Hello perfect skin…

So today’s make up masterclass focuses on ‘deciphering foundation speak’. Labels can be so confusing that you end up buying the wrong product for your skin.

Here’s the low down on tinted & matte versus light reflecting foundations as well as the 411 on concealers, loose powders and some fantastic top tips…

Know you foundations & concealers

Tinted Moisturiser/Sheer This is a moisturiser with a hint of colour. This won’t give any coverage. So, if you’re blessed with good skin or you don’t wear a lot of makeup then this is the perfect choice, great in the summer months to enhance a tan. Very easy and very quick to apply. Apply a little concealer under the eyes and to any other slight imperfections (if needed).

Satin/demi matte

This offers the most natural look.The most wearable of finishes, a skin like texture.It has the flawless coverage of matte but without a powdery texture. Suitable for all skin types.

Light reflecting/diffusing

A liquid foundation containing specially shaped particles that reflect light off the skin. This base gives a youthful appearance. This is suitable for all skin types except oily/open pores. Great for young girls who want a ‘dewy’ complexion and for older clients since the effect will draw attention away from fine lines and any other giveaway signs of ageing. Lovely for a drier skin since it gives ‘texture’ to the skin.

Foundation Stick

Like a giant concealer but softer to touch. Offers quick buildable coverage. The finish is more opaque than a liquid so is more suitable for a combination/oily skin. A great timesaver as it can be applied quickly then blended.

Matte/Oil free/Non Comodogenic

Suitable for oily/ blemished skins or if you prefer a ‘classic french’ look. Will give a heavier matte finish

Compact foundation

A powder and foundation in one. It’s very quick and easy to apply. Gives a heavier and fuller coverage with a matte finish. Particularly beneficial to those with less than perfect skin since its texture conceals blemishes and any other imperfections


Concealer is meant to look as invisible as the blemish it is intended to disguise. Nowadays they come in a variety of textures and are so sophisticated they can hide dark shadows and blemishes as well as highlight and soften lines. For a quick makeup skip foundation altogether and just use concealer where needed.

Skin problems and how to cover them…

Under-eye shadows

Choose either a soft creamy textured one or a liquid. A cream is slightly harder and stays put for longer and will give fuller coverage if the under eye is particularly dark however if the skin is dry or quite lined than a liquid will look softer and smoother. Both types are quite versatile.

Spend time getting this step right.The colour should be half to one shade lighter than your foundation. Apply with a small firm brush to the innermost corner of the eye and along the lower lashes. Lightly press into the skin with your ring finger. Add a little to the outer corner of your eyes,this has a lifting effect.The result should look like you’ve had 8 hrs sleep,even if you haven’t!

A cream can also be used to conceal other imperfections on the face too. A liquid can be used to highlight the brow bone, make the lips look fuller or diminish fine lines.Try both. Apply after foundation with a small brush.

TIP: apply an eye primer or cream to prepare the skin. This really makes a different to the finish It’s essential when you are trying to conceal dark shadow AND fine lines since applying concealer only will just further accentuate the lines. The skin needs to be as hydrated as possible in order to look smooth. It will also last a lot longer.

Spots and blemishes

This is a slightly harder texture of concealer. Often they have anti-bacterial ingredients to treat the spot as well as conceal it. Apply after foundation with a small brush and gently pat into the skin until invisible. Alternatively just apply a little more of your usual foundation with a smaller brush.

IMPORTANT TIP – when covering spots use clean fingertips and disposable items such as cotton buds and cotton wool to prevent spread of bacteria,the last thing you want is more spots! Transfer a little concealer with a cotton bud to the back of your hand and lightly apply to the blemishes and spots. Use cotton wool pads to apply loose powder where spots are present and throw away. NEVER use brushes over these areas as you will end up with a powder full of bacteria!

Loose Powder

The final step, used to set the foundation and concealer. It removes any shine and gives the base a long lasting finish. Formulas are so fine now, never chalky or matte that they, too, can have light reflective particles like foundation that can cleverly bounce light away making the skin look fresh and youthful. They can also help disguise imperfections for example open pores.

Many companies have different shades since what might be right for a porcelain skin may be too pale for a tanned or Asian skin. For best results light press into the skin with a powder puff. Pay particular attention to the t-zone, the skin here can be more oily/open pored. The powder will absorb any excess oil and make pores look smoother.

Then, sweep a large brush over the face to blend,this will also remove any excess powder and ensure a smooth polished finish . For a lighter or more casual effect simply apply with a large powder brush and sweep out toward the hairline. Don’t forget to apply a little to the eyelids to set foundation and prevent creasing.Be careful under the eyes,apply the tiniest amount here to set concealer without looking crepy

TIP: for drier,mature skins skip cheeks and just apply to the t-zone and eyelids

Pressed powder

An ideal product to touch up with, example around the nose or t zone as the skin begins to shine. Apply with the lightest touch with either the powder puff(heavier finish) or a powder brush ( lighter finish)

Bronzing Powder

A great way of creating a sun-kissed look or for those who don’t like blusher. Substitute for blush in the summer. Never use a bronzer that is obviously darker that the skin as it will look artificial and flat. For a simple tanned effect or to contour the face, use a matte powder. Dust around hairline, on the nose and chin and across cheekbones. To create a dewy look, use a shimmery bronzer across the cheeks. Shimmers are a great quick way of adding an evening glamour, apply to centre of eyelid, browbone, decollete and even lips mixed with lip balm.

TIP: always apply bronzer over loose or pressed powder as the final step.This ensure a very even and long lasting finish. Often just applying bronzer on its own can look patchy and uneven .Layering is the key to provide anchor and a uniform finish

Hope you enjoyed the second part of my Beauty Masterclass.

Helen x

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