A great makeup base gives the allusion of a flawless complexion, and it’s easy to do once you know how. To achieve this look, it’s best to use a little of several products rather than a lot of one, so avoid heavy foundations. Preparation is also vital – exfoliate your skin two to three times a week and use a good moisturiser. The three essential products for creating a good makeup base are foundation, concealer and powder, in that order. To find out if your foundation is the right shade for you, test it in daylight along your jawline. If it’s the right shade, it should disappear into your skin. Use a sponge, foundation brush or your fingers to apply. A sponge gives a nice even finish with no brush marks, but does use a little more foundation. Dot foundation on your nose, forehead and chin to start with, then buff outwards until it melts in to your skin – this will help prevent a tide mark. Use your foundation sparingly, as you can always apply more. Next, apply concealer to your inner corners of your eyes, under your eyes, a little on your chin and at the corners of your nose. Use a light creamy concealer is best for these ‘shadow’ areas, while a heavier one is good for spots. Use a sponge to buff and blend the concealer, and avoid using it on the fine lines at the outer edge of your eyes, as this will only enhance any wrinkles. Finish with a dusting of translucent powder using a light brush. For a dewy finish, just apply powder in the T-zone – forehead, nose and chin. For a matte finish, apply lightly all over.
This look adds instant gorgeous glamour and suits all skintones. Cooler shades of red suit most skintones, but darker skintones can take a warmer red with a hint of orange. Red lips will also make the teeth appear whiter. Make sure your lips are in good condition, too – exfoliate them with an old toothbrush and apply moisturiser regularly. To start, use a lip liner to trace the line of your lips starting at the cupid’s bow and then fill in the whole of the lip area. This will last longer than lipstick and create a vintage matte effect. Take your time applying the lip liner, as it has to look perfect, and don’t forget the outer corners of your lips. You can finish with a little lipstick over the top if your lips feel dry or to create a more glossy finish. For real staying power, blot your lips and apply Lipcote to finish.
Beautifully painted nails needn’t require a trip to a salon – it’s easy to learn how to do it at home, saving you lots of money. To start, make sure your nails are clean and free from grease and old nail polish. If you’re filing your nails, always go in one direction to help prevent them splitting. Avoid shaking your nail polish as this can create air bubbles in them. Instead, roll the bottle between your hands. Start by applying a base coat, followed by two coats of your chosen nail polish, then a top coat. When applying the nail polish, start with one smooth stroke down the middle of the nail, then a stroke down either side. If you make a mistake, use a cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover to correct it. Wait a minute or two between coats so the nail polish dries properly, and when you’re applying the top coat, finish with a sweep horizontally across the end of the nail to seal it and help prevent chipping.
Eyeliner pencil is the best tool for creating a soft, flattering natural look, perfect for the daytime. The key is to use a brown pencil, or any shade that’s softer than black, so you could also try navy blue or grey. Start with the upper eyelid and apply in light strokes (don’t drag the pencil), from the centre of your eye outwards. Avoid applying to the inner corners of your eye, as this will make it appear smaller. Choose an eyeliner pencil with a smudger on the other end to soften the line, blending up and out. You can also use your finger to do this. Apply a very small amount of eyeliner pencil to the lower eyelid underneath the eyelashes, using light strokes not a hard line, then smudge to blend and soften. For a slightly more dramatic look, you can apply a little eyeliner to the inside of your lower lids, but only if you have applied to the outside of the lower lids first. Otherwise you will make your eyes appear smaller.