Clear Skin As Makeup Base: Insights from Makeup Artists
As an artist primes their canvas to create the best painting surface, so must we invest in skincare to create a good base for makeup. But just how important is good skin for good makeup? And how can one attain it?
We asked 2 professional makeup artists, Grecia Falzon and Marilyn Cini, to share with us their personal skincare journey, as well as their skin care recommendations for best makeup results.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Grecia’s fascination with makeup started when she was a young girl. She used to read beauty magazines and taught herself makeup, until she decided to pursue a career in the beauty industry. In 2019, she took up a diploma course with Academy of Freelance Makeup (AOFM), which opened her eyes to how little he knew about makeup application.
Grecia Falzon, professional makeup artist
“I was not aware of how much a good base can improve my makeup and what good knowledge about basic makeup can help me achieve.”
“There is a big difference between applying makeup on yourself and applying it on others - the difference is HUGE! It would never occur to me to study my face prior to makeup application, because I have grown to know my face pretty well, so it comes naturally to me," Grecia says.
She shares that now, she finds herself observing a client’s face before she does their makeup. “When I'm working on clients, the first thing I notice and observe as I am doing their skin care is the symmetry in the face, the creases in their eyes, marks, pigmentations etc, so that I can start mapping their makeup in my thoughts.”
Grecia admits that although she’s relatively new as a professional makeup artist, she is always eager to learn and open to suggestions from clients. “I like to listen to my clients what they want and how they want to feel in their makeup, because unless they feel good and confident in my makeup, my makeup will not portray well.”
Marilyn is a certified veteran in the beauty scene, having worked on various local television programmes including X Factor Malta and Malta’s Got Talent, in a career that started in 2012. She started by enrolling herself in a Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) course with Biocare Academy, to become a certified makeup artist.
She continues to pursue honing her skills in makeup. “I have slowly continued to enhance my skills by learning new techniques and trends by attending different courses and master classes,” she shares.
START WITH A ROUTINE
Grecia and Marilyn both agree on having a daily skincare routine -- cleanse, tone, and moisturise.
Grecia: I always recommend the basics before a makeup application: good wash, toner and moisturizer. The most important thing is using the correct products for your skin type, not just any random skincare.
Marilyn: My personal skincare routine starts off with double cleansing my face, followed by a toner, serum, moisturizer and beauty mist.
I love LOVE a face wash where I literally feel the dirt being lifted out of my pores and I feel like this wash does exactly that! It leaves my face squeaky clean which is what I am after before a long day at work. So if you are on the lookout for a good facewash for oily skin with large pores… this is the product you should get.
I am loving it because it is still helping to keep my oil under control, yet it still feels very hydrating over my face! It is light and does not weigh down on your face. I tend to hate thick skincare as I constantly feel like there is something dripping on my face.
Marilyn & Grecia recommend
It helps to create a clean base for skincare and makeup routine and it makes the skin brighter and smoother. - Marilyn
Love it as a prepping product for a clean base for my clients and for an additional step to my night-time routine after washing my face. - Grecia
ADD OR REMOVE A STEP DEPENDING ON YOUR SKIN’S NEEDS
Marilyn suggests adding or removing a step depending on your skin’s immediate need. “I add or remove different creams depending on whether I have some acne flare ups, to help calm them down or to help reduce the scarring after,” she says. “I also exfoliate and use a mask every 4/5 days, plus I use sunscreen as part of my morning skincare routine.”
Marilyn Cini, professional makeup artist
“The skin we are born with is the skin we will have for the rest of our lives, and it is thus important to treat it well!"
Invest in a [makeup] primer that has SPF! This one is very lightweight and gives the skin a luminous glow.
Grecia, who has also worked on TV production, suggests similarly about sunscreens. “In summer, if I’m just going out and about during the day with a no makeup look, I sometimes use a moisturizer which has a larger SPF and some hyaluronic acid before that.”
She adds that taking care of her skin is a great pleasure for her, and so she adapts her routine depending on what it needs and how it changes from day to night, and from one season to another. In winter, for example, she says her morning routine includes washing to remove excess oil, toning, and putting on an oil control moisturiser.
Across all seasons, however, she has a nightly routine she sticks to. "At night I usually use: wash (hydrating), toner (refreshing and hydrating), serum and a hydrating moisturizer or an anti-aging cream." She adds that twice a week, she applies a gentle exfoliator after washing her face, and once a week she does a quick 5-minute mask, or indulges in a 15-minute sheet mask. "In addition to that, I do seasonal facials as recommended by my beauty therapist so that I can deeply clean my pores and blackheads."
CLEAR SKIN AS GOOD MAKEUP BASE
Grecia recommends to add in an exfoliation session once or twice a week and ideally to mask once a week. “I always tell my clients that your skin is always a work in progress, you need to take care of it daily and nourish it.”
Marilyn shares the same opinion on regular skincare. “The skin we are born with is the skin we will have for the rest of our lives, and it is thus important to treat it well! Having smooth and clean skin, will allow the makeup products we apply on top to glide smoothly and the makeup will look a lot more radiant and even. Having a good skincare routine will improve our skin and thus minimizing the need to cover up our flaws with added makeup.”
Normally pore controlling masks do not really do anything for me, but this one… it works! I would seriously recommend this mask to anyone who has large pores, to use it before a big makeup event to help tighten the pores resulting in better makeup application and smoother photos!
“Skincare is literally regarded as the make or break of a good makeup application,” Grecia emphasises. “I always make it a point to clean and prep my clients’ face prior to makeup application, that way, I can rest easy knowing that I have a good base for my makeup,”
IN SUMMARY: A ROUTINE FOR YOUR SKIN
- Start off using a no water cleanser to make sure you have a clean canvas.
- Use a toner specifically for your skin type (mature, oily, dry etc)
- If you have dry skin or experience flaking in your makeup, use a serum to help nourish the skin and give it the hydration it needs
- For mature skin, apply a refreshing plumping mist
- For oily skin, go for an oil controlling moisturizer to ensure that the skin is protected and hydrated, whilst still controlling sebum
As Grecia herself has oily skin, she recommends an oil absorbing powder to people with oily skin type,
I’ve tried A LOT of powders over the years, and they always left me looking for an oil absorbing powder that was better. When I first tried out the innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder, I thought it was too good to be true. Until I used it continuously for a week on different bases: no makeup, just primer, bb cream and foundation and I loved the result of all of them! It blends in seamlessly on the skin, does not leave a white cast, and absorbs every tiny bit of oil on the face!
- Beauty water – to clean and hydrate the skin
- Beauty mist – helps refresh and hydrate the skin. Most often it can be used before and after makeup application or during the day to freshen up
- Moisturizer/lotion – depends on your skin type, but helps in keeping the skin moisturized
- Primer – this will seal the hydration and act as a base for long lasting makeup