Liberty Beauty Buyer, Sarah Coonan spreads her beauty tips on choosing and applying the right foundation for a flawless, expert finish.
Foundation is probably the most important step in any make-up routine. The wrong foundation, when poorly applied, can be really ageing and look mask-like. Luckily, finding the best foundation is much easier than you think and application doesn’t need to take hours. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite makeup tips and tricks to help you achieve an enviably flawless base.
Step 1. Find the perfect colour
Foundation should match your skin as closely as possible, and I recommend visiting a make-up counter for advice. Always test it on your skin and ideally in natural light. If you don’t feel confident the colour is quite right ask for a sample and try it at home. There’s nothing worse than investing in a great foundation and then not using it because the colour is poorly matched.
Step 2. Take a lesson
Nothing beats a one-to-one tuition with a great make-up artist. Pop into store for a lesson and you’ll pick up a handy arsenal of tips. The assistants on our beauty counters are make-up artists too and many of them do freelance work so they really know their stuff. Don’t automatically head to the brand you always use, have a look round and only seek advice from someone with flawlessly applied foundation. If theirs isn’t applied well I find it hard to take their advice seriously.
Step 3. Cherry pick
I’m a firm believer in finding the very best product you can, rather than buying everything from one brand. They may have the best foundations but if their primer or brushes aren’t up to scratch you aren’t going to get the best results. My make up bag is a big mix of products and the best ones for you will vary depending on your skin type, the time of year and what look you want to achieve. For me, I love Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation, Trish McEvoy Correct and Brighten for under the eye, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for any blemishes. I’m not keen on an overly powdered look so my go to products are either Chantecaille HD Powder or Hourglass Ambient Powder.
Step 4. Tailor your products
Depending on the look you want to achieve, you will need to use the right products. If you want dewy skin, a mattifying primer is going to work against you, so either skip the primer altogether or use something like Laura Mercier Radiance Primer. For velvety skin, I swear by Hourglass Veil Fluid Make Up and if you want a really natural look and don’t need too much cover you really can’t beat Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturisers.
Step 5. Find the right tools
Now you have the perfect products, you need to make sure you’re applying them correctly! Much of this is down to personal preference, but certain tools will help you achieve a really precise look. For an airbrushed finish, a damp Beauty Blender is a godsend. It’s quick, totally mistake-proof and gives the most beautiful coverage using just the right amount of product. When it comes to brushes, quality is the key. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, but do your research first. My favourites for foundation are: Trish McEvoy’s Sheer Mistake-Proof Brush, Hourglass No. 2 (the most versatile brush you will ever use) and London Brush Co. Pyramid Brush.
Step 6. Learn from the professionals
YouTube is an amazing resource where you can get advice from great artists and real people alike. Some of our favourites are Pixiwoo, Wayne Goss and Lisa Eldridge – and the beauty is you can practice while you watch. This is also a great way to get completely impartial advice about which products to use. Wayne Goss has some really great videos about foundation and applying it. His advice is super easy to follow and he is always brutally honest about the products.
Three Tips from Our Artists
Abida from Trish McEvoy
For an airbrushed finish use Trish’s Sheer Mistake Proof Brush to stipple on foundation. Using fast circular motions to blend gives you a really light, even coverage that you can build up.
Anastasia from NARS
I like using my fingers to apply foundation as the heat really helps to melt the product into your skin leaving a really natural finish. Alternatively, I like to use a Beauty Blender slightly wetted.
Yen – Shu Uemura
A good base to even out skin, correct pigmentation and bring down redness is essential for a flawless look. The key is to use a great primer of base product like our UV Underbase. Also, don’t overcompensate with foundation to cover up blemishes. Less is more!
The makeup founders share their favourite products from their lines and other brands
Our week of beauty events, live talks and exclusive treatments, Brushes with Greatness, has now come to an end. We hope you enjoyed our line up of events in-store as much as we did, and thank you to everyone who came along to our private workshops and chats – this year was our best yet! Our team of well researched, seasoned beauty buyers takes pride in all the brands available at the Liberty Beauty Hall, particularly the makeup brands which all derive from professional makeup artists, resulting in purely high performance, quality products.
Now, rather than just reiterate our favourite products ourselves, we thought who better to recommend to your their makeup tips than the artists and founders themselves? Here they share with us the best makeup piece from their range, and in some cases their favourite from another brand.
Carisa Janes, Founder of Hourglass Cosmetics
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer:
“I was never a big fan of using makeup primers, until we developed this one. Veil Mineral Primer is different because it delivers in so many ways that I can’t begin my makeup routine without it.”
