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Best base to best face scenario: tips for achieving flawless foundation application
We all want to “cheat” a perfect complexion without looking like we are wearing makeup, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to go right. Either our foundation looks cakey and uneven, sinks into pores and lines, or slides off the skin after a couple of hours. After the time and effort spent to apply it, that’s the last thing we want happening! Application technique is only one factor in achieving flawless looking foundation – even though that in itself doesn’t need to be difficult with the right products and tools. There are a fantastic range of foundations at TVSN – many of which I use and love, but how do I ensure I get the best out of these foundations? In this blog post, I will share some of the steps in my beauty routine that help me achieve this.
To coincide with Beauty Awards Month at TVSN, this blog post features a few of the products nominated for a Beauty Award for 2017. This is such a great way for us, the TVSN viewers and customers, to celebrate our favourite brands and products – so be sure to vote and have your say!
The first step in achieving flawless makeup application begins with the condition of my skin. If you don’t have the best possible base to work with, then any issues will potentially be accentuated when foundation is applied. Cleansing is an absolute must-do step, as it is the starting point of good skin. However for this blog post, I will focus more on some other steps that help achieve a smooth texture for makeup application and improve makeup longevity.
Exfoliation is Important
Exfoliation is a vital step in helping remove any dead dry skin and clearing out those pores – both which can cause foundation to look patchy and uneven. I know straight away when my usual foundation isn’t applying correctly that my skin needs a serious exfoliation.
Nominated for ‘Best Targeted Treatment’, SKINN DermAppeal is my favourite exfoliator to use once or twice a week. Although I also use an exfoliator/cleanser that is suited for use on a daily basis, DermAppeal is my “turbo-charged” exfoliator that helps resurface my skin, creating a smooth even texture with clearer and refined looking pores. Applied onto damp skin, it initially creates a warm feeling, followed by an intense cool sensation once rinsed off. The texture is a thick paste initially, which then emulsifies into a lighter consistency once water is added, which also activates the enzymes in the product. The intensity of exfoliation can be varied by the amount of pressure you apply when massaging into the skin. My skin is left looking glowing and radiant after use, and my foundation applies so much more seamlessly. Definitely a “non-negotiable” for me!
Facial oils are a gamechanger
As someone who still has oily skin, applying a facial oil might seem counterproductive. However, facial oils have become one of my favourite types of skin care products in recent years. Not only do they help balance my oily skin and therefore reduce the shine throughout the day, they also give my skin an amazingly soft and smooth texture, making foundation application more even and flawless. They also take care of any little flaky patches of skin that foundation can stick to, as well as giving my regular serums and moisturisers that extra boost.
Using a facial oil morning or night (or both) is a personal preference. The Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil is perfect for even the daytime, where I don’t feel like using a facial oil that makes my skin shiny looking. Nominated for ‘Best Serum/Oil’, it is a light-textured, easily absorbed oil. It contains a blend of 9 essential oils (which smell divine – an aromatherapy experience in itself), as well as 5 plant oils which are beneficial to the skin. I use two drops rubbed between the palms of my hands and then pressed into my face. It is soaked right up without leaving any greasy residue or film, and my skin is left feeling soft, calmed and hydrated. I can easily layer a moisturiser over top without any heavy or occlusive feeling, which I love.
Moisturise for more than just moisture
Applying moisturiser is the final step in my skin care regimen. During the day, I like to use a moisturiser that acts as a good transition between my skin care and makeup. Specifically, I choose moisturisers that have an immediate effect on the texture of my skin, laying the foundation for a more even and smooth base to apply makeup on.
SKINN Creme Reverse is one of my favourite moisturisers to use for this purpose. It has a gel-cream texture, is non-greasy, and creates an instant soft focus finish on my skin, helping to blur my pores and fine lines. It also feels instantly firming on my skin, giving my complexion a smoother finish and therefore my makeup a more flawless base. It is also lightweight enough that in the evening I can layer additional products over the top if required, such as during winter when my skin feels more dehydrated than usual.
Another moisturiser nominated in this category that I had to give a mention to is the NIOD Hydration Vaccine. This moisturiser is unlike anything I’ve ever used before. It is one of those products that, for me, bridges the gap between a moisturiser and a primer – on application, my pores are blurred, and my skin is left with an amazingly smooth texture and slightly mattified finish. Only a small amount is required, and my makeup glides over with ease. And not to mention that it works great as a moisturiser, leaving my skin feeling soft and hydrated. Definitely a very unique product!
Priming to perfection
We all know that classic saying about primer from a certain famous Australian makeup artist! Skipping primer really doesn’t do justice to our foundation, because it gives the foundation a whole lot of issues to deal with – pores, fine lines, uneven skin tone, breakthrough shine. Applying a primer after skin care and before foundation helps minimise these issues, providing a smoother, more even base to apply foundation. It also provides a layer between our skin care and foundation, as well as giving the foundation something to hold onto, improving the wear and longevity.
