Three Questions to Your Best Skin Ever
1. Three Questions to Your Best Skin
It's simple, really. All you have to do is answer three easy questions, then we'll tell you how to achieve complexion perfection.
2. Am I Using the Right Skin Products?
THE TEST Cleanse and moisturize at night with your regular formulas. When you wake up in the morning, press a single-ply tissue to the center of your forehead. The tissue should stay on for a second or two before falling off. If it stays on longer, your products are leaving your skin too oily. If it doesn't stick at all, your skin lacks moisture.
3. The Solution for Oily Skin
Exfoliate and hydrate. Flush out pores and keep skin smooth with a gentle face brush like Clarisonic's ($195; sephora.com) and Aveeno's oil-absorbing cleanser ($7; at drugstores). Follow with a lotion that contains dimethicone. We like Skin Medica's TNS moisturizer ($85; skinmedica.com for stores) which provides hydration without greasiness.
4. The Solution for Dry Skin
Keep skin clean, but don't overdo it. Soap up just once a day-at night to remove impurities and makeup-with a creamy wash like Jurlique's cleansing lotion ($34; jurlique.com). Then, drench skin with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that binds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. We like Philosophy's When Hope Is Not Enough serum ($38; philosophy.com).
5. Is My Foundation the Right Shade?
THE TEST For a flawless finish like Olivia Wilde's, swipe a drop across your jawline, wait 10 minutes, then look in the mirror. If the makeup is the correct shade, the pigments should disappear without your having to blend further.
6. The Solution for Everyone
Test, test, test... "If you don't use the right color, your foundation will end up looking exactly how it shouldn't: detectable," says makeup artist Fiona Stiles, who suggests testing several shades at a department store. Focus on the yellow-based tones (they have names like "tan" and "honey") because they tend to blend in better, then streak three options across your cheek and duck outside with a hand mirror. "Natural light is the least forgiving," she says. "Whichever one is completely invisible is the winner."
7. Am I Wearing Enough Makeup?
THE TEST Spend 10 minutes applying what you consider to be natural makeup, then have a friend snap a pic with her phone later that day. If you look washed out or your features blend in with the background, you're not wearing an adequate amount. An all-over glow with defined eyes like Jessica Biel is ideal.
8. The Solution for Looking Fresh-Faced
Adding extra color to your lips and cheeks is key. Swirl a generous amount of Josie Maran's Argan Color Stick in Petal Pink ($22; sephora.com), on the apples of your cheeks, then even out lip color with Laura Mercier's Lip Pencil in Baby Lips ($20; lauramercier.com), a matte beige-pink. A swipe of creamy pink lipstick like YSL's Rouge Volupte in Sensual Silk ($34; yslbeautyus.com finishes the look.