The Makeup Sandwich

For my inaugural blog lesson, I wanted to address a technique I often explain to my clients which is called sandwiching (or layering). We all know that sandwiches are one of life's great #blessings, so this makes perfect sense. If you often wonder where your face products (foundation and/or concealer and/or powder) have gone halfway through the day - then pay attention! If you don't necessarily have this problem, but hate touching up your makeup, you'll also find this helpful.  

Benefits of the makeup sandwich: 
- longevity: your application will last longer. 
- coverage: cancel circles or blemishes (until you wash it off! not just for a little bit!) 
- results: applying in this order, and with this technique, will give good and very natural-looking results.

...What IS the makeup sandwich? 

The Short Version: Apply foundation and concealer. Then, press powder onto the skin to set (that's right, *press* is the key word!). Lock in with a setting spray. Think of it this way: liquid -- > powder -- > liquid. 

Tools you need: 
- foundation
- concealer
- powder
- a powder puff
- a face brush
- a setting spray (or, a damp sponge) 

Liquids/creams THEN powder. Liquids/creams shall never be applied over powder, unless one desires a gunk face mess. 

Liquids/creams THEN powder. Liquids/creams shall never be applied over powder, unless one desires a gunk face mess. 

The Long Version: Let me elaborate how this technique translates into practice using an example. Consider one's face washed, exfoliated, and moisturized before beginning (more on this in another post!). 

STAGE 1: Apply all liquid or cream face products.  Personally, I slap on some lightweight foundation over my whole face and blend slightly down the neck so as not to appear as Jim Carrey in The Mask. While still in the liquid stage, I also apply my concealer under my eyes, around my nose, and on any blemishes. Stage 1 fin. 

STAGE 2: Apply powder to set and lock in all of the work you've just done. Get a powder puff (yep, the little round cotton things) and load it up with your setting powder (loose, pressed, whatever you've got) and begin to press the puff all over your face - beginning in the centre of the face or wherever your makeup fades first, and working outwards towards the perimeter of the face. By pressing the powder onto the face, it is grabbing onto the liquids placed previously, and setting them into place. Gently press and roll the powder puff over your face. Then, lightly dust away any excess powder with a brush, smoothing over your results. 

... I know what you're thinking. You could just dust some powder over your whole face with a brush. But, that's not going to give you maximum hold... and it might even mess up your makeup by buffing away your base. I only recommend this to people with very, very dry skin (all over) or if you only need your makeup to stay for a couple of hours. 

STAGE 3: Especially if this is not your usual style, using powder often strikes some people as "cakey" - if done correctly, it shouldn't be, but to return the skin to a more natural finish, spraying with makeup setting spray is a great way to refresh and lock in your look. It is super cooling and feels amazing. The water particles in the setting spray will grab on to any of the excess powder particles and knock them away. Therefore, you won't look "powdery" or "cakey" - but your products have done their jobs. If you don't have a setting spray, a good substitute for this step is to just bounce or dab a damp sponge (any makeup sponge or the famous beauty blender!) over your face to, again, pat down any powder sitting on top of the skin. 


I've found several powders and tools that work well for this technique. Experiment with what you've got, and then try out other options. 

- POWDER: Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (pressed) - this shit work good. Nothin' more to say. Cheap. Physicians Formula powders are generally good as well, but IMO only worth it if you can grab it on sale as they are pretty pricey. Also, NYC Loose Powder = a STEAL. 
- TOOLS: ELF Powder brush - This is one of my fave brushes regardless of price. It's dirt cheap and soft and brushes away powder like a dream. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - for applying foundation, or powder, or finishing off your look to dust away powder, this sponge works just as good as the Beauty Blender and I'll fight anyone who thinks otherwise! 
- SPRAYS: Personally I haven't tested any drugstore setting sprays because I buy Skindinavia's in bulk for work. BUT you can grab one from ELF, L'oreal, Hard Candy... lots out there nowadays. 

- POWDER: Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, or Mac Mineralize Skin Finish 'Natural' in your own shade. If you're internet-savvy and don't mind ordering online, RCMA No-Color Powder is affordable, professional, and foolproof. Great for ALL skin tones. 
- TOOLS: Duh... the Beauty Blender! 
- SPRAYS: Skindinavia Makeup Setting Spray, Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix, MAC Fix+...


And, Voila! The really important part of this is to press and roll the powder puff into the skin creating an even finish. Don't be afraid to experiment with a little more product that you're used to. You'd be surprised how once the makeup warms up with your skin, it will sink in and appear very natural looking. You may adjust parts of this or swap out products to find a routine that works best for your skin - everyone's skin is different! I use a variation of this on 99% of my clients. If you follow beauty blogs/vlogs, you may have heard of makeup "baking." The sandwich is kind of like a baby-version of baking (which doesn't work for everyone and is often necessary). If you haven't heard of baking... then consider this your cue to bring me baked goods. I live at 123 Internet St. 

Watch this video to see this technique in action (warning: YouTube video from 2011. Might as well be a black and white silent film).