Your Concern: Uneven or Dull Complexion
What the derms say: Whichever you're dealing with (maybe both?), SPF can be as valuable an addition to your makeup as complexion-evening and -brightening ingredients, says Dr. Derick. Hyperpigmentation in particular, whether in the form of age spots or larger dark patches, can become pronounced with the slightest exposure to sun, adds Dr. Colbert. Try Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Foundation SPF 55 ($14, drugstores), the brand's first makeup to incorporate its broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredient, Helioplex. Both derms like soy for fading and brightening purposes, and certain antioxidants, such as goji berries, for boosting the skin's radiance and natural UV defenses - with the caveat that in a makeup, the exact level of penetration and efficacy of these ingredients hasn't been determined. Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 with soy and light-reflecting mica and silica ($15, drugstores) or Maybelline New York Age Rewind The Eraser foundation with SPF 18 and goji berries ($13, drugstores).
What the makeup artist says: For all-over dullness and/or unevenness, start with a sheer, luminous foundation (tiny reflective particles are the instant antidote to dullness). Then, using a brush and a creamy concealer that matches your prevalent skin tone, "paint" over pronounced splotches and pat the concealer in with your finger. "You may need to repeat this process a few times to blend away the spots," says Ahnert. "But it's better than using a lighter concealer - a common mistake that makes you look like you have light spots on your face." And though you probably know that adding a dot of light shimmer shadow to the inner corner of your eyes can open them up, "this trick can actually make your whole face look brighter," she notes. The same goes for shimmer shadow swept subtly across the browbone. Try Revlon Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator SPF 18 ($14, drugstores). Finish by adding a touch of creamy rose color to the apples of your cheeks, like Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick ($18.50, department stores); blend lightly with your fingers, and voilà: the blush of youth, restored.
Originally published on February 24, 2011