We recently came to a realisation: make-up that looks like you’re not wearing any make-up at all is a real skill. And while we’re all pretty minimal at Wardrobe ICONS HQ, Petro is the most fresh-faced (read: lazy to get out of bed) of all, often just opting for a quick slather of moisturiser before leaving the house. So we enlisted the help of Bobbi Brown senior pro artist, Amy Conway, to show us how to look naturally flawless. From prepping your face to concealing without covering up too much, read on for 12 quick steps to easy, everyday make-up.
We learnt something fascinating about skin prep: did you know that if your skin isn’t hydrated and primed before you apply foundation, the colour won’t match your complexion? “It can take on a orange-ish hue when you haven’t prepped the skin properly,” says Amy. Petro’s skin was primed with the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, which absorbs quickly, leaves skin feeling smoother and makes foundation last longer.
You get a far more natural finish if you start with colour-correcting concealer rather than foundation. “Most of us turn to foundation as a quick fix,” says Amy. “However, because the skin under our eyes is the darkest, the minute you take that out with concealer you even out skin tone and often find you don’t need as much base.” On Petro, Amy applied a pink-based corrector to take away darkness, followed by concealer, which she pressed into skin with fingertips for a more natural finish.
Once your eyes are sorted, the trick to only applying make-up where you need it is to really look at your skin each morning. “Most women get redness through the nose, cheek and chin, so start there,” says Amy. “You may find that you don’t actually need it anywhere else.” When it comes to building coverage, swipe on the foundation stick and use a sweeping motion (with your foundation brush or fingertips), or to make it sheer, press into skin for fuller coverage.
Every make-up artist we’ve ever worked with, including Amy, swears by a light dusting of setting powder to lock in foundation and concealer. However, there’s a catch: you need to use the right formula in the right spots. Amy opted for a powder formulated for dry skin for Petro, which is feather light and hydrating. She then switched to a smaller brush to target around the nose and T-zone while avoiding the cheeks.
“A lot of women try to correct skin tone with foundation, but bronzer is the fastest way to even your complexion,” says Amy, who dusted the golden-toned shimmer brick in a figure of three, starting at the forehead, going around to the temple and then back around to the cheekbone. Amy also gave Petro’s neck, hairline and even ears a light dusting, which helped balance her skin tone.
Amy suggests doing lips and cheeks after base: “Sometimes that’s enough, and it’s a great way to ensure you look fresh and natural and don’t overdo it.” For lips, Amy pointed out that one lipstick can give you two very different looks – straight from the bullet produces a much stronger colour, so for Petro’s day look, Amy dabbed the colour on with her fingers to achieve a long-lasting stain. She then pressed the same lip colour onto her cheeks, for a pretty and natural-looking flush.
We’re long-time fans of this bestselling cream shadow stick, which adds the loveliest highlight to lids (or forms the perfect base for a more intense night-time look) and lasts all day long. Amy etched the colour along the lashes and then over the lid, extending ever so slightly above the lids for a little extra definition.
A brow pencil is the key to adding soft definition to your arches. “This long-wear formulation goes onto the hairs and skin when you apply it, but when you brush the groomer over brows, it buffs the colour off the skin for a more natural-looking result,” says Amy. As for picking the perfect shade, fairer brows look best filled in with an ashy-toned pencil, while darker brows suit warmer hues.
Despite the fact that many mascara formulas promise to curl lashes, “if you give lashes that long-lasting kink first with a curler, you’ll find you don’t need to use nearly as much mascara,” says Amy, who started at the root and then worked her way to the tips of the lashes with three quick compressions of the curler.
To maintain the curl in your lash, avoid coating the top-side of lashes with mascara. Simply swipe up from root to tip, once or twice. And consider the effect you’d like, says Amy: “Brush up if you want to lift and open the eyes, and brush out if you want slightly more fluttery, flirty lashes.”
One of the prettiest highlighters out there, when you swirl the colours of the signature shimmer brick together, they translate into a pretty sheen on the skin that works for day and night. As a general rule, dust the formula lightly over the highest points of your face to make skin glow.
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