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Make-up

How-to: Pick-me-up Makeup

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A few weeks ago, we talked about makeup for people suffering from hair loss (be it temporary or permanent,) and went over a few “quick fix” makeup solutions to help disguise the condition. This week, I wanted to talk more specifically about the colour aspect of makeup in conjunction with illness — how to add a bit of brightness to a complexion that might be dulled down by chronic illness, intense drug therapies, or a combination thereof.

Start from the skin, and go from there.

One of the easiest ways to perk up your skin actually lies in your skincare and base products, rather than colour cosmetics. Try starting with a brightening moisturiser that uses a small amount of finely-milled mica to add luminescence to the skin, and choose something for your current skintype — a lot of therapies and conditions can affect your skin over time, so check for dryness or oiliness!

Next, think suncare: a number of medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, too, so it’s good to use something with at least SPF 30 for daily wear. Whether it’s in your moisturiser or you’re using a separate sunscreen, make sure you’re wearing enough — about a penny-sized dollop.

After letting your moisturiser and sunscreen sink in, you can add foundation for a bit of coverage. Tinted moisturisers and sheer foundations are easiest to use, making them a great choice for people with health conditions. (Trust me, if you’re already worrying about ten different medical issues, you don’t want streaky foundation to be one more concern!) Don’t rely on your foundation for sun protection, though: even if it says “SPF 20,” chances are, you’re not using nearly enough to actually get SPF 20 out of it.

Then, add colour.

Once you’ve got your base in tact, it’s easy to go from there. Adding colour is no different than it would be for normal, everyday makeup: the only difference is that you might find your skin tone’s gotten a bit lighter, and your cheeks might have a bit less colour in them to begin with.

A quick sweep of blush (powder and cream-to-powder formulas are easiest to work with) and a bit of lip colour (a.k.a. the “instant facelift“) can do wonders. Try picking bright, natural shades, like peaches and pinks (rather than browns or violets) for the most natural, lifting look.

For the blush, try picking a formula with a small amount of (again,) finely-milled shimmer: it helps give the illusion of fullness, sort of like using a hilighter on top (but without the extra step). Then, for the lip colour, choose a gloss or creme formula with sheer-to-medium opacity — it’ll add colour without being obvious.

Above all else, pick colours and formulas that you feel comfortable wearing! There’s no point in wearing makeup if it’s not going to help pick up your spirits, too.

Photographed in this post: Clarins Vital Light Day Illuminating Anti-Ageing Cream (all skin types), NARS Powder Blush in Mata Hari, Marcelle Accent Eyebrow Crayon in Granite, Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips eyeliner trio in Nude Eyes (one of three), Revlon Fantasy Lengths false lashes in Flirty, Senna Sketch-A-Brow Pencil in Mink, Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker Lip gloss in Light Pink, and theBalm Stainiac lip and cheek tint in Prom Queen.

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