Last week I had laser for the first time to treat some pigmentation on my cheeks (more on that to come). You would think as a beauty editor that I’d do my due-diligence and work out that downtime post-laser is significant, but I did not. And funnily enough had planned my belated birthday party for exactly 24 hours later. Laser is superficial, and the only real rule is to avoid actives and stay the hell away from the sun, but it does leave you really red, spotty, and rough.
I wasn’t so vain as to cancel my lunch, but I obviously wanted to soften the redness and fake a smoother texture. My normal roster of feather-light makeup felt redundant, so I landed on three products (all ones I love) that together, created a full but believable base.
I know it’s tough to find products that truly conceal skin texture and tone, so I thought I’d share the intel for anyone else who is wanting to do the same.
I’m wearing even more sunscreen than usual right now, and have been reaching for zinc oxide as I find it soothing. Ultra Violette’s Lean Screen is broad spectrum and 50+, plus has a creamy, matte texture that seems to smooth out the skin. The price point is also reasonable, so using it by the bucketload isn’t as painful. I applied it very generously on top of a simple moisturizer and let settle for 15 minutes (use this time to do your hair).
Ultra Violette Lean Screen, $45. shop now
My holy grail full coverage foundation always has been – and probably always will be – Nars Sheer Glow. I don’t use it all the time due to the fact I don’t go out much, but it delivers the perfect full-but-natural amount of coverage and radiant-but-not-shiny finish every single time. And because my skin was flaming red and covered in small brown scabs, I added a few drops of the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi liquid to prevent ghosting around my hairline, and give me a subtle luminosity. I use my fingers whenever I use Nars, and because it’s pigmented less is more. Overall, this duo worked miracles.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, shop now
Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine drops, $55. shop now
Also, I have to mention the Oxygentix Oxygenating Foundation. It’s actually designed especially for post-procedure skin and serves up full coverage without irritating ingredients. I always call on this when I’m super sensitive or breaking out, but post-laser my face was so reddened that the shade I had on hand (Beige) was just too pale. Sob.
Oxygentix Oxygenating Foundation, shop now
I am a staunch Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer fan but I feel this one from Tarte is more emollient, and therefore better when it comes to dry/flaky skin. I used the tiniest bit around my nose, chin and eyes to even out tone and mask some of the redness. A damp beauty blender gave me a dewy finish (as dewy as possible, anyway) without thinning out the coverage. I really have to say, Shape Tape is one of those products that lives up to the hype.
My final tip though would be to use sparingly. Sometimes more product = even worse skin texture. So keep it refined to a thin, light layer.
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, shop now