I do this weird thing with my makeup where, despite having all kinds of hellacious spots I need to cover (story to come, worry not), I skip foundation and just wear my concealer as foundation. I literally cannot remember why I made this decision. I'm 100% fine with a full face of makeup, so it's not that. It's probably that I can never find a foundation that matches my oddly pale-and-yellow skin and still looks good all day.
Anyway. Usually what I do is apply my concealer with the wand from the tube (I use Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and swear by it) and then just kinda...smear it around with my fingers. You know, like a second-grader. But really, I've been doing this for a long time, I work in magazines, I'm something of a beauty buff, and I've long thought this was a perfectly fine method. I mean, it's worked for years. Or so I thought.
This weekend I attended the Golden Globes with my Marie Claire cohorts, and as is befitting of someone who will be spending the evening in the presence of A-list stars who have a genetic leg up on everyone else, I had my hair and makeup done by pros.
The makeup artist, from Laura Mercier, was amazing. And I noticed that when she applied my (lots and lots of necessary) concealer, she didn't smear—she tapped. Instead of wiping it around after painting dots on with the wand, she dabbed with the pad of her finger until everything was covered and blended.
I was a little too distracted by the fact that I was going to the GOLDEN GLOBES in a few hours to fully appreciate what she was doing. But when I got home that night, exhausted and ecstatic and feeling very much like Cinderella (only partially because my feet hurt so badly that I took my shoes off in the hotel lobby), my makeup looked exactly the same as it had when she applied it.
What was this black magic?
The next day, when doing my usual smearing routine, I decided to try this dabbing business. Here's my stream of consciousness:
...maybe I'll do that fancy thing the fancy lady did.
...it's kinda fun.
...wow, it takes HALF as much product to cover this giant spot as it usually does.
...why haven't I always done this?
...I feel like I know what I'm doing.
...I probably look like I know what I'm doing.
...okay so this is super effective and took way less time than usual.
And then, 14 hours later: ...the concealer is somehow exactly where I put it this morning, despite being on a six-hour flight, being dehydrated, lugging suitcases around all day, and maybe shedding a tear or two while I watched Men, Women, & Children on the plane. SOLD.
It's all about the application, guys. You don't have to buy yet another life-changing, crazy-expensive product to look better—you just have to dab instead of smear. Trust me on this.
And if you don't, trust this makeup artist, who seems to have had the exact same revelation I did:
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