People familiar with the beauty and makeup industry know what “expensive looking skin” is but let me try and explain if it’s not so obvious.
Let’s face it – very few lucky women are born with great skin. And even if you’re born with it, environment and age play their part to make it not so perfect. But it doesn’t mean we can’t replicate good quality skin. In fact, “expensive looking skin” is all about achieving the gold standard of good quality skin no matter what genes you were born with, how careless you hv been about sun protection for the last 20 years and how old you are. It’s about making it look like you were born with naturally flawless skin and that you took immense effort to take care of it and pamper it with nothing but the best. Yes it’s a bluff. Yes it’s vain. But most importantly – it’s an art. 🙂
If it’s not obvious, this post is really about putting in the effort and time to get a perfect look. The process may not be quick and easy (which I generally like doing cos aren’t we all in a hurry?) . But if you have a special day/party/event in your life and you’re willing to put in the required effort, read on.
Simply put, there are 3 things you need to get this “expensive looking skin”.
A) A flawless natural base
Cleanse thoroughly with a gentle cleanser that takes every speck of leftover makeup and grime off your face.
Use a water/silicone based moisturizer if you will use a water/silicone based foundation. Use an oil based moisturizer if you plan to use an oil based foundation. Why? Oil and water don’t mix together. If you use an oil based Moisturizer with a water based foundation, it would all just breakdown on your face, around your nose and eyebrows and get patchy before it all finally slides off your face. I would personally suggest going with the water/silicone based option to get this look.
How do you know what is water based and what is oil based? Don’t go by the words on the packaging. Just check the ingredients. The ingredient list mentioned should not have any “oil” or “petrolatum” ingredient. The first 5 should generally be some combination of water, solvents or silicones. Examples of good water/silicone based moisturizers are Clinique dramatically different moisturizing gel, neutrogena oil free moisture, SKII cellumination deep surge. Also most beauty essences are water and silicone based and work well under a water based foundation. Examples of a good water/silicone based foundation are Mac face and body, YSL touch éclat foundation, Giorgio Armani lasting silk and Chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation. There are tons out there so pick your fav. The watch out on water based foundation is that a majority of them offer a very dewy luminous end result which is not so great for oily skin types. Hence oily skin folk need a water based moisturizer and a water based foundation that offers a semi or natural matte or satin matte finish like Laura mercier oil free tinted moisturizer and Chanel perfection lumiere foundation. Given today’s day and age, “expensive looking skin” should not be dead on matte which was a popular look in the 80s. So don’t get a foundation that gives you a completely dead on matte look even if you have oily skin.
Also let your moisturizer sink into your skin for 2-3 min before starting on the foundation.
After foundation comes concealer. You need a highly pigmented concealer that does it’s job without having to pile it up. Mac studio finish is a good one for both under eyes and facial blemishes. Use a fluffy blending brush for under eyes to buff it in so that it doesn’t settle into fine lines. Use a fine eyeliner brush to conceal the blemishes so that you only use the tiny tiny tinyyyyyyy amount of product you need. This detailed concealing takes time but makes all the difference between average looking normal skin to amazingly flawless looking skin.
Finally, powder. If you have super dry skin, skip the powder. Slightly dry to oily skin girls, powder down the centre of your face with a finely milled “loose powder” to combat t-zone grease. Preferably not a pressed powder as loose powder gives a more natural finish. Very oily skin folk, should dust a very small amount of loose powder I the whole face to ensure the makeup lasts. Remember to use the bare minimum amount of powder otherwise your skin is going to look a bit dehydrated I.e. not nice!
B) “Glow from within” radiance
This glow is what makes you look like royalty! :p It’s that polished and radiant skin associated with the sophisticated chic strata of society. It’s that wow factor that makes someone go like “there is something about your face today that’s making you look fabulous but I just can’t put my finger on it”. It’s a sign of healthy, youthful, supple “happy” skin. It can be yours in a matter of 30 seconds. All you need is a good highlighter/luminizer. A product that blends like a dream, is not over the top glittery and adds a sheen to your skin that is not too greasy.
For very dry to even slightly oily skin, I would suggest using a cream or liquid highlighter. My favorites include Jemma Kidd dewy glow all over radiance cream , benefit girl meets pearl and more recently This Works shimmer balm. I have never used becca shimmering skin perfector but from watching Lisa Eldridge describe/use it I think it’s a very good one too. You can use a cream product with your fingers and really tapping and buffing it into the skin.
If you have super oily skin, you can use a powder one like Dior amber diamond, Mac soft and gentle mineralized skinfinish. Use a small blush brush for a powder highlighter.
I am nc15-20 pale skin coloring and the above products barring Dior amber diamond are a perfect shade for me. Dior amber diamond goes ever so slightly bronzy on me but would be fabulous on nc/nw 25-40 I think. Make sure that the highlighter adds a hit of translucent gleam to your face and not too much color.
Once you have your perfect highlighter, where do you put it? Tops of your cheekbones (in a diagonal to bluff your way to higher cheekbones ), on your brow bone(to bluff better arched brows) and inner corner of the eye (to give you a bright and wide eyed look). These are the high points of your face and catch the light when it hits your face in that “oh so beautiful” way.
You only need a small amount of product and only in the areas mentioned above. If you go overboard and put too much or in too many places on your face, I promise you you will end up looking like a disco ball or like Edward Cullen under direct sunlight i.e. NOT normal and definitely not polished and elegant.
C) Perfect Blending
So lastly, it’s not just about the products. It’s also about taking the effort and time to blend everything you put on your face so well and so tactfully that no one can tell the difference between what you were born with and what you have added, enhanced and improvised.
For example, a natural blush is an important part of healthy looking skin. Again, i’d use a cream blush unless i am dealing with super oily skin. Ensure that your blush and highlight blend perfectly into each other with no harsh demarcations. Same for concealer work. And same for eye makeup. I would suggest a subtle skin colored but slightly shimmery eye makeup that adds to the glow.
Basically, your skin should look like one very well put together piece of work that enhances your natural beauty in one uniting way. Not a pile of colorful layers.
Does that make sense? Or hv I confused the hell out of you?
Where to buy in Singapore?
BECCA and THis Works from Luxola.com
YSL from TANGS or ION
All others available in sephora