You don't have to be in a bikini or on a catwalk to want to hide birthmarks, spider veins, scars, brown spots, and other skin and body flaws. But when it comes to learning how to do it, we went straight to the official makeup artist for the 2009 Miss Universe contest, Darac, of Darac Beauty, who did the makeup for the faces and bodies of all 51 contestants.
First, know your enemy. "All skin issues are unique, so choose your products carefully," says Darac. "You can't use the same concealer over every skin flaw. It just doesn't work." The most important product, he says, is the first one you apply to your skin, the one that will neutralize your skin condition. Some basics in choosing a color:
If you're covering red veins, you need a green-tinted concealer.
If you're covering blue veins, you need an ochre-tinted concealer.
If you're hiding freckles, you need a neutralizer that will either bring down the color of your freckles to match your base skin zone or bring up your base skin tone to match the shade of your freckles.
Learn about the skin flaw you are covering, and read the labels of products in the color-correction section of your local store. By reading package labels about tinted neutralizers, you'll learn a lot about which shades neutralize which skin flaws.
Cover spider veins on legs, brown spots on chest, and red splotches on legs or back. This technique works on almost all other skin imperfections:
1. Lightly dab on tinted concealer using the shade that will neutralize your skin issue.
2. Softly and gingerly apply translucent powder to help hold the concealer in place.
3. Using a dabbing technique, apply another concealer, but this time you'll want one that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter. Don't worry about covering every speck of skin; it looks more natural when makeup has a multitoned effect (as long as the differentiation in color is subtle!).
4. Spray on a makeup fixative to help keep the makeup in place.
Sculpt your arms with self-tanner. To minimize heavy arms and diminish the appearance of wiggly arms, Darac recommends applying self-tanner underneath the arms between elbow and shoulder. Let that dry. Then apply another layer all over the arms. The darker shade inside the arms is slimming.
Sharpen your jawline with self-tanner. Similarly, he says, you can sharpen your jawline and diminish a double chin by applying a light shade of self-tanner down the front of your neck from the back of your jawbone to your throat in the shape of a V. After that dries, put self-tanner all over your face and neck.
Diminish the look of cellulite with self-tanner. Apply light or medium self-tanner all over your legs and buttocks, and let that dry. Next, pour self-tanning lotion onto a dry, porous sea sponge and gently dab the sponge onto the cellulite area, evenly and gently. Let that dry. The differentiation in color, says Darac, "gives you an interplay of light and shadow that makes your skin look slimmer and smoother."
Make earring holes disappear. "People often forget about their ears," says Darac. "Some women have really bad earring holes that distract you from their face when they don't wear earrings." To "fill" the holes, Darac uses Stick 'Em candle adhesive. "Take a teeny bit of wax and soften in your fingers," he says. "Put it in the hole and apply concealer and powder over it."