“A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ ~ John Keats
This spring I took a Makeup Artistry class at Western Beauty Institute Makeup Academy, which I LOVED- and highly recommend. The class was excellent; hard work, tons of information, intense and FUN. And for the record, I must say it's also very well priced.
So I thought I'd pass on just a few of the basics, adapted for everyday glam- from prep through foundation. Much of this is from my class at WBI, but is still only a fraction of what I learned. You'll probably already know most if not all of this- but if you learn just one thing, then it's been worth it.
This week I'll be covering skin 'prep.' That's pre-make up cleansing and moisturizing, in case you didn't know. No need to start with makeup removal as you removed your makeup the night before, right? Right?? 'Cause we all know that it's a sin against your skin to go to bed with the day's makeup and grime on your face…
To start at the beginning is to start with skin type. Most of us are aware of our skin type- dry, combination, oily, normal or sensitive.
Dry skin tends to feel 'tight' after being washed and can look dull. It's best to use a gentle, creamy cleanser. (Avoid 'soap' for all skin types- soap is harsh and generally unnecessary.) Toner isn't necessary either- use it if you like, but you don't technically need it for good skin care. Dry skin needs a creamy, oil-based moisturizer after cleansing at night, and also during the day providing you use an oil-based foundation. Combination skin has the afore mentioned dry characteristics usually on the cheeks, and is generally oily in the t-zone- forehead, nose and chin. You'll do best to find a cleanser designed for combination skin, and use a light weight oil-based moisturizer at night- if you use an oil-free foundation you'll need an oil-free moisturizer for daytime; if you like, you can avoid using moisturizer in the t-zone to reduce oiliness over the course of the day. For oily skin you'll want an oil-free cleanser and of course a light weight, oil-free moisturizer. If you have sensitive skin you know all too well that it may take time to find products that don't irritate, and that once you do find such products, it may be that after a while even those products irritate. Be patient, and be open to new products. The truth is that even usually non-sensitive skin can become allergic to a given product, so this is something we all need to be aware of. If you have 'normal' skin, congratulations- you won the lottery! Use a gentle cleanser designed for normal skin and a light, oil-based moisturizer at night and either oil-based or oil-free moisturizer depending on your foundation.
A quick note here: when it comes to moisturizers, primers and foundations, you'll do best to keep 'like' with 'like.' What I mean is that if you're using an oil-free foundation, use an oil-free moisturizer/primer underneath. (I believe most if not all primers are oil-free.) An oil-based foundation works fine over an oil-based moisturizer. The point here: If you use an oil-based moisturizer under an oil-free makeup, your makeup is very likely going to 'break up' over the course of the day. Not good. I doubt there'd be a problem with using an oil-based makeup over an oil-free moisturizer, but generally people use oil-based foundations because they have dry skin. And why would you use an oil-free moisturizer if you have dry skin? It's been my experience that if you're using a powder foundation it doesn't really matter whether you use an oil-based or oil-free moisturizer. You may need to re-apply the powder sooner if you use oil-based moisturizer, though. Ok, on to eye cream.
No matter what your skin type, you'll want to always use an eye cream. Paula Begoun said in 'The Beauty Bible' that eye creams are essentially the same as other moisturizers just repackaged as 'eye' creams. Whether you decide to play it safe and stick with an eye cream or just use a heavier moisturizer in this area is up to you. We always used an actual eye cream in class. Apply to the brow bone area and under the eye. Never apply any moisturizer to the mobile eyelid- we were taught that this, interestingly enough, is the oiliest place on the face.
Next comes primer. Now, in my class primer was always used after moisturizer. I've been reading books by different MUA, (Make Up Artists) and several of them say they use either moisturizer OR primer. Just using primer might be a good solution if you have very oily skin. Either way, you do need something on your skin before makeup application- it just doesn't 'sit' properly without it.
As for how much moisturizer and primer to use- only just enough. Although as I said, you need either moisturizer, primer, or both on in order for your makeup to go on properly, you don't want so much that it interferes with your makeup. You can apply moisturizer and primer with your fingers, a brush, or even a sponge. This is entirely a matter of preference. If you use a brush or sponge you can go on to use it with your foundation, and then wash it after. It must be washed every day in order to avoid any potential bacteria growth. (Yuk.)
Ok- so now you're prepped. Next week, on to foundation. In the meantime...