Monday, 5 November 2012

my makeup for pale skin

pale skin makeup 1 Well, first of all I need to apologise: yesterday morning I accidently clicked "delete" instead of "publish" and deleted your lovely comments on my last post. There is no trash can or anything like it in blogger, so one wrong click a few mm to the right and those comments are gone for good! It's very annoying.

BUT I promised I'd do a post on the makeup I use for my pale skin, so here it is! I've found it really, really hard – and expensive – to find a foundation that works well enough on my very fair skin. They are almost always too dark, too pink, too yellow, or, if the shade isn't too bad, the texture is horrible.

At the moment, I am using these five products:

– Olay complete defence sinscreen SPF 30
– Foundation: Bourjois Flower Perfection in shade no. 51
– Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque
– Laura Mercier secret concealer in shade no. 1
– Bourjois Flower Perfection Loose Powder in Universal Shade

The Bourjois foundation and powder were sent to me a while ago to try and I really like them, and would definitely get the foundation again. It is pretty cheap (by Australia's ridiculously expensive makeup standards) and the shade is... pretty good, actually. I was expecting it to be too dark but it's not too bad for me. It also has yellow undertones, which are quite flattering on my cold-but-wait-there-are-freckles! colouring. I don't use the powder everyday but it gives a nice matte finish and does lighten things nicely, without giving me talcum powder face. Good.

I hate how, as a vintage-loving blogger, banging on and on about how I have such pale skin can sound like such a sly brag. The downs sides of this fair complexion are my dark blue under eye circles, which are bad when I am rested, and very bad when I'm not! I usually use the corrector, which is a very pale, slightly pinky beigey white, and then use the LM concealer on top. The concealer is quite peachy but the texture is fantastic, nice and creamy and easy to blend and, on top of the corrector, which is thicker but still good and creamy, it does counter the shadows well. The corrector was out of stock in Melbourne when I tried to get it (have I mentioned how hard it can be to get makeup here?!) so I bought it online, and bought the LM concealer in store. They are both quite expensive but I find them worth it and they last for ages.

I also want to post about what my 1930's beauty book has to say about pale skin and foundation, so I'll do that soon. But, tell me. What foundation do you use? Any tips you want to share? pale skin makeup 2


Bonita Vear said...

I adore Skin 79's Oriental BB Cream ~ like yourself Marianne, I find that any shade of any foundation makeup, as well as most powders you can find in Australia are just too dark for my skin.

Not that I am as fair as you are, more like a peaches and cream look, so I am not sure how you'd feel about trying a BB Cream? Still, I have heard it does remarkably well on different complexions and as a bonus has sun protection and moisturiser included in the product.

I buy it online at Pinky Paradise
and they've been very reliable, so I shall not hesitate to recommend this site.

Of course, you have to pay for shipping, so this option may not work for you, but I thought if there was anyone else with fair skin looking for options that perhaps they might like to know about this product!

bonita of Depict This!

P.s - Sorry for the essay.. : )

Sarah said...

I have an irrational fear of the tideline/oompaloompa/orange mask effect, so I tend to avoid foundation unless it's really necessary. Generally I don't trust my own skills in matching/blending a foundation correctly and figure it looks better just to show people my flaws rather than a horrible cover-up. PLus, I hate feeling like there's gunk all over my face and Australian summer's tends to melt off any make-up! But, that all being said I have been using a primer which mattifies my face really well and then over the top I use MAC studio fix powder, just a dusting.
If I am going out at night and I want more cover-up I have been using Bourjois "123 Perfect" in "Light Vanilla" and I've found it really nice. It goes on smooth and the colour is not too yellow or too pink. xox

the animal orchestra said...

I have similar issues - my skin is pale to the point of translucency, which works with my aesthetic but also means that my blue veins are very visible through my skin and I suffer from the dreaded, bruise-like dark circles.

I mix two Bobbi Brown concealers - I think Light Bisque and Peach something. The peach corrects the blue tone and the bisque lightens it to match the rest of my complexion. I'm currently using a NARS sheer glow foundation in one of the lightest shades. The texture is light and it has a natural finish - I'm quite happy with it.

