How I Make My Problem Skin Glow

Six steps to a glowing, healthy, non-smothering base.
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Six steps to a glowing, healthy, non-smothering base.

I don’t have perfect skin, so I've gotten good at concealing the things I don't like and highlighting the things I love. Why hide under layers of makeup that only make your problems worse? The trick with applying makeup to problem skin is to give your skin room to breathe. 

Here are some of the products I use to heal and conceal (from left to right): Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, DiorSkin Nude Foundation in 10, NARS Concealer Stick in Pear, NARS Concealer Stick in Custard, NARS Illuminator in Hot Sand, a small flat makeup brush, brush cleaner, and my all-time favorite blush, Stila Self Adjusting Blush in Pink.

acne covering makeup

STEP 1: Start with a base of clean skin 

To start, I cleanse my face with my Clarisonic, apply toner, and moisturize. If you want the makeup to work, you need a decent base--even if that base is red, scabby, and scarred. 

make up forever full cover.jpg

STEP 2: Brush concealer onto problem spots  

Alle wrote about this Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer a while back and it’s my go-to. I've tried their concealer pen, but it runs out quickly and has less staying power. This, however, is MAGIC. I apply it (in #4 during winter and #7 in the warmer months) with a flat brush, which I clean with a face pad and daily brush cleaner to avoid adding more oil to areas that need serious coverage.

Oh, you know, just looking super enthused about covering my spots.

Oh, you know, just looking super enthused about covering my spots.

FYI, I put eyeliner/mascara on and filled in my brows for this since I felt seriously self conscious about taking photos for all the world to see sans ANY makeup after a breakout.  

STEP 3: Brighten your eyes 

nars concealer stick in pear

I use a yellow based concealer (NARS Concealer Stick in Pear) to quell dark circles and brighten my eyes. I know a lot of companies push green corrector for the eye area, but, I don't know about you, but that just makes me look more sallow and ill. I follow up concealing areas that don’t need as much color correction with another NARS Concealer Stick in Custard.

STEP 4: Even things out

diorskin foundation.jpg

I usually apply a mix of Estee Lauder Serum with DiorSkin Foundation in #10 to my chin, the bottoms of my cheeks, my nose, and the center of my forehead between my eyebrows. It glides on super light and dreamy. 

STEP 5: Illuminate 

nars illuminator in hot sand

I get this excited every time I use NARS Illuminators! It's that great! 

Now that you have a solid base, it's time to add the finishing touch. Everyone wants a dewy summertime glow, and for that I use NARS Illuminator in Hot Sand. To apply, I focus on the cheekbone, brow bone, and temple areas. I also use a tiny dab on my nose, above my lips, and on my chin. 

STEP 6: Rosy up those cheeks 

stila self adjusting blush.jpg

Most days I blend some Stila Self Adjusting Blush onto my cheeks. It really does work wonders with every skin tone, so I’d recommend it to just about everyone. You can apply it with your favorite blush brush or just your fingers. The latter is ideal for blending naturally with the illuminator. 

And voila! 

Fake it 'til you make it.

Fake it 'til you make it.

I don't know how it feels to have naturally flawless skin, if there is even such a thing, but I sure love faking it! What are your go-to concealing products? Are you as addicted to illuminator as I am?