The tough news is that your summer make-up has to bring new meaning to the word “flawless”.
The good news is that with at-home airbrush make-up systems hitting the UK market for the first time and a host of new products landing in the shops, it’s never been easier for ordinary women to achieve the flawless look.
As ever, the catwalk has been ahead of the rest of us. Last September, models at the Moschino Cheap and Chic show had rosily smooth complexions; at Viktor and Rolf, shimmering shades of pink, blue and green were diffused seamlessly across eyelids, and everywhere MAC’s Cream Colour bases – in Virgin Isle coral or buttery Shell, (£13; www.maccosmetics.co.uk) – were blended onto cheeks, temples and down the bridge of the nose.
“Transforming wintry smoky eyes into airbrushed ones is an instant way to update your make-up for summer,” says MAC senior artist Caroline Donnelly.
“At the shows, we used extra large brushes to diffuse colour onto the lid, extending it beyond the outer corners until it blended seamlessly with buffed-on cream blushers. It’s a super-soft look that means your make-up looks like it’s at one with your skin.”
Airbrush make-up has been used for years by the film and television industries to create the immaculate skin that only screen stars seem to have.
For the rest of us, the service has only been available in niche salons – great for a special event but no good for creating the look every day. Now, after home kits flew off the shelves in the US, the UK’S first DIY airbrushing set launches this month.
The new Airbase kit (£195; www.airbasemakeup.com) comes complete with two foundation shades to suit your skintone, plus a blusher or a bronzer, a tips sheet on how to use the kit and the all-important compressor gun.
Connected to a power supply, the gun atomises make-up into tiny particles which they say creates an even mist of silicone-based product over the face in five minutes – creating a flawless complexion that lasts hours longer than regular make-up.
I tested the kit at the Skin Oasis salon (www.skin-oasis.co.uk) and it’s easy enough to load the gun’s product holder and spray on the foundation. Closing alternate eyes as you do so and avoiding getting more in your hair than on your face clearly requires practice – as does contouring the cheeks with blusher or bronzer.
Yet the even finish it delivers is amazing (I look like I’m on-screen) and fine lines or blemishes are immediately blurred out. Best of all, it doesn’t budge until I remove it using regular cleanser that night.
“Airbrushing is going to do for make-up what spray technology did for fake tan,” says Judy Naake, who co-devised the product and is credited with being the woman who brought St Tropez tanning to the UK.
“The genius behind Airbase is its compressor brush which allows for the kind of fine layers of product that you can’t achieve with brushes or sponges. Plus it combines light-diffusing properties with a matte finish that makes all skin types look flawless.”
So take “perfection” to a whole new level – no Photoshop necessary.