I get it, not everyone has big events or big shoots that they have to do, but I still hope there is something useful to take away from this post!
Beauty photography is basically a close up of the face, often featuring makeup and it's the kind of images you'll see in your everyday beauty and makeup product marketing and advertising materials. This means that the makeup artist need good skin to start with to create a flawless look. Although what you see is down to retouching, much of it is actually done in-camera and I've been on many shoots where makeup artists have created absolutely flawless skin before the shot was even taken.
Sometimes, we're not so lucky to get retouching done to the images and boy have I had a fair share of images where I just hated my skin. No matter how good the makeup artist is, bad skin will show over time and this happened last year when I was modelling for camera demos and some of these attendees' images are printed out in large print on the day.
I've transformed my skin since then but with every shoot, regardless of nature of the shoot, I will always make sure my skin is well prepped, even if I have decent enough everyday skin, and for everyone else who may have a big event coming up, e.g. wedding, attending a wedding, graduation, company party, party....etc., these will be useful in helping you prep your skin before makeup application on the day. Remember - the skin you have today is a byproduct of your habits and what you've done the day(s) before.
Here are the top 5 things that I preach and do for skin prep.
1. Cleanse and exfoliate
When: the day before, or 2 days before
Products: peeling pads and clay mask (I don't personally condone scrub exfoliants, but if you do use them, I'd recommend using them 2-3 days before so your skin is less irritated and gives it time to calm down before the day)
If you've read my post on masking tips, you'll know that these are essential to making products in the mask to really sink in the skin. This also resets your skin to a (relatively) blank canvas before makeup application, so it's less likely for makeup to cling on to dead skin, patchy areas, sebum, and all that stuff that starts to pop out when you start applying makeup products on to the skin.
2. Using super hydrating masks
When: the day/night before, or if you have time, consecutively for a few days
Products: super hydrating sheet masks, rubber masks, gel masks... I personally prefer thin sheet masks, but whatever you feel benefits your skin the best
This is literally the top thing I do for skin prep. If I was feeling lazy and not deep cleansed or exfoliated, I would still without fail use a sheet mask prior to the day - the more hydrating, the better. As someone with dehydrated skin, this will transform the skin to being more supple, less prone to dry patches (you may still get them), oil control as the oil/water balance is there, as well as fading scars and acne (this might not be the case for you). Another important point is that hydrating masks don't really do harm to your skin or cause your skin to react, which is important because you really do not want any reaction on the day. Your skin will also feel really soft too and that generally is such a lovely thing to touch. With a smooth canvas now, foundation will go on a lot better and you may find that you will also have a very natural glow to your skin when it's drank enough water.
3. Only use serums in the evening
When: the night before
Products: serum or ampoules that you use for your normal routine or more
I never felt that using serums on the day have done much for my skin. As you rest, serums and your body will work overnight so you wake up with better skin. Additionally, if you use serums on the day, you may find that your skin can be overloaded and don't feel as fresh faced as you would. If you have to use one, I'd recommend hylauronic acid that isn't too thick and can be quickly absorbed into the skin. With serums on the face, you'll have to remove layers of them before makeup application, or find yourself having to clean your skin again because you've got too much stuff on the face for makeup to stick on and adhere to. Makeup application always begins with a fresh face, save the serums for the night instead!
4. Doing the "7-skin method"
When: the night before, or on the day. I love doing it on the day as it gives your skin an instant natural glow from drinking so much water
Products: super hydrating toners, personally I prefer the thinner toners than the thick, gel-like ones as it's easier for the skin to absorb and feel less sticky. Although this really depends on the product!
I'm not gonna lie, this method changed my life. I first saw it on Gothamista's channel/video, which in a nutshell is, patting on 7 layers of hydrating toners after cleansing. The link will show you the video explaining more about the 7-skin method and tell you how to do it and ever since I've started using it I've had so many compliments by makeup artists who worked on my skin. The skin has transformed to be soft and supple and there is a really good glow after application and of course, creates a really, really, good base for makeup, which would just go on like a dream.
5. Using lip masks
When: the night before
Products: leave on lip masks, my favourite one is the Laneige lip mask - I've talked about it here
If you are blessed with soft lips with no lip lines, this need not apply, but I'm not - in fact I just have dry lips throughout the year and this is particularly annoying when you want to wear lipstick, particularly matte liquid lipsticks. This particular Laneige lip mask that I use not only moisturises, but also exfoliates the lips through the night and in the morning, I just wipe away dead skin on the lips with tissue before applying lip balm for the day. And now you have soft, supple, dead-skin free lips that would be perfect for lip makeup application.
And that is it! It honestly isn't a lot and it's totally worth the while to do it if you want amazing skin on the day. Makeup on amazing skin really enhances how good you look, stay on for longer and has a better finish.
What do you do for skin prep? Are these already in your beauty routine or would you be trying some of these out?