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How to Even Out Your Skin Tone

Why We Think Skin Tone is the Most Important Part of Your Skincare Routine

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How to Even Out Your Skin Tone

Heidi Klum with no makeup (and 8 months pregnant)

Photo by 938/Most Wanted/ZUMA Press. (©) Copyright 2005 by 938/Most Wanted

The key to a flawless face is an even skin tone. Even the most beautiful women in the world need a bit of help now and then (check out Heidi Klum sans makeup, pictured right).

Makeup expert Trish McEvoy taught me the key to a flawless face is not perfect eye makeup application or the right shade of lipstick. It's evening out your skin tone.

Getting your skin tone right, according to McEvoy, is more important than any other part of your makeup routine. The trick is make it appear as if you aren't wearing any makeup at all. Here are a few steps to even-ing out your skin tone.

 

Rule #1: Exfoliate

Chances are if you don't exfoliate daily or weekly, your skin is covered in dead skin cells that are mucking up the surface of your skin and causing your skin to not only look dull, but older as well. Without proper exfoliation, foundation won't smooth over your skin cleanly and moisturizer won't properly soak in.

Exfoliate with face scrubs, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, beta alpha hydroxy pads or any Vitamin A product like Retin-A.

See my list of the best facial scrubs and peels.

Rule #2: Prep the Face

Foundations and tinted moisturizers glide over a moisturized, plumped face so much better than a dry one. Plump up skin with a primer with SPF (primers have been The New Thing now for more than a couple years). If you don't have a primer, moisturizers with SPF will do. Make sure the SPF is at least 15.

Rule #3: Even Out Skin Tone

The next step is to apply foundation or tinted moisturizer (tinted moisturizer tends to be more sheer). Make sure the foundation or TM blends perfectly into skin. If it's too light or too dark it will be noticeable. Apply only on the areas that need it most: Usually along the nose and on the cheeks and chin. See "How to Avoid Cake Face."

Rule #4: Cover Up Under-Eye Circles, Blemishes and Red Spots

A few dots of a creamy concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes helps remove the "veiny" or "bluish" appearance under the eyes many women have. Remember to pat, don't rub, concealer in.

Rule #5: Prep the Lids

Even if you aren't going to be applying eyeshadow, you'll want to apply a lid base to lids to even out skin there. Most people's lids have blue veins. Concealing them with a base or primer created for the lids helps even out your overall skin tone.

Rule #6: Bring Back Some Color

Once skin tone is evened out, you'll notice your skin lacks color. Bring it back in with bronzer, a creamy blush or both. Apply bronzing powder with a big fluffy brush on all the spots the sun naturally hits: Forehead, cheeks and nose. Follow with a creamy blush on the apple of your cheeks. (Cream blushes create a "dewy" complexion better than powder blushes, and help plump up skin).

Rule #7: Set the Face

Your last step to a perfect complexion is setting the face with a powder. This is a step I often avoid because I love how dewy my complexion is without powder. Plus, at this point, I'm lazy. But many makeup artists insist on this step.

Now that your face is "on" you'll notice you don't even have to apply much eye makeup to look fresh and spectacular. Even just a bit of mascara and a hint of gloss is enough for most women to look fantastic.

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