"Full Face" Base Makeup Routine

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I always get a good chuckle when people compliment my skin on Instagram. The small images size on IG do seem to be pleasing but I attribute any "flawless" skin remarks to a foundation that photographs extremely well.

I don't have clear, smooth, dewy skin. Acne has plagued me ever since I was nine years and thanks to hormonal issues, continues to be a constant battle. Breakouts are kept in check with a combination of diet and birth control. Thanks to glycolic acid peels, most of the pitting is gone but I still have some hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores.

At this point I feel like it is worth while to point out that this base makeup is more heavy handed, for when I know there will be photographs taken. I prefer a lighter coverage for daily wear, sometimes only using a beauty sponge for a few bounces of foundation. Now a routine like this is old news to all you makeup loving fiends out there but I hope it proves hopeful for anyone dipping their toes into makeup.

 I start out with prepped skin. Skincare is a whole other beast so I'll just simplify it a bit here. Skin is clean but moisturized. The surface is soft and supple but not overly emollient. The only makeup I did ahead of time is fill in my brows a little bit. I'll show you my blemishes, scars, pores, scaly mouth thing from citrus sensitivity and dark circles... but not my brows. Brows are sacred.

Since my skin is both dry and oily, I apply priming product accordingly. Black Radiance Complexion Perfection is great for normal to dry skin, it smooths the surface but is not as slick as some of the silicone laden primers out there. For my t-zone, I use an oil control product like Anthony Logistics For Men Instant Fix Oil Control. Most of the time I simply used clean fingers to smooth on these products, but a smooth flat foundation brush can also be used. 

 I then apply concealer by patting it on with a synthetic brush. I know many people who prefer to apply concealer after foundation, but I like to do it before. By applying concealer before foundation, I find that blemishes and discoloration are pretty well covered by the time I use foundation, allowing me to apply foundation with a lighter hand. In turn, this seems to keep it from looking cakey. Also when I have a lot of product on my face, it can literally feel heavy. In addition, when you apply concealer after foundation, you can sometimes disrupt the nice foundation finish which I feel draws more attention to the area you were trying to cover up - especially if your concealer isn't a perfect match to your foundation in terms of hue, color value and finish.

I'm actually using a creme foundation - Graftobian Hi Def Glamour Creme. It's very emollient and has great coverage, which makes it blend really well. I'm using two different shades (I have a small five shade palette, "Warm 1"), a shade lighter than my skin tone under my eyes and a shade that matches my skin reasonably well everywhere else. My nose and my forehead are a bit darker than the rest of my skin so the concealer looks a bit lighter there.

 Instead of blending out concealer with that same brush, I prefer dabbing it with a rounded dense brush (Hakuhodo J214). I prefer a dabbing, stippling sort of motion over a circular buffing motion for a few reasons. If you have dry skin, this tends to emphasize any dry, scaly texture. With oily skin, buffing tends to sheer out the concealer and I find that it'll wear off faster. If you have any issues with acne, I'm sure you'll agree that buffing concealer around a healing, dried out blemish really makes it look rather crusty.  Dab it is.

 Foundation. Again, a bouncing motion is my favorite way to go, after all I don't want to undo all my hard work concealing by dragging the brush all around my skin. I usually use that flat small concealer brush to dole out foundation onto the areas that need the most coverage and work the brush outwards from there. My favorite foundations are Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, Make Up For Ever HD, Revlon ColorStay and Dolce & Gabbana The One Luminous Foundation. My favorite brush is the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush but I quite like most flat top dense brushes.

 At this point, makeup has matched imperfections with the rest of the skin, color wise. Blush and contouring are not necessary for concealment but since this is the time when I apply it, I thought I'd throw it in.

 Blush. I use many different blushers; powder, cream, matte, shimmery etc as well as a myriad of blush brushes. I happen to be wearing Catrice Lip and Cheek Colour in Blossom Me, Blossom You (LE) and using a MAC 188 brush.
 Contour. You really should check out this Messy Wands tutorial for an expert guide to sculpt the face. I usually opt to skip highlighting because many highlighting products are shimmery or pearly and the areas of my face that one would apply such a product tends to be the oiliest. Also, my setting powder has a touch of subtle barely discernible shimmer so I figure I'm good to go.

At this point, I apply a setting powder. I really like NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder, I find that when photographed, it greatly improves the look of the texture of my skin. Most noticeably on my nose and just under my cheekbones where the skin is still a bit scarred from acne. I apply this by lightly pressing the powder into my skin with a flocked sponge, then use a soft big brush to whisk away excess. Since I just finished applying makeup, I look quite matte. In about 30 min or so is the target photo taking zone when the makeup just seems to be more luminous. Occasionally when my skin gets really dry I'll lightly mist rosewater over my face, particularly the jaw and cheeks.

Just a quick before/after.

You might think that all these steps would mean that it takes forever. Actually once I had the routine down pat, I can go from primer to powder in about five minutes. I'm always curious about other people's routines! Do you do separate daily makeup and "full face" routines? How do they differ?

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