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OK so you’re a bit older, hopefully wiser and definitely more fabulous than ever, and you want your make-up to reflect that, right? However, sometimes it’s easy to forget that your make-up needs to evolve as much as you do – your skin changes, maybe it’s drier or fine lines are appearing. Those little tweaks in your make-up routine can make all the difference. Here, I reveal the best primers and foundations to help boost your skin’s glow and mask minor imperfections – plus, I show you the best way to apply them for a flawless look. Brushes and sponges at the ready!
It’s prime time
Let’s talk about primers. You may think that the last thing that you need is another layer of make-up in your already time-strapped routine, but the right primer can offer a multitude of benefits. In general, primers can make your make-up last longer as they provide a long-lasting base for your foundation, plus they can camouflage minor skin imperfections. But more than that, some formulations can add instant luminosity, so they really are worth the space they take up in your make-up bag.
So, which product should you choose? If your skin is showing the effects of fatigue, then Becca First Light Priming Filter (£15 for 15ml, cultbeauty.co.uk) might be the one for you. This lavender coloured primer helps tired skin look awake by diffusing light while it hydrates. It’s also suitable for all skin tones. For those whose skin is on the drier side or in need of a nourishing boost, then the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum (£22 for 8ml, johnlewis.com) could be perfect. It combines the benefits of a serum and a primer, and the silky, hydrating oil blend contains 28 skin-nourishing ingredients that not only help your foundation last for longer, but can also soften any fine lines and wrinkles. It’s free from all nasties, and is suitable for all skin tones. However, if you have oilier skin, your best bet is the Fenty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer (£24, boots.com), as it’s oil-free and provides the perfect matte base. Plus, it’s designed to smooth pores and perfect the skin.
The eyes have it
For many, the eyes are the first areas of the face to show signs of ageing, and thinner, crepey skin can make it difficult to apply eye make-up. Fortunately, there are eye makeup primers out there ready to save the day (and your make-up). Like face primers, these products are really effective at helping makeup go on smoothly and last for hours. They also help to prevent your eye make-up from creasing. Smashbox Photo Finish 24-Hour Shadow Primer (£20, boots.com) is a fabulous choice because it’s perfect for resisting humidity and perspiration. This sheer primer is great for all skin types and is the ideal choice for long days and special events, such as weddings, when you’d want your make-up to stay in place. Meanwhile, Bobbi Brown Long- Wear Eye Base (£21, bobbibrown.co.uk) is good for neutralising the colour of your eyelids and is especially helpful if your eyelids are red or discoloured in any way. Again, this comes in a range of shades to suit different skin tones.
Back to basics
When it comes to your foundation, less is very often more. It’s easy to assume that, as you get older and your skin changes, you need to opt for a heavier foundation. However, depending on the formulation, this can actually make your skin end up looking older, especially if it’s prone to dryness. The key is to look for hydrating formulas – generally anything that offers luminosity while at the same time being lightweight. Also, it’s important to check that you’re wearing a shade that compliments you: it’s always useful to have a summer shade and a winter shade so that whatever time of year it is, you’ll always look healthy and radiant. The Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£43, armanibeauty.co.uk) has a soft-focus finish that sinks into the skin instantly, leaving just the right amount of glow, plus it has a good range of shades. Another option is the Estée Lauder Double Wear Light (£34, esteelauder.co.uk), which will stay put all day, boasts inbuilt soft-focused diffusing ingredients, and is available in many shades.
How to achieve a flawless complexion
Denise reveals her step-by-step make-up guide to help you reveal gorgeous, glowing skin
- The first step after cleansing and moisturising is to apply your face primer with your hands.
- Now, it’s time for your foundation and, whether you use a sponge, brush or your fingers, the secrets here are to remember that less is more and to blend it into your skin, so that there are no harsh lines. Start in the centre of your face and work your way outwards. Always do this in good light, preferably daylight.
- Next, take a look at your reflection and see if there are any areas that still need more coverage. If there are, grab your concealer, and again remember that less is more.
- Then comes your eye make-up primer and, depending on which one you use, you may need to leave it for a couple of minutes to set. Once it’s ready, apply your eye make-up.
- It’s always a good idea to add some warmth to the face with a touch of blush or bronzer. What you want to achieve is a ‘glow from within’ effect, so keep it quite natural.
Denise Rabor is the founder of Wow Beauty (wowbeauty.co)