Now we’ve had the first taste of warmer weather and the promise of a long hot summer is in the air (don’t dash our dreams with the reality just yet), the desire to buff away dull winter skin and reveal a fresh, clear complexion is top of our priority list. But we aren’t all lucky enough to blessed with naturally flawless skin. In fact, most of us could probably do with a little helping hand to rediscover our youthful radiance. The trend for no make-up make-up that leaves skin appearing naturally polished is bigger than ever this year and the ability to achieve a flawless complexion through clever make-up techniques is key.
And that actually isn’t as tricky as it sounds: once you know how, faking it is easier than you think. Especially when Nikki Wolff, ambassador for BECCA Cosmetics, is on hand to reveal her insider secrets and show you how to apply foundation like a professional make-up artist. Nikki’s five simple tips for creating polished skin will teach you how to fake that natural luminosity of youth, so your skin appears to glow from within. How will you know when you’ve got it right? When someone compliments your skin, not your foundation.
1. Prep with primer
It goes without saying that your skin will be cleansed and moisturised before you apply your make-up, but this extra step in your routine will also help to achieve a more flawless finish. Primer is the key to blurring imperfections: minimising pores, filling fine lines and wrinkles and creating a smooth canvas for your foundation. Nikki says she is ‘obsessed’ with the First Light and Backlight Primers from BECCA: ‘I love the glow that they give skin. I find that they also really help to hold make-up in place’. You can use your fingers to blend the primer into skin, but Nikki recommends using the One Perfecting Brush to lightly sweep over your complexion for an even finish.
2. Apply the right foundation – with a brush
Finding the right foundation can become a lifelong quest (hands up who has more than one on the go at any given time) and it’s so disappointing to arrive home and realise your new version doesn’t look quite how you thought it did in the shop. Your best bet, in any season, is to go for something buildable. BECCA'S Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation provides the perfect dewy glow and can be layered up to provide your ideal level of coverage. ‘Apply foundation with a large, soft Kabuki Brush so you can really buff the product into the skin’, says Nikki. ‘This will give a really flawless base that looks like a naturally healthy complexion, rather than heavy make-up. I really love to use brushes to apply foundation because you can achieve a perfect base and ensure the product stays in place at the same time. If you prefer to apply foundation with your fingers, you can still go back over the top with a brush, just to give you a really polished finish.’
3. Blend corrector on bare skin
Whether it’s dark circles or fine lines and wrinkles that are your main bugbear, Nikki has a few clever tricks you can try to make concealing them much easier: ‘I put foundation everywhere on the face, except for under the eyes, so the skin doesn’t become overloaded with product. This will mean corrector, layered under concealer, will sit better and lasts longer. The Under Eye Brightening Corrector from BECCA will really airbrush the under eye area.’ This soft and creamy corrector blurs imperfections without sitting heavily on the skin for a naturally beautiful look.
4. Skip the contouring
Contouring might feel like a quick route to younger-looking skin, but skipping the heavy bronzer and creating a ‘halo’ effect with highlighter will look fresher and more natural – and therefore more youthful. Nikki opts for the high-impact Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter from BECCA to highlight features: ‘Dab the Shimmer Skin Perfector on the cupid's bow to create the look of fuller and plumper lips. Also apply anywhere you want intense glow like the cheekbones, over or under browbones, down the bridge of the nose and in the corner of the eyes. This creates a soft and romantic look that’s perfect for everyday.” Finish with a sweep of the Shimmering Skin Perfector Powder Highlighter to hold your glow in place. Pop the powder version in your handbag so you can touch-up throughout the day. Look out for the just-launched Royal Glow from the Shimmering Skin collection a shade that looks beautiful on any skin tone.
5. Make it last all day
After all that careful highlighting, you wouldn’t want a shiny t-zone to ruin the effect. A light dusting of powder will keep make-up in place and stop shine in its tracks. Opt for something ultra-translucent like BECCA'S Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder, a lightweight powder that settles on the skin like a mist, so it’s barely noticeable and holds make-up in place all day. Nikki suggests you ‘save powder until last to keep your look really dewy and fresh. Don’t put on any more than you need and only apply it on the centre of the forehead and around the nose to make sure your highlight is exactly where you want it.’