To make models' skin look immaculate on the fall runways (like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein), makeup artist Pat McGrath brought an arsenal of foundation, concealer, powder, and highlighter into play. The resulting complexions were so radiant and flawless, she called them "hyperperfect." "It's as if we could bring Photoshop to life with makeup," says McGrath. We asked her how to give skin this retouched effect, step-by-step.
1. "Start with good skin care,"
says McGrath. Exfoliating will prevent the makeup you later apply from looking flaky. McGrath suggests using Olay Dual Action Cleanser and Pore Scrub to get the job done.
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2. Make sure to moisturize.
"I massage moisturizer into the skin and really get the blood flowing to prep skin for makeup," says McGrath. Smooth a generous dose over the face and neck. (Try Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV-Lotion or La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream.)
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3. Spot correct.
"Hyperperfection isn't about slathering on a full face of foundation," says McGrath. Instead, warm up a liquid or cream formula by rubbing it between your fingers, then only blend it into any dark spots or red splotches. To ensure skin looks exceptionally flawless, McGrath even covers discoloration on the neck and chest. (For moderate coverage, we love Yves Saint Laurent Teint Radiance foundation; for slightly stronger coverage, try L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Serum Absolute foundation.)
4. Brush up.
"Rather than using your fingers to apply concealer, use a small pointed brush for more precise application," McGrath says. Paint it on each problem area in tiny dots, then tap around it with your finger to blend completely. Use a matte concealer under the eyes and around the nose (McGrath likes Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage). If you have dry skin, go for a creamy one (McGrath's pick is Cover Girl and Olay Simply Ageless Concealer).
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5. Get a glow on.
To give skin a radiant look (no, not even models are born with it), McGrath suggests using highlighter on a whopping nine areas of the face: the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow bones, cupid's bow, chin, and inner corners of the eyes. "Highlighter should be the same tone as your skin or a shade or two lighter," says McGrath. Powder versions are best suited to oily complexions (McGrath suggests Make Up For Ever Compact Shine-On), while creamy formulas are ideal for normal or drier skin (McGrath's choice is Kevyn Aucoin The Mousse Glace).
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6. Blot well.
Gently blot the face with a tissue or blotting papers, concentrating on the T-zone to absorb shine, says McGrath. She likes The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Facial Blotting Tissues.
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7. Dust up.
Sweep powder over the T-zone, under the eyes, and around the mouth and chin. "Leave the cheekbones dewy. This makes the skin appear more luminous," says McGrath. Try Cover Girl Clean Pressed Powder or Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder.
8. Stay dewy.
"If you find that your makeup doesn't look as fresh throughout the day, try a hydrating spray to remoisturize," McGrath suggests. For an afternoon pick-me-up, we like a spritz of Avène Thermal Spring Water facial spray.
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- Pat McGrath