Often times, we’re unsure about what make up products to use or how we should apply them. Sometimes we wonder if the products we already own are even working well for us. Fear not ladies. We’ve got your back! Hair and make up maestro Bina Khan gave us the privilege to watch her apply make up onto the beautiful Sonya Jamil in a well constructed tutorial, telling us all the do’s and don’t’s of applying make up as well as teaching us a few tricks about how to look our best for whatever occasion. Scroll down to check out more!


Let’s completely uncomplicate things. Forget everything you have seen. Forget the videos, forget the steps, the tips, the tricks, the must haves, the collabs, the product reccos. Sweep it all away. Done that? Good.

Now imagine the person that you know who has naturally beautiful skin. That friend/old school class fellow/relative who doesn’t recoil when direct sunlight bathes her face. Who has a natural smooth sheen to her skin, who has tight if not invisible pores, whose skin seems smoothly stretched out against what is beneath.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have that?

Well that’s what your make-up routine for your skin should be aiming to give you. You shouldn’t be slathered in visible base and foundation. You should apply your base in a way that looks like you have good skin. It’s that simple.

I did a video tutorial for Secret Closet a little while ago where I broke open all my newest tricks (no secrets here), and you can see the realistic result we created. The key is to break down all the myths, which is why I said to forget all of the noise in your heads of the bits and bobs of advice you have heard.

Your base should allow you to deliver a bunch of skin matching pigments suspended in various liquids and creams, or in their pigment form (face powder) in a smooth layer that clings convincingly and mimics the skins own behavior….just a little better.

Its pretty easy:

  1. Celebrate and create a more even gradation of tone in your skin. Do so by replicating what is underneath. Where your skin is warmer, use a warmer foundation and powder, where it is lighter use a lighter foundation. One colour does not fit your whole face. Create the shade and light that you already have.
  2. You want a subtle glow (like you have when you just moisturized) but you don’t want it everywhere. Avoid areas that will look like you are sweaty if they glow (chin, mouth area, tip of the nose, apples of the cheek).
  3. Use effective products so you don’t have to use a lot. Don’t think too hard about brands and numbers. Look for texture and tone. Does it look like you? Buy it! Is it the texture you need? Buy it. So is it matte or glowy, which one do you need? Is it peach and looks like your skin (good) or yellow and an unpleasant hue? (BAD!).

You can find the whole video on the Secret Closet IGTV however here is a product breakdown and the process, in order.

  1. Pop on Lubriderm moisturizer after moistening skin with water.
  2. Bioderma Sensibio H20 to clean off lips and eyes.
  3. Face serum/oil where you want to glow. (I used 24k gold elixir by Mehrunissa)
  4. Loreal infallible primer applied generously all over the face.
  5. I premixed my foundations with illuminators. For the light areas I used fenty beauty pro filtr in 220 with Mac Strobe Cream and for the warm areas I used YSLs touche éclat foundation in B70. These were the pale and warm tones in Sonya’s face. You will have your own shade range. Notice what matches those areas.
  6. Apply with a damp beauty blender, pat the warm toned foundation around the edge of the face, along the bottom curve of the cheekbone, around the mouth. Apply the lighter shade between the brows and up on to the forehead, down the nose, on the chin, on top of the highest point of the cheekbone and above the jawline. Gently pressing or bouncing motions are best,
  7. Conceal under the eye. I used a mix of Tarte Shape Tape in medium and diluted it with Nars illuminating concealer in honey
  8. Now lightly dust on your highlighter, while barely touching the base. It will streak easily so use a feather light touch. I used Bobbi Brown’s afternoon glow highlighting powder. I only lightly dusted this on the highest points of the cheekbone and the brow bone, forming a kind of greater than and less than sign. Like this < >
  9. Dust on some Matte powder on your sebaceous areas. I used L’oreal infallible powder in Warm Sand.
  10. Now you want to seal your undereye, I dipped the point of the beauty blender in to The Body Shop loose powder in 03 and after smoothing out any creases that may have formed, I dabbed at the under eye area with the powder laden tip of the beauty blender. Then with a large brush I dipped in to the same powder and set the whole base. It is important to set the base properly or your base will oxidise. So be generous. Then buff off any excess.
  11. After you are sure your base is properly sealed, you should spritz Mac Fix+ all over your face. This can get greasy, so if you are prone to oiliness, cover your nose/mouth, apples of your cheek with your hand and spritz.
  12. While this is damp hit it with a little highlighter where you REALLY want it to shine. I usually just do the bridge of the nose, and the absolute upper edge of the cheekbone, near the outside of my eye. While the eyes are damp with the Fix+ I also cover the lids with the same highlighter.
  13. To finish the skin I would then warm up the key spots of the face that could do with looking like they are recesses (bottom of the cheek bone, temples, jawline, hairline). Don’t be stripey and don’t try and be too correctional. It shows. Trust me. Subtlety is your friend. I used Becca’s Light diffusing shade and light palette in light to medium.
  14. I like to end my routine with a little All nighter setting spray by Urban Decay. This is a non oily spray so if there was any powderiness left after the FIX+ this will melt all of that down but in to a dry feeling layer.
  15. You can of course finish off your look any way you like now, full glam or simple like we left it here. I just groomed and gently defined the brows, defined the lips with a neutral, earthy pink and used a swish of mascara.

I hope you can see that the end result is as close as you can get to making your skin look naturally healthy and cared for. I can’t stress enough, though, that skin prep is all. To achieve this it is essential that you get regular, excellent facials that actually feature a strong exfoliation, or you will struggle to get your make up to look smooth. We carry a lot of dead skin around on our faces and a strong chemical removal of that is the key to your base sitting flush against your living, healthy, bouncy skin. I can’t sing the praises of Dermalogica enough for this. It personally changed my skin. This is the first level of skin prep, so actually insert it on to the top of the list above!

I know there is lots of advice out there but don’t get fooled by sales people, silly videos or even your friends who have listened to too many sales people and watched too many silly videos. Look at what genuine professionals do and have faith in your own logic. We must try and remember why we do make-up, and it’s to express ourselves, to get a confidence boost when we need it and it’s to have fun!