6 Ways to Make Your Foundation Look Like a Second Skin

Parisian makeup artist Violette’s top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!’ not, ‘Your foundation is so great,'” she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.

Create a Glowing Canvas

Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.

Prime as Needed

To prime or not to prime? It’s an eternal question for amateurs and pros alike. While Violette typically skips the extra base step in the interest of using as little product as possible, when applied correctly, it can prolong foundation for all-day wear. “I use an anti-shine primer for hotspots like the forehead, hairline, sides of nose, and around the mouth, and then a sheer, illuminating one for the tops of the cheekbones,” explains Park, adding that she applies each with her fingertips.

Apply From the Center and Move Outward

Only apply foundation where it’s really necessary, insists Violette, who counts Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation with SPF 45 among her favorites. “Start in the center of the face, on the apples of the cheeks, and slowly blend out,” she instructs, adding that another key part of the face is the area around the mouth, which is prone to yellow undertones and shadows. To ensure the foundation looks as natural as possible, Violette often skips the bridge of the nose—letting freckles show through for those who have them—and the corners of the nostrils, so the pigment doesn’t cling to dry patches.

Don’t Paint, Buff

No matter what tool you’re using—a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers—buff (or bounce, if you’re using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.

Strobe Wherever the Sun Hits

For dimension, blend highlighter into the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s bow. “I’m not a fan of powder highlighters because it looks a bit fake to me,” says Violette. “Creamy balm textures will give you a dewiness as if you’re not wearing any products.”

Blot, Then Set

First, sop up excess oil with blotting papers. Then, look to a featherweight translucent powder to seal in foundation and prevent unwanted sheen. “Use a brush to apply it very lightly and only to the areas that get the most shiny,” says Nasrat, adding that the leftover luster is what will really drive home that second-skin guise. Silky smooth and even-toned, with just the right amount of lit-from-within dewiness, that’show you execute believably perfect skin.

VOGUE article

To Prime or Not To Prime? (Face)

The definition and meaning of makeup priming have changed overtime, in some cases to be more confusing. However, as a professional makeup artist, you have to know what it means to prime the face for makeup application, whether a separate primer is needed, what skin concerns you are trying to address, etc. 

While some makeup artists swear by skincare as priming alone to be just fine, others argue that a makeup artist should have a variety of primers in their kit to address specific skin concerns such as redness, dehydration, large pores, uneven skin tone, dull skin, oily or dry skin, sensitive skin, and more. 

In my opinion, moisturizer is non-negotiable, and has to be freshly applied before makeup application. Then, I carefully assess the client’s face by asking questions and gently pressing with my pinky finger to see the skin response. From there, I decide whether to apply a specific primer that would be beneficial to the client, and not just another layer.

That said, often times either one of these three techniques are used post moisturizing:

  1. On top of moisturizer, one primer is applied concentrating in a specific area, with purposes to smooth the skin, correct redness, provide a healthy glow, mattify, or further hydrate. The best example of this is using a moisturizer suitable for the client’s skin needs, with, for example, an oily T-zone being covered with a mattifying primer, but the rest of the skin left alone.
  2. On top of moisturizer, two or more primers are used to correct more than one concern on a client’s face. Same skin concerns as above, using specific primers in specific areas. 
  3. Lastly, as I mentioned in the beginning, some makeup artists feel as though the moisturizing step is enough to prepare the client’s skin for makeup, and if it’s still fresh and active – carry on with makeup application.

Here I’ve listed some great options for common skin concerns:

– Redness: Smashbox Photofinish Reduce Redness Primer
– Dryness: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Primer
– Oiliness: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Mattifying Primer
– Roughness: Becca Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer, IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer +
– To provide glow: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer – Illuminating, Becca Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer
– To reduce pores: Smashbox Photofinish Pore Minimizing Primer
– To prolong the wearing time: MILK Makeup Hydrogrip Primer

If you’d like to read more about this topic I highly suggest reading the Adore Beauty article, and Allure article.

Colors, Anyone?

Products:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Dark Brown
NYX Professional Makeup multiple eyeshadow palettes
FentyBeauty Pro Filter foundation
Maybelline New York Red Revival lipstick
BECCA Cosmetics Moonstone highlighter.

(Disclaimer: I do have Sanita’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

BeautyBlender Alternatives

By now we’ve all heard of THE Beauty Blender – the magic sponge for flawless makeup. Since it came out in 2007 (13 years ago) there definitely appeared many alternatives at competitive prices.

Some of my personal favourites are:

EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender $4.99
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge $5.99
E.L.F. Cosmetics Makeup Sponges $5.00-$10.00
Juno & Co Microfiber Fusion Sponge $6.00

Morphe Sponges (individuals and sets) $6.00-$16.00
Japonesque Kumadori Beauty Sponge $9.00
NYX Cosmetics Flawless Finish Blending Sponge $10.00

L’Oreal Blending Sponges $11.00-$13.00
Sephora Collection Sponges $19.00
Fenty Beauty Precision Makeup Sponge $22.00

Of course there is a myriad of textures, colors, functions, etc. Please consider your personal needs and online reviews if you’re unsure whether it’ll be right for you. And if it’s not – on to the next one! Sponges should be replaced around every 3 months, due to product buildup and bacteria. As well, please wash your sponges after every single use.

What are your favourite makeup sponges? Do you use them or brushes alone? Let me know in the comments below!

How Fenty Beauty Is Shaping The Beauty Industry

Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Welcome to Artist Spotlight #4 series on my blog.

Before she was @BadGalRiRi: music, fashion and beauty icon, Robyn Rihanna Fenty was a little girl in Barbados transfixed by her mother’s lipstick. The first time she experienced makeup for herself, she never looked back. Makeup became her weapon of choice for self-expression—a way to radiate her ever-changing mood—and it powered a fearless take on beauty that helped her become the boundary-breaking icon she is today.

Fenty Beauty products are designed to feel lightweight and luxurious, as they deliver buildable coverage that effortlessly layers, to ultimately “make skin look like skin.” Most importantly, Rihanna creates makeup to inspire:

“Makeup is there for you to have fun with,” she says. “It should never feel like pressure. It should never feel like a uniform. Feel free to take chances, and take risks, and dare to do something new or different.”

And that’s exactly what customers can expect to see when browsing the Fenty Beauty stands in Sephora or online: unique colours and combinations, innovative formulas, sleek packaging that demonstrates a professional high-end feel, yet holding inside inspiring products to get us out of our comfort zone.

There are currently 87 products listed for the brand on Sephora.com, ranging from base/complexion products, to eyes, lips, and body makeup. The brand is part of the LVMH umbrella, which also oversees Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and more designer brands (which explains the aesthetic of the Fenty Beauty line). But Rihanna didn’t just slap her name on makeup and call it a day, she takes an active role in formulating her products, coming up with ideas, representing and wearing her brand, and encouraging men and women alike to express themselves unlike we’ve ever seen before.

Sources:
Sephora.com
FentyBeauty.com
LVMH Website