share this story
Ask Sheri is a weekly column devoted to answering all of your beauty questions and queries, with a focus on natural, organic and sustainable products, practices and companies. Navigating the beauty aisles has never been easier. Send in your beauty questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Hi Sheri,
I have a question about something I find very confusing. When it comes to makeup, how do I get flawless-looking skin without looking scary and cakey? Every counter I’ve been to just wants to pile a bunch of products on. I’m a bit of a novice with makeup, have pretty normal skin, maybe a bit oily sometimes, with some breakouts, and I have the usual dark circles under my eyes. Help!
Karen, St. Catherine’s, Ontario
|A: Hi Karen,Flawless skin takes practice, a good skincare regimen and the right products (not to mention the all-important diet). But, you are correct in your desire to stay away too many cosmetics at once, as the result can be downright frightening. Here’s how I would go about assessing your cosmetic needs.
Consider yourself lucky that you have pretty normal skin, with occasional oiliness—you can use almost any product! That being said, I suggest that you find yourself a skin-perfector, a product I cannot live without these days. Skin-perfectors have many names, but you can spot them by their mention of light-reflecting technology and/or diffusion.This means that they use available light to blur and hide imperfections (I won’t get into the science of it all, just know that they work). You can apply skin-perfectors over your usual moisturizer, but some have moisturizers built in. Others are labeled as primers for an added bonus, so read carefully. After your first application, you may find that you don’t need as much makeup as you (or the cosmetic counters) may think.
Assuming you may not want to stop there, I’ll recommend a few more products to round out your flawless face kit. First off, pick up a good tinted moisturizer, one that will even out your skin tone and add a subtle glow. These are fantastic double-duty products; they both moisturize and provide natural, yet buildable, coverage. You can use tinted moisturizer all over the face; I like to take a small amount and begin in the middle of my face, spreading up and out toward my hairline and jaw with my fingertips (the warmth of your hands helps the product to melt into your face, creating a sort of second skin). Once you’ve blended and achieved the base you want, it’s time to move onto the next step: concealing.
Concealer is one of those products that we women become obsessed with and tend to overuse to the point of looking, well, kind of crazy. While I am a makeup artist, I would much rather see a bit of imperfection rather than a ton of heavy makeup. Let’s be honest—photo shoots and real life really are different.
This is where spot concealing comes in handy, as, like the name suggests, you pick the spots that need help, instead of covering the whole face. After using some of the products I’ve mentioned above, you might even find that you hardly need to use any concealer at all, with the exception of occasional blemishes and under-eye darkness, which tend to be the biggest universal concerns. With spots, it’s best to use a denser concealer applied with a small brush (feather the outside edge to blend into your skin), as the dryer consistency will last longer and is easier to blend. Under the eyes, I tend to use a creamier, almost-liquid version (they come in wand/pen form with brushes on the end). This type of concealer is thinner and tends to actually set itself, therefore eliminating the need for powder (which is great since powder under the eyes can look heavy and aging).
Powder is too often overused, creating dull and lifeless faces. It is great when used properly, though. Your best bet is to spot powder where needed (usually forehead, nose and chin).
Well, that’s it. You should have all of the tools and information now to pick and choose your products, and to experiment in order to achieve your own
Vapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfector (C $54)