Only once you’ve truly tackled the perfect skin can you think about the perfect base. Whether it be a natural look or a full face, the condition of your skin is essential in creating an even base. Whilst the idea of being that get-up-and-go natural beauty may be appealing, the majority of us need a whole range of products so that our make-up will last against the daily battle of early mornings, a sticky commute and running around the office.
I have always stood by the belief that if you are going to invest in any products let it be your face make-up. Anything that you wear so often and so close to your skin should be of a good quality. What’s more, the quality of foundations and powders reveal themselves as the hours pass, the better the product the better and longer lasting the coverage. This usually means spending a little more on our face make-up, scrimp on your mascaras and eye shadows by all means, but make sure products for the face are chosen well!
Here are some tips, product suggestions and a step by step guide to creating the perfect base.
A key product if you would like eternal radiance or you simply want to your foundation to stay put. I sometimes use a combination of primers in order to get the best of both worlds.
Clarins’ Beauty Flash Balm (£28 for 50ml)
Another miracle product from Clarins, it instantly eliminates fatigue, defuses wrinkles, tightens pores, and offers a subtle yet incredibly youthful glow. What more could a woman want?
The PoreFessional (£23.50 for 22ml)
Benefit’s packaging and names may be gimmicky but the technology that goes into their products is not. Their PoreFessional is infused with silicon to mattify the skin and absorb excess oil whilst vitamin E fights against pollution. Leaves skin as smooth as silk.
Clinique City Block (£16 for 40ml)
Equally good for city workers/dwellers is Clinique’s City Block which also fights against pollution and comes with either an SPF 25 or 40! Nice and creamy, I rub this one in like a moisturiser.
Estée Lauder Double Wear (£27.50 for 50ml)
This is for girls who want full coverage that will last all day. I personally find this one a touch too heavy for day-to-day use but if applied properly this product will carry you from 6am to 6pm! Equally long lasting is Mac’s Studio Fix liquid foundation (£20.50 for 30ml). A little goes along way with these two, apply lightly so you don’t look caked!
Chanel Vitalumiere (£32 for 30ml)
For lighter, fresher coverage, this makes a great option for the spring/summer months. Combine with a good powder and you will have fresh dewy complexion!
YSL Le Teint Touch Eclat Foundation
For a medium coverage that literally gives your skin the glow of a light bulb. The good people at YSL have created a foundation that has all the incredible and arguably life changing (!) technology of the touch éclat pens. Combine with Benefit playsticks for great coverage with a light glowing finish!
Concealers and foundation sticks
Estee Lauder Disappear Smoothing Cream Concealer (£17.50)
The mother of all concealers, a nice creamy texture for optimum coverage when a beast of a blemish threatens to ruin your day! Simply apply this, and the blemish will magic away instantly!
Mac Studio Finish Concealer
Available in array of colours, pros go to Mac for the perfect colour to match any skin tone. Reasonably priced at £14.50.
Benefit Playstick (£26.50)
For the six years I worked for Benefit and tried and tested all of their products, nothing won me over more than their foundation sticks. Infused with green tea, they are perfect for concealing and treating blemishes whilst also offering the coverage of a foundation. The great thing about the stick is you can control the coverage, whether it be a light, medium or a full face. For work, I like my skin to be able to breath under my make up so I apply the stick to the required areas and blend with a foundation brush. If you want fuller coverage simply apply to a bigger surface area. Start small and build up the coverage as it’s much easier to add than remove!
YSL Touche Eclat (£25)
Many claim that this is the best under eye concealer in the world. No make-up artist would be without one of these. Its beautiful light reflecting properties cover any area of shadow.
Clinique Airbrush Concealer (£17)
This concealer is a little softer on the purse strings and offers great coverage, its creamy colour blends neatly into your foundation whilst brightening the eyes.
Mac Studio Fix Powder (£19.50)
Creamy by texture and colour, it gives the perfect picture finish. Go easy as it is nice and thick!
Clinique Blended Face Powder and Brush (£20)
This loose powder gives a silky flawless finish and neatly sets your foundation. So light you won’t even realise it’s there!
Loreal True Match Minerals Powder (£14.99)
If it’s good enough for Beyonce then it’s good enough for us! Mineral powder allows your skin to breathe whilst enhancing the coverage of your foundation.
Step 1 – Prime
- For tighter pores and a youthful glow, pat your light reflecting primer all over the cheeks, the forehead and a touch down the nose. Patting instead of rubbing will leave the product on top of the skin as well as bringing colour and dewiness to the cheeks.
- For anti-shine primers apply to the usual crime zones, nose and chin or if you like a truly mat base apply all over.
- For the best of both worlds, apply your anti-shine primer across your nose and chin whilst adding your radiance primer across your cheeks and forehead.
Step 2 – Conceal
- To hide a blemish, truly, lightly pat concealer on blemishes and then take time to blend over the blemish when you are applying your foundation on top. This will make sure you are getting the most coverage out of your concealer.
Step 3 – Foundation
- Pour a pea size amount onto the back of your hand (you can always add more, I just hate wasting my expensive make up!) and press the flat of your foundation brush into the liquid.
- It makes sense to start with the largest surface area of your face so you can spread out your foundation. Therefore starting at the edge of the nose, and using gentle paint-like strokes, apply the foundation from the edge of the nose across the cheeks, towards the jaw line.
- Then work back in the opposite direction so you get blend and build up the coverage.
- I then brush over the nose, picking up more product where necessary, and blend until I move down over to the other side of the face repeating the above.
- Blend with the chin going over the lips. Make sure you blend all the areas evenly together.
- Once you’ve gone over the forehead and eye areas, without picking up any more product use the brush to make sure everything is evenly blended, use (clean) fingers to blend away any brush marks! I don’t think I can use the word blend any more but it really is about blend blend blend! You get the idea!
Step 4 – Under Eyes
- For my under-eye concealer I draw a v-shape with the pen which will conceal rather than highlight any dark areas or wrinkles (if you have them!). Using the back of my brush I pat it in.
Step 5 – Powder
- Once this is all complete you need a swoosh of powder to set your foundation in place. Swish and load up a big brush and then apply to the ‘crime zones’, the nose, chin, and a light dusting on the cheeks. If like me you like a good, shine absorbing, creamy foundation powder, don’t overdo this step otherwise you will look like a doll. Light reflecting loose powders work best with fuller coverage foundations.
You are quite literally set now… Tricky and fiddly at first it may take a while but once you’ve worked it out what products work for you, you will be a pro in no time!