When it comes to how I feel about makeup, it begins with great skin, focus on eyes & eyebrows and a somewhat glossy nude-pink lip. While great genetics will take you far, few of us are rocking supermodel genes (or jeans, for that matter). But with a little know how, some experimentation and honed skills, you too can have a face that radiates that ethereal glow we've all come to associate with modern beauty.
First: water. Sorry girls. There's no getting around this foundational aspect of great skin. DRINK UP. If you don't have a water filter, get one to eliminate some of the toxins and microbial particles in your tap water. Better yet, add some lemon. Trust: it does a body (and a face) good.
But let's talk products. There are definitely some tips and tricks I can share from my ample experimentation and my quest to find the very best. Let's begin with a fresh face, shall we? Bliss Youth as We Know It Anti-Aging Cleanser was my go-to for years and CeraVe is an excellent (and super inexpensive) option. These days, however, it's hard to resist the siren call of Kate Somerville's Cleansing Milk. "WOW" is my response to this amazing cleanser. It is packed with active ingredients and leaves my skin soft & prepped for a day of looking gorgeous. That pump dispenser keeps things bacteria free, too. I was told by my Kate Somerville guru that it was developed for more mature ladies, but I don't care. My skin loves this stuff and it smells dreamy. It's worth every sulfate-free penny.
Next, grab a serum. Ole Henricksen Truth Serum wins those magazine beauty awards every year for good reason. It isn't sticky, doesn't leave you "wet" and somehow magically makes you better looking. Loaded with Vitamin C, used daily it will indeed generate a glowing complexion and a more firm face. I especially love the "super sized" option as it's a great value.
Finally, hydrate. I'm a huge Prevage by Elizabeth Arden fan. I actually use the body moisturizer on my face and décolletage (it just works for me) and love, love, love the way it sinks right into my skin and leaves that beautifully hydrated finish. I actually mix it with my Clarins UV Plus before applying to face, neck and shoulder area. Prevention truly is the best cure, after all.
Wait half a beat for the moisturizer to sink in most of the way (but not quite completely dried) then apply Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. My go-to color is Nude, which is pretty spot on for my skin tone. They offer a wide range of shades for girls of every color of the rainbow. (Tip: Stick to the original, as I do not care for the illuminating or oil-free versions.) Apply a thin layer beginning in the center of your face and work outwards. Dot extra on any troublesome areas (like around the nose or apples of cheeks) and stand back to appreciate your dewy glow. Done right, this will result in that perfect "no makeup" look you crave but don't have the nerve to actually try. I prefer a light-to-medium coverage and appreciate that this product is NEVER caked or thick. My skin can breathe and it looks and feels healthy.
My super secret weapon? Step a little closer to the screen... wait for it... wait for it... Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Loose Powder. This is one beauty product that changed my look from so-so to boom-boom-pow. Used sparingly with one of these brushes in areas of the face you would normally apply bronzer to it will produce an "I just jetted back from Ibiza" glow that doesn't look overdone. In summer I use more to achieve that golden glow, but this is one product I'm happy to incorporate all year long. Brush just below cheekbones, up to temples and lightly dust on forehead, nose and chin. It comes in two shades: starlight and candlelight. I prefer the latter, as it is warmer and less yellow. My makeup artist friend and Nordstrom also emphasizes that it is the more universally flattering of the two. Next, use NARS Orgasm (aka the only blush you'll ever need) on apples of your cheeks and call it a day. Voilà! You, are Gisele Bundchen.
If I can offer one final tip it would be to use a gentle exfoliator. I love to use Clarins Gentle Exfoliating One Step Cleanser at night for keeping skin fresh and smooth. This amazing product offers the perfect doze of skin buffing goodness to keep your skin ready to be radiant again tomorrow. Can't imagine living without this great find!
This step by step guide is only for skin. I'll touch upon eyes in a subsequent post but this will get you started. The result of the products and application methods above will not only give your skin a temporary glow, it will actually protect and repair your beautiful face. The cleansing milk is packed with active skin-perfecting active ingredients, the moisturizer is loaded with antioxidants, the SPF is one of the best on the market, the serum will stimulate collagen production and the tinted moisturizer contains a bit of sun protection as well. These are top notch products at reasonable prices. My goal is to go beyond a temporary healthy glow resulting from clever makeup tricks. I'm striving to actually look radiant with my makeup off and treat my skin with the care it deserves. I suspect you are too.
Word to the wise: It's the only face you'll ever have, so treat yours lovingly and with respect. And by all means keep drinking that filtered water, girls! It might just be the fountain of youth you've been looking for all these years.