The secret to flawless skin might include lots of water, a scrupulous skincare regime and a good night’s sleep – but it’s also down to a great base. Knowing how to apply your foundation, concealer and powder properly seems simple enough, however, watch a makeup artist do it and you’ll see a dramatic difference. Here’s what we’ve learned from some of our go-to experts…
Step 1: Prep Your Skin
“It’s so important to prepare the skin for makeup,” says NARS Senior Artist, Rachel Hardie. “Backstage we always spend a lot of time massaging the skin with skincare before we even started applying primer. It ensures the skin is well hydrated – making the skin texture look smoother – and the blood circulation is also brought to the surface, helping skin really glow. It also ensures the skin doesn’t absorb moisture from the foundation or primer, avoiding patchiness.” After cleansing, apply your moisturiser and massage into the skin before patting on a serum that’s tailored to your skin concern. New Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum boosts radiance with a blend of vitamin C and essential nutrients, plus, the citrus scent refreshes tired skin too.
Step 2: Use A Primer
It might seem like just another skincare step to slide into your regime but talk to any makeup artist and they’ll tell you a primer forms an essential part of their kit enabling them to create radiance, boost moisture, mattify the T-zone – or simple get makeup to stay put. Opt for one that suits your skin type – or mix and match. “If your skin is oily and has visible pores, a silicone-based primer is probably a good first step,” advises Surratt’s Global Artist Konstanine Mironychev. “And if you are on the drier side, start with a creamy moisturiser and then apply an illuminating primer over the top.” You don’t need to go overboard. “I apply a 5p sized amount of the NARS Radiance Primer to my cheeks and if it’s a hot day I’d also apply the same amount of NARS Pore and Shine Primer to my T-zone too,” adds Rachel.
Step 3: Apply Your Foundation
“In my experience, a well-chosen liquid foundation will totally do the job of enhancing your skin – that’s why I prefer to work with it first,” says Konstantine. “However, if your chosen foundation texture is powder-y, I would use concealer first; it’s harder to layer concealer over powders.” Apply your foundation first and it will also blur any imperfections. “It means I don’t then overuse concealer,” adds Rachel. “I’m just more strategic with where I apply it.” Add two to three pumps to the palm of your hand and apply to your skin, starting in the middle of the face where discoloration or uneven skin tone is usually more apparent and working your way out. “Layering is key. I like to work off an amount on the back of my hand and build the coverage on the face gradually, using brushes so I can really work it into the skin,” says Konstantine. “Our new Surratt Surreal Skin Foundation Wand is great for this – just a couple of drops blended out with the attached brush and you have gorgeous, hydrated-looking skin.”
Step 4: Cover-Up With Concealer
Concealers generally have a higher concentration of pigment, so they’ll take care of what needs attention if your foundation hasn’t got it covered. “I apply NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer with the NARS #12 Cream Blending Brush, patting out with my ring finger to blend,” says Rachel. “I like to use a couple of shades, a peach tone to brighten under the eyes and then a yellow tone to cancel the redness of a blemish.” If you don’t usually use a brush for applying concealer, it’s worth trying; makeup artists swear by brushes for their precision and then blur the edges with the warmth of their fingers. “I focus primarily on the inner and outer corner of the eyes using a slightly brighter shades and then something with a touch of pink to neutralise redness around the nostrils,” says Konstantine. “Our Surratt Perfectionniste Concealer Palette contains a lighter and a deeper shade precisely for this purpose.”
Step 5: Set With Powder
If you’ve always avoided powder for fear of being ‘cakey,’ you’re missing a trick. Powder formulas have come a long way and as well as setting your base so it lasts all day, it can also take down shine, add extra coverage and even add radiance. “Start by choosing what you want your powder to do for you. If you just want to take away shine, then translucent powder is your friend, because it won’t build up. If you like to add a little extra coverage at the end of the day, then tinted pressed powder is the way to go,” advises Konstantine. Start on the T-zone (where you’re usually have the most shine) using a big powder brush to gently buff the powder out towards the cheeks. You don’t necessarily need to apply it everywhere. “Personally, I prefer glowing skin, so I apply an oil-absorbing powder on the T-zone only using a large Smoky Eye Brush from Surratt,” adds Konstantine. “It’s smaller than a powder brush, so it places the powder exactly where I want it.”