Today’s column is a step by step guide for making your skin look flawless. Sometimes when I am through with applying a good base I don’t feel like doing anything more – the cleanliness and pulled togetherness of a smoothed out face is lovely in and of itself. So let’s break it down.
1) As we have discussed before, you want two shades of foundation; one a few shades darker, and one a few shades lighter. We are going to mix these two together to achieve a customised result. This means that not only do you have a base that sees you through your paler winter months and your bronzed up summer months, but also that you have to look at what you are doing every time. This saves you from sticking blindly with a base that is no longer your colour. So this means you need two liquid foundations as well as two concealers.
2) First blend your two liquid foundations together on the back of your hand. You are aiming for your base to be the lightest shade that you have in your skin – typically the skin on the swell of your cheekbone. Don’t worry if you feel it looks too light overall, your contours will warm up the rest of your face. If your base is warm and your contours are warm then you are going to end up looking like Sophia Loren. And not a hot young Sophia Loren but present day Sophia, who, one journalist brilliantly quipped, “appears to have rusted”.
3) Put a few swirls of your customised liquid foundation on your forehead, the apples of your cheeks, your chin, the bridge of your nose and your neck and chest. Avoid your eyelid and eyebag completely. Generally spread the liquid around but don’t stress too hard because the next step will achieve the actual blending.
4) Using the biggest surface of a sponge, start to blend your foundation with a buffing motion. You should be left with a fairly thin layer. Remember that you will still have a layer of concealing and powder to go, so this is just a third of your base. Therefore, the odd imperfection should show at this point; making your entire base thick enough to cover one small imperfection is counter intuitive. Leave that to the concealing.
5) After you are satisfied that your base is well blended (pay attention to the edges of your face, you don’t want to appear as if you are wearing a mask!), you can move on to concealing. It stands to reason that you will need two concealers since the blemishes you will need to hide are in different places of your face and are therefore different shades. You will need a warmer, orange based concealer for under your eyes and perhaps around your mouth, but if you have a zit on your chin, then you will need a lighter one. I hold two concealers in my hand and take a dash of one and a dash of the other as needed.
6) I like to dilute my concealer with a liquid illuminator or highlighter. I put a tiny dot on the side of the stick and take a little bit at a time to create the perfect consistency; rich but thin, strong but glowy. In this way you can conceal under the eyes, the sides of the nostrils and any blemish you have. Target areas for concealing; don’t just load up the whole face with tonnes of base. This way you achieve a flawless look without looking like Data from Star Trek.
7) Powder, powder, powder. Like there is no tomorrow! Your base will only grab as much powder as its oiliness allows, so you can’t over powder. Under powdering will, however, give you an oily and patchy base over time. So just go for it, never mind if you look like the Joker. Make sure to buff off the excess when you are satisfied that you have sealed the base properly; really spend 30 seconds on buffing. It is the key. If after all that you feel your base looks too heavy then you needed to have a lighter hand when putting on your liquid foundation and concealer.
8) Stretch out your under eye and make sure the concealer has not settled in the creases. Powder immediately. Be very generous with your powder here, but not to the point of making your eyes crunchy and wrinkly looking. If your base has been properly powdered then any eyeshadow debris can be brushed away without damage.
9) Contour and highlight (as we have discussed before) and off you go!
Top trick: Use a liquid foundation brush to powder and areas that you have concealed with a patting motion. You don’t want to rub away concealer, you want to pat it in place when you apply it and then pat powder in place on top of it.
The Radiant Reflection Solid Stick Foundation
The Liquid Airbrush Foundation
The Gossamer Loose Powder
Micro-Fil Loose powder ( my favourite powder!)
Fluid Sheer (a brilliant illuminator)
Luminous Silk Foundation
Magic Wand Foundation (glowy)
Amazing Face Liquid Foundation (oil free)
Creamy Concealer Kit
For locally available product suggestions please look at the last column on bases “Learning the base-ics of foundation”
View pictures for this story here.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2012.
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