Harlow Darling said...

The dark/blue under eye circles are definitely the biggest downside of having fair skin!!!!! They are just so horrid and ageing...I always feel they make me look so much older than I am. I never actually noticed you having them though, which just shows how good the make-up you use is!

Clara Cupcakes said...

I've been using the Lush colour supplements for about a month now and they're pretty great for pale skin. You mix it in the your moisturiser to create the foundation so you can adjust the coverage depending on have your skin is looking on the day. They're releasing one for very pale skin quite soon I think. One does recommend!

CatMoJo said...

I'm also extremely pale, reflectively so at times. I went on a bit of a rampage when I got married, searching for the perfect pale, full coverage foundation and found pretty much nothing that worked well for me! For my everyday wear, I'm using L'Oreal Magic Smooth Souffle. Initially, I thought the color would be totally off, but found it color corrects significantly on the skin. The finish is wonderful too--nice, matte & even texture. It's easy to layer & goes on beautifully with a foundation brush as well. My only complaint is it looks like medium coverage in the morning, but very light coverage by the late afternoon. It wears off evenly, so it doesn't look unnatural, but my freckles are very visible by the end of the day!

Dying to try Dita Von Teese's concealer & foundation (along with everything else in the line!), though it's still not available in the States!

CatMoJo said...

I have the same problem with extremely pale, in the sunlight & with a hot camera flash, I am reflective. I definitely suffered through much orange & ruddy foundation in my pre-20s years!

Right now, I'm using L'Oreal Magic Souffle in Light Ivory at the moment & am more pleased than with anything else I've tried. Initially, I thought the color would be too orange, but it color corrects magnificently while on the skin. The finish is lovely--matte, smooth, soft and retexturizing. My only complaint is that the coverage is medium-full after application, but by late afternoon, all my freckles & some acne scars show though. It doesn't look horrible, but just not the coverage I want. It does, however, go on beautifully with a foundation brush, the only foundation I've tried that I prefer putting on with a brush vs. fingertips.

I still have yet to find a reliable full coverage foundation or concealer. I'm DYING to try Dita Von Teese new ArtDeco line, but it's still not available in the States. I'll have to try the suggestions you provide in the meantime!

Sage said...

I have VERY pale skin and when I went to makeup school we (the students) would use each other as models and the tutors had to order in MAC's face and body in white and then add a little tiny bit of NC15 because I can't quite get away with NC15 or NW15, it's just 1-2 shades too dark for me. I've just started using Nars sheer glow foundation ($90 a bottle in New Zealand, eeeek!) and the Siberia shade is pretty much perfect for me as it's very light with both pink and yellow undertones. It's a really great foundation for every day but it'd be nice to have another one that has a bit more coverage for days when I need it or for going out. It can be a frustrating search! I've been wanting to try Laura Mercier concealer for a while but it's not available here. Maybe I'll check it out online.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

I'm always stunned at the very reasonable prices of Bourjois make up too, yet I haven't tried any for a very long time. So I'm going to test some out next time I'm in Priceline (love that shop!). I'm 44 so I'm at another end of the skin/makeup spectrum. I've still got combo skin though (grrrr!) and get breakouts:(( Revlon's Colourstay with Rimmel's Silky Loose powder set me straight for the day though and I use Natio's spot concealer which also heals any blemishes. I swear by Benefit's Ooh-La-Lift to brighten up under my eyes. It's magic!

Rachel Proffitt said...

Well I have to say I really don't. Here in the USA, trying to get foundation for English pale is hard. Trying to get some for sensitive English pale is even harder...
Would love real suggestions though ;)
My sisters, back home in the UK, use Maybelline Ivory and Barbra Daly porcelaine and also suggest Avon ivory and mineral powders.

Is It Secret, Is It Safe said...

I've had the same problem with trying to find a foundation that is light enough without being too pink or yellow. NARS Siberia was actually a pretty good match on my skin, but I hated to shell out $40 every time I need new foundation. Maybe when I get a little more money! I've actually found L'Oreal True Match in Porcelain to be quite good. It doesn't stay on as long as I'd like (really nothing does on my skin), but it's the best match I've found so far for drugstore prices!


esme and the laneway said...

