Better Skin = Less Make-up
We've come a long way since the days when a woman wouldn't leave the house without "putting on her face" — as if she didn't have a face until she painted one onto her drab, formless features. Today, going out wearing little or no makeup is considered cool.
If you feel you don't dare go bare, there is a happy medium between being makeup free and contouring like a Kardashian.
Skincare, Not Camouflage
How do you transform wrinkled, spotty, sagging skin into smooth, glowing, plumped-up perfection? Aw, c'mon! It's not that bad! But it does make sense to heed this advice we heard recently: Spend 80 percent of your beauty budget on skincare and 20 percent on makeup. In other words, invest more in products and treatments that actually improve your skin, not in stuff to cover it up.
What you want is to look like yourself but with nice, tight, poreless, even-toned skin that reflects light. Makeup can only do so much. So instead of trying to fake your way to flawless, let's get your skin in optimum condition, shall we?
Take Time to Treat Your Skin
This means exfoliating regularly to remove dulling dead cells, refine pores, and reveal a fresher, brighter complexion. It also makes your skin most receptive to treatment serums and moisturizers. Speaking of which, it's important to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! While it won't make wrinkles magically disappear, it will plump up skin temporarily, making fine lines less visible and giving your complexion a more luminous look. And if you do choose to wear makeup, it glides much more smoothly on moisturized skin.
Ditch Dryness, Dark Spots, and Dullness
Look for skincare products containing hyaluronic acid, which is celebrated for its ability to attract and retain moisture in the skin. Also use a serum that targets dark spots and discoloration, and a product that helps refine and tighten your skin. A couple of times a week, relax with a super-moisturizing face mask. Consider scheduling regular facials and asking your dermatologist to recommend noninvasive procedures that will address your specific skin concerns.
You might want to try a jade face roller, a handheld massage tool that looks like a tiny rolling pin and is said to rev up circulation, detoxify, de-puff undereye bags, relieve tension, temporarily firm skin, provide a lymph-draining effect, and take you to dinner. (Just kidding about that last one!) Originating in ancient China, the recently rediscovered roller is now the hottest beauty trend since super-skinny eyebrows.
Emphasize your eyes by curling your lashes, which makes them look bigger. (If your lashes are pale, why not get them tinted instead of relying on mascara?) Have your eyebrows professionally groomed so they really frame and flatter your face, which makes a dramatic difference in how you look. And having a great haircut that plays up your best features never hurts.
Now that you've coddled your complexion into tip-top shape, it's time adopt a less-is-more approach to makeup. After cleansing, if you have time, use a scrub and take a few minutes to apply a hydrating sheet mask for extra moisture. Always create a smooth base for foundation by prepping skin with a rich moisturizer for a lit-from-within look.
All About That Base
Use a sheer foundation so your skin texture shows through, and warm it in your palm before applying so it literally melts into your skin. (Try one with light-reflecting particles that blur the look of imperfections. — if you have any left!) For the lightest coverage, smooth on foundation with a damp makeup sponge for a dewy finish — or use tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or mix your foundation with moisturizer (or you could forgo foundation altogether and simply dab concealer where needed).
Next, spot-treat imperfections with concealer in a shade close to your foundation so they blend seamlessly (yes, concealer after foundation so you won't need as much). To cover acne or rosacea, first apply a green color-correcting concealer with a small, synthetic brush to cancel out redness, then dot a thicker, skin-toned concealer on top.
Just Dew It
Keep the dewy thing going with cream formulas of blush, bronzer, eyeshadow, and lip color — whichever products you choose to wear. Boost your skin's radiance even more with a few well-placed touches of illuminator to highlight above your cheekbones, beneath brows, and on cupid's bow.
Now you're good to GLOW!