The base of your makeup is probably the most important to perfect, because if it’s not done really well then the whole look is a bit of a fail. If the skin is glowing and fresh looking but your eyes and lips are bare, you’ve already won. Here are our top 14 tips for an even, natural complexion that looks better than your actual ‘I woke up like this’ face!
#1 Prep with Tailored Skincare
Good skincare is more important than good makeup, as it makes good makeup good! If you ignore your skin’s health, no amount of makeup can hide it and it’ll take you twice as long to apply for an even base. Always stick to morning and night regime that cleanses, tones, moisturizes and treats any specific skin concerns. For example, treat spots with a spot cream or serum, or if you suffer with pigmentation issues, use a specialized serum or acid.
#2 Know Your Skin Type
You can buy from the best beauty brands but if you’re buying into products suited to another skin type than yours, it’s a total waste. Make a list of skin concerns you have. Does your skin get oily quickly or break out? Does it get dry patches or is it very dull looking? Then opt for products aimed to help this. If you can’t decide your skin type, go to a few beauty counters and ask for their expertise.
#3 Prime Time
After your skincare has be given five minutes to soak in, apply primer. If your concern is oiliness, opt for a mattifying primer in the areas needed. If you’re dry or dull skinned, look for a moisturizing, glossy primer that will give your skin some added hydration. Too Faced Hangover Primer (€32) revives with coconut water, while the Make Up For Ever Mattifying Primer (€34.95) is a skin saviour for oily skin.
#4 Know Your Skin Tone
The worst mistake people make when it comes to their foundation is picking the wrong shade. So many brands offer a multitude of shades nowadays so there really is no excuse to go around either orange or ashy. If you’re stuck, many brands can test your skin with devices that detect your exact shade.
#5 Know Your Undertone
Knowing what your shade is is essential, and so is knowing your undertone. This is whether you have a yellow, pink or neutral element to your skin. If the veins in your wrist look more green in natural light, you have warm undertones. If they appear more blue or purple, you are cool toned. If you think it’s a mixed you are neutral.
#6 Mix Your Foundation with an Illuminator
Most of us could do with some extra glow regardless of our skin type, as even oily skin shouldn’t be just mattified or it will look flat. To get an overall subtle glow, mix your foundation with a dollop of an illuminator such as the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (€39), the Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator (€17.99), and either L’Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator (€9.99) or Lumi Magique Primer (€14.99).
#7 Colour Correct in Any Crisis
This is a great way to keep your base as light as possible, as correcting the pigmentation issues on your face before you apply the foundation will mean you can keep 90% of the base light and therefore more natural looking. Green cancels out red spots for light skin, orange doing the same for darker tones, while the pink cancels out undereye bags on fair skin as does the yellow for darker skin. The purple tones down excess sallow. The NYX Color Correcting Palette (€14) is as good as any!
#8 Beauty Sponge
Now you’ve reached the actual application stage of the base of your choice, be it foundation, BB/CC cream or tinted moisturizer. How you apply it depends on how much coverage you want over most of your face. If you want a sheer, natural coverage, get your hands on a beauty sponge such as the Beauty Blender (€16). This is revolutionary for makeup, and best for most of us as we can spot conceal any bad areas after if necessary, leaving the rest looking super fresh and naturally perfected.
#9 Fluffy Dense Brush
If you want a bit more coverage, then go for a dense fluffy brush. This will cover enough that you will hardly have to spot conceal much unless you are suffering a bad breakout. Use circular motions and blend downwards so as not to brush up any baby hair on the face and to ensure the neck is blended well too. The Real Techniques makeup brushes (€11.99) can’t be beaten.
#10 Flat Brush
Lastly, a flat brush will really cover any breakouts or scars with just a swipe! The brush soaks up very little of the makeup as it distributes exactly as you swipe it on, so no product wasting. Make sure to work it into the skin a bit and blend around the corners of the nose, chin, forehead and neck! Morphe makeup brushes (€2.50) are also fab!
#11 Conceal Part I – Imperfections
If you still have some little face critters peering through the foundation and you can’t stand seeing them, use a creamy concealer the same colour as your base to give an extra layer of coverage. Dab it on and blend around the imperfection to ensure it doesn’t stand out or look cakey. Check out the bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (€22.53)!
#12 Conceal Part II – Lighten and Brighten
For the under eyes it is good to use a shade lighter or an illuminating colour to awaken the area. Draw an upside down triangle under the eyes and blend. This will open the eyes. Don’t place product right under the eye by the lashline as this can actually close the eye and is very likely to cause creasing. The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (€30) is our all time favourite.
#13 Powder to Set
Use a silica-free powder to set the concealer in place under the eyes. This will prevent flashback if you decide to take some snaps! If you’re wary of flashback in general, go for an SPF and silica-free base overall! Set the face with a light dusting of translucent powder like the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (€42).
#14 Fine Mist is like a Fine Wine
Now you’re at the end of the base application and your face is looking fierce! Don’t let anything get in the way of it staying that way by finishing with a spritz of a setting fine mist. Again, if your main concern is dry skin, go for a hydrating one, whereas oily skin should look for more of a mattifying or calming one. Estée Lauder Set + Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist (€25.60) is an all rounder as it soothes and hydrates, so it’s really suitable for all! Boom!