Bonita Vear : not at all, thanks for all the info! I used BB cream for a professional photoshoot (or rather the muah applied it) and it was amazing for the camera, but too heavy for my everyday – and I don't mind an unnatural look ;p I am intersted in trying different BB creams now, though, as there are so many more out there! The idea of them is great!

Sarah: I so know what you mean about that gunk feeling. And on top of all that sunscreen, ugh – took me aaaages to get used to! I think your Bourjois makeup is the same shade as mine then – yay, it has another user! You're lucky your skin is good enough to not need makeup. I think mine just looks better painted, although I don't get too many problems with it. I found MAC were too clumpy, though – but their colours were great!

the animal orchestra: yeah, the translucent thing can look great, but shows all and any flaws on an off day too ;p Bobbi Brown seems to do the best in colours for under eye. LOVE the Porcelain Bisque too!

Harlow Darling: haha I think we see our own more than anyone else notices them! :D But I get them BAD. Concealer is my good friend!x

Clara Cupcakes: oh they sound good, I'll have to check them out – especially if I can blend them in my sunscreen for summer!

CatMoJo: I haven't used L'Oreal for years, they get lots of recs though so I might give them another go... and I am curious about the DVT line, too! I HOPE she has a super pale foundation for us! :D

Sage: oh, I forgot MAC do a white one! I don't know if it is available here, or how often the shops have it in, but I want to find out! I did find the MAC textures too comply for me, though, which is a shame as the palest ones (pink and yellow) were both pretty good shades, although I think the yellow was the best for me. And oh, NARS, I forgot how good they are but the prices, ouch! :D

Pull Your Socks Up!: I love Priceline too! I think the cheaper I can get my makeup the better :D I love Benefit's packaging though, so I spend my monies on that..!

Rachel Proffitt : I'm sure I've heard some good things about Avon recently, but I'm not sure if we get it here in Aus? Definitely good for other US readers! :D

Is It Secret, Is It Safe: that seems to be the problem with cheaper brands, the staying power isn't great. I forgot about NARS – I used their pressed powder for a while – but yep, those prices..! I think here it was $70 or something, and I want to spend money on other thing! :D x

Anonymous said...

Just confirming that we do have Avon in Australia, but I think it depends on your area whether you have a local representative or not.

Naomi Abramowicz said...

I too have very pale skin and I absolutely love Lily Lolo's mineral makeup range. It's quite cheap and has really good light shades like porcelain and china doll. It's also super good for sensitive skin! Strongly recommend it.


Alli said...

I have olive skin, but since bub number 2 it has become sensitive....I find Mirinesse and Laura Mercier products to be fabulous for makeup, and Hamilton face sunscreen is great. Thanks so much for sharing what products you's so interesting to see what other people use and what products they love :)

Lyona said...


I've been reading your blog for some time now, but never really felt brave enough to comment... until now! :)
I love your blog and our gorgeous style so much. :)

About pale skin... I'm not an expert, so never really tried profssional cosmetics, but always found it difficult to get a foundation that is not too dark on me, although my skin is not the best, so I needed someting everyday. Summer was more or less ok, as I spend most of it outdoors with kids (I'm a teacher) but during the winter it was horribe.

About a year ago my friend put some BB Cream on me for a photoshot, and I almost started crying that how come I haven't heard of that sooner! It's just... Perfect. (At least for me, haha)
It has SPF25, which is almost impossible to find in regular makeup in here (I live in Hungary btw) but very much needed for my summer job. It matches my skintone wonderfully, it's light, but gives enough cover, nicely buildable, and my skin has less problems too.
I certainly say you should give it a try - maybe look for a local retailer who can give you some advice, as there are plenty different types, thicker, lighter, more oily one, ones with extra high SPF, or for more yellowish skin.

