The face of foundation has changed. Emma Bangay discovers that gone is the slap-and-go plaster approach, replaced by 3 steps involving simple technique, a warm touch and a lean towards transparency.
In an age of fast gratification, foundation – and the makeup maestro’s that know it best – are bucking the trend of ‘slap on speedily and go’ application, opting instead for a realistic, radiant coverage. This means more products to get a ‘less’ coverage effect.
“So many women are time poor, waking up and seeing redness and skincare concerns first thing,” sympathizes leading Australian Makeup Artist, Michael Brown. “They automatically slap on a foundation thinking it will cover it - and it probably will - but it will look flat and highly unrealistic.”
“Who wants that?” Michael asks of the oft-evident, over-foundationed face. “When you could be layering gently with the right products and getting a truly youthful coverage resulting in less foundation needed day to day, or ever!”
The key to the best coverage is to smooth and plump the skin first, and then add light. That way the skin is already fresher and in more of a position to accept foundation, says Michael. “Adding these steps takes the same time once you are used to it as you need less foundation,” he assures. “Which is a skin success in my opinion!”
3 + 1 Steps to the 'More Is Less' Makeup:
o Moisturiser: A lightweight, water-based moisturiser is best before foundation as it instantly infuses skin with water, says Michael. “Because of this, moisture generally absorbs very quickly into skin so foundation can be applied almost immediately afterwards.”
o When working with dry skin, Michael waits a couple of minutes for the richer texture to settle so that the next step doesn’t slide south.
o Primer + Light: Following hydration, evening texture is the next priority. This is best done using a primer product, which generally acts as a second level of ‘plumper’ for the skin, refining pores and giving a little glow. “Primer creates an even base so that there is already less reason to use foundation because skin concerns are already partly hidden,” says Michael.
o Primer is best applied with warm fingertips - almost like a moisturiser - so it becomes like a second skin. “Sometimes applying products with a brush means they are 'painted' on, not melting into the skin to become one,” says Michael
o Now that the skin is plump with hydration and smooth with the primer, it’s all about adding light. “Light to me equals youth!” enthuses Michael. “It allows you to highlight points of the face that you want to accentuate and bring forward and therefor, create structure whilst keeping skin looking as fresh and translucent as possible.”
o “Light is not needed all over the face, just in the frontal bones of the face - above cheekbones, chin, the centre of face/nose, the centre of forehead and brow bone,” notes Michael.
o Correct and Conceal: Now is the time to correct any pink or red tones and apply your foundation or BB cream, says Michael. However, do so with a light hand. “This will be used only where we have a concern, starting only in the central area of the face and blending outwards so as to avoid heavy build up.” This includes around the nostrils, possibly the cupids bow, under the eyes…
o “I generally use a brush in sweeping movements for a more professional, streak-free result and very light coverage, from the centre of the face outwards,” says Michael “Or a dabbing, pressing application on problem areas offers great coverage too.”
o The optional extra: Bronzing is a great way to contour, notes Michael. “A small amount used under your cheekbone to cut and sharpen up your cheekbones is very lifting and also creates a larger looking eye when used into the crease of the eye socket,” he says. Blush is also a great face plumper when using a small amount on the apple of your cheek. “It allows cheeks to be rounded and fuller looking, which is youthful.”
o Go natural, says Michael. “Try to be in natural light when applying and when using a high pigment product and always dust any powder product onto the back of the hand first so that all the excess colour doesn’t end up on your face!”