Whenever I have to get my glam on, whether it’s for a big event or a shoot, more often than not I turn to makeup artist Michael Brown. With over 20 years’ experience, he’s worked with major brands such as Marc Jacobs Beauty and VS Sassoon, is the resident beauty expert for ATC Races and has worked with celebs like Miranda Kerr, Gisele Bundchen, Jesinta Franklin and Jennifer Hawkins. So, essentially he knows his stuff when it comes to makeup.
I usually walk away from one of our makeup sessions with a new product to try or a tip to remember. So I figure who better to share his expertise on the first step in any makeup routine. With a wealth of knowledge up his sleeve, I asked Michael’s tips for how to achieve a great base and get foundation spot on—plus the big no-nos to avoid.
Skin prep is key
“This is a very common trend in Australia, foundation looking very heavy or obvious on the skin.
Yes, this could be incorrect foundation choice or bad application if it is looking obvious on the face, but more times than not, the foundation product has been applied over skin with no real skin prep which is crucial for that second skin complexion that most women are after.
It is important to apply foundation to a smooth, well-hydrated, plump skin, so this all comes down to good skincare. Try to exfoliate once a week to buff the skin. When your skin is well hydrated, foundation will melt into the face, not catching or looking dry in certain areas either.”
Avoid dense formulations
“Use a water-based or light fluid moisturiser under foundation for that perfect bond. A more dense cream can sometimes be to thick or oil-based and much longer to absorb into the skin, so foundation doesn’t actually bond well, rather than a lightweight gel-cream for example.”
Understand your skin tone
“I see so many women wearing very obvious mismatched foundation shades on their skin. Yes, there sometimes can be other factors like not enough moisture on the skin, therefore the colour can appear darker on dry patches of the skin, but in most cases, its just not getting the skin tone correct.
It is important to understand skin under-tones such as warm, cool and neutral.
Do you have any pink running through your skin? This is the easiest way to tell between cool and warm. Pink equals cool and you’ll have a bluish vein tone on the back of your wrists. Warm skin tones will have no pink, more a yellowish undertone and a green vein tone on the back of your wrists.
For anything else, you might be neutral which is very common with Asian skin tones. Or if are trying to diffuse colour from your skin, neutral foundation shades are for.”
Don’t match foundation to the back of your hand
“Never try to colour match your foundation on the back of your hand, as it wont be applied there and hands are often darker than our face, so apply on the cheek/jawline area, as that will give the most true colour match.
If someone wants to warm up their skin, especially now coming out of winter and going into warmer months, rather than going up a notch in foundation shades, it’s best to mix a dab of liquid bronzer into your foundation so that it slightly warms up the product to give warmth, otherwise your face can look very different to everything else if you try to change your skin tone.”