Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Bride Prep - Getting the BASE right!

Today's article highlights the method of applying foundation and looking stunning at your wedding. It would also contain pointers from what I have learnt from my own experiences as well as from the mouth of the pros.

As read in one of the previous posts, getting the right BASE is actually a challenge. Its not as easy as is daily application of foundation for work or shopping. Plus there are many people involved unnecessarily to create havoc in the  makeup and hair (unless the bride shoos them away) and its a place of pandemonium.. In such circumstances mistakes can happen and as known mistakes for the wrong base are photographically unpardonable. The tips that I am sharing today are basically from learning and understanding makeup and following amazing makeup artists in India as well as globally to master the technique.

What I discussed here may not be foolproof and I have tried to give the best possible ways to get the BASE sorted. So lets see how to get the base RIGHT..........

Anyways I need to clarify first that with the word 'BASE' I mean - primer, foundation, concealer and powder. There are millions of formulations and one can actually choose what suits them or what they like. So this is more of a pathway I have paved for myself in the bridal world of creating flawless bases and I hope to enlighten a few with it, especially for amateurs who want to get their own makeup done by themselves or by an artist.

  • First and foremost 'NEVER OPT FOR A BASE LIGHTER THAN YOUR ACTUAL SKIN COLOR.' This is specially for the girls who want to look 'fair' when they are not. There is no racism here but I strongly believe that one must love the skin and the color they have been gifted by their parents and GOD and not really try to alter them with makeup and that too at a wedding where you have the foremost chances of getting photographed. If you are a bride or whatever, if you are a human being don't do this mistake of looking lighter than your actual skin color. It can make you look 'Paranormal'. No one would be able to help you at the last moment.
  • Apply primers and corrector products generously. The last thing is that you see your makeup melting away like butter in front of the heat of the lights and during the pheras. A primer will help adhere the foundation is a better manner and makeup mistakes that can be avoidable would be avoided. I strongly advice using color corrector products to correct any redness and blotchiness (green corrector), sallowness (mauve/lavender) and ashiness (yellow) to help get the skin prepped in the right manner. Color correction also acts as film to portrait and mimic a real or say hyper real skin that looks wonderful in photography. Wedding makeup is exactly like photography makeup and should be treated with extra caution as these pictures stay with you for the rest of your life.
  • For choosing the right base foundation - look for something that matches with your skin type, skin tone and skin color. I strongly support that one must always use half a shade darker than their real skin color and then set with the same color powder to get the best looking skin. This also holds true that after doing so you would not look washed out and pale from the color of the foundation itself. Choosing a foundation formula is another challenge. Whether to go for a liquid or a cream is always a debate and the ultimate solution is start with a liquid foundation and top it with a cream based foundation wherever needed. Blend it all seamlessly with a flat top Kabuki or a duo fiber buffing brush and set with powder.
  • While choosing the color of the foundation, as I said half a shade darker is going to be the best option. Then choose a yellow based or a peach toned foundation even if you have cooler undertones as the camera and the devilish flash will do a lot of alterations on the face as it is. You can always mix and match colors to get the perfect color for your skin. You may not have to do this circus everyday but at least do it for the wedding.
  • With a rise in the technology foundation formulas are getting better and better. They have optical diffusing pigments, silicones for mimicking second skin appearance, skin benefiting ingredients, anti oxidants and sun protection. All may sound good except the SPF part. To put in SPF factor makes the foundation thicker and more light reflective (not if the Titanium di oxide is micronised) and in an advent to cover the skin and protect it, one can look really ashen faced and ghostly. If you have a day wedding where you need to stand in the sun, apply a sunscreen underneath the foundation instead of foundation having a sunscreen. Ideally SPF 15 and below allows better photography of the foundation with hideous reflections and looks amazing with a protection on 100-150 mins. For those who do not understand the logic, one must remember that foundations that have higher SPFs are generally made for daily use and should be best avoided for special occasions where you need to really dress up.
  • I choose a few formulations that I am comfortable to work with and since everyone has a different skin tone I adapt them accordingly. For eg. I always take oily skin formulations with me even if I have to do makeup for dry skin. Its just that I add in an extra dose of moisture and skip the powder on the entire face to prevent the skin from looking dry and dead. Sometime a dab of moisturizer over the foundation also helps getting dewy and beautiful skin. Out of the many foundations that I ever mixed and matched, I have settled over MAC Pro Longwear foundation (just one layer and not more than that) and Shiseido Dual Balancing Foundation as the nicest liquid foundations ever. For the cream foundations you may be too much aware of my constant ravings about the Kryolan Supra and Ultra foundation palettes.
  • These cream foundations allow me to duplicate as concealers thanks to the rich texture and full coverage. This is the best part of using a product that gives versatile finishes and Kryolan are the masters.
  • For powders, I am staunch believer and only use Kryolan Translucent powder. This powders in shades in TL1 and TL4 do everything for me and do not look dry on the face like others do. They absorb oil quite well and set the foundation immaculately. For extra coverages I may use Shiseido Luminizing Trio powder and/or MAC Studio Fix powder foundation. I just have the NC 40 shade and luckily it tends to work on everyone.
  • The best part of the makeup, when the entire routine gets over is to spray a generous coating of Derma color makeup fixing spray and the effects remain forever. It just seals the makeup into perfection and I simply love it. Only the world of cautions are, it may not suit sensitive skins due to alcohol content and sometimes look white. It also has SPF 20 which is an added beneficial factor. It can also add a sheen on the face which can be easily gotten rid of by patting or dusting of the excess with a soft powder brush.
  • Its better to stay away from foundations formulated for dry skins as they have light reflecting particles that can go berserk in the camera.

