Yes, Lloyd Cole and his Commotions even wrote a song about it, it is the stuff of myth and legend and it is hard to fake, but there are some tips and tricks that you can implement to make your skin look dewy, younger, and healthier.
There is only so much that can be done with makeup, even for the most experienced MUA. What happens on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to care for your skin is the most important thing you can do.
A good bit of the care comes from how you feed your body. Lots of fruits, vegetables, good fats, and WATER make all the difference. If you are experiencing breakouts that aren't centered around your chin area (that's hormones) take a look at your diet. If you are ingesting a lot of sugar, simple carbohydrates, or junk foods, it will show on your face - no judgement from me, I eat like Elf most of the time.
If you have any rule you live by, it should be this, never go to bed with your makeup on. Your skin rejuvenates while you sleep and when there is old makeup clogging those pores, it can't do a good job of turning those cells over and breathing. I love a good oil based cleanser and use Boscia's MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil . It is great because it gets off all your makeup, including eye makeup, and it doesn't strip the natural oils from your skin. I use a gentle soap based cleanser next, a toner and twice a week, I use Sexapeel from Sonia Roselli to exfoliate. Regardless of what products you use, make sure there is a consistency to your routine.
I am a moisture junkie. I put a heavy duty moisturizer on at night, I like the Huxley Secret of Sahara More Than Moist Nourishing Cream and after a rough makeup week, I will sleep in their Good Night Sleep Mask.
This is a must, every day, just do it like Nike says, also put it on your chest and hands, those two areas have thin skin and will show your age way sooner than your face. No arguments, sunscreen.
The MOST important part of your makeup routine is how you get your skin ready to accept makeup and it starts with know what type of skin you have - oily, dry, combination and/or mature. This is a great quiz to take if you're not sure.
How to Prep
Once you have determined your skin type, you need to have the correct products and apply them to the right areas. If you have combination skin, you will want an oil-free moisturizer on your T-Zone, and then a regular moisturizer for the rest of your face. I love Embryolisse (see my other post) and use their Hydro-Mat on my T-Zone and Lait-Creme Concentrate on the rest of my face. I am obsessed with Danessa Myricks' Beauty Oil and put a few drops on each cheek and mix some into my foundation as well.
I use MAC Fast Response Eye Cream under my eyes and around my lips. Eye cream is great for around the lips, think about it, eye cream moisturizes and plumps and don't we want that for our lips as well? I then put Lanolips on my lips (I'm obsessed with this product).
The main reason I do my eyes first is that I want to give all these products a chance to work (that, and I'm messy and want the opportunity to remove any fall out from my eye shadows). I don't use a primer on my face as the Embryollisse acts as a primer, I do brush on Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion over my eyelids.
Once prep is done, you can start your regular makeup routine, I do recommend adding a drop or two of moisturizer or oil to your foundation to help it absorb into your skin giving it a dewy appearance. Adding a drop or two of an illuminizing product, I turn to Danessa Myricks again and her Illuminating Veil, to your foundation is also a great way to give your skin a glow. Should your makeup look dry or cakey in any way, a few sprays of Rosewater will help it look fresh again.
I know that this seems like a lot, I assure you I have Zero extra time and I get this done in about 5 mins day and night. If it was more than that, I wouldn't get it done.
Wishing you good skin!