Cara’s Makeup Artist Reveals the Secrets to Flawless Foundation

Meeting makeup maestro Lloyd Simmonds is to a beauty editor what meeting Taylor Swift might be to die-hard pop music fans. It’s a big deal. So when we heard that he was coming to town to unveil the new YSL Fusion Ink Foundation, we knew we had to stalk him for beauty advice. As Creative Director Makeup for YSL Beauté, Simmonds’ has painted some of the most famous faces of our time, including model-of-the-moment, Cara Delevingne, who also stars in the latest YSL Beauté campaign.

Image: Instagram @caradelevingne

Image: Instagram @caradelevingne

He’s worked with the best in the business so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to foundations. Here, he spills his inside secrets to achieving the perfect base.

1. What’s Trending Right Now

“This season the complexion looks much more velvety and less dewy than what we’ve seen recently, which is ideal especially in winter. More and more it’s about foundation being less visible too.  The aim is not to see anything on your skin at all. YSL Fusion Ink looks like your real skin only better. It’s incredibly long-wearing yet also weightless.  It’s all about breathing, gorgeous, healthy skin with a polished, velvety perfection.”


2. Colour-Matching To Your Skin Tone Correctly


“I encourage women to use foundation to embellish who they are and not use it to try to change their skin tone. Don’t buy foundation to match the skin colour you want to be, buy one to match the colour you are. To find your correct shade, do a patch test of the side of your lower cheek between your mouth and ear. Don’t use your neck because it doesn’t get as much sun and will very likely be lighter than your face, and don’t use your hand because it will probably be too dark.”

3. Less Is More

“The most common mistake women make with foundation is wearing too much of it. It’s not about creating a blank canvas. Foundation isn’t supposed to go everywhere, it’s just supposed to blur so only use as much as your need. One of the great things about Fusion Ink is that is has this applicator shaped like a quill (hence the name), so you don’t dispense too much. One quill worth is easily enough to do your entire face.”


4. Brush v’s Fingers


There’s no right or wrong here, but generally brushes give you a bit more control. If you’re using a brush for foundations (or liquids in general) always use synthetic brushes as opposed to natural hair ones.  Whether using your fingers or brushes to apply your foundation, always start in the centre of your face and work the product outward, as generally we need more coverage in the centre.   If you want to add extra coverage to any problem areas, use a tiny bit of foundation and press it in with tapping motion to build it up (fingers are perfect for this).”

5. To Powder, Or Not To Powder?

“My golden rule for powder is use it only where you need it, which is usually in the centre of the face, on the chin and on the forehead.  Never powder anywhere else. It’s all about using powder to control the shine. That’s what makes your skin look natural and will keep your foundation looking good.”


6. Making Your Foundation Last Longer


“Applying a primer under your foundation can help your base to last longer.  Be wary though, sometimes different brands don’t work well together. For instance if you have a really silicone-y primer the foundation can start to ball, the same goes for sunscreen.  So my advice if you’re going to go foundation shopping, is to make sure you take your primer and sunscreen with you to ensure that they all work together.  With Fusion Ink I don’t recommend using a primer;, you don’t need it because it’s naturally so long-wearing. You apply it at 7am and come home at 7pm and it’s the same face.  It hasn’t worn off on your collar or melted away.”


Shop the Look:

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation.  Available from 12 April 2015 from Myer, David Jones, Mecca, Sephora and Adore Beauty

YSL Fusion Ink Foundation.  Available from 12 April 2015 from Myer, David Jones, Mecca, Sephora and Adore Beauty


Story by Madeleine Boyd. Sponsored by YSL Beauté.

What foundation techniques work for you?