I’ve worn many hats since starting this site in 2006. One of my favourites was “beauty editor”, but it turned out that trying to write about lipstick three times a week was a stretch, even for me!
I do, however, still LOVE beauty products… And I love to share what I’ve learned, too. When I got this question through a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to spill the beans on keepin’ it matte!
Q. What foundation do you use? Your gorgeous matte skin haunts me whilst I sleep, and I MUST figure out how to make this work for moi!!!
Firstly, I apologise that my skin has been haunting you while you sleep. It has very ghostly tendencies that I cannot control!
Ever since I was a young wee gothlette, a pale pancakey complexion has been my ideal. I’ve evolved this a little bit since — I now use fake tan and bronzer on my face, for example — but the quest for matte magnificence remains. I’ve done a lot of research and experimentation, and these days I have a few options… Which I am excited to present to you, gameshow host-style!
The most important step towards gorgeous-looking skin is to take extreme care with it! A great skincare routine goes such a long way. Skin can be SUCH a pest, what with its oils and its pores and its creasing, but if you are good to it, it will be good to you. If your skin is dry, flakey or uneven, even the best foundation will never get you to where you want to be.
Finding the perfect skincare routine can take time: I feel like I finally hit on the perfect combination when I was about 28… And it’s quite possible that I’ll have to change it again in the future! But it takes time and persistance.
My skincare routine is designed to do several things. Firstly, my skin is oily, so I’m looking to control that as much as possible. My second concern is with aging: I want to prevent sun damage (like hyper-pigmentation) and slow the development of wrinkles and creases. If you have the same needs as me, this routine might work for you… But then, it might not. Unfortunately, it all comes down to trial and error.
Here’s my routine: I use Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel and my Clarisonic, then I rinse my face with cold water and use Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion on a cotton pad. I wait for my face to dry, then apply Korres Wild Rose Instant Brightening Eye Cream and Mario Badescu Oil-Free SPF 30 Moisturizer. (Always remember to extend your moisturiser down your neck and to your decolletage! If your moisturiser doesn’t have SPF in it, be sure to use sunscreen on these areas, since they are some of the first to get wrinkles and age spots.)
Every night, I remove my make-up with a Simple Facial Cleansing Wipe, apply Korres Wild Rose Instant Brightening Eye Cream by patting it on with my ring finger, and put a drop of Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil in my hand before massaging it into my face and neck. (I love this stuff. It’s loaded with Vitamin C and essential fatty acids to keep your skin looking lovely!)
I use masks and microdermabrasion kits, too. I love Boscia Lumizing Black Mask and Olay Regenerist microdermabrasion kit, and probably do one or the other once a week. I like to take these extra steps because I wear make-up every day, and it takes its toll! It’s important to slough off the dead cells and clean out all the crud!
Obtaining complexion perfection is a combination of things: the right foundation for your skin-type, good clean tools, and technique.
No matter what you use to apply your foundation, be sure to clean it! You can buy little bottles of brush cleaner from Sephora, and they’re so easy to use: just spritz your bristles, then leave to dry on a paper towel. You should regularly wash your brushes using a little shampoo, too.
I recently converted to the Beauty Blender, and I cannot tell you how much it helps to improve the look of your make-up. They deliver the best results when they’re damp, so I spritz mine with a little water before I use it. (I also make sure to give it a really good wash at least once a week.)
The foundation I use depends on my activities for the day… It’s nice to have options!
For low-key days, I use Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer — the oil-free component is very important to me, to avoid the dreaded Face Shine (TM) — which I then set with Illamasqua Foundation Powder. Tinted moisturiser is basically “your face but better”. It just adds a sheer layer of colour to even you out, but it’s not going to turn you into Kim Kardashian. If your skin is giving you trouble, tinted moisturiser will probably just annoy you!
When I go out, I wear Covergirl 3-in-1, which I was given to write about but quickly fell in love with. The coverage is sublime, and it doesn’t need a primer underneath. It barely even needs to be set with powder, but if you want that extra layer, you can (and I often do).
For photoshoots, I like Make Up For Ever Face and Body. It photographs like a dream. I use a primer underneath — Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is my favourite, it’s expensive but worth every cent — and again, I dust with Illamasqua Foundation Powder to keep it looking pristine.
As you can tell, Illamasqua Foundation Powder is really the key to matchless matte-ness, and I am obsessed with it. This powder is MAGIC. It has killer porcelainising qualities (I just made that word up but let’s roll with it). It’s so effective that you won’t need to carry it with you for touch-ups, either (unless you’re doing something really strenuous or doing a photoshoot).
Matte skin is great and everything, but if you look exhausted, it kinda ruins the whole effect. I always wear under-eye concealer; for me, it is a non-negotiable. I’m in love with Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer, which is quite heavy, but if you apply it with a damp Beauty Blender, it looks sublime. If you’d prefer a creamy concealer, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit is fantastic: it’ll cover your dark circles and pretty much anything else!
I also love a bit of NARS bronzer, highlighter and blush to brighten things up and contour my face… But that’s a story for another time!
Lovin’ a dra-MATTE-ic face,
Photos by Made U Look.