When I caught up with Daniel Martin (aka Meghan Markle's wedding makeup artist) at the Net-a-Porter 2019 Beauty Trends Presentation last month, it wasn't just bridal beauty that we got to chat about. In fact, at the presentation beforehand, Martin was kind enough to reveal some of his failsafe makeup tips that challenged everything I thought I knew about beauty—including his tried-and-tested way to get your perfect foundation match.
Of all the makeup products, foundation can be one of the trickiest to get right. You've got to consider the texture you want, the kind of coverage you're after, and, perhaps most importantly, the shade. Luckily Martin shared a completely unexpected way to make sure you get your perfect foundation match every time, alongside the best way to apply it and the types of skincare you should be layering it over. Keep scrolling for his Meghan Markle–approved foundation tips.
"Can I see your stomach?"
Martin sent shockwaves around a room full of beauty editors when he revealed the body part that he looks at first when deciding on a client's foundation shade. "I was trained to look at someone's stomach before their face to match their foundation," Martin, who trained with makeup legend Pat McGrath, revealed. "Before I start a client's makeup, I always say, 'Can I see your stomach?'"
"Alternatively, you should match your chest to your face, not the other way round," Martin advised. "Your chest often holds more redness, so you want to balance that to match your face." When applying the foundation, Martin doesn't advise putting the product all over your face either. "I'll apply foundation in the middle of the face and work outwards, as that's where you tend to have more discolouration," he revealed.
"Get your hands dirty."
When asked about the best way to apply foundation, Martin revealed that he's a real advocate for using your fingers and hands. "Get your hands dirty," Martin exclaimed. "People don't touch their faces anymore. There are so many tools and sponges now that there's a disconnect when you're not able to get your hands on your foundation or moisturiser and actually work it into your skin."
It's this tip that might just be the key to achieving that Meghan Markle wedding-day glow in the comfort of your own home. "If you do your makeup with your hands and get rid of the brushes, you'll notice that there's a radiance and a liveliness to the skin that you don't get using the tools," Martin explained.
"Less is more."
It turns out that if you want your skin to look really great, foundation might not actually be the best product for you. "If you don't want to use a heavy foundation but still want your skin to look amazing, I would mix moisturiser with concealer," revealed Martin.
"There are so many great concealers now that have a lot of coverage. If you break that down a notch by mixing it with moisturiser, you'll still have the coverage you want, but you'll also be able to see your natural skin through it. Less is more."
"Stick to water-based skincare."
If you've never really considered how your skincare might affect the makeup that you layer on top, it's time to think again. "I like to match water-based moisturiser with water-based foundation—especially when I'm doing long-wear makeup," said Martin. "Otherwise, when you mix oil-based products with water-based ones, your makeup will dissipate over time."
"If I have someone I'm getting ready for the red carpet, I'll stick to water-based skincare so it's compatible with the foundation on top. It sort of locks it down," explained Martin. If you're not sure how to tell if your product is water-based, take a quick look at the ingredient list. If water is the first thing on there, it's a dead cert.
In fact, it's rumoured that the foundation that he used for Meghan's iconic wedding day makeup look is the water-based Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation (£30).
Keep scrolling to shop some of the foundations I've spotted in Daniel Martin's kit and some of his other must-have base products.
A staple in the kits of celebrity makeup artists, this lightweight foundation is brilliantly buildable so you can wear it from sheer to full coverage.
Martin describes this versatile concealer palette as "incredibly pigmented with strong payoff." Each one contains three shades so you can target the coverage on different parts of your face.
This cult powder is a staple in Martin's kit. He applies it only to the T-zone to prevent the rest of the skin from looking too matte.
This is another water-based foundation that Martin swears by for red carpet makeup looks.
Take a look at nearly any of Martin's makeup setups on Instagram and chances are you'll spot a tube of this high-coverage concealer. This is a great one to use in place of foundation.