The Perfect Prime Look by Bobbi Brown
We’ve all heard about prime makeup but really, is it just the 5-minute no makeup look? After blogging for some 8 years now, I can definitely say otherwise. Over the course of 8 years, my skin’s gone through a lot of changes ranging from different sorts of breakouts, the dreaded appearance of fine lines, extreme tanning (both from a bottle and au naturelle thanks to surfing), occasional brightening and various dermatologist-approved procedures (acne surgery, RF and chemical peeling). These changes prompted me to shuffle a lot of products just to achieve the prime look for both work and play.
I’m sure you can tell that based from the photo above, the first thing we need to achieve this look is to have impeccably clear and toned skin skin. What if you don’t have the luxury of time to achieve so through skin care? Are all hopes gone?
Whether you have great skin or otherwise, the foundation to the perfect prime look’s skin prep. Overtime, I’ve used a handful of skin toning agents both on myself and my clients and I always revert to two holy grails: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and MAC Fix+. Both products wake up the skin like no other.
Now on to the part we love the most: concealing and subtle contouring. I’ve been rotating the products above depending on the coverage I need. As a base, I’ve been rather abusing the Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 PA+++ in Medium. It’s like the little sister of the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Compact Foundation (above featured in Warm Natural). The BB Cream gives me great, natural coverage that sans powder, gives me dewy (enviable if I may add) finish. I’ve tried too many powders in this lifetime and when it comes to photo-ready finish, I always go back to MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation. It’s not as finely milled as my favourite powders from Chanel and Giorgio Armani but it works for me all the time and in fact economical (it cost me around Php 1800 for a 15g pan which could last me 2-3 months) for someone who dolls herself up everyday. The last item on the lot above is what I’d like to call Camera 360/Photoshop/Perfect 365 in a pot. It’s the Naturactor Cover Face in 151. Applied lightly on my eye bags, this removes all traces of gray in seconds. It also hides my pimples (more about this later on) and contours my face like a dream. If you’re gunning for a life changing product, check this out from Digital Traincase. It’s only Php 790 for a 20g pot that will last you until the day it expires (it’s that potent and economical!).
You’ve heard about it from the experts and I will harp on it as well: invest in quality makeup brushes. I have a good handful of brushes from MAC and shu uemura and the ones above are some of my favourite synthetic brushes (almost like my indispensable magic wands). The pink handled Charm Angled Kabuki Buffer brush is heaven sent for contouring addicts. It’s so soft and dense and makes contouring like a dream. It blurs all lines giving you that soft-focus glow that’s just down right gorgeous. Just when you think we’re done with foundation and concealing, I bring you two brushes that work like Batman and Robin: Charm Pro Angled Foundation Brush #22 and MAC 194. The former’s perfect for applying creamy products such as liquid foundations, BB cream or CC creams while the pointed-tipped brush is great for concealing pimples and the nooks and crannies (corners of the nose and lips). Pro tip: always apply your foundation in downward strokes to avoid going against the facial hair.
Since we’re done contouring, we can go ahead with highlighting and blushing. A must on prime makeup: highlighters should be extra fine and if you must, only sport micro shimmers while blush should be not too orange and not too pink. The stunning highlighter above’s the Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick in Pink from the Navy and Nude Collection. It’s never too pink and has the right amount of pearlescence to perk up my medium-tan skin tone. The cute blush on the other hand’s another Asian exclusive called Palgantong Pop Cheek Blusher in Virgin Peach. It amplifies my tan without making me look like I was doused in Cheetos. My mom just tried it (she’s at least an NC 20) and it breathed some serious life into her pale cheeks. Love, love, love!
While some would go ahead and load up on eyeshadow, I like doing my blusher and eyebrows first because most of the time, granted they’re applied perfectly (this deserves a separate post!), I can skip the eye drama. I have short, dark brown hair that’s just unforgiving paired with bad eyebrows. To keep them looking pristine, I use the following combinations:
- K-Palette Lasting 2 Way Eyebrow in Chocolate Brown. Liquid tip first then powder end.
- Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown followed by Majolica Majorca Brow & Lash Colorist in BR 333
Bobbi Brown Rich Brown Eye Palette, Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in BE 213
Bobbi Brown Rich Caviar Eye Palette, Avon True Color Eyeshadow Quad in Chocolate Sensation
Chocolates anyone? Mmmmm. What a calorie-free treat! Taupes and browns are prime look must haves. Just like highlighters and blushers, go easy on the shimmer. Save for a couple of shades, my neutral palettes above give me the best prime eyes so to speak. Work your peepers by applying taupe or brown eyeshadow on the crease of you eyes all the way to the lids. Brush on some ivory (for fair skin tones) or champagne (for medium-tan complexions) eyeshadow underneath the brows to “lift” the eye area.
Since you’re skipping the whole drama of contouring the lids, concentrate on defining the eyes by using gel or liquid eye liners. Brown’s more flattering than black but hey — go out there and see for yourself what suits you better. I like MAC Fluidline in Wholesome and K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner in Deep Brown. If you’re more of a sharp, black liner type of gal, try the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and K-Palette Real Lasting Micro Eyeliner in Jet Black.
We’re down to the last 2 steps of prime makeup and like most of you, I can’t do away without these! :)
The Asian gal in me cannot live without mascaras. I have short, light lashes and without mascara, my lids look naked. Like eyeliners, I’m partial to brown mascaras because they’re not just flattering but universal for someone sporting a tan. For my usual office 9-5, I like the new Fairydrops Platinum T2 Film Type and K-Palette 1 Day Lash Perm Volume Curl Mascara. While both in black, they wear comfortably all day yet easily melts with warm water and cleanser. For extra wear and colour, I swear by Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof in Black
and Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister in BR 666.
Last but not the least: can I get a HOLA from my fellow lipstick mavens? :) Recently, since I haven’t really been sporting heavy eyes at work, I’ve joined the lipstick and lip liner hoarders club. While long wearing formulas are a must for someone who doesn’t have the luxury of retouching every 5 minutes, we don’t want our lips all chappy right? I can go on an on about this love affair but let me stick to the prime look basics today. :) I rarely wear nude lips (just because) so let me enable you on some of my peachy-coral must haves. On your left is the most pigmented lippie from the army. Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color (in Peachy above) was created with the intention of wearing great color that applies perfectly every time with or without a mirror. Next in line’s the Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer in RD 205. It’s very glossy, almost like a lip gloss but pigmented like a lipstick. The third from the lot is Estee Lauder Pure Color in Bois de Rose. Such a stunning color for both work and play! Last but not the least is Estee Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick in Glow Fuchsia. It’s absolutely far from being a prime makeup lip color but I threw it out there for the lady who loves making a statement with perfectly applied makeup and bright, metallic lips.
Prime makeup’s never matte so finish the look by lightly misting on some MAC Fix+. Et viola! You’re done! If you’ve tried the products or steps above to recreate your prime look, I wanna see it. :) Do upload it on Twitter and tag me @phoebeann.