Camouflage makeup is used to even skin tone, compensate for hair loss, and, particularly in the case of burn survivors, redefine features. The professional makeup artist, aesthetician, or cosmetologist may be hired for a one-time application, for example, for the camouflage of a bride’s tattoo on her wedding day. On the other hand, individuals with skin conditions, such as vitiligo, melasma, and hyperpigmentation, may come to the professional for a series of lessons on how to best apply their makeup.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUE
In general, sponges used should be latex-free and brushes must be clean. A metal palette and palette knife are very useful for working with foundations.
The professional should have a wide color selection of opaque, yet lightweight, foundations to effectively cover all skin tones. Ideally, no more than two shades should be selected, and they should be from the same product line for the ease of the client in learning how to successfully camouflage. The professional should also have in their kit an ionized water, as well as an alcohol-setting spray.
The area of concern is first color corrected with the complementary color, if necessary, (except in the case of vitiligo), powdered with translucent setting powder. Then, the selected foundation for the surrounding skin tone is applied in a sheer layer, powdered, and reapplied and powdered until the professional has successfully camouflaged the skin discoloration. Once the area has been camouflaged, the professional may use an ionized moisture spray to bring life back to the area. The professional may elect to add the illusion of moles, using a small brush or hair follicles on the male fingers using a stipple sponge with alcohol-based makeup.*
To prepare, the skin should only be lightly moisturized. Silicone-based primers will provide a “slip” look which is more natural and will work well with silicone, wax, or cream-based foundations.
Set aside the foundation color(s) of the surrounding area. Regardless of the reason or the particular area to be camouflaged, the first thing that the professional should do is find and set aside the foundation color or colors that will match the undertone of the skin surrounding the affected area. Ideally, no more than two colors, within the same product line, should be selected for the opaque, durable, camouflage makeup.
View and analyze the undertone, value, and color of the affected skin when working to camouflage bruises, birthmarks, and tattoos. Using the principle of complementary color, first apply a thin layer of color corrector product to blur the discoloration. After the color correction product, apply the opaque foundation camouflage product(s) that matches the surrounding skin tone. Powder-add the more opaque, camouflage product again, if necessary, and, then, add translucent powder.
Translucent powder, liberally applied with a powder puff, is used to set and create a water-resistant, durable finish. When satisfied that the area is successfully camouflaged and following the powder application, the professional should lightly spritz ionized water to bring back the natural look of skin.
If a water-proof finish is desired, an alcohol-based setting spray can be used as the final step. Alcohol products should never be used on skin grafts. When it comes to eyebrows, loss of hair may be due to alopecia, chemotherapy, or other reasons. The professional should select a waterproof, durable makeup product, along with a small brush to draw individual hairs. Some professionals also find that using stencils is helpful for the clients to reproduce the eyebrows on their own.
For eyelids, for durability, professionals can use a cream primer before adding any powders. On uneven, textured eyelids, the professional should avoid adding more textures, such as shimmer, frost, and glitter. If the client seeks eyelashes, the professional can add false eyelashes, using latex-free glue.
To recreate symmetry and balance on the lips, the professional should use a long-wearing, silicone-based lip pencil, followed by a long-lasting liquid lip product that will not dry out the lips.
For men, typically avoid lip color, with the exception, if necessary, of a brown pencil to redefine the lip. As stated above, to recreate facial hair, the professional can also use a theatrical stipple sponge with an alcohol-based product* to create beard stubble or to recreate the look of hair on the fingers.
*Under no circumstances should any alcohol wipes or alcohol-based makeup be applied on skin grafts.
Jill Glaser is an Illinois state-certified, freelance media makeup artist working in and around the Chicago area. Jill has worked with photographers and agencies retained by Sears, Costco, Com Ed, Harris N.A., State Farm Insurance, and many others. Glaser is the founder and owner (since 2006) of Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry and one of the instructors for the basic, media, clinical, careers, advanced media, airbrushing, and bridal makeup courses. Glaser is also the owner of the agency Artists by Make Up First, LLC, which places graduates of the school in full- and part-time work. Glaser continues to freelance as a makeup artist and hair stylist for television, film, print, video, music video, weddings, and special events.