret? It’s all about the right concealer, foundation and powder.
If I had to pick one product that most dramatically improves a woman’s appearance, it would be under-eye concealer because of the way it magically brightens up the face.
Concealer is the best way to lighten dark circles (and look rested – even when you’re not!). Choose a yellow-toned concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your foundation. Pass on concealer that is too light, is too pink or white, or is chalky or greasy.
Use a small-headed brush with firm bristles to apply a generous amount of concealer under the eye, along the lash line and innermost corner of the eye. Gently tap the concealer with the pad of out index finger to blend it in. Try to apply as little pressure as possible. Tugging and rubbing will simply wipe concealer off.
If you still see darkness, apply a second layer of concealer.
Avoid midday creasing by locking the concealer in place with loose powder. Use a velour puff or small powder brush to apply the powder. For the most natural look, use white powder if you have very light skin and yellow-toned powder if you have light, medium or dark skin.
Foundation is my trick to achieving a smooth and even complexion. As a makeup artist, I’ve found that yellow-toned foundation looks the most natural on all skin tones.
To find your perfect match, swipe a few shades on the side of your face and check your reflection in natural light. The shade that disappears is the right one. If you have to apply foundation on your neck to make it match your face, you’re using the wrong shade.
It’s a good idea to have two shades of foundation – one for the winter months and a slightly darker one for the summer when skin colour tends to warm up.
Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to spot-apply foundation where skin needs to be evened out, especially around the nose and mouth where there’s redness. For full, allover coverage, use a foundation brush to apply and blend foundation.
Foundation formulas range from low-maintenance tinted moisturizers to moisturizing liquid and cream foundations with more coverage. Here’s a look at what the different formulas have to offer.
Tinted moisturizers and tinted balms combine the benefits of a face cream with the skin-evening properties of a foundation. They’re a good choice for normal and normal-to-dry skin that needs minimal coverage.
Liquid and cream foundations are available in both moisturizing and oil-free formulas. They are easy to blend and can go from medium to full coverage depending on how much you apply. If you go for liquid, be sure to shake the bottle first to make sure heavier parts haven’t settled to the bottom.
Stick foundation is one of my favourite formulas because it’s portable and quick and easy to apply. A good choice for normal skin, this travel-friendly formula won’t ever spill and can also be used to cover blemishes and scars.
Compact foundation, with its powder formulation, is best for oily skin. To avoid looking cakey, look for one that’s not overly powdery. Many compacts come with different sponges that allow you to control the amount of coverage you get.
To give foundation staying power and take away shine, finish off with a dusting of powder. I believe pale, yellow-toned powder is the most flattering on all skin tones.
A big beauty myth is that translucent powder is invisible. I find that it actually makes skin look pasty and ashy. The same holds for purple, pink and green powders designed to “correct” colour – they don’t look natural, so stay away from them. Look for a powder with a silky lighter-than-air texture.
I use loose powder at home and pressed powder when I travel, since it’s more portable. Use a velour puff to apply the powder and dust off any excess powder if skin is oily. Dust it just around the forehead, nose and chin if skin feels dry.