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Makeup Tips for Opulent Skin

Date: 09 July 2016

People tell me all the time I have great skin, which takes me by surprise because for years I was convinced I had ruddy skin. But after years as a beauty editor, I've learned how to turn my reddened, sometimes ashy skin into Skin That People Comment On. Here are my skincare secrets
The No. 1 rule I've learned as a beauty editor is the healthier your skin, the less makeup you'll require. If you cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate skin, you'll notice over time you don't need much concealer and very little foundation.

Apply concealer BEFORE foundation

Once you apply concealer, you won't need as much foundation, according to makeup artist Bobbi Brown. Use concealer under eyes, along the nose and on the chin.
When you do apply concealer, pay special attention to the red areas around the nose. Dot concealer on these areas and then step back and look at how much brighter your face is (please also write to me and inform me of how genius I am).

 Avoid full foundation coverage

Few people need to apply foundation all over the face -- a look I lovingly call "cake face" (read more about cake face here). Apply where you have uneven skin tone (usually along your nose). In wintertime, if your cheeks tend to get ruddy, apply there as well. For sheerer, natural coverage, consider a tinted moisturizer, which goes on much lighter than typical foundations.

Blend foundation correctly

If you do want more coverage, use a foundation brush (more on this below) and always start in the center of your face, blending outward. Pay special attention around the neck, otherwise people will see the line where you stopped, giving you a "mask face." (Full disclosure: I went around with mask face my entire sophomore year of high school).

Pick the proper color and formula for your skin type

Choose a color that's as close to your natural skin tone as possible. Never try to darken your complexion with foundation; it will look very obvious (use a bronzer for a sun-kissed look). But do consider two shades of foundation: One for summer when skin is naturally darker, and one for winter when skin is lighter. Mix them in the in-between months.
For oily skin, go for a matte foundation. Dry skin? ? Try a hydrating formula. One last tip: It's a myth to test foundation colors on the back of your hand. The best spot is actually along your jawline, according to Allure's Linda Wells, in her book.
See how to pick the right foundation for more tips.

Use a sponge, a brush OR your fingers

There's really no right or wrong way to apply foundation. It's just by preference.
Here are 3 options:

  • A foundation brush. Some makeup artists prefer foundation brushes to apply foundation. A brush allows you to get into all the nooks, crannies and pores on your face. To do this, put a glob of foundation or  on the back of your hand and dab in a foundation brush (I like MAC brushes), then apply to face.
  • Your fingers. Other makeup artists believe using your fingers warms up the foundation, which helps it melt into your skin better.
  • A sponge. I use a sponge when applying tinted moisturizer or foundation. I find the coverage is smooth and goes on perfect and I don't muck up my fingers.

Any of the 3 methods above work fine. It's up to you which you prefer.

Don't throw out wrong-toned foundations and concealer

Finding the right color foundation and concealer can be daunting, which is why I suggest you get professional help or a makeup counter at a department store. This way you can try before you buy. But if you do have a few foundations and concealer that are just a bit off, do like the makeup artists and blend a couple of mismatched colors for the perfect one.

Invest in a great highlighters & watch your skin "glow from within"

My very best skin secret of the moment is illuminating creams and produts. I love the way highlighters can minimize your worst features while enhancing others. There's simply no better way to appear as if your skin is glowing from within than with an aluminizing cream.
Apply above your brows on the brow bone, on tops of the cheeks and down the center of the nose for best results.

Don't be afraid of bronzers

Nothing warms the face more than a bronze. Make sure to use a big makeup brush and a light touch. Apply to all the spots where the sun hits: Forehead, cheeks and nose. For more "pop," blend a creamy blush on top.

Tone down ruddy skin

If you have ruddy (red) skin, tone it down with a yellow- or green-based foundation. Pink-based foundations and tinted moisturizers will only worsen your red complexion. Also, try yellow-based blushes, such as apricot, instead of a pink tone.