The art of flawless skin
Learning how to do pretty skin is probably hardest thing for any aspiring makeup artists. I’ll take it one step further by declaring that there is no good makeup without clean, glowing skin. You can turn the eyes and lips into a work of art but if the foundation looks thick and drab, that’s what the main effect will be: thick and drab… and old fashion.
There are 3 components to the art of skin makeup:
Any product you apply on the skin adds a layer of texture. The more fluid and translucent the product is, the less it alters the natural look of the skin. On the other hand, a thicker and more opaque product can substantially change the appearance of the complexion and make it more “chalky” looking. Decades ago this unnatural finish was inevitable because of the quality of the available products. Today, a strong emphasis on health and youth is what’s in and the heavier look seems out of sync with its time. Mainly, the market is so rich in options, there’s no reason to be heavy-handed.
- Tinted moisturizer gives a nice little hue while leaving the skin luminous. Excellent choice for no-issues skin.
- Fluid, liquid and gel makeup are great when applied with a brush or a moist sponge. They even out and cover just slightly without adding opacity.
- Creams or sticks are a good idea if you need more coverage or have spotty skin. You should apply them with a moist sponge to keep things light. They’re great in combination with a concealer applied with a brush to the areas that need the extra-camouflage. The idea is not to spackle but create a nice base and “retouch” where needed.
The most difficult thing to pick out perfectly! A very sharp eye is a must to figure this out. Most info out there will tell you to test the foundation on the jawbone or the wrist to find the right shade of foundation. For me, that doesn’t make any sense. The face is always a shade lighter and sometimes darker than the décolleté and the rest of the body. And the wrist is another shade and skin quality altogether.
If my goal is to make the skin look as natural as it can be and not show the “work” that’s been done, I would like the skin to match the rest of the body. My trick is to apply a few dots on the chest, by the collarbone, look for a shade that will blend in perfectly and know there will not be any unflattering color discrepancies. Don’t be tempted to settle for a “good enough” match. If you can still see your dot on the collarbone it’s not the right color for you. . Note that pink hues don’t work for skin tones that don’t have any red in them. In a very generalized way, the less you turn red in the sun, the less red pigment is in your skin. Likewise, if you are a redhead with freckles, stay away from yellow-based foundations.
The young crowd likes a bit of sheen on the skin. It looks natural, undone and “childlike”. For that look, I recommend using a rich moisturizer to begin with. Then use as little foundation as possible, if any, and just correct any blemish with a brush and concealer. Use a light dusting of translucent, loose, setting powder on the T-zone and leave the rest bare. If you need a little more coverage, use the foundation and add a whiff of powder to set it. To give the sheen back to the skin, rub a tiny amount of moisturizer in your hands and dab it where you want the skin to reflect the light: the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, the chin, the sides of the forehead. It’s a “controlled sheen. Great for red-carpet situations.
If one prefers a matte finish, there are great quality powders out there. I’m partial to a fine milled translucent variety. My favorite brands are MAC, YSL, Chanel, Dior. However, I’m sure there are other varieties out there that are fantastic as well. I just haven’t checked them out yet. Application with a velvet puff will give maximum coverage, whereas a “dusting” with a brush will look more subtle.