Sunday, October 31, 2010


Anyone who's ever tried to do white makeup knows how difficult it is to get right. It sits on your skin and looks cakey, flaky - it just can't be done like regular foundation.

And that's the trick to getting it right. I used to think white makeup was best served by trying to scrub my skin to the freshest, healthiest layer. Because it seems to sit on the slightest dryness like a highlight, white makeup can make you look positively scaly - so I used to try to scrub and scrub so there could be no possible patch that wasn't perfectly smooth. And then I'd try to go out for Hallowe'en as a vampire, and find that my skin wasn't perfectly smooth except to my poorly attuned naked eye - the makeup would do its "ha ha, you're a reptile" thing - and the effect would be ruined.

White makeup, it has to be said, is not designed to disappear on the skin the way color matched foundation is. It's mean to COVER, not blend - and so it has to sit on a surface primed for that purpose. Not just glopped straight on, more and more, hoping for the least-worst. And no amount of moisturizer will perform this (surface) service.

The trick is: lay down a thin layer of the makeup you use that DOES match your skin. Maybe a shade lighter, sure. But don't try to go straight from your skin to white makeup. Even as pale as I am: that doesn't work. Period.

A layer of your own foundation - even a thin layer - gives something that communicates to both sides, as it were. The foundation designed for your skin is compatible for the job of making up your skin. And the white foundation is compatible with THAT. So you get the velvet-smooth desired effect.

It's a ton of makeup, yes.

But it ends up being probably less than many slather on working white makeup up to the point of a geisha effect. And less makes more of a point, too. You don't have to go clown-white to get a pretty heightened effect, with white makeup.

Anyway. Hallowe'en tip from me to you ...

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