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A flawless foundation tutorial for photography and special occasions! Perfect for black tie events, weddings or prom. I hope you find you find it helpful for your next night out! x

PS: this might seem like a lot of products but the application is strategic and purposeful. Explanation as to why I’ve chosen each product below – feel free to omit steps where you please 🙂

Final Look

Flawless Black Tie Foundation Tutorial

Nail Polish I’m wearing in this tutorial


Complete List of Products Mentioned/Major Ramble

Alpha H – Liquid Gold* // Important that you use this three days prior to an event as you might experience minor peeling that could make you base look parched.

Sisley – Black Rose Mask // Review here. I love using this the day before an event, it soothes any redness and quenches dehydration – hydrated skin is happy skin!

MV Skincare – Rose Soothing Protective Moisturiser* // Review here. I find most skin types benefit from a moisturiser prior to makeup application. Pick a product suited to your skintype, this is my just personal favourite.

Max Factor – Face Finity Primer* // Not as slippy as Benefit Professional, not as matte as Becca Matte Primer – the Max Factor pins a good medium. I think it’s easy to overapply primer so I use a brush to smooth a very small amount over areas with enlarged pores or uneven texture.

Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5 // Review here. My go-to foundation for photography, it pictures flawlessly.

Chanel – Le Blanc De Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base // Review here. I mix a little Le Blanc De Chanel into my foundation for some extra luminosity, it also provides a soft focus effect that registers well in photos.

By Terry Touche Veloutee in 3 + Clarins Instant Concealer in 01 // These formulas are very similar, I mixed for shade. Both are kind to fine lines and sit very close to the skin (i.e. no visible layers).

YSL – Touche Eclat in Shade 2* // Used on the high points of the face and to illuminate shadowy areas, like the corners of the mouth. I really do like the Touche Eclat, but the drugstore has equally awesome alternatives (Maybelline Age Rewind comes to mind).

Kevyn Aucoin – Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX07 // Review here. Sensual Skin Enhancer is ridiculously pigmented, ideal for spot concealing blemishes or scars (or scratches, if you’re clumsy like me!).

Laura Mercier – Secret Brightening Powder for Eyes // An illuminating powder used to set undereye concealer. Now, this is silica based and I frequently receive questions as to whether silica is safe for photography – if you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and SKIP! I know makeup artists who use silica without issue but prom night is not the time to experiment, y’know?

Guerlain – Meteorites Perles in Teint Dore 03 // Technically a finishing powder, I used the Meteorites to set my foundation as I find it takes down the tackiness of foundation somewhat. If you have an oilier skintype, opt for a conventional setting powder as this one doesn’t enhance longevity.

Kevyn Aucoin – Sculpting Powder in Medium // Review here. I love this contour to bits, I can’t even.

Chanel – Joues Contraste in Notorious // Review here. Two contour powders? I know, I’m crazy. If epic bone structure is on the menu, I’ll add a little grey to deepen the very hollow of the cheekbone. More effective than packing on the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting, methinks.

Guerlain – 4 Seasons Bronzer in Nude 00 // Review here. This is a rather subdued bronzer on my medium skintone so I use it as a transitional shade, so that my contour meshes better with the surrounding skin.

Milani – Blush in Luminoso // Totally infatuated with this blush. If you like a lil shimmer and a lil coral, this will be all up in your alley.

MAC – Mineralized Skinfinish in Lightscapade // The shimmer in Lightscapade is a rather neutral white so it pairs well with most looks and most blushers. If you’re pale and find that highlights often read as nothingness on you, swatch Lightscapade, it’s a goodie.

For a full list of brushes used, check out the Youtube Description Box.

ERMAGERD, got a bit carried away with this blog post! Also, you probably noticed that I implemented some new editing techniques – some of you will love it and some may not but hey, I want a challenge and I want to learn. My voice will be back soon, don’t worry 🙂


* Denotes products sent for consideration. I only feature products I love 🙂

Complete list of products mentioned

Joues Contraste
Joues Contraste
Face Finity Primer
Face Finity Primer
Liquid Gold
Liquid Gold
Instant Concealer
Instant Concealer
Rose Soothing Moisturiser
Rose Soothing Moisturiser
Cream Mask
Cream Mask
Touche Eclat Pen
Touche Eclat Pen
Illuminating Base
Illuminating Base
Baked Powder Blush
Baked Powder Blush
Skin Enhancer
Skin Enhancer
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

Leave your comment (35 comments)

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  1. Hi Karima,
    Loved your video. Would you mind telling us which brushes you used for each step?
    Thanks so much,

