Makeup Artist Tips 101: Camouflage

By: Aliesh D. Pierce


As a makeup artist and skin therapist my job is to create the appearance of healthy skin. Having had many more years experience in makeup, I have found several techniques to make any face appear flawless. There are a few basic steps to achieving a smooth pallette. The first is to find a balance between foundation and concealer. The concealer is of a thick consistency with dense pigmentation. These types of products can be used to perform a variety of tasks. As for foundation, most lines come in formulas of either liquid or cream. However the most recent trend is mineral powder foundation. As a makeup artist I find these products difficult to work with. The high percentage of titanium dioxide gives off a white cast and is therefore not suitable for many ethnic skin tones. I have recently noted however that many of my skin care clients insist on Jane Iredell Minerals and will use nothing else.

Makeup artists use several techniques to cover up. The general idea is that concealer matching the skin tone is applied to random spots with a small concealer brush or over large areas with a foundation brush. MAC has a wide variety of brushes and is a staple for makeup artists world wide. If concealers don't go on smoothly, it may be necessary to prep the skin with a primer. Dermalogica's Barrier Repair treats the skin while prepping it for makeup application. It can even be used at the end to create a dewy look.

After covering only discolored areas with concealer , apply a liquid foundation to the entire face. For the best color selection, look for makeup artist driven lines like LORAC, Laura Mercier or Vincent Longo.

If these steps don't seem to give you enough coverage, it maybe necessary to neutralize skin discolorations. This is done by applying a corrective color over any unwanted pigmentation. Green corrector neutralizes red (rosacea or distended capillaries). Orange neutralizes blue (dark brown hyperpigmentation). The Coverderm System from Babor conceals any type of skin discoloration in neutralizing as well as skin matching shades.

After creating an even tone, I like to start highlighting and contouring. To highlight use a color a bit lighter than your natural skin tone. With a small brush, apply concealer to the brow bone, down the bridge of the nose... any place where you might want a little lift. To contour you want to use a color a bit darker than your natural tone to create a shadow and minimize fuller features. This shading is most commonly applied down the sides of the nose, under cheekbone, jaw line or in the crease of the eye.

Tip: if you're trying to conceal bags, feather on highlighter in the concave areas only to avoid the "racoon" effect. And try prepping the eye with a cream like Babor's HSR to avoid creasing.