Dull, flaky and ruddy—they may sound like the missing Seven Dwarfs, but they’re actually words that are often used to describe dry skin. Your best beauty regimen is one that infuses parched skin with moisture and masks any redness, leaving you with a glowing, gorgeous complexion.
The challenge Creating a smooth, hydrated canvas so foundation glides on and doesn’t settle into fine lines. The upside of a parched complexion is that you’re not plagued with a shiny T-zone, so you don’t have to slap on powder throughout the day. And since you tend to have fewer breakouts and (lucky you!) smaller pores, you don’t have to be heavy-handed when applying concealer.
The science It’s possible that due to age or genetics your sebaceous glands aren’t pumping out enough oil. According to Leslie Baumann, M.D., director of the University of Miami’s Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute and author of “The Skin Type Solution,” the most likely reason for tight, flaky skin is a damaged protective barrier. The stratum corneum, your skin’s outermost layer, is made up of overlapping dead cells that seal moisture into the skin. Hot water, cold, dry air or harsh cleansers and scrubs can cause the stratum corneum to break down. The result? Your skin loses the moisture it needs to stay supple.
Perfect your complexion
1. Prep your skin New York City makeup artist Sara Glick says the most important step is to infuse skin with moisture so it stays smooth or else foundation will cake. Not exactly a good look. Apply a rich cream like L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream right after you get out of the shower to lock in moisture. Or start with a moisturizing spritz, like Derma E Facial Moisturizer Hyaluronic Hydrating Mist, and then follow with cream. Wait a few minutes to let your skin absorb the cream.
2. Add some sheen “My favorite trick for a convincing, hydrated glow is applying a pearly highlighter underneath foundation,” says Glick. Dab it high on cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and lightly across the forehead and blend. Glick swears by Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Crème.
3. Get even Using your fingers or a concealer brush, spot-apply a creamy concealer like Urban Decay Surreal Skin Creamy Concealer under your eyes, along the corners of your nose and over any blemishes. Next, apply a cream foundation. If you like a little more coverage, try L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Instant Age-Reversing Foundation. If a natural look is more your speed, go for a tinted moisturizer like Bobbi Brown Extra SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm. Use your fingers and start at the middle of your face and blend outward. Set with a light dusting of clear powder like Tarte Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder, or, if your skin is very dry, skip the powder.
4. Warm up Pick a powder bronzer with a tiny bit of shimmer like Lancome Star Bronzer Natural Glow Long-Lasting Bronzer, advises Glick. Using a large, fluffy brush, dust it where the sun would naturally kiss your face: your forehead, the bridge of your nose, cheekbones and chin. Sweep what’s left on the brush over your neck so it all blends in evenly.
5. Go rosy Your most natural shade of blush is the color that you, well, blush naturally. (It’ll be in the pink family—nobody blushes tangerine or eggplant, notes Glick.) No matter your skin type, powder is easiest to apply and lasts the longest. Load up a blush brush, shake off the excess and sweep it over the apples of your cheeks. Soften and blend the color with a clean powder brush.