I've been using Skin79 Hot Pink for some time now - it's something of a medium cover, not too thick, with a light creamy texture. It covers those nasty darkish spots, but if there is something more serious, I need a corrector. My skin heals faster and generally it feels better, more like a cream than makeup.

So if you are feeling adventurous, give BB cream a go! :) I suggest trying one of the Korean barnds, as Maybeline and Garnier are both coming out with their own version, but they are just not the same somehow.

The next thing I need to find is something for my dark circles... Can't sleep enough to get them gone, argh!! D: Might look up the ones you suggested though... :)

MissTeefeyLee said...

oh, thats for the top tips, may have to try out the corrector


Brittany_Va-VoomVintage said...

I've been using drugstore brands all my life but have never found anything that quite matches. I have green/blue undertones so I found that MAC Matchmaster in 1 is absolutely perfect and for $33, not too bad on the pocket either

Anja said...

i am pretty pale too, and i use illamasqua skin base o6. it's not really cheap, but i love the texture and the shade suits me perfectly (they have each shade in 3 undertones, and an even paler one as well). oh, and it lasts me a full year so it's not so terrible in the end :)

Immortality Passion said...

Oh same problem here. I have pale skin too, and it is so dificult to me to find foundation. Always so dark. I heard that Bourjois Flower Perfection is great but in my country (I really don't know why) the brightest is No.52 and it is to dark. I spend so much money since I didn't find fontadion for me, I m using now Revlon- Colorstay 150 Buff. It is great I m buying it online, I don't have it in my country. And before few days I bought compact powder from Dita's Artdeco collection, and I like it :)...

Kisses darling

Jitterbugdoll said...

I've always had the best luck shade-wise with pro theatrical brands, like Kryolan, Graftobian, and Ben Nye. They have a much wider range of shades, and because they have a higher pigment-to-filler ratio, they are less likely to oxidize (there's nothing worse than looking in the mirror and realizing that your face is now a lovely shade of orange!)

Lately I've been using mineral powder foundations as well—my skin is very sensitive and I've had good luck with these not irritating it.

Amarië said...

I have pretty much the same colouring as you do - the cool-but-freckles and horrible rings around my eyes with blue veins shining through pretty much every part of my body. Probably some Saxon, English or Viking sailor popped by Estonia centuries ago :D
My latest (and it truly has been just a few weeks) discovery was the Korean brand Skinfood's BB cream
in shade Light Natural.
I had not used BB cream before this one and was at first doubtful if an Asian foundation would fit me - Japanese tend to be too yellow - but my pale friend who had got this said it was too light even for her, so she gave me a go.
And I have to say I fell in love and realised that the foundation I had been using before was too pink on my skin and by the end of the day I looked like a zombie with a weird grey cast to my face.

As to concealer, I am using a horribly cheap one right now and am yet to find something I really like and that goes with this foundation.
Therefore, thank you for sharing about the products! Maybe I shall give myself a nice Christmas present and try the Laura Mercier concealer.

Jessica Cangiano said...

I can relate so very much to the plight of trying to find really good shades for pale skin. I'm quite fair skinned myself, with pink undertones running through my colouring (I like to refer to my complexion as strawberries and cream). Often, interestingly, I've found I have better luck with drug store brands (like CoverGirl and Revlon) than some of the higher end department stores when it comes to finding a decent shade. In the summer months I usually just you a tinted moisturizer designed for light skin tones and find that does the job quite nicely.

♥ Jessica

Mery said...

hello dear!
i did not know your blog, it's great!
you have a new follower, follow me back?

Maria said...

I have two favorite foundations for my pale skin: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in shade 115 is perfect, like, literally perfect, and Chanel Perfection Lumiere in shade 10 Beige. The last one is too heavy and a little bit too yellow-y so I use it as a concealer and mix it with Mac Prep+Prime for foundation.

boldaslove said...

I too have a horrible time finding foundation, however have found the best one for me is Napoleon China Doll B2. I also love Garnier anti dark circles for under my eyes.

Vintage Virgin said...