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower:
“The tuberose scent is intoxicating, plus it comes in a gorgeous bottle.”
François Nars, Founder of Nars Makeup #Narcissist
“I have a real love affair with lipstick. You feel immediately elegant and it gives the face a lot of strength. It gives you more power.”
Diptyque – L’Ombre Dans L’Eau:
“My absolute favourite fragrance.”
Ellis Faas – Founder of Ellis Faas Makeup
Ellis Faas Bright Red Hot Lips:
“For an instantly happy and healthy face.”
For cleansing, Ellis has reported using her favourite cleanser by Eve Lom.
Trish McEvoy, Founder of Trish McEvoy Cosmetics
Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials:
“Eye Base Essentials is also one of my most magical beauty secrets. The formula totally perfects and brightens the upper eyelid for an instantly vibrant, rested, open-eyed look.”
Troy Surratt – Founder of Surratt Beauty
Artistique Blush in Se Pomponner:
“All of the incredible musicians and bands coming out of London like Annie Lennox, Culture Club, Wham, etc., their style was unlike anything I’d seen before and the way they used makeup – even the boys – was eye-opening to me. One of the products I love in my line that reminds me of this time is the Artistique Blush, especially the Se Pomponner shade which is a hot pink.”
Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Director-at-Large, Newby Hands, shares her expertise and makeup tips.
Ever wondered how to get the look on the world’s top magazine covers and thought it was all down to airbrushing and retouching? In truth, the secret lies much more in a skilled makeup artist and good lighting. Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Director-at-Large, Newby Hands will be joining us in-store tonight for an exclusive and intimate talk about all things beauty. With over 20 years of top industry experience, having worked with some of the world’s best make-up brands and artists, Newby is a true beauty know-all and we can’t wait to absorb every single thing she has to say on the subject.
Just in case you couldn’t make it to tonight’s event, we caught up with Newby in advance to pick her brain about her beauty yes’s and no’s, plus a few of her favourite go-to products.
How has make-up changed and developed over your 20 years experience as Beauty Director and Editor?
Over the last 20 years I think the biggest change has been in the choice, quality and the textures. Today you can find amazing products at every price plus the textures are incredible. Products stay in place, they work like a second skin, the pigments give beautiful colours plus there is just so much choice with so many brands today.
Have you noticed a change in attitude towards make-up by women since then?
I do think that women of all ages now have more fun with makeup. It used to be you found your look and stuck with it. Now women will try new looks – they may not keep them but they are more adventurous and definitely see that beauty can be fun. After all it all just washes off if you don’t like it!
Throughout your career in the industry what is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about creating great make-up looks?
To blend it all seamlessly for a natural makeup look and that the more make-up you use the older you can look – and not in a good way.
What is the biggest mistake women make when applying make-up?
Today most women do seem to have found what works for them but I still see women wearing too much makeup that’s not blended in. Also, too pale a concealer seems to be a widespread mistake; choose a colour near your skin tone not two shades lighter.
Can you give us your top tip for getting a perfect, even base?
I love to mix a drop of hydrating serum into my base, it really plumps up the skin and helps any base go on evenly and look more like great skin than great makeup.
Do you have a tried and tested, fail-safe look for parties? If so, what is it?
I do think that just adding a bit of eye liner or kohl and lots of mascara makes most women look great for the evening. Adding that depth to the eyes makes them more interesting, plus it’s a quick way to turn a day look into something a bit more sexy. That, and a good shimmer-free bronzer and I am good to go.
What are three make-up must-haves you couldn’t be without?
I love mascara, plus a bronzer or self-tan and a nice creamy concealer that covers up without leaving skin looking cakey.
The best make-up discovery you have ever made?
It’s more of a tip; mix products up, I add serum, highlighter, even primer to my base just a bit of each and if it looks like pretty skin in my palm then I apply it. Don’t be afraid to mix up products, after all that is exactly how some of the world’s great products like YSL’s Touch Eclat were first invented, by make-up artists mixing up other products to make something they couldn’t find elsewhere.
Favourite make-up brands at Liberty?
I love Hourglass, plus Nars and Chantecaille in particular for great colours and textures.
