How To: Ace your Base

One of my most commonly-encountered makeup queries is how to get your foundation to stay in place all day. This is a particular concern for ladies who will be on the go all day, e.g. attending a wedding, and for those with oily skin. Clients often ask, worriedly, if their makeup will last, and I assure them that it will. This is because we layer products onto the skin, and use longwear foundations which help to keep oil at bay.

Step 1: Prep

Effaclar Mat

After cleansing, apply a small amount of La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Mat moisturiser (€17.25) to the skin. This contains silicone, which will form a barrier on your skin to stop any oil from coming through and ruining your base.

Optional Step: Sunscreen

We don’t use sunscreen on our clients in studio, but if you have oily/combination skin and want use a sunscreen under your makeup on a day-to-day basis, you need to use one that is non-greasy and preferably mattifying. Just to reiterate, as per my previous post, SPFs of 10 and up can cause “flashback” if you are being flash-photographed, so I would not recommend that you wear an SPF under your makeup if you are going to an event.

Vichy Mattifying Face Fluid

However, if you want a non-greasy sunscreen for daily use, Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid (€14.50) is just the ticket. It’s got an SPF of 50+, so you don’t need to worry about sun damage, and it promises a dry-touch finish to the skin, so it’s perfect for under makeup.

Step 2: Prime

Smashbox Photofinish Primer

After applying your moisturiser, you can use a silicone-based primer. It works to smooth out the canvas of the skin by filling in pores and smoothing fine lines, and again, will form another protective layer on the face to help stop any oil coming up through your makeup. My favourite for oily skin is the Smashbox Photofinish Primer (€31.50). It’s oil-free and glides onto the skin beautifully, thanks to the silicone in the formula. A pea-sized amount is all that is needed – simply smooth it onto the skin using either your fingers or a flat foundation brush, concentrating the primer on the areas in which you are oiliest.

Step 3: Base

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light

If you have oily or combination skin, it’s best to choose a long-wear, mattifying, or oil-free foundation (see my Foundation Guide for more information on this). My personal favourite is Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Light (€36.50) as it gives good coverage without feeling heavy on the skin, and keeps oil at bay for hours. It’s my go-to base when I know I have a long day (or night!) ahead of me, and want to stay looking fresh and shine-free. The first time I wore this I purposely didn’t powder in order to see just how good it was at keeping the skin matte, and I only developed a shine towards the end of the day, roughly 8 hours after it was first applied. That’s damn good going.

Step 4: Powder

Powder is essential for keeping the dreaded shine at bay, so once you have applied foundation and concealer it needs to be set with powder to ensure that your base will stay looking perfect. When applying powder, you can use either a powder puff or a large brush. Whichever you use, make sure to “press” it onto the skin of the T-zone, almost as though you were blotting the skin. It can then be swept more gently over the cheeks and temples. Be careful not to sweep the brush/puff over the skin too vigorously, as this can disturb the makeup underneath, thereby undoing all of your good work. My favourite brush to use is the Sigma Large Powder Brush (€21) as it is so soft. I use this to apply powder to my clients, but a powder puff is the obvious choice if you need to top up during the day.

MAC Blot Powder

MAC’s Blot Powder (€24.50) was specifically designed to mattify the skin and keep shine at bay.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

A great budget buy is Rimmel’s Stay Matte Powder (€5.99). At less than €6, you really can’t go wrong with this cheap-as-chips gem.

Step 5: Set

I wouldn’t use a setting spray on a daily basis, but they are fantastic for giving some more staying power to your look if you will be on the go all day.

Urban Decay Setting Sprays

Urban Decay do a range of setting sprays, and there is an oil-control spray, a cooling and hydrating spray, and an all-nighter setting spray available. Personally, I would go for the latter (€28, or €10.80 for a handbag-sized spray) to keep your makeup looking fresh for hours. This can be spritzed onto the face once you have finished applying all of your makeup, and it will set everything into place for the day.

I hope this has been helpful, if you have any questions or tips of your own let me know in the comments!

Niamh x

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