Brides and clients often ask me how to take care of their skin for the best makeup application since I'm pretty obsessed with skincare. It's also a blessing since I work as a professional makeup artist and have worked with women of all ages and skin types so I really understand how the skin performs.
In my experience working with Seattle clients, the best way to achieve a smooth makeup finish is to moisturize and exfoliate regularly. If you have a wedding to get ready for or just want to look your everyday best, these tips are for you.
Tip: Bring on the Moisturizer
Winter air can be drying as anyone living in Seattle already knows. Indoor heating, a low humidity climate and cold winds can zap the moisture from our skin very quickly. Lucky for us there are many ways to hydrate and moisturize our skin.
Tip: Make sure to moisturize your skin every day.
Even if you have combination or oily skin, our skin needs key lipids to stay soft and supple. Lipids keep the skins moisture barrier intact much like a safety net. If you skip this step your skin will actually overcompensate and produce more oil. No one wants that! Think of moisturizing as balancing your skin with what it needs. Hydrated skin means foundation applies evenly and won't show uneven patches of flaky, dry skin. If you use a powder foundation you can't skip this step since powder sits on the skin differently than liquid and accentuates skin texture.
Tip: Choose a day and night cream that are designed for your skin type.
Normal/ combination skins can use a lotion during the day while normal/dry skin types benefit from a lotion for day and a night cream. Look for ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate which binds moisture to the skin and sodium PCA which is a skin-replenishing ingredient and hydrates nicely. Glycerin and squalane are moisture binding agents so check the label for these skin soothers. Face oils are another great option to supercharge your skin's moisture level. Be sure to choose one that has argan, avocado or sunflower oil. If your skin is hydrated your foundation will have a silky feel and perform the way it is meant to. If you give your skin the right moisture to drink in, it won't drink in your makeup.
Shiseido Advanced Bio Performance Cream is my all time favorite night cream. It hydrates without being greasy, soaks right in and has anti-aging benefits as well. Clinique's Moisture Surge is another one I keep in rotation. It's formulated for ALL skin types and is a lightweight cream-gel that provides up to 24 hours of soothing hydration. Sometimes I layer this on top of my night cream for added moisture if I'm particularly dry. If you love pure ingredients then try BeautyCounter's Nourishing Day Cream. It absorbs quickly and the unscented formula contains a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, and aloe to provide nourishing hydration, plus antioxidant-rich acai to protect against dry skin.
Exfoliate Like A Pro
Exfoliating regularly is a must for a flawless face.
As we age the skin turnover process slows down which means skin can look dull and uneven and even flaky. Exfoliating means removing old, dead skin cells. Exfoliate regularly and your makeup will go on smoothly and you'll avoid an uneven bumpy texture on your tzone and cheeks.
When you buff off all that dead skin on the surface, you expose the new and radiant skin underneath. You can use a scrub but an exfoliating mask with alphahydroxy acids is often gentler and more effective to brighten and even skin tone. Alphahydroxy acids like fruit acids and glycolic acid are best because they penetrate skin and help to exfoliate, or ‘unglue’ dead skin cells that sit on the skin’s uppermost surface, leaving newer and healthier skin cells to show through. Our skin's natural pH is about a 7 on a scale of 1-14 which means it benefits from fruit acids to break down dry, flaky skin on the surface. So to summarize, a fruit acid mask is the most effective but if you love a scrub, use it gently on the t-zone only.
Tip: Use an exfoliating mask at least twice a week at night after cleansing your skin of makeup.
Most masks rinse off easily and are pretty quick to use taking about 10 minutes.
Tip: Be consistent. Your skin will improve with regular use because you are polishing your skin for a smoother skin texture.
Tip: Apply your evening skincare after the mask. It will penetrate better into refreshed skin.
The Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask smells amazing and is gentle enough to use 2-3 times a week. I'm obsessed with it. It is ideal for sensitive skin. Pomegranate and Ginkgo Biloba extracts fight free radicals and inflammation. Your skin will glow after just one use.
Ren makes another great mask that exfoliates: the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. An instant complexion-perfecting mask that brightens and renews skin tone and texture, minimizes pores and diminishes hyperpigmentation. This one is a bit stronger and formulated for combination and oily skin. It works well on post-acne scarring, blemishes, blackheads, and sun-damaged skin.