Liquid foundation or compact:
Neither, I like a BB
Nude lips or red:
Liquid eyeliner or pencil:
Fresh faced or smoky eye:
Bushes or fingers:
Eyelashes or eyebrows:
Hand made perfumer Le Labo’s limited edition design for the Liberty Loyalty card
Le Labo’s limited edition print for the 15th anniversary Liberty Loyalty cards takes it’s inspiration from one of Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s famous botanical paintings dating back to 1824, portraying the iconic Rosa Centifolia. The flower is still cultivated in Grasse for its uniquely fragranced petals, which produce exquisite oil used in extremely refined and rare perfumes, including Le Labo’s Rose 31.
Le Labo was founded in 2006 by Edouard Roschi and Fabric Penot. The two expert perfumers have over a century’s worth of experience working with world famous perfume brands between them, but they dreamed of restoring the original principles of perfume creation, focusing on quality ingredients and the olfactory without the restraints of time or costs. Le Labo’s perfumes are made of a qualitative composition with one primary essence sourced directly from the world’s ‘perfume capital’ – Grasse, on the French Riviera.
Discover the new Make-Up Must-Haves collection at Liberty – a one-stop shop for cult favourite, professional make-up and tools.
Brand new to the Liberty Beauty Hall and online is our Make-Up Must-Haves collection. This edited collection of cult favourite brands is your ultimate pit stop for high grade, high performance make-up tools and products to help you create flawless finishes for every look. Our experienced beauty buyers have scoured the globe to uncover the best-loved products, from globally recognised brands to the best kept secrets in beauty, that are professional and a go-to for professional make-up artists.
This elliptical sponge fits the contours of the face perfectly making application of everything, from foundation to eye shadow, a breeze.
London Brush Company Brush Shampoo
Available in three fragrances, this handy brush shampoo effortlessly cleans off make-up and dirt from both natural and synthetic brushes.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
A favourite with make-up artists, this ultra nourishing cream smoothes, hydrates and gives a great base for make-up.
RMS Living Illuminator
Hollywoodheavyweights love this subtle illuminating cream that’s perfect for adding a healthy glow to your complexion.
Fake lustrous lashes with this genius base coat. It brushes on like mascara and can lengthen lashes by up to 5mm.
This amazing brow conditioner encourages fuller, thicker brows in just three weeks.
Developed by Dr Michael Brinkenhoff, this revolutionary formula encourages fuller, thicker lashes through a powerful combination of peptides and soothing botanicals.
Eliminate falling pigment when creating a smoky eye by placing these gently adhesive shields below your lower lid.
Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner
The best smelling brush cleaner we’ve ever tried! This non-toxic cleaner will dissolve even the most stubborn make-up while being gentle enough not to cause damage to expensive make-up brushes.
Discovered during our infamous ‘Best of British Open Call’, and known for her clashing prints and outrageous designs, Alexandra Mann has designed an exclusive collection using Liberty fabrics.
We aren’t usually swayed by celebrity endorsements, but the fan base of Prtty Peaushun is pretty epic! Available in two shades, this light reflecting cream gives skin a beautiful glow, blurring out imperfections and diminishing signs of cellulite and unsightly veins. An ideal holiday companion, this 100% natural cream also repels insects.
Face to Face Super Matte Anti Shine
This innovative product was designed to keep film stars looking flawless, and is still the most effective way to keep shine at bay! Available in three shades, simply pat onto skin or use with make-up to give you a matte, smooth look all day. A little goes a long way!
London Brush Company Brushes
As the saying goes, a good workman never blames his tools… and fabulous brushes enable beautiful make-up! Founded by make-up artist Sian Richards, who has 24 years experience in the industry, these brushes are uncompromising in both design and quality. Brush ranges are available in either premium grade unblended animal hair or 100% vegan hair.
Created by prolific stylist and editor Linda Rodin, this cult brand is much loved by industry insiders, models and make-up artists.
NARS Smudge Proof Eye Make-up Base
For even application and better staying power for eye make-up, we recommend using an eye base. Our best selling is this one from NARS which reduces creasing and smudging.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
This best selling make-up product is hard to beat. Minimising the look of large pores and imperfections, this waterproof base will hold your make-up in place all day long.
A backstage favourite, this all purpose balm is great for creating a dewy complexion. It can be used as a highlighter, mixed with foundation for a sheer glow or used as a subtle gloss for lips and eyes.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers
The original and the best. This product has won every award going and for good reason.
Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner
Our best selling gel eyeliner and a favourite with beauty editors, this long lasting gel formula makes eyeliner easy.
Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara
This revolutionary tubular mascara forms water-resistant tubes 360° around lashes, dries instantly and will not smudge or smear.