How to create a flawless make-up base

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There are already so many new, colourful and fun trends to try this year, but sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics, refresh your skills and totally nail the techniques you’re going to be using for years to come.

And one thing that will always be helpful, no matter what look you’re trying to create, is learning how to create a flawless make-up base.

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So with the help of experts, we’ve answered some of your most common make-up queries so you can perfect your base – no matter what imperfections come your way. Because once you get the canvas right, everything else will fall into place!

What’s the best way to prep the skin before applying make-up?

On top of a good skin care routine, you should always prep your skin before applying make-up for the best result.

M.A.C Senior Artist Carol Mackie starts by applying a softening lotion using a fluffy brush and then sprays the face with M.A.C Prep and Prime Fix + to hydrate. She then follows with a strobe cream for luminosity and a soothing eye cream to reduce puffiness and dark circles.

Which order should you apply products to create the perfect base?

Depending on the imperfections you’re aiming to cover, the order in which you apply your make-up base can differ. Make-up artist and Max Factor Ambassador Liz Kelsh generally applies in the order of “foundation, concealer, cream contour, powder, highlighter”.

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Explaining specifically why she uses concealer after foundation, Liz says, “I apply concealer where needed after foundation rather than before, this avoids the cover provided by the concealer from being diluted by the foundation.”

Carol agrees, saying, “If you apply concealer over the top of the foundation then you can ensure it will stay put all day, whereas foundation applied over the top of the concealer can sometimes move the concealer away from the area you are trying to cover.”

When it comes to contouring and highlighting, many vloggers and beauty bloggers in the past have used a heavy-handed technique underneath foundation. However it’s now becoming a much more wearable and easy-to-achieve trend, with subtle lines and highlights being added after foundation.

bh recommends:

  1. Designer Brands Contour Kit
  2. Face Of Australia Glamazon Contour Kit
  3. Australis AC ON TOUR Cream Contouring and Highlight Kit

How do you find the perfect match of foundation?

Finding the perfect shade of foundation can be tricky, especially as your skin tone may change between seasons and each product is different. ”It’s always advisable to have two shades of foundation”, says Carol. “[Then] when going from season to season you can actually match the two shades together to achieve the perfect colour.”

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When testing shades, Liz suggests to, “Take a guess at the shade you think may suit you and then choose the three closest shades to that. Apply one stripe of each along the jawline and onto the neck. The correct shade will be the one that practically disappears into the skin.”

Should your concealer match your foundation?

The shade of your concealer depends on what you’re using it for.

“It’s a good idea to have two concealers,” says Liz. “One that’s slightly lighter than your foundation for under the eyes and one that matches and blends well for any areas that need more coverage.”

If you’re looking to cover discolouration, you can also opt for colour correcting concealers. A green-based will help to neutralise redness, and yellow or orange can be used to disguise dark circles and veins on different skin tones.

In terms of using a concealer to simply offer more coverage, a direct match is best.

bh recommends:

  1. MOMMA Color Corrector
  2. essence Stay Natural Concealer
  3. Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick
  4. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Brightening Concealer

What’s the best way to cover a blemish/pimple?

Liz says when it comes to problem skin, “Apply a sheer foundation all over the face, [followed by] a full coverage concealer (in a matching shade to your foundation) on any blemishes and finish by setting with a translucent powder.”

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How do you conceal dark circles?

“[Firstly], apply M.A.C Fast Response Eye Cream [on the area] to create a smooth base,” says Carol. This will allow the concealer to glide on without looking dry or cakey. Then apply your concealer using a small blending brush, pressing and buffing the concealer into the skin. “Do not use a colour too light or this will make the skin look ashen.”

bh recommends:

  1. La Mer The Eye Balm Intense
  2. Models Prefer EYE love
  3. Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Lift Perfecting Serum
  4. Clinique All About Eyes Rich™

How do you stop make-up settling into fine lines?

“If you find your make-up settling into fine lines it’s a sign you’ve been too heavy handed,” says Liz.

Carol agrees, saying to avoid overuse of concealer or foundation in areas of fine lines. “Buff the product in and press with a sponge,” she says. “Try not to over powder areas where there are fine lines or dehydration.”

How do you stop your make-up accentuating pores?

Before applying your make-up, ensure you’re using a smoothing primer like Benefit’s POREfessional. It can also help to mattify the skin if you’re prone to an oily T-zone.

However, if you’ve followed all the right prep steps, Liz says it can be a matter of choosing the right foundation for you and suggests trying the Max Factor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation.

What are your top tips for nailing the perfect make-up base? Do you prefer sheer or full coverage make-up?

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