3 Tricks That Make Foundation Really Look like Skin

Celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips reveals her secrets to “no makeup” makeup.

By: Ning Chao

Natural-looking foundation is like plastic surgery: The whole point is to look like you haven’t had any work done. Just as “nice nose job” isn’t really a compliment, neither is “pretty foundation.” Which is why no-makeup makeup advice tends to be so elusive. Those who have the technique down just look naturally poreless, not like they’ve painstakingly blended together two different shades of foundation, which is actually how pros achieve an exact color match.

While celebrities and their glam squads keep their secrets as closely guarded as their real ages—and are quick to credit expensive (often European) skin care or drinking gallons of water for their immaculate complexions—the reigning queen of flawless skin, makeup artist and La Mer brand ambassador Mary Phillips, whose clients include the always-luminous Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Olivia Munn, and the Kardashians, is ready to reveal her secrets.

 

1. Leave the sides of your face shiny

“Set makeup and blur pores and fine lines by applying powder to the center of the face only, leaving the perimeter natural and dewy. That shine around the face is beautiful. Light-reflective particles in the La Mer pressed powder work like a filter on skin, so it doesn’t look dry, cakey, or even sparkly, but more like live skin.”

2. Highlight with cream after applying foundation

“Instead of strobing, warm a small amount of moisturizer in your fingers, then press it onto your cheekbones for a natural highlight. Whether you’re 19 or 50, this technique will not age you. After you’ve applied foundation, just press your fingertips on the areas where you want a little glow.”

3. Revitalize old foundation with cream

“Makeup tends to settle during the day. Before you go out at night, rehydrate your morning foundation by applying a little cream on top with a foundation brush, then add more foundation or powder wherever you need it. Your makeup will look completely fresh again.”

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