Make-up wise, foundation, concealer and powder is hardly the most creative part of getting ready but, whether we like it or not, it’s pretty essential and can mean the difference between looking good and looking great, especially when it comes to creating your vintage look. Vintage skin (pre mid 60s, at least) was always matte. No shimmer, no shine, no glitter. Therefor, when choosing cosmetics, I like to go for simple products, which aren’t ‘radiance enhancing’ ‘ light catching’ or ‘glowing’. Flawless, matte and creamy skin was the look and here’s how to achieve it.
I have two approaches when applying base/ coverage products – ‘less is more’ and ‘layer it on’. The first applies for normal days, when I just need to look presentable or if my client is not used to wearing a full face or wants a more natural look. Here’s my method.
1. Start by making sure that your skin is clean. Properly clean, not just daubed with a face wipe. They’re great for emergencies but can leave a residue on your skin which makes it hard for makeup to keep hold. For the record, SIMPLE are my favourite wipes.
2. Next, apply a light but effective moisturiser, suitable for your skin type. I love BOOTS ESSENTIALS MOISTURISER. It’s cheap, light and gentle. For a bit of protection, I also recommend OLAY SENSITIVE DAY CREAM SPF 15. If you want to apply an eye cream, now’s the time to do it.
3. Allow the moisturiser to sink in, naturally (a good two mins whilst brushing your teeth should do it) before heading for your makeup bag. Now, Concealing. What product you use will depend on your skin type and what you want conceal. Generally, oilier skin favours stick / palette concealers and dryer skin, creams.
4. For dark circles & redness, an illuminating concealer is very effective. I’m currently using NO 7 . It’s creamy but not too dense and the colours are incredibly adaptable to different skin tones. See HERE for a more in-depth method for dark circles. The concealer should be dabbed on and blended outwards, with a brush, or a clean fingertip. Stick / palette concealers can be more difficult to blend and may benefit from a bit of warming up, first. If covering spots, scars or other raised blemishes, we need to switch to something with no reflecting particles (which will emphasise what we’re trying to hide) and blend blend blend. Concentrate the concealer on the centre of the blemish and tap the product gently over the area to be concealed. Do not rub! Now, using a soft, short bristled brush, very gently begin to blend the concealer to the edges of the blemish, and just beyond. Your chosen colour should be the same or one shade lighter than your natural skin tone. If your spot has turned scabby and dry, dab extra moisturiser on it, before concealing, and, do we have to tell you… Don’t pick it!
5. Powder. I much prefer the finish of loose powder and mineral powders, especially, although they’re rubbish for photographic work! Choose a nice matte colour which matches your skin tone, or for fool proof colour matching, go translucent. For loose powder, you need a big soft fluffy brush, and a headband. The headband will keep your hair out the way so you don’t get powder all over it and the brush will provide even, natural coverage, even in the smallest of laughter lines. For on the go touch ups, a compact pressed powder is much more convenient and lady-like. You’re done!
Now, if you want a more comprehensive cover up (or for photo shoots), follow steps 1 through 3 and then…
Foundation is a bone of contention, with me. Done well, it’s inconspicuous and can transform your skin, done badly, it can ruin a look. There are also some awful products out there which will feel greasy and heavy on your skin and you won’t enjoy wearing them, at all. I don’t need to tell you that you need a colour hat is the same or at very most one shade darker than your natural colour. If you’re going one shade darker, you MUST blend it into your neck too. If you’re using the same shade, blending from your chin down should be fine. What level of coverage you use is up to you but there are numerous choices, now, from barely there tinted balms & moisturisers to full on medical grade coverage, with some nice middle ground products, in between. For photo shoots I would recommend NOT using mineral products, although for everyday, I’m liking them more and more. For stage and some photo work, stage make-up can also be great. See SCREENFACE for a dazzling array. I’m using BOOTS No 17 SHEER MOISTURE, as it’s a good light coverage that isn’t at all gloopy.
4b. Spread a small pea – to broad bean sized amount of foundation onto the middle of your forehead, down your nose and onto your chin and then blend it outwards, towards the top, bottom and sides of your face. You can use a brush, sponge or your fingers but I like to use a brush, preferably with natural bristle. The aim is to get more coverage on the central parts of your face and then fade to nothing towards the outsides. Pay particular attention to around your eyes, nose and mouth, making sure there’s no product lodged in creases and hairs.
5b. = As Step 4, in the natural instructions. * Note * If you’re using foundation, you should apply your concealer AFTERWARDS, as this will stop you rubbing it off when you apply the foundation.
6b. Now that your covered up all that you want to cover up, we need to set it all, to make sure it doesn’t slide in to oblivion, by dinner time. This is where powder will work it’s miracles. As I said above, I prefer loose powder for initial application and pressed powder for touch ups, throughout the day. Be careful not to wipe the powder across your perfectly made-up face. You should use soft dabbing and sweeping movements, especially when using a compact, and build up in layers. This will make sure that you don’t dislodge any of the products that you’ve applied. as above, make sure there’s no powder lurking in creases and hairs, as these will build up and only accentuate the bits that you don’t want to , necessarily, accentuate.
Now you’re ready to move on to eyebrows. See our previous tutorial, HERE!
I hope you’ve found this useful and remember, if it’s all a bit of a faff, just get some giant sunglasses and grow a fringe!