The Flawless Face: Part 1

Purely by coincidence, two fabulous makeup artists were in town yesterday—Gina Bettelli, a senior artist/trainer from MAC, and Elaine Madelon, a Minneapolis native-turned megawatt beauty guru to the stars. Not by coincidence, I carved out plenty of time to meet with them both. When it comes to gleaning beauty tips and tricks, I’m like an iPod waiting for downloads.

First up, Bettelli and MAC’s new high definition line. No thanks to technological advances in television, newscasters, actors, and some lucky, ahem, editors are having to rethink their heavy-handed approach to on-air makeup. Bettelli explained that HD magnifies the skin four times (this is just wrong), so the key is to create a smooth, even texture—not pile on more makeup. You don’t have to be under a microscope to take advantage of the products that MAC and other cosmetic companies have developed specifically for HD. They benefit us all by creating more flawless, natural-looking skin. For starters, exfoliate regularly, either with a physically scub or gentle washcloth (I like Origins Modern Friction). Next, Bettelli recommends a primer. MAC’s Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($28) does it all: absorbs oil, minimizes pores, smoothes skin, and maintains makeup. On a humid summer day, I’d use it in place of a moisturizer and top with MAC’s Face and Body Foundation ($32). Until now, this water-resistant, water-based (i.e. oil-free) liquid makeup was used almost exclusively by pros—on the runway, for editorial work, etc. Although incredibly sheer, it magically delivers that fresh, photoshopped look that we’re all secretly trying to achieve. 

Tomorrow I’ll tell you how Elaine Madelon creates unbelieveably gorgeous, glowing camera-ready looks like this.
Hint: It can’t be done in 5 minutes.