Matte foundations traditionally only incite two emotions: great fear or great fondness. Those with oily skin rejoice at the thought, while those wrought by dryness usually run for the hills. But with increased masking, those who have sworn off matte finishes, are taking a more welcomed approach. Luckily, the best new 2020 matte foundations strike a masterful balance, working with any skin type without leaving skin feeling like a desert.
"There are many benefits to wearing matte foundations," Carola Gonzalez, go-to makeup artist for Kerry Washington says. "The makeup will last longer, you often achieve more coverage, you prevent the skin from getting oily and it's the best choice for hot and humid climates." And with the necessity for face coverings, it's the preferred option by the experts for long-lasting wear. "Matte foundations are less likely to rub off on masks," Camara Aunique, whose clients have included Chloe & Halle and Zazie Beetz says. "Also, it's easier to blend and build coverage which is great on all skin types but super beneficial for acne-prone skin."
However, when prepping the skin for matte foundations, more is required to avoid an ashy or dry finish. "Make sure skin is hydrated with a light moisturizer, then apply a hydrating primer as well," Gonzalez says. "I like to use formulas like Tatcha’s Liquid Silk Canvas Primer for a smooth and moisturizing finish. This combination will create the perfect canvas to prevent skin from looking dry or from the foundation appearing flat." However, depending on where you live, you may want to avoid the emollients to ensure an actually matte finish. "If you live in a place with high humidity, then skip the moisturizer and just apply the primer," Gonzalez says. "Stay away from face oils, they will alter the foundation and how foundation lays on the skin. You won’t get the foundation's full matte results." But if you have dry skin and want your foundation to appear matte but not dehydrated, Aunique suggests massaging a serum deep into the skin until full absorption. She uses QMS Medicosmetics Collagen Serum on herself and on clients. "It gives my skin a plumped and healthy look even with a matte foundation on."
Now for layering with concealers, this is something the experts feel strongly about. According to Gonzalez, if planning to apply concealer after foundation, you want to use a consistent formula. "If you are using a matte foundation I would suggest to also use a matte concealer," she says. The continuity, she says, will create a smoother, more desirable finish. However, surprisingly, there aren't many "matte" concealers out there. "I'm not sure if there's a such thing as a matte concealer," Aunique says. "Concealers look matte because people set it with a banana powder but most concealers are creamy because under the eyes, where the skin is thin, it may be too drying if using a matte formula which can cause unsightly cracking."
And speaking of powder, just because you're wearing a matte formula doesn't mean you can skip the setting altogether — at least not everyone. "I suggest setting the makeup with a light setting powder," Gonzalez says. "I like Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder because it layers perfectly with matte formulas." However, be conservative in your application. "You don’t want to keep adding layers of makeup," Gonzalez says. "Adding too much powder can lead to creating creases on certain areas of the face. That includes mainly around the eyes, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines." However, if you're not worried about your foundation moving or skin becoming too oily, Gonzalez says if you feel like it’s not necessary to finish with a setting powder, then don’t. "If you think certain areas need a little, use a small fluffy brush and go over the areas with the powder where you want to conceal shine. It’s not necessary to powder the entire face if not needed."
So ahead, check out the new matte formulas that leave skin smooth and hydrated, without appearing oily or amplifying your pores.
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