Because our shoot was focused on skin, I pulled Daria's hair back with Iles Formula Finishing Serum into a chignon at the occipital bone so it was out of the way.
Skin prep is key for a smooth, long-lasting makeup application. Skipping this step can interfere with your goal of a flawless finish while leaving your model's skin unprotected.
On Daria I used Dr TWL Dermaceuticals RADIANCÉ FLUIDE™ HYDRATING EMULSION, which is a lightweight, radiant moisturizer with active ingredients that will brighten and repair the skin throughout the day. A great pairing for those after that coveted dewy skin glow.
Then I applied Illumalift which also has 'active ingredients', a running theme in my kit. They have a brightener and a buildable cream foundation both are sheer so they make a perfect primer for the rest of your makeup. I applied the brightener by first warming it up with my fingertips, then pressing under the eye area, and other dark areas of the skin that I wanted to bring out of the shadows. The cream foundation I used as a spot corrector, again applying with my fingertips; the warmth of skin on skin helps to melt your creams together for a seamless blend.
Lips, just some old-fashioned, reliable Elizabeth Arden 8hr Cream, that I also brushed her brows with.
For Daria's foundation I used Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Cushion Compact in Neutral 2, with a lightweight, buildable coverage that you control. I apply just a single sheer layer over the face for balance, then I like to layer over breakouts, pigmentation or veins for added coverage.
Concealer I prefer to lightly tap over foundation for colour correction only where needed. I love NARS Soft Matte Cream Concealers. I chose Cannelle, which has a soft peach undertone to cancel out any stubborn darkness.
Recently I was transiting through the Hong Kong airport where I bought a handful of Bobbi Brown's Glow Sticks. Here I used Nude Beach for a hint of the sun-kissed glow on the cheeks, lids, chin and above the eyebrow arch, blending and fading out towards the hairline.
Let's talk about my highlight addiction... One of my favourite methods when using highlighters, is to layer more than one, (I've been known to use 5+) and bespoke the application based on my overall desired look and the model's bone structure. Using only one shade of highlighter leaves the skin lacking in shape and depth. For this shoot I used Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Crème in Opal and Prosecco with finishing touches using RMS Beauty Living Luminizer . My method is to have my models move their heads slowly side to side to see how the catch light picks up their bone structure. I apply to the points I want to enhance using more than one highlighter, some overlapping but I don't apply them all at the same spots. I find this method is more natural looking as I play with facial structure, hues and radiance levels for sculpting and diffusing. Brighter highlighters I tend to use as a finisher on the points that I want to draw more attention to with a pop! On Daria these points were: the inner corners of her eyes, bow of the lip, just under and over her eyebrow arch, upper cheek bone. To check over my work, I had her slowly move her head side to side, to see where the light picks up the highlights and critique my blending. The lip bow and inner corners of the eyes I like to blend with a cotton bud to avoid any sudden hard lines.
Note: I never pop any highlighter on the tip of my models' noses; that we save for Rudolph guiding the sleigh through the winter storm.
Because Keith and I wanted to play with textures, we used a combination of sea salts and coloured sugars that I applied with my hand, as well as our lovely model dipped her face onto a plate. True story. After each shot, our model needed to wash her face; by the end of our shoot her skin felt smoother and looked more radiant. Between the active ingredients in my skincare and primers, and the gentle exfoliation from sea salt and sugar, it's no wonder her amazing skin became even more flawless!