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Strong Foundations

Helena Rubenstein said “there are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” She subscribed to the practice of a careful beauty routine that took time, but resulted in perfection.

So in her honour, we asked make-up artist Sophia Pafitis, who has extensive shop floor experience with both Mecca Cosmetica and Mac, to give us some advice on creating make-up perfection. Here in her first article for woman with drive she looks at the beginning of a great make-up routine – the foundation.

Says Sophia:

Consider your foundation the canvas for a great painting. Mastering a fresh-faced, glowing complexion is within reach when our skin is well prepped and the right products are at hand. Here are my most trusted primers, foundations and concealers, including some suggestions on those to avoid.

1. Primer

Whether it’s redness, open pores, dehydration or dullness, primers can remedy skin concerns without relying solely on the coverage of your foundation. They also act as a barrier between skin and make-up so your looks will last through your busy day. Apply evenly over the face with fingers.

Top Picks:

Giorgio Armani light master primer  $69.00 from David Jones – or to ease redness try By Terry Eclat de Teint Colour Skin enhancer in Midnight Mauve, $154.00 from Mecca.

2. Under-eye Concealer

Delicate under-eye skin requires concealer with a weightless, satin texture to smooth over lines without sinking into creases. Apply to the inner corner of the eye, where the tear duct meets the wall of your nose (veins join together and create darkness), extending under the eye in a sweeping motion to the tips of your cheekbones. Use fingers or a fluffy, smaller brush for an extra blended look.

Top Picks:

Born from the creator of YSLs famed Touche Eclat,  By Terry Touch Expert provides the same light reflecting properties, but with enhanced coverage. It’s $68 and available from Mecca Cosmetica. Ellis Faas provides high coverage with a dewy/satin finish that keeps your eyes looking fresh and concealed. It’s $58, also from Mecca Cosmetica.


Thick, cream consistencies. They are often drying and result in a heavy, creeping look.

3. Foundation

A quality foundation is essential in creating a healthy glow, and should always be colour-matched by a professional of the make-up brand. Unfortunately, like many products, great quality does cost a little extra, but you’ll cherish the results. A foundation brush is a vital tool for creating an even, flawless face. The right brush makes all the difference in your application, and there’s a large variety to choose from. Opt for either a traditional foundation brush or a dense kabuki-like brush to buff and blend.

Top Picks:

Luminous Silk foundation by Giorgio Armani provides hydrating fluid that creates a silky textured, long-lasting, buildable coverage for that glorifying glow. For those with dryer skin types try Armani’s Designer Lift, which has enhanced dewiness and boasts SPF20 protection. Both are $90 from David Jones.


Foundations with a matte finish, which often dull and prevent that radiant, dewy glow. Powders are useful to lightly set your foundation and improve durability – but unless your skin is exceedingly oily, they’re unnecessary.


Look out for Sophia’s next article on blushes, bronzers and highlighters. Coming soon.


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