Q & A with Liz Jones

Liz Jones has been in the hair and makeup industry for over 20 years. She's worked for publications such as Australian Vogue, InStyle and Harper's Bazaar as well as international publications Vanity Fair Italia, Grazia and Wallpaper. She has been a judge on a panel of experts to determine 'The Best Beauty Buys' for Australian 'InStyle' Magazine 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions.

Not only does she boast a list of high profile clients, but in 2008, Liz launched her own range of makeup kits.

She let's us in on some of her insider tips to create a flawless face.

What is your favourite foundation? Is it different for Television, editorials and everyday life, if so why? For instance, does zinc oxide come up white in a flash.

My Favourite foundation is Giorgio Armani. I do add a small amount of Shiseido lifting foundation for shoots because I need slightly more coverage. For every day the Armani foundation on it’s own has plenty of coverage. (I don’t think zinc oxide is a problem for shoots because you need to be extremely close to the face with flash and professionals don’t really shoot like that. It’s more likely to happen with a domestic camera but then you’re probably too close to the face or the flash is too harsh (this tends to whiten the face anyway).

What is your preference for applying foundation – fingers, brush, sponge?

I always apply foundation with my fingers. I think you can work it into your skin more easily and you don’t lose product that is absorbed by a sponge or a brush.

If I’m buying foundation and am a colour in between 2 shades, which should I go for? Slightly darker or slightly lighter? Slightly Pink or slightly yellow?

I would buy both and mix them together, however this can be a hassle if you have to mix two products together every time to apply foundation. If only buying one product I would always go lighter, if it’s only by a half shade it will be ok just remember to use a small amount on your neck to help blend the colour difference. Going darker makes the skin look grubby and dull. Always err on the side of yellow foundation, even people with pink skin tones should not be matching to pink. A pink skin tone is not ideal as it can make the skin look irritated .You should always go slightly yellow, particularly with a pink skin tone as it counters the red.

What’s your trick to giving the illusion of flawless skin on models?

Even if a model has bad skin, I will never apply thick layers of foundation. I always apply a light coat and then use a strong concealer just on the spots and blemishes and finish with a loose powder. This helps give the illusion that the model doesn’t have much product on hence 'flawless skin'.

Does your foundation choice change depending on the makeup style – for instance, if you do a smokey eye do you use a more dewy foundation, if you do bold lips, then matte foundation?

I prefer to change the finish of the foundation with loose powder. I do this because I find matte foundations too heavy and I like to control the finish. If I want a more matte finish I will apply more powder. If I want a dewy finish then often I will only powder around the nose, chin and forehead. I prefer loose powders that are not white but slightly tinted such as Eden by Nars because they blend more easily into the skin. Often loose translucent powders are slightly white and because of that they are visible on the skin, I don’t like seeing product on the skin, particularly powder, as it looks 'too made up'.

Do you notice a big difference with drugstore brand vs a luxury brand foundation?

Unfortunately yes. There may not be a huge difference when you first apply but it’s about how a foundation performs throughout the day. Often cheaper foundations separate on the skin or become dry and powdery. Or they sit on top of the skin like a mask. However, I’ve seen a few expensive foundations do the same thing!! So it’s about quality and colour tone usually found in more premium brands that are well researched and have optimum ingredients. Always spend money on a foundation, the rest of your make up such as eye shadows, blushes etc are about colour, sometimes you can find good colours in cheaper ranges.

What are the Liz Jones favourites?

Favourite mineral foundation:
I'm yet to find one that I like enough to recommend. I find that they are all a bit powdery for me, however the mineral tinted moisturisers don't seem to be as powdery see recommendation below.

Favourite foundation all rounder:
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. If you prefer a more matte foundation then Shu Eumera Face Architect is a good one.

Favourite liquid foundation:
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.

Favourite compact / Pressed powder:
I don't use pressed powders as I find they add another strong layer of product to the skin. If you do need to use a pressed powder Shu Uemura make a good one that seems less solid.

Favourite tinted moisturizer:
Elizabeth Arden Mineral Tinted Moisturiser. I use this in summer. It has a great texture and is moisturising. It also gives a moderate amount of coverage to the skin while looking natural.

What is the one tip about foundation that you can pass onto women?

Don’t use too much product and blend well into your skin. Foundation shouldn’t sit on the top of your skin like a mask; it should blend with it. If you have bad skin, use a really good concealer that matches the skin tone for full coverage (Bobbi Brown makes great thick concealers).