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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Wilson

Foundation Finishes and Fresh Skin

Skincare has become the new makeup all round, and we’re learning how to really get the best out of our skins. We’ve really settled into the glow, and now it’s deeper than just surface dew, and reads as gorgeous, healthy, plump, pampered skin, with a less metallic sheen. Models on runways are now receiving facial massages before they walk, to boost their circulation and get their skin naturally plump and glowing. Face yoga and face gyms are starting to become popular again, the idea being that if you exercise your body to keep it firm, the same should apply to the muscles of your face.

Glass Skin

The latest trend that comes from the popularity of Korean skincare is glass skin, which focuses on an uncomplicated routine with simple, effective ingredients, being kind to the skin and pushing in moisture, resulting in a smooth, plush glow. It’s important to note that oiliness in the skin is often from the skin not receiving enough moisture and overcompensating, and can be balanced with an appropriate skincare routine. So don’t be afraid of moisture in oily skin: oil and water are different.

Without going too far into detail, the difference between “dewy” and “glass” is the smoothest skin texture you can possibly achieve. This starts with exfoliating regularly after cleansing, to remove dead skin cells which clog pores and cause dullness - once or twice a week for oily/sensitive skin, and up to five times a week for dry skins, depending on the product. Chemical exfoliators are preferred over mechanical ones with rough textures - it sounds scary, but home use chemical exfoliants are less abrasive and more thorough than a scrub. The routine promotes a double cleanse to get an absolutely squeaky clean skin down to the pore (either with an oil precleanse or by washing twice), followed by up to seven layers of a hydrating toner (Korean toners are not nearly as drying as traditional toners). That’s followed by a serum or oil to address any skin concerns (like pigmentation, oiliness or dryness), eye cream, and moisturiser. It also promotes the use of masks a few times a week (I’m sure we’ve all seen the surge in sheet mask popularity), for an extra moisture and nutrient boost.

The original cool-kid brand is K-beauty, but Annique is a local (and slightly more affordable) brand I discovered through the industry, and the glow results I’ve had personally and have seen on people I have recommended it to have been unbelievable, for dry, combination, oily and acne skin conditions (they also have a gorgeous enzymatic exfoliator). It’s always better to start slowly when moving onto/transitioning between skincare regimes, in case you need to build up tolerance to, or have been using anything that might react with any active ingredients in your new range.

This is not the only skin finish that is allowed as far as makeup looks are concerned - there are still satin, matte and metallic skin textures, but the main point is that the skin itself looks like skin, so only what is necessary is covered, and we can still see natural colour changes (and slight flaws) in the complexion. If full coverage is where you stand, that means using multiple foundation colours to emulate and celebrate the natural red, yellow and darker tones in the skin. Nobody has only one colour in their whole face. Graftobian has some fabulous small and large palettes that come in skin tone ranges to help you create incredibly natural looking, dynamic coverage, and Creative Glamour have some great singular small pot shades you can mix and match. The point, as with all things on trend, is to look like yourself first.

Wearable glass skin:

As far as wearability goes, we all already basically know that a dewy skin finish is very low achieving, and it doesn’t read well on every person. If you want to cheat this look or the feeling of it, start with a moisture spray, and then massage a serum or oil into your skin if you have a moment to pause and let it settle in - if you use the right amount it will absorb properly into the skin, and your makeup will still blend and last well over it. I love the Annique Essence Liquid Skin Nutrition spray and Essence Tissue oil. Swiitchbeauty has launched #superherospray Glass Skin Edition, which tightens pores and keeps the skin looking dewy, and can be used before or after makeup. Add a moisturiser if you need it (for oiliness or dryness, if you haven't already applied for the day), and then a pearlescent or illuminating product over it, like MAC strobe cream in Goldlite or Peachlite, or add a tiny bit of the Viva La Diva Glow Me Up Liquid highlighter to your moisturiser - this will promote an overall light glow, and will keep light reflecting in any areas you want to powder. Add a primer over areas that absolutely need it to control oil, only IF they absolutely need it - I really like Graftobian Anti-Shine HD Foundation Primer (especially under the HD creme). All of us have a different opinion on primers, but I feel after all that (properly absorbed) skincare, your face should be better at holding makeup. Most primers also mattify the skin, and that’s the opposite of what we’re looking for, but whatever you feel you need. A primer oil like the one available at Smashbox is a good option.