One of my favourite primers to use, especially under my PUR Cosmetics complexion products, is the PUR Cosmetics Correcting Primer. Nominated again this year for ‘Best Primer’, I love using the green primer in particular to help tone down the redness in my skin. My before and after photo below shows the difference this primer makes – I took the before shot when my skin was especially hot, red and irritated, and pores very open – something that happens especially this time of year with air conditioning and heating.
Although my skin is far from perfect, this primer helps tone down many issues. The after photo shows how my redness is diffused, pores blurred, and my skin looks a bit more even overall. As a result, my foundation looks more even and true to colour when applied, doesn’t concentrate in the pores, and wears much better. Definitely a can’t-be-without primer for me.
Keep an updated wardrobe of foundations
I am a firm believer of having a wardrobe of foundations. From varying formulas, coverage and finishes, keeping a range of foundations in my makeup collection gives me the choice based on what I need that particular day (long wearing, full coverage, lightweight etc), or what my skin feels like (liquid, powder etc).
Foundation formulas have also come a long way over the years, and these days, they help give us the coverage we are after without looking heavy or cakey or causing common foundation issues. Additionally, many are formulated with great skincare ingredients. TVSN has many great foundations which I love to use for their own unique reasons. However two foundations that I turn to the most and that are nominated for Beauty Awards are both from PUR Cosmetics – one a classic long-time favourite, and the other a newcomer that is fast becoming a favourite.
I couldn’t go past the PUR Cosmetics 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder in the ‘Best Foundation’ category. It has been a constant in my makeup collection for the past 9 years, and is my go-to, no-brainer product – whether I am wearing it alone or over the top of another PUR complexion product. Its versatility as a foundation, setting powder, concealer and SPF makes the 4-in-1 the ultimate time saver and multi-tasker – perfect for travelling or on-the-go makeup application. There is no special technique required – you simply buff into the skin with a PUR Chisel Brush. As a setting powder, I use it with a fluffier powder brush for a lighter application.
Unlike other mineral powders I’ve tried before that hardly provide coverage and look powdery, the 4-in-1 covers my redness and evens out my complexion without looking or feeling heavy or cakey. And although it is a powder formulation, it doesn’t behave like one – after application it starts warming to the skin, and gives the complexion a luminosity and dimension that does not look like a powder was applied. For reference, I usually use ‘Golden Medium’, however I find the shades to be very forgiving, and can go a shade either side of Golden Medium without any issues. My after photo is just with the 4-in-1 powder applied alone to show what it does to my skin on its own, however I would normally apply it over the green-toned PUR Colour Correcting Primer.
The wear during the day is great – all I need are a couple of blots for some breakthrough shine, but the coverage (especially the redness coverage) lasts all day, and it doesn’t sink into or clog my pores. The PUR 4-in-1 definitely has cult-status in my makeup collection and I’m sure will continue to for a long time!
The other foundation that I couldn’t look past is the new PUR Cosmetics Bare It All Foundation, nominated this year for ‘Best New Product.’ I love many of PUR’s complexion products, and this foundation is no exception. It is long-wearing, provides medium to full coverage, yet it feels like nothing on my skin. However what it does to my skin is amazing – redness is covered, pores are softened, and it makes my skin look as perfect as possible without looking like I have a ton of foundation on. My before and after again was taken when my skin was quite angry looking, and I also applied the Bare It All with no primer underneath or powder on top to show its effects alone. For reference, I use the shade ‘Golden Medium.’
The finish is not quite matte – PUR describe it as “demi-matte” which I think is spot on. For application, I recommend using the PUR Skin Perfecting Foundation Brush or a wide bristled brush that distributes the foundation in large sweeps across the face, so that it can be blended out easily before it sets into place. I also prefer to start light and slowly build up the coverage if required. Resist the temptation to apply too much at once, because in my experience, you actually might find that you don’t need to use as much as you think, depending on the coverage you are after. The staying power is excellent, and it doesn’t cake up or slip off my face throughout the day. I think this new contender is going to become a customer favourite amongst PUR’s range of complexion products – it’s definitely one of mine!
Achieving flawless makeup application is just as much about preparing our skin as it is the foundation products used. A few little extra steps make the effort of applying foundation worthwhile, providing a smoother, more even and longer wearing finish. The types of foundations we choose are a personal choice depending on our individual skin type, but having a variety of foundations based on our skin’s needs from day to day can make a difference. Additionally, wearing foundation shouldn’t be about masking our skin with thick, heavy makeup. Just as technology changes, so do foundation formulas, and many modern-day foundations these days not only make application easy and effortless, but they also contain skin-loving ingredients. In the end, this comes full circle, because anything that helps our skin look and feel its best also helps our foundation apply and look its best.