The Flawless Face: Part 2

Yesterday’s blog was all about taking advantage of all the new high-definition products to create a smooth, flawless-looking face. But what about those incredibly perfect, air-brushed faces in magazines? I could tell you a thing or two, but instead I’ll let makeup artist Elaine Madelon do the talking. She was in town to train the team at Extrados on wedding makeup (getting a bride camera-ready is similar to preparing models for fashion photography).

Minneapolis native Madelon now lives in NYC and works on ad campaigns, editorial features, and with celebrities. I am in awe of her ability to create the most natural, glowing looks—the kind that don’t look made-up, just perfectly beautiful. Having worked on a few photo shoots, I know that the more low-maintenance a model looks in print, the more work and technique went in to making her look that way. Madelon concurs. It takes her a good HOUR to create a fresh-scrubbed face that looks like it’s got nothing more on it than a swipe of cherry chapstick and a little blush. Doesn’t that make you feel a bit better? 

Madelon was kind enough to simplify what she calls a “makeup sandwich”—the layer upon layer of products she uses to achieve a smooth, dewy face for photos. While hers is not one of those “five minute face” shams, it’s easy to replicate, impossible to mess up, and her tricks work. Trust me, I tried them all last night in the safety of my bathroom. 

Step 1: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! You might as well forget the makeup if you don’t prepare the skin properly. If you’re oily, skip ahead to Step 2.
Step 2: Prime. I’m noticing a trend.
Step 3: Apply a tinted moisturizer. More foundation does not make for more flawless skin.
Step 4: Concealor is key. Use it wherever you need it, plus on the bridge of your nose and above the lip as a highlighter.
Step 5: Apply a peachy-pink cream blush to the apples of cheeks. This color flatters most skin tones, and the creamy texture looks more natural than powder. Try Paula Dorf Cream Blush in Tempo (available at Extrados).
Step 6: Powder any concealed and oil-prone areas, then sweep over eyelashes for an added boost under mascara.
Step 7: Apply a dab of highlighting powder to the tip of the nose to create a more youthful appearance.
Step 8: Fill in brows with a shimmery eyeshadow—a matte powder or pencil makes them look “too dead.” Brush with brow gel to set.
Step 9: Line upper lash line only with pencil. Keep it as close to the lashline as possible, so your lashes look thick, but it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a lot of liner.
Step 10: If you want to use eyeshadow, then do so with a slightly wet brush. Sounds strange, but the moisture will create a wash of color, keep the shadow in place all day without creasing, and prevent the mess that often occurs when you apply darker shades.
Step 11: Mascara. Always.
Step 12: Fill in lips with a nude pencil. Top with a peachy-pink lipstick or gloss. I am still thinking about the Paula Dorf sheer lipstick in “Luscious” that Madelon used—it looked so summery and sweet on everyone, regardless of her hair or skin color.