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Dry skin? Oily skin? No problem! Your customised makeup base routine

The secret of a flawless face doesn’t rely on fancy products. Everything hinges on a well-prepared canvas. A perfect makeup base transcends the mere application of cosmetics; it's a meticulous dance between skincare, targeted correction and strategic enhancement, culminating in a complexion that radiates confidence. Whether you crave a natural glow or a dramatic transformation, mastering the basics unlocks limitless possibilities.

Two woman with moisturised and primed skin ready for makeup

Makeup base: start by prepping your canvas

Treat your skin with the respect it deserves. Go gently with cleansing and use a product that is suited to your skin type. For dry skin, consider a super-hydrating and nourishing balm. For oily skin, use a targeted gel wash. If you have combination skin, go for a product that will treat your dry skin while reducing excess oil. Products containing green tea and aloe vera are perfect. 

Exfoliation is key to the great makeup base. Regularly remove dead skin cells to reveal a smoother surface. Exfoliate at least twice a week for optimum results.

After cleansing, always tone - even in the mornings. Use a product that will tackle skin concerns. Go for a brightening toner for dull skin, niacinamide for uneven tone or tea tree for breakout prone skin. Other options include cica to tackle redness and, for an instant peel-like result, glycolic acid.

After toning, moisturise well. Indulge in something hydrating to plump and firm. Use one that includes SPF. Don’t be stingy, you need great moisturisation to create a supple base for makeup application. Remember, dewy skin is happy skin - and happy skin makes makeup magic!

A woman applying moisturiser to her face

Prime time: choosing your weapon

Primers are your secret weapon, creating a barrier between your skincare and makeup while addressing specific concerns. 

Opt for a hydrating primer for dry skin, a mattifying primer for oily skin or a pore-minimising primer to smooth rough textures. If you have redness or uneven skin tone, consider a colour-correcting primer to neutralise imperfections. Tri-colour primers target multiple concerns and are a good investment if you are worried about uneven skin tone.

Apply a thin layer with your fingertips or a damp beauty sponge, focusing on areas that need extra attention, especially those with large pores.

Move onto the next step without waiting.

Concealing champions: targeting imperfections

Concealer is your camouflage, strategically deployed to address dark circles, blemishes and hyperpigmentation. Getting this part of your routine right will complement your makeup base. 

Choose a shade that matches your skin tone exactly, avoiding formulas that are too light or too dark, as they can create unwanted shadows or cakiness. Use a small brush or your fingertips to apply concealer directly onto the targeted area, then blend seamlessly using a damp beauty sponge or brush. Remember, less is more; aim for natural-looking coverage, not complete camouflage.

If you want to use a lighter concealer under your eyes, apply after your foundation. Gently pat into the skin or use a blender and finish with a light dab of white setting powder for a perfectly blurred result.

A woman looking in a mirror as she applies concealer under an eye

Foundation: unifying your canvas

Foundation is the unifying element, creating an even canvas for further artistry. Choose a formula that matches your skin tone and type (liquid, cream, powder, etc.) and apply it in thin layers. Start with the centre of your face and blend outwards, ensuring seamless transitions to your hairline and jawline. Use a damp beauty sponge or brush for a natural finish, or a stippling brush for fuller coverage. Remember, foundation should enhance your natural beauty, not mask it.

A medium coverage foundation is buildable and delivers more versatility than a full coverage product. While there are plenty of new foundations infused with skincare ingredients, if you prep your base properly, your regular foundation will be sufficient.

The power of light and shadow: sculpting your face

Bronzer and highlighter are your sculpting tools, defining your features and adding dimension. 

Apply bronzer to warm up areas like your temples, forehead, and jawline, creating a natural sun-kissed look. Blend seamlessly to avoid harsh lines. Use highlighter on areas that catch the light, like your cheekbones, brow bone and cupid's bow, to create a luminous glow. Remember, subtle sculpting enhances your natural contours, while overdoing it can create an unnatural look.

If you find bronzers hard to work with, a cream blush is a good alternative. Or, for the beach babe glow, use a liquid instant tan makeup product sparingly on areas where you would normally apply bronzer. Pat into the skin before blending to ensure targeted application. 

Bronzer and concealer correctly applied to the face for perfect contouring

Setting it all in: sealing the deal

Setting powder is your final step, locking in your hard work and ensuring your makeup lasts throughout the day. Choose a loose powder for a sheer finish or a pressed powder for more coverage. Apply a light dusting to your entire face, focusing on areas prone to shine. Avoid caking on powder, as it can make your makeup look dry and mask the natural glow you've created.

Beyond the basics: tips and tricks

  • Beauty blenders are your best friend: For seamless blending, dampen a beauty blender and bounce it over your face, pressing gently to blend products seamlessly.

  • Less is more: It's tempting to pile on products but, remember, layering too much can look cakey and mask your natural beauty. Build your makeup gradually, adding more only where needed.

  • Clean your tools: Dirty brushes and sponges can harbour bacteria and lead to breakouts. Clean your tools regularly with a gentle cleanser to maintain hygiene and optimal performance. Check expiry dates of makeup products too.

  • Embrace your individuality: Makeup is not about following trends blindly. Experiment and find what makes you feel confident and beautiful. Remember, you are the artist and your face is your canvas.

The perfect makeup base is not about achieving flawless perfection, but rather about enhancing your natural beauty and expressing your unique self. With a little practice, the right products, and these helpful tips, you can create a canvas that radiates confidence and allows your inner light to shine through.

Bonus tip: Remember, makeup is just one part of the equation. Taking care of your skin internally through a healthy diet, adequate sleep and proper hydration will contribute significantly to a naturally radiant complexion.


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