It’s no secret that the skincare industry has grown exponentially in the last few years, due in no small part to increasing consumer interest and accessibility of knowledge. This increased interest has already given rise to trends including skinimalism and skin cycling, and it’s now crossing over into the cosmetics sector with the “skinification” of make-up – that is, make-up that contains some of the same nourishing ingredients as skincare products.
From setting sprays infused with hyaluronic acid to foundations featuring niacinamide and antioxidants, these versatile products can complement and enhance skincare routines, making them the perfect alternative for those seeking a streamlined approach to beauty.
Aimee Connolly, make-up artist and creator of the Sculpted by Aimee make-up brand, explains, “The pandemic really pushed us to start thinking more carefully about our skincare routines. People were investing more time into learning about their skin’s needs and because we were locked down, we weren’t using as much make-up. So, once we re-entered the world, it became more about slotting make-up products into our carefully curated skincare routines.”
Shawn Towne, MUA and global director of education and artistry at Iredale Cosmetics, agrees, saying, “Today’s consumer is savvy and well educated. Gone are the days that we all just go to the department store make-up counter and buy products based solely on their colour or finish. We want more.”
“Customers are wanting products that are effective and efficient and do more than one job, whether it is increasing moisture or promoting collagen production,” adds Samantha Kendrew, head of education at Gerrard International, owners of Mii Cosmetics.
The make-up skinification trend is happening across the board, from professional make-up brands to drugstore own-name products. “I don’t think it’s strictly a specific target market anymore,” comments MUA Anushka Patel, who heads up IIAA’s newly launched Et Al make-up brand. “We are seeing highstreet brands talking more about the impact make-up can have on skin, and the partnership the two categories have.
“There will always be a space for products that are solely for the make-up hedonists of the world, that epitomise glamour; however, that everyday make-up wearer who is skin and ingredient savvy and invests time and money into their skin will be looking for more.”
So, what exactly is it that makes these make-up products similar to skincare? It turns out that a lot of foundations and complexion products tend to feature similar ingredients to the serums and moisturisers we use in our skincare routines.
“Hyaluronic acid is probably the most common ingredient you’ll find in both,” says Connolly. “This adds a hydration boost to all skin types and works well as a skincare serum or within your make-up base product. Ingredients like vitamin E and squalene also work really well for hydrating the skin, as do naturally moisturising ingredients like shea butter and natural oils.
“For repairing and protecting the skin, ceramides and antioxidants work really well. Niacinamide is another common ingredient you’ll find in both, designed to soothe and brighten the skin.”
There’s also the sometimes-sticky situation of make-up products that contain SPF, which can accidentally fool consumers into thinking that by putting on their usual coverage of foundation, they’ve also put on enough SPF to protect them from sun damage.
“If you’re relying on your foundation alone for SPF protection, it’s important to be aware that the SPF is mixed with other ingredients in the formula, so you may need to wear a whole lot more coverage than you’re used to in order to be fully protected,” Connolly explains.
Get the look
One of the benefits of hybrid make-up/skincare is that it’s incredibly versatile, and it can be on the majority of clients to achieve a variety of looks.
“The options are quite open, and it all comes down to what you pair your products with,” explains Connolly. “Generally, make-up/skincare hybrid products tend to have less coverage, like a tinted serum or moisturiser, so naturally they are going to give that fresher, ‘barely there’ make-up result. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pair your tinted moisturiser base with a fullcoverage concealer to achieve a more glam and polished result.”
What are our experts’ top tips for using this kind of make-up? Well, with any make-up application, the most important step is always skin prep, and knowing your client’s skin type and what products work well with it factors into both their make-up and skincare.
Connolly explains, “For instance, if you know your client has dry skin and has carefully curated a skincare routine to treat that concern, then it’s wise to support with make-up products that will moisturise or hydrate the skin with a dewy finish. Likewise, if their skin is oily, you can support that concern with more matte products designed to control excess oil and shine.”
Another tip is to start with a small amount of product and build it up. “You will be amazed at how a little goes a long way, but more importantly, layering will make such a difference to how well the make-up will last throughout the day,” Patel says.
Towne also recommends starting with a little bit of product and building it up: “People are often shocked at how much pigment skincare make-up contains.”
Save space for skincare
All this being said, hybrid skincare/make-up is no substitute for the real deal when it comes to tackling specific skin concerns.
“Make-up should never replace skincare,” states Patel. “Skincare has a vital role to play, and a make-up product, which we essentially don’t want to penetrate the skin, should complement and enhance this.”
Connolly agrees: “I wouldn’t rely on a hybrid product to take care of specific concerns. However, if your client is just looking for a nourishing boost to their make-up, hoping to control oil throughout the day, or simply looking to use fewer products underneath their make-up, hybrid products are the perfect alternative.”