Unless your initials are KK - disciples of the 'more is more' make up doctrine - most of us like our make up to look 'natural'; particularly when it comes to its foundations. A 'your skin but better' effect is what the majority of us strive for, so here are some top tips to achieving believable, real life-ready complexion-perfection.

{Spend time on your skin}

If your skin is parched, it will soak up moisture in your make up which can cause the pigments to settle strangely - you'll end up with patches and nobody wants that. Take time applying your moisturiser - layer up for longevity - and massage into skin to stimulate circulation and accelerate product absorption. Even if you're oily-skinned, a few drops of oil can help balance things out - SkinOwl's {Lavender Beauty Drops} is a brilliant equaliser - while those with drier, more mature skins should try African Botanics' {Pure Marula Oil}. Warm a few drops between fingertips and press all over clean, dry skin. I like to use the 'backside' of my {LUNA} to give sluggish cells a 'tszuj' and seal the oily goodness in.

Follow with your favourite day cream - Verso's {Day Cream} combines anti-ageing retinol with protective, natural sun filters - or try something lightweight and re-balancing if skin is combination or confused (we recommend Grown Alchemist's {Matte Balancing Moisturiser} to leave skin slightly dewy but shine free). Then finish with a skin-freshening mist - MV Organic Skincare's {Rose Hydrating Mist} is phenomenally soothing.

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{Be circumspect about your primer}

Primer doesn't need to be slapped merrily all over skin. Apply it sparingly where make up tends to slip, or equip yourself with a couple of different formulas to address the demands of your complexion. Use something mattifying on your t-zone - such as BECCA's {Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector} - then something nourishing and glow-bestowing on dry areas; {Pixi}’s {Flawless Beauty Primer} grants a gorgeous, 'glowy' finish.

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{Concealer comes first}

There are a lot of confusing messages concerning concealer, but many make up artists tell you to use cover up first - that way you can tell how much foundation you actually need and where, and in turn minimise the risk of overdoing things. Choose a peach/pink toned formula to neutralise blue shadows - perfect for the undereye area - then use a green coloured 'corrector' to tone down redness around the nose, chin or anywhere else that looks overly flushed. Studio 10's specially weighted {Age Defy Skin Perfector} palette contains yellow, peach and green-ish cover-ups to restore uniformity of tone, while Kevyn Aucoin's {Sensual Skin Enhancer} is seriously heavy-duty - ideal for disguising angry blemishes, scarring or pigmentation patches.

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{Flush first, too}

Blusher before base gives skin that enviable, 'lit from within' quality we all crave. Choose a vibrant, liquid, creme or gel-based formula and buff into the apples - or the high points - of your cheeks for an enviably youthful luminosity. Stila's brilliant {Aqua Glow Watercolour Blush} is packed with pigment but diffuses effortlessly to lend skin a realistic, 'just caught kissing' quality. Or try Daniel Sandler's exquisite {Watercolour Fluid Blusher} - some of which have tiny, light-reflective particles to create a gorgeous, semi-lustrous finish.

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{You need less than you think}

Rather than pumping a great blob of liquid, begin with a meagre-looking amount - you'll be surprised by how much make up you're wasting. Use a damp {Beautyblender} sponge, damp foundation- or flat-topped buffing brush and apply product from the centre of your face outwards - you'll use a lot less product and achieve a more believable, 'soft focus' finish. Damp tools mean the sponge/brush will also absorb less product and help to keep things looking fresh and dewy - remember, make up is supposed to enhance not completely mask your skin.

And if you do over-do it, you can just buff a bit of moisturiser over areas which are looking a little too 'done'. The effect is really youthful - illuminating without shimmer.

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{Fix up, look sharp}

Reduce the risk of maquillage slippage with a light dusting of featherweight translucent powder. BECCA's pressed, {Blotting Powder Perfector} is ultra-sheer so there's no risk of tell-tale chalkiness - just use a big, powder brush to ensure even distribution. Then set everything firmly in place with a quick spritz of setting spray - Pixi's {Make Up Fixing Mist} stars rosewater and antioxidant green tea to keep things looking pristine whilst protecting against oxidative stress.

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