Holiday season is party season and that means putting your best face forward. For a tried-and-true holiday look, focus on luminous, glowing skin that looks lit from within. “The better your skin looks, the better makeup in general will look,” says Smashbox global pro lead artist Lori Taylor. “It’s all about getting your skin as perfected as possible.”

Perfect, glowing skin – or at least the illusion of it – requires the right skin care routine and smart makeup application. To help you achieve a flawless base, Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett and Taylor offer their tips.

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Exfoliate Dry skin is beauty enemy number one in the winter months – it can lead to flakes and scales that don’t get along with makeup. “The most important thing we can do is
exfoliate,” Kellett says. “I like exfoliating cleansers, like a gel-based cleanser that has some beads in it. That way you’re cleaning with the beads but you’re not stripping [the skin].” And avoid vigorous scrubbing; it can cause additional redness and irritation.

Moisturize Keeping moisture in the skin is important to avoid looking and feeling chapped. “If you have acne prone skin, you can use gel moisturizers during the winter,” Kellett says. “If you’re a drier skin type, you can look for a
cream-based moisturizer.” Drier skin types may also want to swap for showers for baths during the winter months to help your skin glow, and all skin types should remember to apply moisturizer while skin is still wet – “you increase absorption when you put something on wet skin,” Kellett says.

Treat For more
dramatic brightening results, Kellett recommends diamond peels or laser peels to remove dead skin cells and promote skin’s luminosity. For topical solutions, try a topical retinol for promoting cell turnover or a vitamin C topical (25% concentrations or higher) to increase brightness.

Now that you’re prepped, get glowing skin with a little help form makeup on the next page …
Prep Start with a primer suited to your skin’s needs; specific primers are available to address issues such as dryness, redness,
oily skin, or dull skin. Or choose a primer with a brightening effect to really make skin glow. “Primers are going to make the surface of the skin a little softer, fill in the lines and the pores, and thins like that,” says Taylor. With clean hands, smooth a small amount of primer equally over your face.

Camouflage After applying primer, foundation should be your next step. To make skin look lit up, choose a formula that contains light-reflecting particles. Taylor recommends
applying foundation with a foundation brush – “you can get a thin enough layer” – and then blending really well with a Beauty Blender for a more airbrushed look. “It really changes how the makeup looks,” Taylor says. Once you’ve applied foundation, use one side of a brush to dab concealer on spots where needed. Then, using the clean side of the brush, blend it in. “I don’t want to overuse concealer,” Taylor says. “Overuse can sometimes increase the appearance of fine lines.”

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Set To set makeup and add a glowing skin effect, choose a luminizing powder. “Find a powder that has not sparkle or glitter, but that built-in luminosity so skin still has that radiance,” Taylor says. “There’s nothing worse than putting all these products on that give you a glow and then you put on a powder that mattes it down.” If you’re loyal to a powder that doesn’t offer a brightening effect, Taylor advises to only
apply powder to areas where you tend to get shiny – most often the forehead, centre of the nose, and chin – to avoid dulling down your whole face to help create an overall skin glow.


Highlight Try a highlighting pen or wand to add extra glow once you’ve applied your foundation, concealer, and powder. “You’re trying to recreate that [look of] retouching – that light you see on a model’s face in a magazine,” Taylor explains. Apply it to the high points of the face – between the eyebrows on the forehead, down the centre of the nose, high on cheekbones, and on the cupid’s bow of the lips.