Full Prep, Two Steps

It’s prime time to re-think your base products. Bobbi Brown manager of education and artistry Blair Gamblin shares her tips, tricks and product picks to achieve a flawless finish, every time


We’ve all been there: applied our foundation with military precision in the morning, only to have it migrate south by lunchtime. Exacerbated by the change in season and the drying effects of central heating systems on skin, ensuring our makeup stays put from morning coffee run to after-work drinks can sometimes prove a tricky task.

Thankfully, one beauty expert is lifting the lid on the best ways to prep your skin for makeup application so it doesn’t melt, migrate, crease or pill — whatever the day throws at you.

Bobbi Brown manager of education and artistry Blair Gamblin never has a hair out of place, let alone an eyelash or daub of concealer. As one of those ‘forever flawless people, you can believe she practices what she preaches when it comes to all things makeup prep.

“If you notice that your makeup wears off or creases quickly, or seems to apply unevenly, the problem may not be your foundation — it may be what is underneath,” Blair explains.

“If you want that flawless, natural, your-skin-but-better foundation look, then the prep you do beforehand is so important. The skincare products we put on first really perfect our canvas for makeup.”

The benefits to not skimping on the prep step are many — your makeup will glide on more smoothly, your complexion will appear more even and radiant (meaning you won’t need to apply as much foundation or concealer), your makeup will last longer, and your confidence will skyrocket, Blair explains.

“Whether you’re rocking a glam look or nothing at all, you’ll be glowing from the inside out all because of the patience and love you’ve invested in your skin,” she says.


The right prep starts with the right products, and these two favourites from Bobbi Brown have quickly risen to cult status for their skin-loving benefits. Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base couples the luxurious finish of a primer with the hydrating benefits of a moisturiser to smooth and prepare the skin for makeup.

The non-greasy, buttery formulation glides on easily, drenching skin in a cosseting blend of hydrating ingredients like shea butter, while vitamins B, C and E offer antioxidant protection against environmental aggressors like pollution and blue light.

For eyes, reach for Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Eye Base, a multi-vitamin eye cream that works to nourish, hydrate and plump the under-eye area to prime it for smooth concealer application.

There’s nothing worse than concealer settling in pesky crow’s feet, but this primer/eye cream hybrid addresses skin texture and softens fine lines, all while extending the life of your concealer.

It’s all thanks to the combination of shea butter and sodium hyaluronate, which help to plump and hydrate skin, while vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 strengthen a compromised lipid barrier while providing a blurring effect on lines and wrinkles.

Although these base products have been designed with normal to oily skin types in mind, Blair says the more she uses this beauty duo the more she’s amazed at how versatile they are for all skin types. “For a drier skin, I love to layer hyaluronic acid underneath, or apply Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil on top,” she says.


In the same way that our wardrobes change with the seasons, so too should your makeup and skincare routines, Blair says. The texture of your summertime foundation may not be the best option as we move steadily towards the cooler months, so Blair recommends switching to a foundation containing ingredients to hydrate skin amid winter’s dry, cold air.

Her pick? Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation, which contains an active skin energising complex that recharges the skin’s appearance for a luminous and natural finish. But if your budget won’t stretch to a winter newbie, consider mixing a few drops of your favourite facial oil or moisturiser into your current liquid foundation before application

“Product pilling has to do with how well (or not well) a product is absorbed into the skin,” Blair says. “The less product is absorbed, the more likely it is to ball or pill.” Avoid this by applying your skincare in the right order. The general rule of thumb is to apply water-based products before oil-based products (or thinner to thickest).

“The thinner-textured products will have a chance to absorb, while any oil-based products applied on top will lock moisture in,” Blair says. However, be mindful of skincare products containing silicones, Blair warns. “Many products contain various forms of silicones which, when rubbed or applied in a large volume, can cause this effect.”


All prep steps aside, Blair’s other tips to ensure the longevity of your look include applying a primer to lock in hydration and prevent makeup from being absorbed into your skin, using the right foundation for your skin type along with clean, quality makeup brushes, and dusting on setting powder as your final step to avoid a makeup meltdown.

Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, $110, and Eye Base, $95, are available at all Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Counters and at Farmers.co.nz and Smithandcaugheys.co.nz

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New Zealand Herald

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