Incidentally, for the ...three? of you who don't know: 'Beauty Base Zero' comes from The Hunger Games trilogy and describes a perfected but pre-styled 'bare face'. Ultra-natural, like.
We all know that depending on season, sleep-deprivation and skin-nightmarishness (not to mention all the other bad things beginning with 's'), 'zero' can take a lot more work than seems fair. I personally also find it, like skincare, basically just a dull necessity, so my approach involves spending a lot of time testing aaaall the products to find the ones that take no time at all to apply, and do all the work themselves (since they go on before the coffee's kicked in), and do it reliably day after day after day.
Current favourites, in order of application:
- base: Kiss Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist 01
- undereye concealer: Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer 01 Light Beige
- spot concealer: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 (depot)
The UV Moist Base released in 2011 is a matte-but-moisturising [actually satiny], very sheerly tinted primer which promises major pore-coverage and to prolong the wear-time of makeup. It contains hyaluronic acid, no fragrance or alcohol, and has an SPF26 PA++ rating. There are two shades, and I estimate the cut-off point to be ≤NC20 // ≥NC25.
¥1680 for 37g in a sanitary plastic pump bottle, made in Japan. (For oilier skins, there's UV Whitening Base N.)
One pump of UV Moist Base 01 looks scarily dark at first...
...but with blending (which is easy, it's a lovely light gel-cream texture with lots of slip)...
....pretty invisible, right?
Scary macro face close-up (the after also features Burberry concealer under eyes):
The base's peachy tone is great at evening out redness in particular, and the high-silicone content is magic on pores. It sets to a satiny but perfectly skin-like finish, remains exactly so through a 16-hour day in 30ºC and high humidity. In extreme close-up you can see 'texture' around my nose but believe me, this is as good as any product looks there, such is my skin. I live with a tradeoff between redness or textural issues.
The close-up should also illustrate the magical texture of the Burberry concealer pen, applied under my eye all the way to the patch of redness at the outer corner and patted in with a finger. Sheer Luminous Concealer (2.5ml for £26) while containing no sparkle/shimmer does bounce the light away effectively from my fine lines and chicken skin. In fact, it's the only concealer I've tried that not only doesn't make my skin texture look worse, but actively makes it look better. It's unique in combining impressive moisturising* properties (more moisturising than Ellis Faas, ByTerry, YSL) with a sets-to-nothing creaseless finish that's most comparable to Armani's cult High Precision Retouch (sadly too drying for me) or Lunasol's Under Eyes Base (just unworkably dark).
*I actually bought it after a Burberry MA applied it to my drier-than-the-desert lips as an eraser... and it looked and felt as nice as a weightless Japanese lipbalm.
The Burberry pen replaces these products in my wardrobe:
- Lunasol Under Eyes Base 00 (review/swatch)
- Ellis Faas concealer S201 (my constantly-repurchased favourite for the last few years)
- Bobbi Brown corrector in Light Bisque
A bonus is that the Burberry brush and click-mechanism are both far superior to those on the Ellis Faas pen. The Burberry brush is finer overall and also in terms of the individual hairs; it's almost impossible to get this to streak even when I deliberately attempted (it should actually be evident in the swatch the EF and Lunasol stripes are slightly less even than the Burberry). One click always dispenses the same amount, and dispenses it neatly and immediately.
While ostensibly offering less coverage (light) than Ellis Faas' medium+, The Burberry shade incorporates the right salmon tones to work like an inbuilt corrector for my (current) circles, boosting the coverage in practice up to medium.
It's basically what you'd get by layering Ellis Faas' cool yellow over Bobbi Brown's bisque:
Shadewise, I've found through trial and error always to opt for an undereye concealer that's darker than my skintone (within reason: half a shade up to a shade darker, let's not stray too far from our beauty-base-zero concept....) which also means less product for more coverage. And therefore, no need for setting, less potential for creasing and as close as we can get to uniting minimal effect with minimal effort.
Here they are compared with my face concealer, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01, which is as exact a match [absolutely NO going darker or heaven forfend! lighter with face concealer] as I've ever found ready-made, though a little yellower than my face -- just a little, enough to deal with reddened blemishes without looking like jaundiced dots.
Like the Burberry pen, I love the Kevyn Aucoin concealer not only for its shade but for its uniquely effective texture: like rich whipped cream. Other products that provide this level of hardcore coverage are either aridly dry (all pigment, no base) or so claggy-creamy (lots of pigment AND lots of base) they often require a lot of work and expertise to even get out of the jar let alone blend to skinlike invisibility -- far more than I can manage on a good day, let alone a bad one. This stuff, I can just dab on, press in with a warm finger tip or damp beautyblender, and let it set on its own in the next minute or so. (Oilier skins may need to set with powder -- push&roll, don't buff&sweep.)
Magical texture, magical finish: somehow, this deliciously rich, blendable concoction never looks creamy on the skin -- really, who wants to oil up and shine a spotlight on a blemish? -- or like anything, but, well, skin. Based on raves from makeupalley (where this cult product has retained an unflaggingly high rating in ten years since its launch), it seems to work for a wide range of skintypes, so if you are combo/oily, please don't be scared off by my overuse of the word 'creamy'.
[Please note KA SSE has a somewhat powdery floral fragrance but its main scent is the 'creaminess' of the ingredients.]
So that's my current Beauty Base Zero stash, with somethings new, and something old (but definitely of cult status). Next post: many things borrowed and a few things blue.
Kiss Me Mat Chiffon UV Base Moist (my translation):
Cyclomethicone, water, zinc oxide, polymethyl methylacrylate, diglycerol, dipropylene glycol, PEG-9 dimethicone, dimethicone, distearylammonium hectorite, chamomile extract, sodium hyaluronate, rice bran oil, water-soluble collagen, rice bran sphingoglycolipid, sodium citrate, triethylhexanoin, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, aluminium hydroxide, methicone, trimethylsiloxy silicic acid, stearic acid, (Dimethicone / vinyl dimethicone) cross polymer, butylene glycol, Polyquaternium -51, glycerin, polyglyceryl-10 diisostearate, capric/caprylic triglyceride, lecithin, titanium dioxide, talc, iron oxide
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (via dermstore.com)
Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum). May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77491).