  2. Sorry Karima,
    Just saw they are on the YouTube comment box – I’ll go back & have a look!
    Cheers, Amanda

  3. Loved the look Karima:) have you ever thought of doing like a mid-year favorites video? I would love to know what you think I should spend my money on haha

  4. Beautiful makeup, Karima! I like the new editing, very snazzy. And it always makes me laugh when you start spot concealing invisible blemishes. ☺️

  5. Lovely video. Thanks Karima. Can I ask though, how long before you need to touch up your make up. I have mature skin and no matter how much I prime, no matte what I do, a few hours into the day and my make up looks bad around my nose and chin areas. I follow the steps carefully and it looks good for about 3 hours. Then it sorts of sits heavy. Any advice. Thanks!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      I generally don’t touch up my makeup or if I do, I only need to touch up once. Keep in mind that I do have a more normal/dry skintype so migration isn’t often a problem for me.
      What skintype do you have? And what primer/foundation/powder are you using? I can better help you if I know what products you’re using.

  6. What a great video Karima, the editing is superb. I’m normally one for the talky-type videos but this was still very much worth the time.

  7. Fantastic video. I love the editing. It’s so modern and minimalistic. You executed it perfectly.

    And of course I loved your foundation technique. I have a question regarding LM Secret Brightening Powder. I recall you falling out of love with the Armani High Precision Retouch due to the presence of microshimmers in the formula. I too have recently noticed it and it’s annoying the hell out of me. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to try the LM powder — however, when I inspected it in store I saw that it had microshimmers. Do they show up once you apply it to your skin?

    1. Hey Jen,
      So pleased you like the editing (some people didn’t… and have been very vocal about it lol – you can’t please everyone!)
      Note that I’ve had my LM Secret Brightening Powder for yonks (I don’t think they’ve reformulated although you can never be sure) and while it does have some level of micro shimmer, it’s never been enough to bother me.
      Definitely more overt shimmer in the Armani HPR.

  8. The video is superb! Editing, music, pace, everythinggggg πŸ˜€
    The final look is so gorgeous! Well worth the effort I say!
    Love it!

  9. Incredibly detailed, impeccable application. I loved watching this — the technique was expert. Thank you for sharing this. I would love to know – how you would ‘touch’ up the application later in the evening-at the event. For example, what would you carry in your handbag? Just a question. Impeccable. Thank you thank you thank you. I learned so much from this video.

    1. Hey KW!
      Generally if I’m primed and powdered, I won’t have to touch up my base (I’m normal to dry and rarely struggle with longevity). In the instances where I do touch up, I’ll blot any excess oil with a blotting sheet and dust a little powder over the t-zone (generally something with a bit of coverage, like MAC Mineralised Skinfinish or Chanel Les Beige).
      Otherwise I’ll just bring my lip colour πŸ™‚

  10. Lovely look! Going to try that eye with my chanel illusion d’ombre in apparition =) Blue seems to make my brown eyes pop.

    I was wondering if you have ever used Clarins foundations? I seem to be among the few that use their Evermatte foundation. I find it has a lovely blurring effect that perfects the look of my skin. It’s also not flat/dull for a matte foundation. It’s quite a natural finish for me. x

    1. Hey Ina,
      If I remember correctly, I don’t have a great match in Clarins foundations πŸ™ they always look a bit pink on my olive skintone but I’ll revisit the counter and try out the Evermatte!

  11. Great stuff Karima, it’s nice to mix it up on the video styles and I think it really worked for this multi-product extravaganza! Helped me keep track of the magic x

  12. Hi Karima,

    I’d just like to ask what lip colour you’re wearing in this video? I’ve been looking everywhere for something similar because it’s not exactly high maintenance! Yet, to no avail, I cannot find anything that I like… (I’m quite pale – around NC15-NC20 – and most colours make me look ghostly)

    Also, this video is so informative, you have some great tips and I can’t wait to implement them into my formal makeup at the end of this year! And any other black tie event, of course πŸ™‚

    Please keep up the amazing work! XO

  13. Hey! Have you used the Nars loose light reflecting setting powder? Could it replace the laura mercier secret brightening powder? Do they do the same thing?
    Also, you mentioned the Becca SSP in moonstone in your recent hall. Is the end result different than using the same in liquid?
    Thank You πŸ™‚
    P.S. You look flawless (as always).

    1. Hey Emily,

      I don’t use the NARS Loose Light Reflective Powder so I can’t compare it to the LM Secret Brightening Powder, sorry!

      In terms of highlight, cream/liquid highlight tends to offer more sheen & gloss in finish, when compared to powders. Ultimately, it depends on whether you prefer working with liquid or powder textures.