First, you should put some time and effort into finding the right products. This is an absolute must. If you use the wrong colour or texture products, you can look sick or “mask like”. It can be a good idea to ask a sales representative, but be critical: Sometimes they just want to make the sale and don’t listen to you at all. If you ask for a concealer and the sales girl starts telling you about mascara, tell her you’re going to leave unless she plays by your rules. You have the money, so don’t feel forced to listen or buy if you don’t want to.
The right product will blend effortlessly into your skin and look natural in all lights. If you have to work too long to blend a product, it isn’t right. Also, don’t ever listen to weird ideas of testing a product on the inside of your wrists or something similar: A product needs to be tested where you’re going to use it. It’s the only way to see if it blends perfectly in. Your wrist doesn’t have the same skin type or tan as your face!
Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel or look perfect. There are too many great options out there to go for “close enough".
The following is taking you through all the steps I could possible do for a still-natural look. Feel free to skip any of them; I just wanted to demonstrate them all while I was at it.
You will notice I use a lot of Lancôme products. It stems from many years ago when a Lancôme sales representative actually *listened* to me and helped me find and buy the exact products I wanted. I have since then experimented with different brands, but I keep returning to Lancôme because they look and feel natural on my skin.
Other than the products themselves, you should invest in a good foundation brush. It makes a world of difference! With a brush, you can focus on small, troublesome areas, blend and tone out and keep it looking natural. Fingers or makeup sponges just doesn’t have the same effect. (Oh and this is a good thing to use your “leftover” shampoo for cleaning…)
Mine is from Lancôme
A concealer is used for concealing dark under eye circles. It’s a real miracle for disguising those late nights where you just haven’t gotten enough sleep. Usually it will be slightly lighter than your skin and have a yellow-ish tone to hide the violet tones from dark circles (Look at a simple colour wheel to see why) Dot it on and tone it out to cover the dark areas.
I use Lancôme long-lasting softening concealer in 01: Beige pastel
If you like to play up your eyes and cheek bones like me, tone the concealer out up to your eyebrows and down your cheek bones. Sometimes I use a mix I made myself for this: It contains a light eye cream, concealer and some shimmering YSL highlighter. It’s not as “covering” as the concealer and it gives a discrete glow.
If you don’t have a tendency to redness and irritation like me, skip the next step.Dot on an anti-redness foundation on the trouble areas and work it into your skin. Tone out slightly in concentric circles from the trouble spots.
(It seems to be a big discussion on the order of which you apply the different products, but I like this order. Concealer first because it’s a lighter, “special” tone and I don’t want mixing foundation in it, then the anti-redness concealer because often that will be enough and I can skip the regular concealer)
I use Lancôme Maquicomplet in 01:Clair Doré
Now for the foundation. I guess for a lot of people, just having a single foundation is enough. I have 3. It can be a good idea to have them in different tones as you change levels of tan during the year and your winter skin can be far from your summer skin. In between, you can always mix two tones together to match to perfection, or use the lighter one on a lighter area like your forehead and the darker on a darker area.
Dot foundation on in areas where you feel you need more coverage and tone it out carefully. Go down your neck and out towards your ears. If you like me don’t have naturally good skin, it can make you feel a lot better about it to spread the “good” areas. No matter what, try to avoid “lines” between non-covered and covered. Brushes are fantastic for this.
I have the following 3…Lancôme teint idole ultra in 03 (This is the darkest one. It only matches when I have a real, actual tan)
Lancôme color ideal in 010 (The middle one that works most of the time)
Lancôme teint idole ultra in 010 (As one of my friends named it: The atomic winter shade. Thanks Jane, appreciate it. Hmpf)
You can now use a clear powder to “set” the foundation and hide shiny areas like the T-zone if you feel like it. Brush it on lightly.
I use Lancôme color ID in Fair 1
Now for shaping and contouring the face. You can find lots of resources telling you how and where to apply blusher according to your face shape, but I will just share what I do.
I apply a highlighting blusher in a pale pink on my cheekbones, and then tone it upwards towards my temples.
Next, suck in your cheeks and where the hollow appears, apply a darker blusher. This will help shape your face and in my case, break up a jawline that I think is too dominant.
I like using a very pale, shimmering pink from Dior (Can’t find any information on colour or line on this one?) or Wet n wild Mega glow in catwalk pink. It has 4 different colour “stripes” so you can always mix the amount of blusher or bronzer you want to perfection.
The first brush is the one that came with the Dior blusher and the second brush is one that came with a BareMinerals foundation. I liked the brush better than the product.
Finishing touches. Take a shimmering highlighter or a bright eye shadow and dot the product on the very inner corner of your eye, then dot the same product on the top, middle of your eyelid right at the lash line. These two simple dots will make your eyes appear wider and brighter.
I use a palette from Lancôme in 203: Delicate romance. I have only ever used the white one!
Next take a light or white eyeliner and run it along the wet part of your bottom eyelid. This will make small eyes appear larger.
I use a Helena Rubinstein eye pencil in 08: Moon dust
Last step is to apply a bit of discrete lip gloss.
I use either a Lancôme juicy tube shade (Have like 3) or a lip gloss with SPF.
(Oh and brush your teeth before you leave the house for an instant face-brightener!)