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A Flawless Foundation

By Gerry Strauss
Posted On Nov 08, 2011

Words: Dex Phillip

Let go of the spackle! Here are five essential tips for creating a foundation so flawless that your skin will look ageless at any time of day—or any stage of life.

1) Prep Your Skin

Foundation adheres best to skin that is cleansed, moisturized, and/or primed—which means you must take care of your skin with regular exfoliation, daily moisturizing and daily cleansing. I also recommend that you get a professional facial, if not every month, every other month. Doing so will ensure not only a flawless foundation application, but amazing anti-aging benefits that will mean fewer blemishes and less blotchiness to conceal. Use cleansing and moisturizing products with anti-aging ingredients, drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy diet.

Note: Even the best foundation and/or concealer will not achieve the desired result if your skin is not properly prepped.

2) Choose the Right Color Foundation

This is where many make the biggest mistake. You want to choose a shade that perfectly matches your skin tone, not a shade lighter or darker. Next time you are at your local makeup atelier, choose three shades closest to your skin tone to sample, then take a disposable makeup sponge and swatch all three on the side of your face from cheek bone to jaw line—side by side—not on your hand, neck, or forehead. The color that disappears against your skin tone is the perfect shade for you.

Note: Always color match in natural daylight, never in direct sunlight or under fluorescent light.

3) Opt for the Best Formula to Match Your Skin Type

Everyone has a different skin texture, and it’s imperative you use the right consistency of foundation for yours, since each will work differently. If you have dry skin, use Chanel’s Vitalumiere Moisture Rich Radiance Fluid Makeup SPF 15 ($55, www.chanel.com). The formula has moisutrizing ingredients that target dry, dull and uneven skin. For oily skin, use LORAC Breakthrough Performance Foundation SPF 14 ($38, www.loraccosmetics.com). It’s an oil-free anti-aging foundation with SMS complex to help stimulate collagen and rejuvenate the skin’s structure. If you’re looking to cover up fine lines, use Alima Pure Satin Matte Mineral Foundation ($22, www.alimapure.com). It evens out skin tone, enhances complexion and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores. For full coverage, use DEX New York Mineral Retouch ($50, www.dexnewyork.com). It’s a creamy, highly pigmented waterproof concealer/foundation with medical-grade coverage to camouflage all imperfections.

4) Apply the Foundation

Apply only where needed, usually the center of your face, then blend out toward the forehead, chin and cheeks with a sponge applicator to even skin tone. A common mistake is not blending makeup evenly. So blend, blend, blend. Next, conceal any blemishes (and your under eye area) with a creamy concealer one shade lighter than your natural skin tone (fair to light skin tones use a concealer with a yellow undertone, and medium to dark skin tones use a concealer with a peach undertone). Use a sponge to stipple and blend concealer with your skin tone foundation. If you have oily skin, set lightly with a finishing powder. If not, just leave it dewey and fresh. Don’t pack on large amounts of powder over the concealer—that only ages you. The main goal: Your makeup should look like skin.

5) Use the Right Tools

There are many different tools used to apply foundation, but best results are achieved by using three of my ultimate favorites: Trish McEvoy’s Large Laydown Brush, made with luxurious sable hair ($53, www.trishmcevoy.com), is best used for applying cream foundation products. A makeup sponge applicator by Beauty Blender ($19.95, www.beautyblender.net) easily blends creamy foundation and/or concealer products. And the Botan Brush from NARS’ Kabuki Brush collection ($75, narscosmetics.com) applies loose and pressed powdered foundation and finishing powder products.

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makeup tips