"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

If you're new to this blog, then read our guides to the basics: Skin (Part I), Skin (Part II), The Supernatural, Color Theory I, Color Theory II, Eyes, and Brushes.

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· Beauty Notes: Back To Basics

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Beauty Notes: Back To Basics
by Dain

These are the products that go into my 'zero face', the unmakeup.

Chanel Poudre Universelle // Dermablend Cover Creme // Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer // Laura
Mercier Brow Definer // Majolica Majorca mascara // Stila brow pen // RMS Smile // Becca Wild Orchid

At minimum, I dab Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer around my eyes. Functionally, it's not very different from Touche Eclat, the brightener that spawned all others, only more economical—the white pigment, peachy undertone, slightly dewy finish—to counteract the olive-tinged sallowness I get. Sometimes, I add a sheer dusting of Chanel Poudre Universelle, which diffuses textural imperfections and just barely brightens my skin. It's particularly nice under flash photography.

And that's it, most days. Because I'm sensitive to a number of silicones, I cannot wear the majority of foundations, every day. Luckily, my skin is good—not perfect—but good enough I can skip foundation, though this means my skin will never look as even and polished. It helps if I stay away from liquid formulations. Even if the formula contains some silicone, as Lunasol Skinfusing Powder Foundation (not shown) does, it's less reactive in a dry powder than in an aqueous solution, plus it makes up for my lack of skill when it comes to application. The finish on Lunasol Skinfusing is softer and creamier than most, and after a few moments it settles into the skin beautifully, looking much like a liquid. To my eye, it's not absolutely naturalistic, because to my eye a uniformity of tone isn't natural, but to give a very formal, editorial look to the skin, it serves a purpose (work, for example), and the yellower-than-an-exact-match knocks back ruddiness and blends into my much yellower neck better.

Call it concealer or cream foundation, high coverage is my preferred weapon of choice. Poudre Universelle is my 'whatever, no one cares' base, Lunasol Skinfusing, a concession to formality, but Dermablend Cover Creme is serious, proper makeup. It's time-consuming: carefully targeting all those little marks, buffing in product with the Laura Mercier Finishing Eye, then blending the edges (and softening any cakiness) with a damp Beauty Blender. It also gives the illusion of evenness, as allover foundation does, yet looks far more natural since most of the skin is left bare. The trick is to find an exact textural match to your skin, so it blends invisibly, luckily the case for me and Dermablend.

I'm fussiest when it comes to brows. I pluck around the natural shape, every elimination a considered decision. Since the hairs do not grow in the same direction, if I'm overzealous, the downward-pointing hairs become obvious. I've long been a fan of Laura Mercier Brow Definer, a brow wax that tints the hairs for subtle definition, but lately I've been Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color, which allows me to draw in individual shadows: it fills in sparse areas better.

By contrast, I could care less which mascara I use. As long as it holds a curl, I'm satisfied.

Somewhere in between makeup and unmakeup, the right shade of blush, in a cream formula for ease of use, brightens the skin. Like most people, I'm a mix of undertones, namely pink and yellow (peach, overall), so I'll flip flop between the cool rose of Becca Wild Orchid, my longtime favorite, and RMS Smile, a dewy coral, as my lipstick dictates.

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12/17/2012 [1]

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