There was a time when I worked at the make-up counter at Macy's. It was the late 80s and I wore a lot of makeup. To be fair, we all wore a lot of makeup in the 80s. And when you work in the make-up department, your managers literally tell you almost daily to wear more make-up. In case you're wondering why the guys & girls in Ulta have so much layered on.
Eventually I got away from wearing so much makeup. Styles changed. The 90s gave us grunge and flannel and "heroin chic." There must've been thousands of magazine pictorials and ad campaigns on how to use makeup to achieve the "no make-up look." I was in my 30s and (unbeknownst to me at the time) was experiencing the best complexion of my life.
Then, in my 40s I got laid off from my job. I spent a year taking care of my elderly father-in-law. When I finally went back to work, it was in a rural paper mill. I'll never be the kind of person who goes to work with no makeup on, but my routine became much less complicated with things like tinted moisturizer and gel blush.
It's all easy and totally appropriate for the setting. The problem is my skin ain't what it was in my 30s. All those years of sun worship have come back to haunt me. My face is covered with sunspots and melasma.
Oh be ye not so stupid as me, girls. Wear your sunscreen now, or enjoy your sun damage later.
So I did some research on camouflaging sun spots and full-coverage base makeup that still looks natural. In addition to sun damage showing up, I am also apparently makeup-will-cake-into-your-creases years old.
One of the things I learned is that you can't really cover up dark spots with a light-colored concealer. It seems logical that a light color will balance out the dark but it turns out what you really need is dark peach. Weird, I know. But it works because you have to color correct and then conceal.
So let's back up a few steps. I started with moisturizer, then my tinted SPF 50 sunscreen. I use some green color correct on the apples of my cheeks and around my nose, where I tend to be quite red. Green neutralizes the red. It's all on a color wheel somewhere or something.
Then I used the dark peach on the dark spots. Don't swirl or try to blend, just pat it down into the darkened skin. Once the spots were sufficiently covered, I used my regular concealer on top of the dark peach.
After researching "best foundation to cover sun damage" and "best foundation for aging skin" and about 16 other google topics, I went to Ulta with a list of options I wanted to try. I wore only moisturizer and sunscreen to the store and tried on about a dozen different base makeups ranging from high-end to drug-store brands. I was most impressed by Too Faced Born This Way, which claims "medium-to-full undetectable coverage." It's also considered good for older skin because it's chock full of things like coconut water and hyaluronic acid.
Another selling point for me was that this foundation is available in a ton of shades so if you're willing to take your time and test them out (on your face...not the back of your hand), you can find one that quite closely matches your skin tone. That's important because I want the finished look to be natural.
I got some of those cool new make-up sponges which turned out to be great for blending. No wonder they're such a hit. I got the foundation one and the blush one, which I used dampened to blend my blush. For years I've worn Tarte cheek stain which I love and had in both peach and pink colors. It's been such a staple in make-up kits for so many years that I was shocked to learn it's been discontinued. I was so disappointed! I am currently back to Benetint cheek stain which I always found a little hard to blend but the dampened sponge works quite well.
I'm pretty pleased with the finished results. I mean, it's no snapchat filter but it'll do.