Do you find putting on your makeup a daily chore? Or are you happy to treat it as a ritual, as you would putting on your skincare, for example?
I pondered on this question during a short workshop with Ms. Yumi Takada, the Senior Makeup Artist and Trend Analyst from Japanese brand, Lunasol, who was here to demonstrate the Perfect Step of makeup application, practised by Lunasol. I’d been indoctrinated into this Perfect Step from a while back, when I used to research and play around with Lunasol makeup so I must admit, I wasn’t listening as closely as I should I will however let videos do the talking because experience tells me that you learn best through watching, and not from merely reading.
I will also only focus on base makeup (or foundation) because as I’ve recently learnt, after chopping off most of my hair, a good base trumps it all. When you have a good base, you only need a mere hint of colour and shade to define your features. This is something I’ve had to learn myself, because I used to be all about bright colours. But ever since I discovered how important and flattering good base makeup can be, I’ve scaled back on colour, preferring to look “natural”.
Here are some tips for a good base makeup that I picked up, that I hope you too will find useful
The 5 minute Foundation Application
Takada-san told us that a good base need not take you long. You can in fact, get it done in 5 minutes or even less, if you are short of time and this is where powder foundation comes in handy. Here’s how she suggested you do your 5 minute perfect foundation base.
- Apply a base to smooth your skin which makes it easy for the product to glide over your skin. This would be the primer step that I unfortunately tend to skip but when I do practice it, find it incredibly flattering! You can use any base in your arsenal of course, but the one from Lunasol is the Smoothing Makeup Base which has a lightweight gel-cream texture and light-reflecting particles to give radiance to your skin.
- Apply the base using your 3rd and 4th finger and slide it downwards your skin to spread. Patting or dabbing it in will cause it to look patchy so glide it on!
- Then, use a sponge to pick up the powder foundation. Don’t be measly about it, about half a sponge puff would be best.
- Start from the middle of your face i.e. from the side of your nose outwards to your cheeks and use light strokes to ensure an even finish. Do not start from your forehead or chin because that would make it too thick and cakey (now I know where I was going wrong!)
- Finish off by applying the powder on your forehead and then bring the sponge puff down the bridge of your nose.
- Fold your sponge smaller to dab to cover redness (and save time on using concealer!) and voila! You are done!
I tried this and you’d be surprised as how much time you save, and how lovely and even the finish is. You can then just apply a light blush and you’re good to go! I have here a short video that shows you the basic principles even if they use liquid foundation. But the concepts remain the same.
The Liquid Foundation Application
If you have a little more time, there is a slightly more involved method that uses liquid foundation and again, a sponge. I asked Takada-san if I could use a brush instead, and she was quite encouraging. But apparently, a sponge gives a slightly different, maybe more “pat” result. I’ll have to try that – haven’t really gotten the hang of using a sponge for foundation. Have you?
The technique is what you see in the video above but here’s how you would do it from top to bottom.
- Apply a base as above. Especially important for liquid foundation, I find, because the base helps the liquid foundation stay on better.
- Using a sponge (fold it as in the video above so a larger area is in contact with your skin, and you get a smoother result) slide the foundation down your skin, starting from the centre of your face outwards.
- For your forehead, dab it on, then smooth it out. For the nose, slide the sponge down the bridge of your nose vertically, and then dab the sides. For the chin area, slide it downwards vertically. For your cheeks, slide it out sideways from the middle of your face horizontally to the sides.
- Done this way, you follow the contours of your face and the result is a smoother, more even finish. Think smooth gliding strokes, not harsh pulling of skin.
Tanaka-san didn’t even use a concealer for the undereye area and for blemishes. She just folded the sponge so it formed a “sharp” edge and then dabbed into the liquid foundation and dabbed on the areas that needed concealing. It isn’t perfect of course, but it makes it look very natural. This only really works for light blemishes and light undereye circles unfortunately. I still need to use proper concealer.
Optionally, use a highlighting pen and highlight under the eyes, brow and nose. This “raises” those area and highlights them so your face has a little more dimension.
Finish off with loose powder very lightly dusted on with the super soft Lunasol Face Brush, starting from under the eyes vertically downwards and then buffing in gently in circular motions on the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin for a seamless finish.
The end result is a very soft diffused, natural look that really looks very impressive. If you want to know even more about the Lunasol Perfect Step makeup application techniques (and I promise you, they are worth knowing) head over here and watch the videos.
When time is short, I go for the 5 minute application that yields a good result in a short time. I however prefer to use liquid foundation these days. It just feels like it looks better on my skin as compared to powder foundation. This is saying a lot because I used to be a huge fan of powder foundation! Oh and if you put on foundation, be sure to put on some blush – this lifts your complexion and makes you look more alive. If you haven’t realised, foundation does have a funny way of making features look a bit flat
Did you find these tips useful? Do you practice any of them? Do you find putting on makeup a chore?
I never used to find it a chore mainly because I started out with using only powder foundation, blush and lipstick for work. Eyeshadow came later, as did mascara and eyebrows probably were the last thing I picked up. On days when I don’t feel like having a lot of makeup on, I still make sure I have a good base with tinted moisturiser or a light foundation and a touch of blush. Its now almost like an extension of my skincare routine! I think that’s how it should be. The day putting on makeup becomes a chore, its time to call it a day