Most of us have our favorite beauty staples: foundation, blush, and mascara. But it’s time to introduce a few new items into your repertoire. As a makeup artist, I deal with hundreds of different cosmetic products -- but I always find myself relying on a few surprising ones.
Consider adding the following products to your beauty regimen. They may seem simple, but they’ll make a huge difference!
1. Exfoliating products.
Large, clogged pores are my beauty arch-nemesis. For a smooth complexion, I use a micro-exfoliation wash, mask or cloth to strip away excess dirt and oil. Choose a gentle product that isn’t too harsh on your complexion. My rule of thumb: If the product feels like it’s scratching your skin, toss it.
2. Antiaging serum with vitamin C.
Known in its pure form as ascorbic acid, vitamin C lightens dark spots and softens fine lines. I prefer serums with rose hips, which are high in the vitamin. To apply it, put a reasonable amount in your palm, rub your hands together and pat your face, neck and décolletage. Then softly drape an unfolded on your skin to absorb the excess. Tip: If your product turns a different color, like yellow, that means it’s lost some of its benefits -- and it’s time to buy a new bottle.
Several of my clients complain of having red splotches or sallow complexions. Tinted primer is the remedy to these problems. Remember the color wheel from art class? Opposing colors can neutralize one another: Green balances out red, and violet counteracts yellow.
Choose your tinted primer and prep your skin with moisturizer. Using a flat foundation brush, paint the primer on your face, focusing on the areas that need color correction. Dab off any streaks with a and apply your foundation as usual.
4. Nude eyeliner.
When all the concealer in the world is not enough to make me look awake, I brighten my eyes with a flesh-toned eyeliner. Choose a waterproof pencil one or two shades lighter than your skin. (Even if you’re pale, stay away from stark white liner. They can create a chalky look.) Sketch the color across your waterline -- the innermost rim of your lower eyelid -- brush on your mascara, and your eyes no longer look like they’re begging for an espresso.
Mixed in with my pricey top-of-the-line makeup brushes, you’ll find several art store paintbrushes. Great for lipstick, eyeliner and under-eye correction, many of these brushes are made from the same synthetic fibers as their more expensive makeup counterparts. Some of my finest and most precise eyeliner brushes are actually meant for oil or acrylic paints and cost half as much as the less effective ones sold by beauty suppliers!
As with all brushes, washing is essential. Use a mild shampoo to scrub off any residue and makeup and rinse. Then press the brush into a folded to remove as much water as possible. Shape the brushes and lay them out to dry.
6. Cream shadows.
For years, cream shadows have been my No. 1 necessity. These products provide long-lasting coverage, so there’s no need for a specific eye primer. Plus, they have pigment that blends well with powder shadows.
How to apply it? Spread a light peach-pink cream shadow over your lid, V area and crease. Before the product dries, dust your lid with a lighter matching shadow. You can keep it simple or go more dramatic by highlighting the center of your lid with a pearl shimmer, then add a darker shadow to your V area and crease. Wipe away any smudges or excess.