On a prepped skin with moisturizer and primer, I take a deep breath. By this time the products are sunken in and I love to work on a bit of damp skin. I use fingers, sponges (if I dont forget to take them then) and foundation brushes to apply different kinds of products and its custom fitted for every different person who I do makeup to. Sometime if the colors are very very dark and smokey I prefer doing the eye makeups first but not always. I begin with liquid foundation. The silicones in the liquid foundation (one of the ones I have mentioned) help the other foundation formulas glide very easily on each other. It provides a lovely ground for other products to skate on. Sometime just a layer of liquid foundation and little bit of concealing is all one needs to get that flawless finish and good coverage. I strongly feel that liquid foundations can be controlled in the best possible way and however adept one is in doing makeup, the formula should not be underestimated. No wonder why liquid foundations do the highest sales in the world. For people with special skin needs I use my cream based foundations. By gauging the severity of the concern and shuffle between Kryolan's supra and ultra foundations and get the desired finish. When all is done and some under eye applications of concealers and all, I use my fingers to pat the formulas into skin and literally melt them with the heat and friction. Then I use a flat top Kabuki brush from Smashbox or BH cosmetics duo fiber brush to buff the color and take care of the foundation lines at the jaw line and in the hair lines. Sometimes its better to look back and check for any last minute corrections before sealing everything with powder and spray. Then on the lid of the loose powder I swirl a big fluffy brush to absorb all the powder and then apply it so that there is a uniform veil of color on the entire face and the powder is not concentrated only on one area. For under eyes I used a soft large eyeshadow brush to set the foundation and concealer and also do it on the sides of the nose. Then I would use a foundation puff or sponge to dab over all this and flatten the skin surface. This all takes 5-10 mins and when done it looks spectacularly flawless and amazing.

The products that I have never tried are MAC Fix + spray and I want to see whether it makes the makeup last long or look dewy.

These are some and some more products that I am suggesting and options that one can avail to get a flawless looking skin on their most important day.

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Light primer (available at Beautiful) - indeed the best one ever known to mankind. 
  • Stila One Step Correct primer (available at Beautiful) - it does it all.
  • Benefit Porefessional  (available at Beautiful) - for a non stop action to take control over the pores
  • Shiseido Refinining Primer ( available at Shiseido counters) - is supposedly the best primer ever and is the representative of the finest technology Japan has made
  • For fairer skins I use Skin79 Diamond BB cream and it goes amazingly well in correcting redness
  • Clarins Instant Smooth Perfect Touch primer to create a flawless canvas
FOUNDATIONS (other than what I use)
  • Bourjois Healthy mix foundation
  • Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation
  • Makeup Forever Lifting foundation (for extremely dry areas)
  • Revlon photo ready foundation
  • Kryolan Ultra foundation liquid
  • Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hr lasting foundation
  • Shiseido The Makeup Stick foundation
  • Shiseido Natural Finish Creamy concealer
  • MAC Studio Fix concealer (follow Vimi Joshi's video on how to use HERE. Just don't scared)
  • Chambor Dual finish powder
  • MAC Mineralize Skin finish powder

These are some of the staples that I have seen in many makeup artist's bags and can really vouch on these products.

Hope you like the article since it is devoid of any pictures. Do comment and participate in my Giveaway.

Till then,


 Please do not copy any pictures or content of Beauty Traveller without prior permission. Thanks for reading my blog. I don't give 100% on the authenticity of the content here and it is subject to change without prior notice. Please read the disclaimer for any questions.


  1. Neeraj, you should seriously think about writing a book and publishing, this is like the best info out there, you are so thorough when you write about makeup. unbeatable post!!! really , do think about writing your own book.

    1. Thanks a lot for the lovely words...doesnt it sound like a medical book ...LOL...Thanks

  2. OMG ! Can I share this on my fb fan page??!!! Plzzzzzzz !
    If only i could give u a hug and pat on the back!! :D
    Ur a true MUA !! And im soo proud I found u and all ur valuable knowledge .. Ur such an inspiration, keep going ! :)

    1. Oh surely u can....thanks a lot for the kind words...i just write what i observe and feel...sharing everything that I know of..

  3. awesome post neeraj..i love reading ur posts always..too good n so informative.thanku so much

  4. I seriously was looking out for best primers mainly an eye primer and i came here ..turned out i updated myelf with lot many things than i even wanted to know...Thanks Doc! u r the best.. u know to troubleshoot all problems related to makeup :D

    1. thanks a lot Erica..for best eye primers nothing beats Too faced shadow insurance...but u can also go for MAC paint pot as they r easily available in India

  5. awesomeeee post Neeraj... and specially for me :D i suck at applying base makeup and till date give all the credit to you for suggesting me one of the besttttt foundations :D god bless you dear

    1. OMG thanks a lot Rashmi for those amazing words...u inspire me a lot too with products....Thanks

  6. Gosh! i cannot stop raving about ur posts! Thanks for taking the time out to actually share ue valuable knowledge with us!! You're india's answer to all those youtube guruz out there..You really start ur own channel!!

    1. That a lovely idea...actually working on it..Hopefully i can soon..Thanks for all the support.Lovely words...Thanks

  7. Thank you for such a detailed post. I am sure a lot of brides to be will benefit from this. And for those like me, its a great post for getting ready for a event where lot of pictures are gonna be taken. Thanks a ton.

    1. Thanks a lot for the kind word Eesha...hope u find the post useful too

  8. such a great post.not only for the brides but for anyone having a blemished complexion.thanks a ton as this was a much needed post.would love to have a skincare post,with budget friendly products,an amalgamation of your knowledge medical field and cosmetics/skincare.


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