Beauty Tips: Create a Neutral Canvas

25 Sep

By Elizabeth Anne Taylor, Makeup Artist & Photographer
Makeovers with Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor applies foundation to Dawn's face to create a neutral canvas to build her color look

Elizabeth Taylor applies foundation to Dawn’s face to create a neutral canvas to build her color look

Hello ladies! I’m Elizabeth Taylor, and I have a male-to-female transformation studio in the Washington, D.C. metro area. I’ve been seeing clients for eighteen months and have several tips I want to share with you about beauty. Today I’m focusing on creating a neutral canvas from your face. That means shaving closely, cleansing, moisturizing, priming, hiding beard shadow and other flaws, and evening out your skin color and texture with foundation.

Make sure that you have the closest and freshest shave you can get. Use a hand-held mirror to inspect under your chin and on the sides of your face to find any stray hairs. Cleanse your entire face with a face wash or lightly exfoliating scrub. Genetic males typically have larger pores than genetic females, so consider adding an exfoliating treatment such as microdermabrasion up to three times per week to visibly reduce pore size. If you have mature skin, fill in wrinkles with wrinkle filler. The wrinkle filler I use draws moisture to the area right away so that the skin plumps and works long term to rebuild collagen with the retinol it contains.

Apply moisturizer to your entire face and neck, which will help your face look more radiant than if you skip this step. Let dry. Apply an eye cream below your eye and into the crow’s feet area. The eye area is one of the first on the face to show signs of age so it needs the more intense moisturizing of an eye cream. My favorite eye cream has finely ground mica in it to optically lift the eye area so you’ll look better right away. At night I apply eye cream above my eye as well since I’m less likely to sweat it off. Using moisturizer and eye cream morning and night will help keep your skin looking youthful long-term.

If you have oily skin in all or part of your face, then consider applying an oil mattifier to those areas after the moisturizing step. The oil mattifier will keep oil buildup and beading at bay for up to eight hours.

Next, apply foundation primer all over face and to your neck in areas where you have beard shadow. Like paint primer, foundation primer fills in the little cracks and crevices on your face, smoothing out your skin and helping the foundation apply evenly.

Next you need to disguise your beard shadow. Most beard shadow has a blue-green undertone. Orange is opposite blue-green on the color wheel, so apply an orange lipstick (or orange cremestick such as Mehron Lt. Auguste) to the areas where you have beard shadow and blend in with your fingers. The coat should be thin and the blue-green will be mostly neutralized. Next, we need to cover up the crazy orange color on your beard shadow. Use a liquid concealer that coordinates with your foundation color and blend it over the orange areas. If beard shadow is still visible, then reapply the orange lipstick plus concealer to that area.

Now we need to use that concealer for its conventional use—lightening small areas of discoloration in the face to make it a little lighter than your regular skin color. Using a concealer brush, stipple concealer onto dark shadows below and around the eyes, red areas, broken capillaries, and other flaws. Stippling is a tapping motion that integrates the concealer into just that flaw, lightening it to slightly lighter than the surrounding skin, rather than spreading it around and lightening the whole area.

For foundation, I love using two different formulas: liquid and mineral powder. The liquid foundation provides excellent coverage while the mineral powder foundation fills in pores and gives a matte, porcelain look to the face. Choose matte foundations instead of luminous because shiny products tend to accentuate flaws such as the larger pores that genetic males are more likely to have. Apply the liquid foundation with your fingers or a liquid foundation brush starting at the center of your face and working outward, covering both your face and the areas of the neck with beard shadow. Don’t put too much product in one area otherwise it can be difficult to blend it out. To avoid this, apply some product to your face with one hand (one side of the brush) and blend it in with the other hand (other side of the brush). It’s better to build up coverage slowly than all at once. Next, dip your mineral powder foundation brush vertically into the mineral powder and tap into the powder a few times to integrate the powder on the brush. Now tap the brush on the side of the container to knock off the excess. Lightly pat the brush tip against your skin to apply color without wiping. Repeat mineral powder application until you have covered all the areas and the coverage meets your needs.

Finally, set the foundation layer by applying a light dusting of translucent powder with a powder brush, which will smooth out your face even more and make you look better in photographs.

Product List ($270 Retail Value)
1. Facial Cleanser
2. Microdermabrasion
3. Wrinkle Filler
4. Moisturizer
5. Eye Cream
6. Foundation Primer
7. Orange Lipstick (more waxy than moisturizing)
8. Liquid Concealer
9. Liquid Foundation
10. Mineral Powder Foundation
11. Translucent Powder

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Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Makeovers


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