Sunday, 17 July 2011

Coveted Coverage

Every now and then a make-up brand will release a product which is so sought after that any artist who owns one will adore it, and those who don’t will look on enviously!

One of the MOST sought after products is the Bobbi Brown University Face Palette. This product was inspired by Bobbi Brown’s own make-up kit and  is “the ultimate face palette for pros and aspiring artists alike.”

Used by pretty much every top artist in the industry the pallet is a compact and easy way to own, transport and use every shade of a corrector, concealer and foundation you could ever need. If that wasn’t enough the quality of the products inside are considered to be some of the best on the market.

The last time the pallet was available was 2009 as a limited edition. These were quickly snapped up and since there has been speculation about when (if ever) another one would be available. Rumours started earlier this year 
that a new palette was on the cards and there was even talk of a waiting list

Finally this month the wait is over, without any hype or advertising the new limited edition palette has appeared 
on the website and is selling fast as word spreads.

The new palette is even bettter than the old version. It features 11 rather than 9 shades of her skin flattering Corrector, 14 instead of 12 shades of Creamy Concealer, and 20 Foundation Stick shades which is 3 more than the previous palette. Plus an empty well to mix and make custom shades.

I’m waiting excitedly for mine to arrive and to pulling it proudly out of my kit many times….

Friday, 8 July 2011

Basic Tips – Concealer

As promised I’m going to continue my basic tips with concealer. This is the next step in creating flawless yet natural and glowing skin.

The first and most important thing to remember is that the concealer must be the same shade as your foundation; if it is a tiny bit lighter or darker it will draw even more attention to the area! A good tip is to mix your chosen concealer with some foundation on the back of your hand to get a closer match.

The next thing to consider when choosing a concealer is what you are trying to conceal. This sounds obvious but is actually the biggest stumbling block.

Most people will use concealer for two things, to cover blemishes and to cover dark circles/shadows. The key thing to remember is that you are trying to camouflage these issues and therefore the concealer needs to counteract the problem. So for each you will need a different type of product and I will run through these below.

1) Dark Eye Circles /Shadows

For this problem you need to establish what is the base colour of your shadows/circles. This will either be a blue or a green tone. An easy way to work this out is to look at the veins on inside of your wrist and see if they are towards a blue or green shade.

For a blue tone you will need to conceal this with a pink undertone to your concealer, for a green tone you will require a yellow undertone to your concealer.  This is regardless of whether you wear a pink or yellow foundation; your concealer will not necessarily have the same undertone.

The next thing to thing about is texture. The under eye area tends to be a place which has some crease and expression lines regardless of age, it is also the thinnest area of skin on the face. Therefore using a thick heavy product here will look very cakey and will be prone to creasing as the product sinks into the lines. This will make the product look obvious and unnatural.

Therefore we need to use a very light product which will suit this area of the face. Many brands produce a solution in the form of the concealer pen.  A lot of these also contain light reflecting particles which also add brightness to the under eye area.

A couple of my favourites are:

Clinique – Airbrush Concealer. This has to be one of the best at the more expensive end of the scale. Unlike many of the brands this product manages to give really good coverage whilst remaining light in texture. A lot of similarly priced alternatives give much less coverage.

Lacura Beauty – Concealer Pen. This product is right at the cheaper end of the scale and comes from an usual source..ALDI. This brand has received a lot of press acclamation due to its affordability but also the quality of the products. The concealer pen costs just £3.49 and does a great job, much better than a lot of more expensive versions. It’s not as good as the Clinique pen, but at 5 times cheaper it’s the next best thing.

To apply these products put a couple of few dots along the area requiring concealing, then gently pat the product into the skin and blend the edges gently. You can use either a brush or your fingers to do this; do not use heavy strokes on the product as this will remove it.

Make sure to only apply on the areas that are dark, not over the full under eye area as this will not provide the desired effect and the whole area will look too light and unnatural.


To camouflage blemishes which will be pink or red in colour we need to use a concealer which has a yellow undertone to counteract the colour of the blemish. A common mistake when covering spots is to use a concealer which is too pink, this will draw attention to the area rather than conceal it.

The consistency will need to be thicker than the under eye concealer but still without looking cakey. A full coverage foundation is great for this. Oily skin and shiny blemishes will need to be covered with a concealer which is drier in consistency, stick foundations are great for this.

A couple of my favourite products are below.

Vichy Dermablend - Corrective Foundation Cream & Stick. Vichy recently teamed up with Dermablend who are famous for strong camouflage make-up for stage and severe skin marking with products which provide extremely effective coverage. The cream is a full coverage foundation which is fantastic at covering slight to heavy blemishing. The stick provides even stronger coverage for those who require it but is slightly more obvious than the cream.

L’Oreal - Infallible Concealer. This product provides good affordable coverage; it has a drier consistency for oily skin without looking cakey. It also has great staying power!

To apply these products use the same patting technique as above making sure the concealer is blended into the rest of the foundation at the edges. For very small blemishes you can use a small brush to target the area which will leave as much healthy skin free as possible and look more flawless.

If you are struggling to cover the area, wait for the existing product to dry slightly and repeat the same patting technique

Once the product is applied it is a good idea to set the product with a powder (ideally translucent) this will enable the coverage to last longer. This can be patted on using a brush or a cotton pad. Ensure any excess is blended off.