I love doing festive makeup during the holiday season, but it’s also the time of the year when my skin reluctantly starts adjusting to cold NYC weather. It has been pretty cold (it even snowed earlier this season), and my skin just wasn’t ready for the change. My skin is usually oily, but with the dip in degrees, it’s dry in most areas while oily in the T-zone. This usually causes me to struggle with achieving flawless makeup, but thanks to a professional makeup artist’s primer hack, my foundation is looking better than ever.
In October, I went to a masterclass taught by celebrity makeup artist Nam Vo, the queen of flawless glowing skin, aka the “dewy dumpling” look. I went with the intention of learning how to flawlessly apply highlighter (which I did), but I also walked out with a major primer/foundation hack that has my makeup looking seamless, even with my skin going bonkers.
On a model, Nam applied primer before applying foundation, mixed into the foundation, and on top of foundation in areas you would normally highlight. The model’s skin looked super hydrated, smooth, and lit from within. Considering the state my skin was in, I was eager to try out this method on myself after the class. I’m happy to say I have been doing it ever since, and my makeup looks flawless because of it. (Sidebar: Fenty Beauty Global Makeup Artist Priscilla Ono revealed to HelloGiggles that this is also a hack that she swears by. If the greats swear by it, it must be amazing.)
As I mentioned, my skin becomes really dehydrated just in time for the holidays.
My skin is not happy that it’s officially cold AF in NYC, and it’s a bit dry, yet super oily in my T-zone. The dry areas of my face are where my makeup tends to look unnatural and patchy. No matter how much water I drink or how much moisturizer I apply, my skin does NOT want to cooperate with this weather change. It’s even a little red in some areas.
Immediately after applying primer, my skin feels and looks hydrated.
The change of weather has definitely dulled out my skin. As far as a primer goes for Nam’s method, I used the one she recommended which is the VDL Lumilayer Metal Cushion Primer. This Korean primer was made to achieve the “glass skin” look that is very popular in Korea. In general, illuminating primers work best for this method because they tend to be smooth and will blend out foundation seamlessly. I like this particular primer for this since it instantly makes your skin glow and look awake. That’s exactly what my dull skin needs at the moment. I also prefer to use a brush like this Karity F30 Flat Kabuki Brush to apply the primer to bare skin (and mixed into my foundation), but you can use your fingers as well.
The foundation I used for this method was the Sephora Make No Mistakes Foundation & Concealer Stick in Walnut. To be completely honest, I was not the biggest fan of this foundation stick until I tried it using this method. I’m glad I gave it a second chance because it has become a go-to.
Using a compact primer makes this method so much simpler.
I’ve used a few of my favorite primers, but VDL has been my favorite. The compact makes it easy to dip my brush in the primer, and if I use a liquid foundation I can mixed the foundation with the primer directly from the metal cushion. If you use a primer in a traditional pump or tube, using the back of your hand as a mixing palette is the way to go.
This is what my foundation looks like when it’s complete:
After blending out my foundation with the VDL primer, my skin looks filtered and flawless. In its current dehydrated state, my skin tends to show a lot of texture under makeup (mainly in the dry areas). Since I began blending my foundation with primer on my brush, my makeup has been looking much more skin-like. Also, when I use this method, I can skip highlighter because my skin looks radiant on its own. However, if you apply highlighter after using this primer hack, your highlight will go on much smoother and look way less patchy.
If you want to look absolutely flawless during all of your holiday festivities, you really need to try this primer hack. Your face will look filtered IRL.