Whether they're on the red carpet, the silver screen, or in the pages of a glossy magazine, models and celebrities always seem to have that beautiful airbrushed finish to their skin.
And it's not just due to computer wizardry. With the help of top make-up artists, we've gathered tips on the techniques and products that will help you create the ultimate flawless face.
In order to create a flawless face, choose your concealer carefully and don't overdo it
USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
While most of us make do with the dodgy sponge that comes in our powder compact, professionals use high-quality brushes to place and blend the products that they use.
'I like to use a brush to apply foundation rather than my fingers,' says Neil Young, senior make-up artist at Mac. 'This gently polishes the foundation into the skin so that it appears natural and flawless.
But, says celebrity make-up artist Ginni Bogado, who counts the likes of Uma Thurman and Kelly Brook among her clients, if you can't afford to invest in expensive brushes, don't panic.
'Fingers are great, as you're less likely to get streaks.' If you do want to splash out on brushes, make-up artists love Mac's versions, maccosmetics.co.uk
START WITH A PRIMER
'Most women skip using a primer because they don't know what it is or what it does,' says Laura Mercier, who is renowned for her Flawless Face range of products. 'Primer seals in your moisturiser and provides a smooth surface for foundation.'
Nubo Voile, £40, harrods.com, uses optical blurrers to hide fine lines and correct skin tone, while Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer, £26.43, spacenk.co.uk, is a product that make-up artists swears by.
USE CORRECTOR IF YOU NEED IT
In the old days you might have used a green-based cream to try to balance out any redness, but, according to Graziella Vella, one of Space NK's artists, there are more modern solutions.
'By Terry do a range of products called Eclat de Teint, £26.43, spacenk.co.uk,' she says. 'They have a slight tint that can be used to correct skin problems.
The first commercially available foundation was Max Factor's Pan-Cake, originally developed for use in the movies in the 1920s
The apricot one will lighten shadows, while the mauve one is great for redness, and better than a green base, which can cancel out all skintone, leaving you looking a bit corpse-like. If you use these, you don't need primer.'
CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOUR BASE AND GO EASY ON IT
'Foundation is there to even out skin tone, not to add colour,' advises make-up artist Bobbi Brown. 'Always begin with a test to match the colour to your natural skin tone - swatch a few shades on the side of the face and the correct one will disappear.'
Ginni Bogado says: 'Don't cover your entire face like a mask - just use it where you need coverage.' Try Giorgio Armani Face Fabric, £28, 020 7318 2486, for a perfectly airbrushed look. Or, for older skins, Diorskin Nude, £26.50, dior.com, which contains silicone, is great for making wrinkles disappear.
SELECT YOUR CONCEALER CAREFULLY
You might need a different concealer for the under eye and for blemishes, especially if your under-eye one contains reflective pigments, as these will just draw attention to any spot. Laura Mercier recommends blending two shades together to get the perfect colour. Her Secret Camouflage concealer palette, £24.47, spacenk.co.uk, has two shades.
The ideal concealer will be a bit denser than your foundation, but still with an easy-to-apply texture. 'If it's not moisturising enough and too thick it will sit in any lines, making skin look caked,' warns make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, whose product line Myface Cosmetics has been developed to her exacting standards. When it comes to application, she prefers to use fingers for even coverage.
The experts swear by Laura Mercier's foundation primer
Highlighters are a real insider trick. Many women worry they're going to look glittery or shiny, but the trick is to use them sparingly. 'I like to use highlighter just above the cheekbone,' says Ginni Bogado.
'And, if you want to define the brows, use a little on the browbone, too. For a really natural look, use it on eyelids. I like Shell from Mac, £12.50, maccosmetics.co.uk.' For a pencil rather than a cream, try the highlighter end of Soap & Glory's Arch de Triumph eyebrow and highlighter pencil, £7.50, boots.com
Finally, if you do want to use powder, look for a lightweight one: the lighter the powder, the more natural the finish. Try Chantecaille Loose Powder, £48.45, spacenk.co.uk, and just use it on the T-zone.
But, whatever you do, don't use the puff or pad it comes with. 'This sets the make-up into a mask, which looks very old-fashioned,' says Bogado. 'Instead use a brush, which almost buffs the powder into the skin, leaving a very natural finish. I love the Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil, £16, bareescentuals.co.uk
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