Aspiring K-Beauties of the world, a salute to flawless foundie! © Laneige
These beauty hacks really, really work – and I should know, given my longstanding reservations about foundation. Getting this most basic of makeup tenets right involves tight-roping a Goldilocks-like margin of error: Pile on too much product and you’ll look like a frightful Halloween facsimile of Marie Antoinette; too light a hand and you’ll come off as an equally sorry Victorian-era victim of consumption …
Which is why the following makeup maxims have served me so well; follow them and you’ll attain just-right complexion that looks like your skin, only better!
TIP #1. THE 5 MINUTE RULE
Always start with a clean, post-shower canvas. Apply your usual unguents – lotions, emulsions, what have you – and then wait a good five minutes. If you’re strapped for time in the morning, use the 300 seconds (count ‘em!) to brew coffee and basically smell the roses.
This hands-off five minutes really allows your pre-makeup prep to be fully absorbed before you move on to your base products – this prevents the “pilling” (beauty-speak for flaking) that can happen when you pile on layer over damp layer. Test by gently pressing a clean fingertip against your cheek: If no residue is detected, you’re good to go.
Make Up Store Blothing Powder, left, and Base Prep
Follow up with a hydrating primer; this is the foundation for your foundation. Doreen, training manager for Make Up Store Singapore, says you should gun for a gel formula for maximum glide: “Make Up Store’s Base Prep is a great bet, because the silky texture hides small imperfections and helps makeup stay on the skin longer.”
TIP #2. 1 PART SERUM, 1 PART FLUID, 1 PART CREAM
Bespoke blends are now customary, really, from eye creams to concealers. Mixing different textures together for a tailored flesh-toned fit is a favourite trick of backstage professionals, and it isn’t all that complicated.
Try your hand at being a makeup mixologist with this custom cocktail recipe: A dollop each of a skin-quenching serum, a glistening fluid formula and a creamier base, mixed on the back of your hand into a lightly tinted tincture. Doing this should give you that elusive balance between natural-looking coverage and dewiness that won’t cake or settle into fine lines to boot.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, left, and Evenfair Perfecting Cushion
Product recommendation-wise, I adore Sulwhasoo’s legendary First Care Activating Serum for its softening botanical blend – said serum is feting its 17th year of existence, incidentally, so happy birthday, Sulwhasoo skin saviour! – and Laneige’s light-diffusing Water Supreme Foundation for its taffety-like texture. The latter makes for a great foil to a more robust formula courtesy of say, Sulwhasoo’s superbly creamy Evenfair Perfecting Cushion.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
Stickler for stick foundies? I’ve found that mixing a drop or two of serum into a slick of Bobbi Brown’s brilliant new Skin Foundation Stick works wonders for drier climes; the buttery base binds moisture to my mien for round-the-clock comfort.
A wee caveat: I’ve found that certain brands repel each other for reasons known only to lab-coated cosmetologists, so always give your three-way formula a trial run before taking it outdoors.
Laneige Water Supreme Foundation SPF15 PA+
TIP #3. TISSUE OVER THE CRACKS
Almost there! After applying your custom cocktail (application is an art unto itself; always fan outwards from the inverted triangle bound by your eyes and chin), Doreen from Make Up Store Singapore says it’s imperative to set your face with a sugary dusting of loose powder: “Place the back of your finger against your made-up skin; if it feels sticky, sprinkle on a tad more powder for staying power.”
Try Make Up Store’s curiously named Blothing Powder – a portmanteau of blotting and clothing, perhaps? – which I’ve found to offer exceptional shine control by way of its finely milled translucent particles.
Now for the neat bit: Rein it back by pressing a piece of plush two-ply tissue onto your face. Don’t rub, just pat: This will take off any excess powder and allow a sexy glimpse of your real skin to glimmer through, for that softly diffused, is-she-or-isn’t-she look the Koreans are so enamoured with.
Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Spray
Finally, if you have a few seconds to spare before your date arrives at your door, do as I do and cement your complexion with Make Up For Ever’s Mist & Fix spray, which seals in all the flesh-toned fabulosity with an added blast of oxygenated goodness.
And bam, a budge-proof face that will have even the most jaded of beauty buffs doing a double-take. (I should know, given the number of compliments I get for my cough, flawless complexion.)
So, to recap. Just three camouflage techniques – wait five minutes; mix and match; and blot with tissue – will take care of all your cover-up jobs. Congrats on successfully laying the “foundation” of any makeup routine. You’re welcome!
Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix spray, $48, is available at all Sephora stores and the Make Up For Ever Pro Loft at 36 Armenian Street, #02-06. For more information, visit www.makeupforever.com.sg and follow Make Up For Ever Singapore on Facebook and YouTube
Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, $74 each, and First Care Activating Serum, $106, is available at all Sulwhasoo counters. For more information, visit www.sulwhasoo.com.sg and follow the brand on Facebook.