A Makeup Artist Talks Skincare

Having clients of all ages has always kept me intrigued about products that give instant results for a ‘younger looking you’. I was only 19 when I started working in the fashion and advertising industry and my brush stroke was applied mostly to young models. The true test of my ability to make someone look and feel beautiful was working on the ‘non-model’, you know, 95% of the population and those no longer in their 20’s (or a teenager for that matter).

When I began getting calls to work on strong female role models who were being featured in editorials, actresses at TIFF and women who were just hiring me to make them look spectacular for an event, I needed products that would work immediately, right in the chair.

I often do research, which involves talking to my product junkie friends who swear by certain brands or products that worked. Or I try it myself, but I don’t have 3-6 weeks to see results. After 17 years of experience, the products I decide to carry as a staple in my kit run from the investment skin care item, to DYI makeup remover.

My favourite things you can use on your skin to look younger before you apply makeup:
1.Beauty Flash Balm by Clarins

I like to apply this just before foundation/concealer, allowing it to soak in first. If you don’t wear foundation then let this product be what allows your skin to glow!


Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm
2. Instantly Ageless by Jeunesse

It uses the ingredient argireline. An anti-wrinkle, micro cream to help lines and pores appear less. Results are instant. Let it sit a few minutes before applying makeup.


3. Mineral Water Spray by Royal Canadian Labortories

It’s Canadian. We are known for fresh water. High in beneficial nutrients and rare minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium & selenium (a powerful antioxidant), that keeps pH levels in the skin balanced. Also helps ease hot flashes associated with menopause.  Spray it on after a shower, or washing your face to ensure these are the last drops of water that touch your skin. Tip: I’ve learned WATER INSIDE AND OUT IS YOUTH!


4. Collagen Masks (all the rage in Korea)

There are many brands, mostly Korean, that you can order online. Making this a regular in your regime will work wonders. Using it just before your makeup application for a big night out will have people asking if you came from the spa.



5. Photofinish Hydrating Under Eye Primer by Smashbox

The pinky undertone in this under eye primer brightens before your concealer goes on. Every bit helps when keeping under eyes youthful and awake. Allow time between your eye cream, this primer, and concealer application. Will also allow your concealer to stay put longer.


6.Washing and removing makeup with oil (olive oil, or Shu Uemura cleansing oil)

The Japanese have been doing this for centuries, as did glamorous actresses like Greta and Marilyn back in the day.
Oil helps remove all traces of makeup and keeps the skin from being stripped. I was reminded of this when my naturopath suggested an oil to wash my face during a major skin outbreak. It worked. I know the last thing we want to do when we have acne is apply oil but somehow it feels clean and skin is calm.

imageShu Uemura

Naturopaths recipe:
Equal parts olive oil and castor oil, with a teaspoon of almond oil in a travel squeeze tube. Go to health food stores for the purest of these, but they’re also available at most drugstores.


Olive oil

Castor Oil

Almond Oil

7. Forever Flawless Diamond Infused Instant Wrinkle Eraser Cream

When your cream cost as much as a flight. The price, ridiculous for most I know, but if I didn’t see it with my own eyes I wouldn’t even have entertained the idea. At $599, what comes in a syringe looking tube was applied to my mother’s face while on vacation in Las Vegas, (I’m aware this is the city of deceit and promises). Did I mention there’s diamonds in it? My mother, deciding to use her time wisely while my sister and I shopped for makeup products, sat in the chair for a demo. I caught the tail end, and the most important part, I saw my mother’s face transform to a version of herself, but at least 10 years younger. She had no intention of spending that kind of money, but as we walked around the rest of the day I caught myself starring in amazement and deciding I may invest.


Forever Flawless

8. Eight Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden
The real deal. It’s thick. More the consistency of lip balm, which I love using it for. Use this for when you need a dewy, glowing look.


Eight Hour Cream

9. Erase Paste by Benefit

Ok, technically this is a makeup product and not skin care, but it is so effective that it really needs to be mentioned. Eliminating dark circles and that stubborn shade of purplish-brown from lack of sleep, (here’s looking at you new Moms), or just genetics, it’s a vital product for looking healthy and young. The peachy undertones counteract that dark colour and bring the under eyes to life. It comes in 3 shades and I highly recommend you try them at the counter before you buy. I’ve used the lightest #1 on a tanned skin and the peachier #3 on fair skin. It really depends on your undertones and the shade of discolouration under the eyes. TIP: I like using a blending brush for eyeshadow to apply it. It blends better. Purchase a synthetic cheapy one and only use it for concealer.



Elena Pacienza, Professional Hair and Make-up Artist


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