I'd just like to share my support for Bobbie Browns correctors and concealers they are just fantastic! I currently use the creamy concealer kit which comes with a light power. Indeed it is very expensive however lasts months despite me using it every single day and even the porcelain is too light for me so use the Ivory. I would recommend going to the counter and asking for advice on which is best for you - invaluable advice.

In fact I've now also switched to her foundation and love that too.

Nessbow said...

Oh man, I hear you about the dark eye circles. I'm quite pale, and at the moment I'm using a Covergirl Trublend foundation in shade number 1. It's pretty good, but not perfect. I was using the Hydro Splash BB Cream from The Face Shop, which was ideal until they discontinued it.

ily said...

Someone on here has already recommended it, so may i second the support for Lily Lolo.

Im pale, but not nearly as pale as yourself and, from the sound of it, others who have commented, but i have a whole other barrel of issues to contend with - from freckles, a birth mark, dark dark circles and any number of blemishes that like to reflect the little sleep/water/nutrients I am taking in! Yet, i find lily Lolo covers up perfectly and, better yet, i never feel like im clogging my pores (this might be purely psychosomatic, anyone else think/feel it?) or wearing coverage that needs to be chipped off.

On special occasions/when i feel like it, i use Diorskin Nude, which im loving! :)

Also, in terms of dark circles, i hear very good things about Illamasqua's cream pigments. I'll be trying them next!

To C or not to C said...

This is unconnected to all the wonderful tips above, Miss Marianne, but just wanted to say I love the little error in your post that you're using SPF 30 "sinscreen". Something for us all!

On a more serious note, thank you to you and all the commentators for these good recommendations.

esme and the laneway said...

To C or not to C: haha oh no, sinscreen is very important too! ;D

Irene said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, and I have to say I love it!

On the topic of make-up for pale skin... I'm about a MAC 5 or 10 (N15 is way too orange for me) with neutral-yellow undertones, so finding a make-up shade fair enough that doesn't make me look pink has been short of an epic quest. I've seen other people recommend bb creams in the comments above, and I swear by it! I currently use Skin 79 Orange Vital (the lightest bb cream Skin 79 makes to date with neutral undertones, not pink like the others), and it works wonders. It's got medium coverage so I use it on top of concealer too for extra aid in hiding my horrible, bruise-like purple undereye circles. Some bb creams can give a too heavy look, but in my opinion Skin79 makes some of the best products out there. If you buy on ebay though, be careful, as a lot of sellers sell fake bottles! Make sure they say in the description that they only sell genuine, authentic products.

I'll have to check out Bobby Brown's concealers, I've heard wonders about them :)

Wild Tea Party said...

Thank you for sharing this! I am now going to go hunting for options :)

Taylor said...

Your skin always looks flawless so this combination of products is definitely a winner for you!

I too am on the pasty side of things. My daily go-to foundy is Smashbox Studio Skin in the shade 1.1. Honestly, this foundation is holy grail material for me. It lasts until I take it off with hardly any shine (and I'm crazy oily) and is super buildable. I usually wear it pretty heavy but if I swap my buffing brush for a stipling brush I can get a super light coverage. The price tag is somewhat horrendous - $65 - but the fact that it makes my horrendous skin look perfect and the colour match is spot on makes it worth it for me.

Having said that, I also love Laura Mercier Oil Free foundation and their colour range is great. Illamsaqua have some fantastic lighter shades but the Skin Base foundation didn't work for my skin type.

Pauline said...

Hi Esme, it's such a pleasure to read your blog and see your beautiful pictures.
Thanks for the tips, I also have a very fair skin and leaving in sunny Spain, I try to get make up with sun protection.

On a daily basis, I use Bare Minerals powder in Fair (the lightest colour), it's very light both in colour and texture.
And if I need more concealer, I use Touche Eclat d'Yves Saint Laurent (nº 2) under my eyes and a little bit of fluid foundation first, Teint Miracle by Lancôme (nº1).
And I like to have powder in my handbag if I am out during the day. In that case, I have Chanel poudre universelle compacte in 20 clair.
They are not the cheapest cosmetics but they last very long and have a very good quality. Some of the ones you mentioned are not available here, too bad.

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