Past the tender age of 12, the term “even complexion” often feels like an oxymoron. Between dark spots, redness and the simple fact that most skin tones do vary slightly in shade from one facial feature to the next, it’s no surprise that achieving perfect skin requires a bit faking. All those serums, creams and spot treatments work hard to erase your epidermal woes in the long-term, but in the meantime, let makeup work its magic. After all, there’s no better bag of tricks than a well-stocked cosmetics case.
Click through the above slideshow for our insider tricks to faking flawless skin…
The first step to getting a complexion that’s so even you’d swear it’s Photoshopped is a dash of all-over brightening, courtesy of a luminizing primer like Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer Radiance ($33) or Smashbox’s Photo Finish Luminizing Primer ($38). These light-diffusing radiance boosters blur imperfections, creating a soft focus effect and the perfect canvas for an even complexion.
Next, sprinkle in color correction as needed. Redness around the nostrils and the center of the chin (both areas often plagued by broken capillaries) can be neutralized with the cool tones of a green color corrector. Try Maybelline’s Cover Stick ($5) in Green or Dermablend’s Smooth Indulgence Redness Concealer ($20). Under-eye circles and stubborn dark spots call for something warmer. Use orange or peach hues to counteract discoloration with blue undertones and make darkness disappear, such as Bobby Brown’s Corrector ($24) in Peach.
The final trick involves using the right mix of foundation. Avoid the urge to drench your face from forehead to jaw line in a mask of full coverage—there’s a difference between even and all one color. Start with a medium-to-full coverage product that’s half a shade lighter than your exact match. Apply it to the center of the face—think the entire area covered by your biggest oversized sunglasses— all around eyes and eyebrows, tops of cheeks, and bridge of nose. Then sweep your true-to-tone light or medium coverage foundation everywhere else. Grab a buffing brush (Stila’s One Step Complexion Brush ($32) and Urban Decay’s Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush ($25) are flawless finishers) and use circular motions to seamlessly buff and blend the products together. The result is a complexion so even you’ll hardly believe your eyes.
Giorgio Armani Fluid Master Primer ($57) has light-reflecting particles to give you a subtle glow.
Chanel Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base ($45) will brighten your complexion without heaviness.
Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette ($38) has a shade for anything you could possibly want to cover up.
Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($24) is a full-coverage concealer that won’t flake on you.
Le Metier de Beaute Classic Flawless-Finish Liquid Foundation ($68) will even out imperfections and leave your skin looking flawless.
Using Shiseido’s Foundation Brush ($30) is the best way to apply liquid foundation.