How to Perfectly Apply Your Makeup

Summer is here! A fresh season, a fresh start, a fresh chance to revitalize your wardrobe and reorganize that cluttered makeup drawer. As the rain lets up and the real heat sets in, now is the perfect time to sort through all your cosmetics, and maybe add a few new friends to let you get that perfect summer look. Fresh faced, effortless, clean and clear: here’s a few essential tips and tricks of the trade that will keep you looking flawless throughout the hottest, harshest months of the year.

Healthy Skin
Your skin is the foundation of your foundation: any great makeup look starts with clean, clear, and healthy skin. Keep your face nourished, and you’ll reap the rewards all summer long with a clean, glowing complexion. The first step to healthy skin is to know your skin type, and select your products accordingly. Naturally oily complexion? Look for products that advertise “oil free” or “oil blocking.” If your skin is dry, look for “moisturizing” or “hydrating” to get the best results.

A good cleanser is another must: look for a product with natural ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals, which can dry out your skin further and leave you vulnerable to break outs. If you’re worried about a dark tan in the summer months, look for lightening or clarifying products, like VLCC’s line of face washes. Finally, and most importantly: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! No matter how deep your complexion, protection from UV ray damage is a must. If you prefer to avoid heavy lotions, you can find products that offer SPF protection, like the Lakme makeup collection from Nykaa: a range of concealers and foundations with 20 SPF.

Primer
A great look is built from the bottom up: healthy skin first, and a great primer second. Primer is incredibly easy to apply, and yet so often overlooked: just a few seconds of rubbing on a soft gel with your fingertips will set you on the right track for a smooth, polished look all day long. Primer helps conceal your pores and also protects them from clogs and product build-up, giving your foundation, highlighter, or shadow an extra footing to settle into. It also goes a long way towards preventing that dreaded creasing effect, as makeup builds up in your natural lines and wrinkles throughout the day. Don’t skip such a simple step: invest in a good primer to build on!

Brushes
Your masterpiece look requires a solid foundation in healthy skin and a solid primer, but you’ll go nowhere without the right tools to build. Invest in some good-quality brushes for the best possible application! Building up a good collection may take a little patience: those 40 piece sets may be tempting, but Huffington Post’s style experts recommend picking out your brushes individually, one at a time. Your own products and style preferences will have a heavy influence on what brushes work best for you: that slightly cheaper foam eyeshadow applicator may work just fine for your favorite gel shadow, but you might be better off dropping the cash for the natural fiber foundation brush, to get the best delivery of a loose powder foundation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help at the beauty counter or do some research online (sites like Nykaa offer some great resources)- find the tools that are best suited to your style.

Multi-step Products
There’s something to be said for the ritual of a detailed beauty routine, getting ready for a night out, but for the working woman on the go, sometimes an hour to get ready just isn’t an option. Fortunately, the world of cosmetics is ready to provide with multi-step products that really can do it all. Ladies the world over have fallen in love with BB (and now CC) creams, a combination primer, foundation, and moisturizer all in an easily applicable lotion. Multi-steps can be an absolute life-saver if you don’t have the time to spend on a detailed routine: just rub it on with your fingertips, blend with a soft bristled brush, and add whatever highlights you like. These natural, sheer creams lend themselves well to any look, whether it’s a dramatic eye and a bright lip, or a soft, minimalistic mascara and gloss.

A Few Final Words
There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all in makeup. You’ll have to do a little experimenting to figure out what works best for your personal style. But there’s a few universal rules to stand you in good stead: protect your skin, build a good foundation with primer, choose your tools widely…and don’t be afraid to branch out and simplify. Maybe you like your pressed powder foundation, or maybe you’ll get along just fine with a tinted BB cream and some finishing powder: don’t be afraid to experiment, and find the routine as unique as you are.

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