Let's Talk: Skin is In

Full coverage foundation. Full coverage concealer. Contour your face with this cream and that powder. Paint your entire forehead with four layers of makeup. Don't let anyone know you have real skin underneath, cuz we need to cover that shit up!

Just stahhp.

Okay, before I go any further, let me get this disclaimer out of the way: YOU DO YOU. I'm not one to shame anything that makes someone happy with his or her self. So if you like full coverage, go for it! I know there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes a full coverage look is necessary.

But don't feel like you have to in order for makeup to look good. The trends I keep seeing involve so much makeup that it's hard to not feel like you're doing it wrong if you don't use as much.

I watch makeup videos on YouTube, and many of these beauty gurus cake it on. I mean, just piling on layer after layer of full coverage products all over their face so that by the time they're done, you can't tell they have real skin at all. They have erased all their natural features and then have to go back and create them again with contour and highlight. This technique, combined with the photoshopping filters on every camera, is sending a message that it's not okay to let your real skin show.

I was watching Jaclyn Hill's "Full Face of First Impressions" video, which is what prompted me to write this. She often shows her bare face on SnapChat and her skin is glowy and perfect (maybe she has a filter on her phone camera as well, IDK). But when I saw how much product she applies on herself in this video, I just shook my head. It was so unnecessary! Her skin looks great already! What is the point of covering up gorgeous skin?

I'll be the first to admit that some days I enjoy doing the absolute-maximum-coverage-"beat your face"-Instagram-style makeup. Some days I feel like I just need it. And with that style being what's shoved in my face with every video I watch, it started to become a habit at the same time. I used to feel "incomplete" if I was doing a full face and not slathering my forehead and chin in a lighter shade of concealer ("to highlight"), on top of my full coverage foundation - even though there's really nothing to cover. But I worked to break this habit, because it's 1) a waste of product, and 2) completely unnecessary. You know, some days it still happens, though.

But that's just my habits for my personal application. As a makeup artist, it's my job to enhance a client's features without being obvious. Now, some clients love and request a full coverage look like they saw on Instagram, and that's fine! I'm here to make you happy so I will do whatever look you're going for! But for the typical client, and especially for editorial shoots and film, the base makeup should not be blatantly obvious. I mean, people know you're wearing makeup. We're not fooling anyone. But the goal is to simply even out the skin tone and provide real coverage in just the places that need it. I love the professional foundations I keep in my kit because they look so skin-like and natural and I don't need to cake them on. I don't want to blank out the entire face and turn it into this muted matte mask, and then have to go back in and add dimension with layers of concealer and contour. Of course, it depends on the client and the skin, but my goal is to never have the makeup look (or feel) heavy. Comfort of the makeup is just as important. You don't want to be distracted all night because you feel like your face is practically weighed down by a bunch of layers, or that it might come off when you hug your friend.

I love doing editorial because the emphasis is usually on clean-looking skin, not overdone looks. If I could drill one thing into everyone's head, it would be to drink lots of water and invest more in your skincare, so your natural glowy skin can shine through and there will be no need to cover it up. I think if beauty gurus started focusing on clean skin looks, and emphasising that skincare is key before anything else, instead of layering on foundation, the natural look could come back in style and we would see more of that instead of these tutorials where you draw lines all over your face for highlighting and contouring. I already see a few YouTubers going foundation-free, which is a great message in my opinion.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I'm not trying to bash or make anyone feel bad, because like I said, some days I use an insane amount of foundation although I have been practicing becoming more comfortable with going out with minimal or no makeup on. Generally, I prefer to see real textures, real pores, real people. This look doesn't suit everyone, because not everyone has crystal clear skin. That's why I try to teach that proper diet and a great skincare routine (which, I know, is harder for some people because nothing seems to work. I get it.) can do wonders.

Are you ready for the natural look to come back in style? Tell me what you think!