I’ve grown quite proud of my ability to create a smooth workable base as a canvas for the rest of my makeup. I’m not a professional makeup artist and I don’t think my way will suit everybody but it works wonders for me and manages to stick around for nights out so I thought I’d share which products I use for a full coverage silky veil foundation look.
Cleansing & buffing:
It’s all about having a smooth surface before you even put anything on your face so I usually would use a blackhead eliminating peel off mask (reviews to come!) like Jorgobe or its more affordable twin Pilaten. This essentially rips out any blackheads that are making your skin bumpy – skip this step if you can’t handle the sensation of having a layer of skin pulled off. I would then usually use a light exfoliating cleanser like Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Scrub just to make sure there are no bits of dead skin or other flakes on there before turning your shower onto the coldest setting and rinsing off with the ice cold water to zap those pores shut. Then pat dry and spritz on a toner – I use my homemade tea tree and peppermint toning water to make sure those pores stay nice and tight. Whack on a LIGHT moisturiser like Clarins Flashbalm (it has to be light or your makeup will slip and slide right off your mush) and give it a good ten minutes to soak in fully before applying any makeup.
Now that your face is lovely and clean, you may not even want to put any makeup on it in which case I recommend staying bare and beautiful. However if you’re reading this I imagine you’re interested in creating a full coverage foundation look so read on. When it comes to velvety airbrushed looking foundation, you absolutely need a good primer. I love Makeup Forever’s Step 1 Mattifying Primer for a silky smooth gel like consistency that ensures that makeup glides on like a dream. If you can afford to spend a bit more I strongly recommend Benefit’s The Porefessional – this is probably the best primer I’ve ever used and creates a flawless anchor for your foundation while reducing shine and filling in any fine lines. It’s important to leave your primer to dry out a little bit before applying any liquid or powder foundations or they can go a little bit claggy and not set properly.
The piece de resistance to this look is a really good quality foundation that manages to be light and airy yet providing enough coverage for an airbrushed look that will last all night. That product, dear readers, is none other than NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. It packs a hefty price tag but as an investment product it is so worth it – this will last you absolutely ages. When I swatched this in Sephora I was really dubious about the thin consistency and how it would live up to its full coverage promise with such a runny formula. This seems to thicken up and dry slightly on the skin as soon as it is applied and has really great staying power – especially when finished with a translucent powder. Despite its illuminating yet matte texture, it is surprisingly non-drying and managed to cover imperfections perfectly while remaining light and weightless. I wear Mont Blanc which is a little pale for me now as I’ve managed to catch a slight tan over summer but it’s still wearable thanks to the magic of bronzer and contouring. They have a really great range of shades too so people of all colours can enjoy this one. What’s more NARS are famously cruelty free so you be rest assured that your makeup has only been tested on humans before it gets to you.
If you suffer from dark circles, patchiness or rosacea I recommend applying your concealer underneath this foundation as concealers stick better to primers than they do to foundation as well as the fact that you end up using less foundation this way. I use MAC Studio Finish and a dinky little concealer brush from Barry M to apply under my eyes in stripes that fan outwards towards the ears, on the chin in downwards stripes as I tend to breakout here, upwards from the tip of my nose up the bridge and around and over the brows. Then I blend it all in with a sponge in the direction that the strokes go in and am ready to apply my foundation. I use the Bare Minerals liquid foundation brush that has a little well in it so you can apply your product directly into the brush and distribute over the face in a more even way – it’s fabulous and I’ve never had a smoother application than with this brush. Two pumps of NARS foundation will usually cover my whole face, I apply this runny liquid in downward strokes from my forehead, nose and cheeks downwards and outwards to achieve a more natural finish without highlighting any fine hairs on the face (WE ALL HAVE THEM OKAY). Leave this for 30 seconds to set before adding any powder, bronzer or contouring cream.
And that’s your base done and dusted – literally as I would usually apply a translucent powder to set all my hard work. This would usually take me around 5-10 minutes post peel off mask (this can take around half an hour) and is basically my ritual before a night out or event.
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