09 November 2011

Trade Secrets: The Perfect Face


Fluff and Fripperies’ trade secrets series continues today with international makeup artist and beauty blogger, Simone Gannon, sharing her professional makeup tips. Who doesn’t want the perfect face?!

“Over the years I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been asked how to achieve the perfect foundation application and what to do to keep it in place. It may seem like a small aspect of any woman’s makeup routine, but it’s actually the most important. If the skin doesn’t look right, nothing else will. I’ve broken this post into categories with some product recommendations included by way of images.



The Base: Preparing the skin before applying foundation is an essential step that makes a world of difference. A bit of effort with the right products goes a long way, helping your makeup stay in place for longer, whilst protecting your skin. A base, or primer as it’s often called, is a multi-tasking essential that;
  • Acts as a protective barrier between the makeup and your skin, minimising reactions & breakouts.
  • Corrects and soothes redness and irritated skin.
  • Mattifies/moisturises the skin for a smoother foundation application.
  • Provides a layer for the foundation to hold on to, helping it stay smooth and even for longer.
What’s important to note is that your base will double up as a step in your makeup routine. Try not to layer too many products on before applying foundation. For example, Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer acts as a base for dry skin, provides an SPF of 15 and moisturises – three steps in one product.
As with foundations for your skin type, primers should be chosen following the same steps. Heavier liquid and creamy primers are ideal for dry skin and drier silicone based primers and better for oily skin, such as L’Oreal Studio Secrets or 17 Photo Flawless Primer. There are also primers available to counteract redness and soothe irritated skin, like No 7 Colour Calming Makeup Base.
Foundation Application: Apply foundation on the T-zone before any other area of the face. This is where most of us need coverage as we get the majority of action here in terms of sun exposure, spots, oily/dry patches and uneven skintone. Starting with the nose forehead and chin gives you an idea of how much foundation you actually need elsewhere. More often than not, covering the T-zone is enough to make the whole face look balanced, as the outer panels of the face get very little activity in terms of sun exposure, spots and so on.




Tools: Although there are many tools available, foundation for dry skin is best applied gently with fingers or a round damp sponge and patted on to the skin. Oily skin is best with a brush or sponge and worked upwards in circular motions. Sensitive and/or acne prone skin works best with a stippling brush or again, patted on gently with a damp sponge so as not to irritate the skin.
A key thing to remember is that foundation is there to even out skintone and look like a better version of your skin. Concealer is for everything else; covering spots, blemishes, scars and so on. I always apply foundation first and concealer second as running a foundation brush or fingers over a freshly concealed face will disrupt and move it. Concealer often has a nice brightening effect when applied on top of foundation and lasts longer.

Concealer: Generally, every woman should have two types of concealer; a lighter liquid formulation for under the eyes and a heavier opaque concealer for spots, scarring and other blemishes.
The liquid formulation’s look dewy and fresh and rarely cake; a kit essential of mine is MAC select cover up.  Applying it to the inner corner of the eyes and side of the nose will add brightness and cover dark circles. When dark circles are particularly bad, mix a tiny bit of liquid highlighter with your concealer for extra light reflecting properties. A small synthetic brush is good for this or patting it on with your ring finger also works well. For oilier skintypes, setting the concealer with a very light dusting of translucent powder helps it stay in place longer.

The heavier opaque concealer can also be applied with fingers but often works better with when applied with a small pinpoint brush and patted gently to blur the lines between it and the skin. An all time favourite of mine is Laura Mercier Secret Camoflage. A less expensive option is Revlon Photo Ready Concealer.
Finish: As with foundation application, dusting the T-zone lightly with translucent powder helps minimise shine and holds everything together. Usually, this isn’t necessary for dry skin types. If there was a lot of concealing work on the face, it’s always a good idea to lightly dust some translucent powder over these areas also. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish is my product of choice for dusting the skin and setting foundation, it also works for all skin types.

This ended up being quite a long post but I hope it was helpful in some way!”

Thanks Simone! Why not check out her amazing blog for more great tips, tricks and recommendations or visit her website to see some of her fabulous work. You can also check out the first post of this series here.
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