Skin Deep: The Skinny On Your Skin

From prep to polish – it all depends on your skin type

While makeup and skin creams seem to go hand in hand, many women struggle with getting the two to work for them and not interfere with one another.

The real key requires an understanding of your skin type, not only of your face but of your eyes, neck and décolletage as well. A product that may be perfectly suited for your neck might be too heavy for the skin on your face. Often people try to cover all of these areas with one product, not realizing that parts of your face can be dry and dehydrated while other parts (like some people’s eyelids) are oilier.

The solution lies in looking at the space from your hairline to your chest as one complete face with four unique parts. The center of the forehead down and around the nose to the chin have a tendency to secrete more oil than do the outer portions of the forehead, cheeks and neck, which can be rather dry. Once you examine your face carefully for these trends, then you can consider how to prep your face for makeup.

As a professional makeup artist, I see a variety of skin types, sexes and ages, but I follow the same prep routine for them all. As a licensed aesthetician I know the importance of well-balanced skin prior to applying makeup. From professional athletes such as Troy Aikman and Drew Brees to E.T.’s “The Insider’s” Christina McLarty, I must assess their skin and address certain issues in order to give them the optimum look both on camera and off. The same should apply for you.

If your skin is shiny and feels tacky to the touch, then you would fall into the oily category. If so, avoid harsh, irritating products that will actually stress your skin and cause breakouts, and opt for a gentle cleanser and a salicylic acid toner. Try retinol products that help to cut down on oil production and help reduce the appearance of large pores. Always use an oil-free moisturizer with an SPF 30. If the skin around your eyes tends to be oily, then use an eye gel instead of a cream and make sure you use an oil-free concealer and waterproof mascara. Oils in the skin may also affect how the color of your makeup appears on your skin. These oils have a tendency to create oxidization when they come into contact with certain chemicals and pigments, which may lead to a shade appearing darker. Also, don’t think that your oily skin needs heavy powdering – often carrying blotting papers instead of a compact is your best solution.

If your skin is dry, you too should use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of nourishing oils. Use products with hyaluronic acids to moisturize. Hyaluronic acid molecules pull water around it, which helps to hydrate and plump up dry skin. Use a heavier cream at night so you can wake up with well-hydrated and nourished skin. Eye creams with peptides are best for dry skin. Make sure you allow your eye cream to penetrate into the area before you apply concealer. Doing this helps to avoid creasing and accentuating fine lines. Foundations with anti-aging properties are the best bet. Cream blushes give the apples of your cheeks and temples a fresh and healthy glow. Make sure you apply moisturizer to your neck and décolletage since these areas tend to appear even drier than your face.

Learn to think that your makeup application is only as successful as your skin care routine. When the two work in harmony, the results are beautiful.

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