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11-18-15 | Posted by

A few months ago, my teenage daughter was getting ready for a friend’s party. When she walked out of her room, I was not happy. My gorgeous girl had covered up her naturally radiant complexion with foundation that looked like a mask and sapped every bit of life out of her skin. As her mom I was able to send her into the bathroom to scrub it off, but as a beauty writer I knew it was time to teach my daughter a lesson. Literally.

She’s at that age where she doesn’t need to do anything more than add a touch of under eye concealer to hide the telltale signs of a Gossip Girl marathon or face-timing session late into the night…but, she’s also at that age where she wants to feel grown up enough to wear more than concealer so I took her shopping for some wonderful tinted moisturizer that protects her skin with SPF and gives her just enough coverage to keep her happy without hiding her natural beauty.

Sans makeup, if your complexion isn’t all it could be, these 5 tips can help you fake it like the pros do:

  1. If you’re testing foundation on the back of your hand you’re never going to be satisfied with the shade you purchase since the back of your hand is exposed to the sun more often, usually making it darker than your face. Instead, when testing shades, swipe stripes on your jawline and check for a perfect match in natural daylight before making your choice. You’ll know it’s the right one when it disappears into your complexion.
  2. Choose the right formula. If your skin is oily, try oil-free, mattifying, powder and cream-to-powder formulas. Normal to dry complexions do well with moisturizing, oil-based, cream, stick or liquid formulas. Combination skin can benefit from strategically applied powder foundation. If you have near-flawless skin and only want sheer coverage, choose a bb cream or tinted moisturizer.
  3. Start with a smooth slate. If your skin looks dull or dry chances are it needs to be exfoliated, which you can do regularly with a retinoid, glycolic acid product or gentle scrub. When your skin is smooth, anything you apply on top will look more natural.
  4. Start with moisturizer or a moisturizing primer before applying your foundation for the smoothest application and radiant looking finish.
  5. Finish with a light dusting of translucent powder on your t-zone to lock it place and prevent shine. Use a large fluffy brush (tapping away excess) and apply in circular motions as you blend or apply with a large velvet puff (gently press and roll). Avoid the eye area and smile lines.

A few of our favorite things to help perfect your complexion:

Too Faced Kabuki Brush ($34)has a smart swivel design so you can easily control your powder product application and blend flawlessly.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen ($44) adds light coverage, a healthy glow and sun protection. Also available in an oil-free formula.

Chanel Double Perfection Lumiere ($55) is available in 15 shades of medium-to-full matte powder foundation coverage. Compact design easily allows for touch-ups on the go.

Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($36), a weightless, translucent powder that works on all skin tones. It’s formulated with an exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™, to bring radiance to the skin plus microfine mineral powders contain glycerin and vitamin E to help keep skin at optimum hydration levels.

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