I wish I could be one those Gisele-types. You know the kind of girls that run out the door with perfectly tousled curls and just a smidge of tinted moisturizer and a lick of lip gloss. Alas, like so many others out there, I have dark circles to conceal, acne blemishes and scars to camouflage and a sunkissed complexion to fake!
In another post, I’ll talk about the products and treatments I’ve found to be super helpful in tackling the blemishes and imperfections themselves. But in this post, I wanted to share the makeup & method I use everyday that I think is great at covering even the worst of breakouts and making me feel pretty again
After moisturizing (and letting it sink in for 10 minutes) I always start with a small amount of primer. It makes such a huge difference in how your makeup goes on – and makes it last all day long. I currently use the Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, which I think is particularly good if you tend get an oily t-zone like I do during the day. I’m also a fan of the lightweight water-based Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light & the velvety Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primerin green, which aims to minimize the appearance of redness.
When it comes to covering up the skin on my face, I believe there shouldn’t just be a thick blanket of foundation. However bad you think your skin is, there are always areas that aren’t actually affected by acne (and I like to think as a beacon of hope that one day all the skin on my face will be that ‘normal’!) For me, that is my forehead, the sides of my face and usually my upper cheeks.
I found this amazing how-to video by top celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge in which she shows how to cover up acne in the most effective and yet beautiful way. She has a similar philosophy in which she says camouflage just the affected areas of your skin – and emphasize glowing, natural looking skin for the rest of your face.
She too advocates starting out with a sheer foundation all over just to even out the skin tone and building up the areas with blemishes either with concealer or foundation. I’ve tried a few foundations but I always end up coming back to the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light (right now I blend shades 2.0 & 3.0 together for a warm neutral) I like that it’s specifically oil-free, non-acnegenic, non-comodogenic, controls oil, resists smudging & never melts off. I can apply it in the morning and make it through a workday, workout and dinner and never have to touch it up or reapply concealer.
I warm the foundation on the back of my hand and then use a foundation brush to apply the sheer layer of foundation all over. I bought the No.7 Foundation Brush while I was in the UK (which Lisa actually uses in her video too). I then use a damp beautyblender sponge with a gentle patting motion to apply more coverage where I need it and just to blend the edges. If you haven’t tried the beautyblenderyet, I highly recommend it. It is absolutely amazing and I would never do my base without now.Obsessed.
I then apply concealer under my eyes and just to the more obvious blemishes (with the sponge & foundation, sometimes you don’t even need to add concealer) I like the Chanel Correcteur Perfectionand the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer. After waiting a few minutes for the foundation to settle, final step is to set everything with some loose translucent powder. I use the velour puff to gently press a tiny bit of powder over the blemishes just to set it in place (otherwise a brush might dislodge the concealer) and then dust a little bit over the rest of my face using a large fluffy powder brush. I currently use the Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder. Try to dust in a gentle downwards motion rather than buff in circles as you may get more powder trapped on the ‘peach fuzz’ hairs on your face and make your base looked more caked on.
So that’s the base done and now you start to do all the fun stuff like beautifying your eyes or contouring your cheekbones. More importantly, you can stop worrying about whether everyone is staring at your bad skin (they’re not) and get back to enjoying your day!
I’d love to hear about your favorite products so please leave your comments below!