Make-up artists believe that the starting point to a good make-up look is getting a fantastic base, if the skin looks great then the rest will follow. (I don't necessarily believe this myself, because no matter how good the base, if the lipstick is all wonky then no-one is going to care about anything other than staring at that mess)
I do believe that we are all attracted to beautiful skin, we all want it, we all try our hardest to have it and are jealous of those that have lovely clear, smooth complexions, and we all try continually to create the illusion of it.
I unfortunately wasn't blessed with great skin, and have always struggled to keep it looking adequate let alone great and on good days I just about manage with the help of these products.
I start by using my trusty Oil of Olay day cream, I have strange skin that tends to be oily but also goes flaky as well so I have to be careful with moisturisers. If it's too heavy it makes me look really greasy but if it's too light I will end up with flaky patches so I can't really win! Oil of Olay is light yet nourishing and my skin seems to like it, it doesn't give me any redness or irritation so for now I'm happy with this one, (oh and by the way it's an anti ageing one so will hopefully keep the pesky wrinkles at bay a little longer). Using a moisturiser gives me a good base and my foundation glides on smoother than it would without.
I am on the fence about the Smashbox primer, I have a sample of the photo finish one and have used it a few times but for me I haven't noticed the difference. My foundation stayed put really well without it and I don't find it makes a difference to the way the foundation applies and it hasn't made the pores on my nose look any less noticeable. Maybe this would be better for someone with quite oily skin, it may prevent them from looking shiny and keep the foundation in place for longer. Personally I can skip this step for the time being, my skin may change over time and I will look into a primer again at some point, especially a pore minimising one!
I have been using MAC studio fix fluid for 4 years now, I'm reluctant to try other brands in case they don't measure up. I also find it hard to find a colour match for foundation, as I am pale with yellow undertones and it seems the UK market is much more geared towards pale with pink undertones which make me look like I have some sort of weird skin irritation going on.
The last time I put my trust in a counter girl for Estee Lauder she sold me a shade that was way too dark and I looked like I had mixed a teaspoon of mud into my foundation!
So what do I look for in a foundation? I personally need something with good coverage, a fluid that is creamy but not too oily because I have combination skin, and it needs to have good staying power. I get all of that from studio fix and shade NW13 is a perfect match for my pale skin as well.
To set the foundation, give it a matte finish and prevent shine I use Smashbox photo set finishing powder. I love this powder and have done a review on it before. It is completely translucent so works for any skin colour, it's also really finely milled so doesn't sit in all the creases of your skin and leave you looking like you have been having a flour fight.
So that's it, there are the steps I use to create my flawless base (if I'm having a good skin day).
What are your favourite products?