I have been burning the candle at both ends lately with the project that my husband and I have undertaken in our time off. As a result, I have darker than usual circles around my dust-induced allergy laden eyes. My end-of-summer skin brightening routine has been working—the background melasma skin tones are nearly back to normal—but there is still some freckling & deep spotting. Thus my “need” for some extra make-up tricks. Here are the 101 basics on evening out skin tones and what I did on my own face.
PRIMERS: A primer is a translucent gel or moisturizer that contains clear-toned pigment that will neutralize the offending colors in your skin. Apply a thin coat under your make-up foundation or under a powder.
CONCEALER: A concealer is an opaque, dense creme that has browned-out pigment to totally cover demarcation in your skin. Apply over primer, under/over make-up foundation, under powder.
NEUTRALIZING POWDERS: A neutralizing powder is a mix of various minerals and pigments that are fleshy colored yet toned to a particular hue on the color wheel to counteract discoloration in the skin. Apply as a last step over moisturized skin or primed skin or make-up foundation.
Because I have ivory-olive skin (a yellow-green cast) any injury in my skin takes on a deeper greenish brown tone. [Melanin clusters in the skin to protect itself when an injury occurs then continues to do when ever exposed to UV light.] In my case, some summer time breaks out on my chin and some Black Fly bites on my cheeks left dark greenish-brown splotches. So I blended a primer with a faint red-orange cast. When you overlay colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel they cancel each other out. Red-orange over shadowy blue-green = neutralized beige. I smoothed on a bit over my chin and on my cheeks.
When congestion forms behind my eyes in the sinuses (for example the irritating dust from the project I am working has created this), my skin tones intensify and get an even deeper, olive-green. To counter act this tone, I blended a concealer that has the tone opposite on the color wheel. Red-violet over yellow-green neutralizes to make beige.
Because the pigment is concentrated in concealers, let the color tone do the work NOT the thickness of your application. A little goes a long way; dab, dab dab, into place.I applied a sheer coat of Moisture Foundation blended to match my ivory-olive skin harmonizing all other make-up dibs and dabs together while still letting my skin show through, freckles and all. I finished by dusting my face with a more opaque SPF mineral powder that I blended with luminescence for a moist look and that I also tinted to neutralize my skin color a bit. By “neutralize” I mean less tone-specific so that I could play around with any choice in eye, lip and cheek colors.
Here I am in different lights and different angles. I like the final result; more dewy evened out skin while still letting my own natural markings shine through. (Forgive the grainy photography – these are IPhone Selfies.)
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We can tend to think of wearing make-up as a frivolous, unneccessary act knowing that we are great just the way we are. Put aside the fact that it is fun, enhances our best features and can add a little dance to our step, for some people wearing make-up is self-esteem building. To keep prying eyes off a disfigurement or a birthmark can make the difference between seamless life-living or lots of uncomfortable stops and starts.
This month of September my work tends to focus on make-up. We all are shopping for new clothes and need a new lipstick or something to coordinate, but I am also rededicating myself to the art of special-needs camouflage make-up. I am ditching the photography of my older work and am updating my before and after portfolio. See the first two in the series below. If you know of anyone who has a Port Wine Stain birth mark or any kind disfigurement that they would like help concealing, please send them my way. As a thank you for letting me photograph them before and after, I will be happy to give them my services plus a full set of make-up to use at home.