Written by Zakiyah Shani
My favourite part of the makeup application process has always been skin. Whether I want to look glamorous or understated, have the time or energy, base makeup will always take precedence in my routine.
Multi-purpose base products are a God send! Who wants the hassle of using an excessive amount of products to achieve one look, and these days, who can even be bothered to apply a full face of makeup? (Not me!) Achieving a flawless base can seem like a lot of effort. However, I have a few tips and techniques that will upgrade your makeup game and have you feeling fabulous!
– The first stage is skin prep and this step is non-negotiable! It is important to remember that all skin types require hydration and nourishment, especially under makeup and yes… even if you have oily skin! Now I won’t lie, I am not an avid user of primer, but a good eye cream, lip primer and hydrating setting mist will go a long way in your base routine.
– It is important to effectively moisturise the skin surrounding your eyes, to create a smoother base for your makeup to sit on top of. This area of skin is thinner than the rest of your face and requires hydration due to the lack of oils naturally produced under the surface.
– Blending and setting your cream or liquid products properly is the key to achieving a flawless base. Always make sure to seamlessly blend your cream or liquid products together to prevent harsh lines or blotchy patches. I like to use a beauty sponge or small fluffy brush to diffuse and blend my makeup. There are no start or stop lines on the surface of your natural skin, so consider this when blending throughout your makeup application.
– Be quick with applying any setting powder, as you want to ensure that all of your prior hard work and blending skills are set perfectly in place. Doing this instantly will prevent lines or creases forming which will become more visible once a powder is applied.
– For a flawless and smooth under eye, press your beauty sponge or brush into your setting powder, tap off any excess product, then gently buff and press the powder completely into the area. If you are prone to oily skin, you can go back in and leave a light layer of setting powder along the t-zone to help absorb any excess oils whilst you finish your makeup look. Don’t forget to dust it away when you’re done! A little can go a long way and prevention is better than cure! It’s better to start with less product and build up slowly, if necessary.
– Cool tones will help emulate the natural contours of the skin, whilst warm tones are great for bronzing and warming up your complexion. Using the correct shades and tones to bronze and contour will help to shape and define your face in a natural looking way.
– If you struggle with dark spots or pigmentation, using a correcting concealer before applying foundation or powder will help to balance out your skin tone. I like to use warm tone concealers in a shade slightly darker than your natural skin tone to level out the complexion before applying foundation and powder. This helps to counteract darkness and prevent the skin from looking grey or ashy around your darker areas.
– A pressed setting powder can also aide in achieving smooth and flawless looking skin. They can also be used to brighten your under eyes or build coverage.
– Setting spray is my holy grail product and life saver for hydration,, redemption and longevity. One of my favourite makeup tricks is applying setting spray before powder highlighter. Without this step, you may as well go ahead and cancel the entire look!
Once the spray has settled into your skin, use a fluffy tapered brush to gently buffer and blend your pressed or loose powder highlighter into the high points of your face. This will create a very diffused and soft focus glow that looks like it comes from within.
I prefer using setting mists due to the fact that it feels calming and like less of an attack on your face but more importantly, because they hydrate the skin whilst refreshing and sealing your makeup. On days where you might feel like your makeup feels dry or looks powdery, refresh the skin with a hydrating setting mist to soften the finish.
Recommendation – Morphe Continuous Setting Mist.
– Using the right tools and brushes and cleaning them regularly can also be very beneficial with the finished result of your base makeup. Whilst many brushes can be multipurpose, there are specific shaped and sized brushes that will help with the placement, precision and application of your makeup.
Lastly, be gentle with your application as this can often make a difference to the finish – you are beating your face but don’t be literal about it! Downward stokes, soft circular motions and buffing techniques are essential for a smooth skin finish. The ‘170 Rounded Slant Brush’ from MAC Cosmetics and the Mademoiselle Femme ‘No Filter Sponge’ are great tools for this!