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Makeup Artist Trick: Give Face Definition with Foundation

Recently, makeup artist Nam Vo stopped by Birchbox HQ to impart some of her never-ending beauty wisdom. The lesson of the day? How to use different foundation shades to give your face definition. I always assumed the goal of foundation was to get a completely uniform complexion — turns out, that’s not always the case. To get a center-lit, movie star look — think J. Lo or Beyonce — you actually want to make the center plane of your face a little lighter than your cheeks and neck.

To get the effect, all you need is a foundation in your normal skin tone and a second one that’s one shade lighter. Apply the darker shade all over your face, concentrating on the outer areas (cheeks, temples, jawline). Then, using your fingers or a foundation brush, sweep the lighter shade down the bridge of your nose, just above the cheeks, and onto your chin. Blend to erase any visible lines.

I tried the technique using my usual Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Golden plus  Jouer’s Age-Repairing Perfector in Sand. The effect was subtle but definitely looked more polished than my usual makeup. As usual, Nam Vo was right.

—Mollie

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