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Applying Foundation to Give The Illusion of More Than 5 Hours of Broken Sleep

Sometimes, our day calls for a little more polish. However, the option of a ‘make up free’ day is about as appealing as a tipped-out box of Lego...

Equally, a face full of makeup isn’t quite appropriate for school pick up. Therefore, it’s with great gratitude that makeup artist and beauty expert Isabella Schimid has shared her tips on achieving a flawless foundation.

Firstly, remember that a “natural foundation look” is very different to a “no makeup look”...

It’s all about a sheer, natural finish, so you can still see your skin underneath your makeup. We want to provide enough coverage to conceal any imperfections, but still bring out luminosity and the great things about your natural skin.

It all begins with the skin...

Ideally, we want to prep the skin, rather than paint it. If your skin is glowing and looking its best, then any makeup you add will simply enhance your finished look. Here is my step-by-step guide to create the perfect sheer complexion.

Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse...

I always like to make sure that skin is perfectly cleansed to remove any impurities. Think of your skin like a good artist’s canvas. It needs a perfect base. I use micellar water cleansers, like Bioderma or La Roche-Posay.

Whip on a mask...

If you have time – or particularly before a special event – treat yourself to a nice mask to give yourself the best possible glowing complexion.

Try Cremorlab 02 Couture Oxygenic Peeling Mask, which uses mild botanical exfoliants to smooth the skin, while light, foamy bubbles will help to remove dirt and impurities. Dull, dehydrated, dry skin will look clearer, brighter and revitalised.

Another great option is Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask, which is a creamy mask that has been specifically formulated to instantly provide your skin with a youthful, glowing and energised look.

Give it a boost...

Once your skin is clean, give it a boost with a hydrating serum and/or cream. When you massage it into the skin, you’ll get your blood to the surface which will give your skin a great glow and flush.

My go-to products include Be Genki Radiant Oil and Live Native Essential Beauty Serum.


Here’s a little-known tip – use your highlighter under your foundation to give a more natural-looking glow. I like a cream-based or a liquid highlighter, like Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, or Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter. They’ll both bring out your skin’s inner radiance.

Choose the right foundation...

Of course, colour is key. However, you should also be looking at the structure. If you have an oily complexion, opt for a water-based foundation so shine only appears where you place it.

Alternatively, if you have dry skin, choose an oil-based foundation to give your skin an extra-moisturised look.

Really work the foundation in using a good sponge (for water-based) or your fingers (for oil-based), as this will warm up the product to allow it to mould into your skin.

Some great options include:

The secret weapon for your flawless complexion is to achieve a semi-matte finish.

It’s also worth trying Clarins Skin Illusion, which is the first foundation veil from Clarins with a serum texture and a unique bare-skin finish. Your skin will breathe and will become even more beautiful as the day goes on.

Mind the eyes...

Always avoid putting foundation around your eyes. Instead, use a concealer to hide any dark circles, pigmentation, redness or imperfections.

Try Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer or Benefit Boi-Ing.

Powder down...

Finally, use a light powder on your t-zone to remove any excess shine if you need it.

Check out Charlotte Tilbury Genius Magic Powder – which is a light-defusing loose powder that will blur, boost radiance, mattify and smooth your skin.

Another great option is Nars Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder, which is a mess-free option that will give your skin a luminous yet matte finish. It goes on crystal-clear but provides a filter-like, soft-focus glow.