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INTERVIEW WITH M∙A∙C SENIOR ARTIST ASHLEY RUDDER

ASHLEY RUDDER, M∙A∙C SENIOR ARTIST US 

What is your first M·A·C foundation memory?
I was 16 when I got my very first M∙A∙C Foundation which was in a gorgeous, shiny, black M∙A∙C Studio Fix Powder Foundation Compact in C7. Back then the “Single Digit C” shades had shiny compacts, and I thought I was hot stuff pulling it out of my backpack!

With so many shades for different skin tones, what’s the best way of finding your true M·A·C foundation shade? Any special tricks? 
Matching the jawline and neck are the first places I look when blending foundation to ensure that the shade is traceless as it transitions into the body. At times, the center of the face may be lighter than the perimeter, so adjustments can be made with concealer shades in those areas. 

M∙A∙C is known for its diverse shade range. What does NC and NW mean and what’s the difference between them? And how can somebody determine what is suitable for them?
NC stands for Neutral Cool, however in plain terms, every foundation starts with an even amount of yellow and red creating a peach base. From there a touch more yellow is added to better match golden to olive skin tones.

NW stands for Neutral Warm, the same process applies as mentioned above, however more red is added once the peach base is created.

Using a swatch method is the best way to decide which undertone you prefer. After many years of matching clients, I have learned that matching goes beyond the physical match, and has to also satisfy them psychologically as well.

The watch test allows this to be determined quickly, so that if someone wants to colour correct, be lighter, be darker, or have more yellow or red added to his or her natural tone, it can be easily decided upon once the swatch is applied. 

How are M·A·C foundations best applied – with fingers, sponges or M·A·C makeup brushes (what are some of your favourite brushes and why)?
I prefer using brushes to apply foundation initially, and then I use my fingers to press the product in and blend further if needed.

M∙A∙C 109 Brush can be paired with liquids or powders to create a gorgeous foundation look.

M∙A∙C 191 Brush is flexible like your fingers and blends liquids tracelessly for an ultra-natural finish.

M∙A∙C 137 Brush has the ability to work powder foundations in a way that looks modern and realistic.

Which M·A·C foundations provide fuller coverage and which ones provide a lighter more sheer coverage?
Full Coverage – M∙A∙C Studio Fix Powder Plus and M∙A∙C Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 give skin room to breathe while covering generously.
Sheer Coverage – M∙A∙C Studio Face and Body and M∙A∙C Mineralize Skinfinish for a promised soft coverage and luminous finish.

Can you recommend foundations ideal for:
Oily skin – Trust M∙A∙C Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15, M∙A∙C Studio Fix Powder Plus, M∙A∙C Matchmaster, M∙A∙C Studio Tech to flawlessly control oil and perfect skin’s texture.
Dry skin – To hydrate, try M∙A∙C Mineralize Skinfinish or M∙A∙C Studio Sculpt SPF 15 for buildable coverage and natural finish.
Combo skin – M∙A∙C Studio Face and Body and M∙A∙C Studio Sculpt SPF 15 provide a lightweight payoff on the skin, blendability, and lasting coverage.

Can you provide 3-5 steps to create a natural/skin like finish? 
Step 1: Start by using a primer like M∙A∙C Mineralize Timecheck Lotion – it acts as a clear foundation that perfects and refines skin before applying your actual foundation.

Step 2: Apply your foundation in thin layers to ensure a natural look. If you are heavy handed use duo fibre brushes, like M∙A∙C 130 Brush or M∙A∙C 187 Brush instead of flat brushes to minimize the amount of foundation that you are using.

Step 3: Invest a bit more time to strategically cover blemishes. Use fluffy brushes like the M∙A∙C 217 Brush or M∙A∙C 224 Brush to spot check imperfections. I even often recommend the M∙A∙C 209 Brush or M∙A∙C 219 Brush to cover tiny blemishes.

Step 4: If you plan to use powder to complete the look, first mist the face with Prep + Prime Fix + to reduce the powdery look on the surface of the skin. Top with preferred powder product of your choice.

Step 5: Mimic the normal colouring of your skin. This is very important in creating a natural look. If your perimeter is darker and the center of your face is lighter, it may be best to use two shades to create true reality. 

What foundations are ideal for –
Hot weather - You can’t beat M∙A∙C Studio Fix Fluid’s ability to keep skin matte no matter the temperature.

Humid weather - M∙A∙C Studio Face and Body is a go-to for combatting H2O in the air.
  • M∙A∙C Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation is bulletproof in any weather condition.

Cold weather – M∙A∙C Mineralize Skinfinish has such a nurturing mineral complex that is the perfect formula to pamper skin through the winter.

Dry weather – M∙A∙C Studio Waterweight has the nourishing and conditioning elements needed to keep the face looking and feeling its best.

Are there any tricks to prep the skin for a flawless foundation application?
Taking the time to hydrate, moisturize, and prep the skin are essential to longevity, smoothness, and traceless coverage. 

Any tips for building coverage or layering different M·A·C foundations? Which foundations are best to do this?
Using a soft stippling motion with a fluffy brush over blemishes is an easy and quick way to strategically build coverage without compromising a natural look.

I generally avoid layering foundations because when they are layered, there tends to be a heavier result. It’s best to select a foundation that has the appropriate coverage and finish that you desire, thus improving the result and opting for less steps in your routine.

What is the best way to set your foundation? And to refresh your foundation after a long day?
The interesting thing is that most M∙A∙C Foundations are self-setting, and don’t need any additional help to be long-wearing. Of course, we do encourage prepping the skin with products in our M∙A∙C Prep + Prime line, as they enhance the application and wear.

If you are wearing an emollient foundation and wish for the finish to be different or for it to be set, you should use a soft powder brush to pick up a delicate amount of powder, and apply sparingly to maintain a natural look. If there is a lot of moisture on the surface of the skin, use M∙A∙C Blot Film first to remove the excess moisture then apply powder.

Can the same foundation be used throughout the year?
Yes it can, however this truly depends on your skin’s needs and what look you desire. Having a foundation wardrobe is just like having a few great pairs of jeans. Some are for a night out, some have a specialty finish, and some are more relaxed. Foundation works in the same way, and having a few formulas just expands your options. 

How often should you replace your foundation?
I would recommend that you keep liquid or powder foundations no longer than a year once opened to ensure optimal performance.

What are some do’s and don’ts when applying foundation?
Do’s – Less is more. Start with a medium coverage foundation and practice applying concealer strategically to cover blemishes and discoloration.

Don’ts – Stop relying on your foundation to cover all of your blemishes. Remember that your foundation is just that - the foundation of your skin look. Concealer, and sometimes powder are necessary friends to foundation that create modern skin, and should contribute to the look accordingly.

Why are M·A·C foundations tested backstage during Fashion Week?
A model’s skin has to look flawless, real, and photograph beautifully, so these demands make fashion week the perfect testing arena for foundations.
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