Someone left a very kind comment about my complexion on Annette Badland's video interview last week. Frances wrote: "I thought you looked amazing and I was deeply envious of your beautiful skin and complexion." And when I read it, my immediate reaction was 'if only you knew!' Because it is not false modesty to say that I have extremely challenging skin.
There are mornings when i wake up and could weep at the state of my face and the eruption of spots and red areas which have occurred as I have slept. The very worse is when I have some kind of video or photo shoot that day and I feel a quiet desperation at having to appear in public, let alone have that appearance recorded. Until, that is, I have applied my wonderful Look Fabulous Forever makeup which effectively camouflages the worst of it, as you can see from these three photographs which I took on Tuesday this week.
My skin problems are caused by a form of acne rosacea.
Mine is more the acne than the rosacea, although sometimes my face does have smallish red spotty patches as well as the lumpier spots (pimples) that I get predominantly around and on my nose, forehead and chin. The cause of rosacea is not known, although there are several different theories. One theory is that rosacea may be part of a more generalised disorder of the blood vessels. Other theories suggest that the condition is caused by microscopic skin mites, fungus, psychological factors, or a malfunction of the connective tissue under the skin. I know from experience that mine is exacerbated by certain food items including chocolate and gluten (particularly in bread) and also by stress.
To be honest with you, I just get on with it.
I do avoid eating foods which cause an immediate flare-up and I use meditation and mindfulness to help me when I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed for any reason. Apart from that, I go in for some serious camouflage. I often get very positive comments from people I meet about my skin, so I know that this works really well for the most part. Here is what I do:
Camouflaging spots and blemishes, including age spots: Top Tips
I have a scrupulous regime for cleansing and moisturising so that the affected and unaffected parts of my skin (forehead and cheeks) are kept in tip-top condition. I use a Clarins cleanser and clean flannels to wash the cleanser off with warm water. I do this night and day.
I ensure that my brushes are kept clean (I use our brilliant new vegan Brush Cleaner which is quick and mess free).
I apply Continuous Cover Foundation in 02 with Foundation Brush 3 quite liberally over the centre of my face where I have most of the spotty areas. I spread it evenly towards the hair and jawline so that the foundation is most concentrated around my nose and chin to provide excellent coverage.
When the foundation is fully worked into my skin with the brush, I pause and take stock. Some days (Hallelujah!) I need almost no extra camouflage - the foundation is enough. Most days I need to get to work with the Cover To Cover Conceal in a matching colour. For me that's shade 02.
I take Concealer Brush 4 which is smallish with stiff bristles and I liberally cover my problem areas with a generous layer of Conceal. My spots and redness magically disappear! I then leave the Conceal to dry whilst i apply my Instant Bright Highlight, Real Radiance Blush and do my eye makeup.
Finally, when I have completed my maquillage, I very lightly pat the Conceal around the edges so that it doesn't look so obvious and I take a Shadow Blending Brush 7 and a tiny amount of translucent powder (By Terry Hyaluronic Powder) and 'dot' it on top of the concealer to set it. Voila! My skin looks 100% better and I forget about how terribly blotchy and spotty it is until I remove my makeup before bed!
How to Camouflage Dark Under Eye Circles
Another great use of Cover To Cover Conceal is to cover dark under eye circles you may have. These may be due to skin pigmentation which may look dark blue or even maroon red. You may also have dark blue areas deep in the inner corners of your eyes. Here's what to do:
Neutralise the discolouration with one of two colour correctors. If the under eye circles are blue, use a peach toned corrector. If the under eye circles are maroon then use a green toned corrector. Pat this onto the skin and allow to fully absorb.
Final stage, apply the Conceal with the Concealer Brush by stippling or pressing the Conceal over the dark circles and any other problem areas including the inner eye and around the base of the nose. Allow to dry and very lightly apply a small amount of translucent powder with a small blending brush on top of the Conceal. This will 'set' it and ensure that it looks good all day.
I am grateful every day that I can 'put my face on.'My LFF makeup brightens my face with beautiful colour (cheeks and lips), it brings my features back into definition (eyes, eyebrows and lips) and it makes my skin appear even, smooth and blemish free. It also enormously adds to my confidence.
I can honestly say that I'd find it very hard to 'face the day' with as much enthusiasm and equanimity as I do every day if it wasn't for that little pot of magic which is my lovely creamy concealer!