Add foundation where you need it - I prefer a highly pigmented concealer or cream foundation like Graftobian HD Creme or Creative Glamour's cream foundations sheered out naturally only in areas that need it, because it adds a lot of colour with a tiny amount of product, without putting too thick a layer on the skin which can read as unnatural. A face and body foundation like MAC’s will give you a beautifully natural dewy finish too, with less steps if you’re not so into the skincare. You can also use a beauty balm, or mix your foundation into your moisturiser, or into one or two drops of face oil (it won’t be as oil-heavy as you expect) before buffing in well if you want a sheer, all over coverage. Powder, again, only where you need it - get a powder that doesn’t go too flat, like the translucent loose powders from Yardley or Viva la Diva. If you’re leaving the eye natural and glossy, powdering over the brow at this point will prevent transfer of mascara onto the top lid.

As far as contouring goes, we want this to finish as naturally as possible, so visible contour is out - only soft nuances. The Viva La Diva contour palettes have a few great colours for building natural shadows, and are available in light and dark versions (at affordable prices), or if you want to build your own palette, Creative Glamour has some beautiful colours you can pick specifically for your undertones. A cream blush (or even a lipstick) is good, but you can buff a powder blush into creamy textured skin before powdering for a longer lasting result. Apply a bit of a higher plane highlight to enhance your glow - a balmy texture as a highlight is good, or a powder with a super high (less pearly) shine, or you can mix them together to create a shimmery balm. A balm is more forgiving than a powder over textured skin or lines, but avoid working a product that will stay creamy into lines in the skin if you have already put any pigmented product over the area (like concealer) to prevent obvious creasing. You can place balm separately over powder highlight too. Dr Paw Paw is a cult favourite, and Ultra Bee's Age Defying Creamed Balm feels gorgeous on the skin, is very well priced and locally made with beautiful, nourishing ingredients.

You can finish it by spraying a setting spray and/or a moisturising spray onto the skin - Viva La Diva and Graftobian both have fabulous setting sprays, the Graftobian one just plays better with their foundations. After it dries, you can give it one more light dusting of powder over where is absolutely necessary. This skin look would be perfect and understated with a lip as the focal point, for a quick and easy to achieve look.

Facial massage and training

More people are encorporating massage into their skincare routine up to twice a day to improve firmness and elasticity, reduce inflammation and puffiness, and reduce and prevent lines and wrinkles by reducing tension in the facial muscles, and have reported changes in their face shapes from it. You have everything to gain from this if you do it correctly, and it only needs 2 minutes. Make sure your face and hands are clean - to save time you can encorporate some massage techniques into your cleansing routine to help dissolve more makeup, either by using a pre-cleansing oil, or a cleansing cream/gel.

Use something with a good slip, that has beneficial active ingredients for your skin type and condition. Natural oils can also work, but do an allergy check, and never use pure essential oils on your face without doing proper research. I’m obsessed with Annique Essence Tissue Oil for its blend of natural oils that treat dryness, eczema, lines and uneven skin tone (I have all of these things) and because it promotes a gorgeous glow and absorbs well without feeling heavy. You can use your hands, or a facial massaging tool, which have also become more widely available. If you have acne prone or sensitive skin, keep the pressure light, but a deeper motion will help more in improving firmness.

Do a bit of research on different techniques that will help you achieve the results you’re hoping for - randomly rubbing areas of your face without knowing what you’re activating, and pulling or folding your skin unnecessarily could damage lymph nodes and delicate connective tissue. Here is a link to a really great general facial massage, or enquire with a qualified professional about a personalised online lesson. @facegym and @faceyogamethod are two of my favourite accounts on Instagram on the topic - during lockdown, Face Gym is doing live masterclasses with some of their trainers, and I am obsessed. Would 100% recommend - your face will never feel the same.

Approaching winter in lockdown is the perfect time to try all of these out on yourself, since our skins are about to get a lot dryer and could do with the pamper, especially with all the collective stress we're all under. Regardless of if you choose a more matte or high shine finish, I think the main take away should be that we’re all focusing on getting our best skins now, so that we don’t have to prime or cover up as much, and fill it and chop it all off later. You’re going to be sad if you aren’t already on it. Consistency is a major key to this trend. And please, wear a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen daily to prevent wrinkles, pigmentation and cancer.

Viva La Diva, Graftobian and Creative Glamour discount codes are included in all of my online or face to face workshops as an added extra for you, to purchase the brands online for delivery to your door. Sign up for an hour long online focus feature workshop here, or have a look at any of the longer group or private sessions here.

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