Best Chest Forward with Makeup for the Happiest Holidays
Geoffrey Rodriguez, an acclaimed fashion, beauty and celebrity makeup artist based in Los Angeles, counsels that looking your best in a low-cut party dresses requires a solid partnership between skincare and makeup. Photo by Richard Pier-Petit, makeup by Geoffrey Rodriguez.
For someone who is such a genius with cosmetics, Geoffrey Rodriguez is renowned for his minimal (or minimal-looking anyway) use of makeup. On his faces, natural, dewy, glowing complexions take center stage. Now though, with the holidays upon us and strapless and revealing party frocks abounding, there’s a lot of bare skin on show that is anything but dewy and glowing. This in mind, Geoffrey has plenty of good advice on achieving a décolletage worth celebrating.
Let’s start with a little note on terminology. The proper term for the upper part of a woman’s torso that includes the neck, shoulders, back and upper chest is décolletage. It is French and it is a noun. But what about the term décolleté that’s used so frequently for the chest in beauty circles? It too is French but is an adjective meaning ‘v-necked’ or ‘low-necked’ as in describing a garment. Of course, everyone understands what décolleté refers to but technically, it is incorrect. Now you know.
Geoffrey notes, “The chest is the most forgotten about area of the skin for women – it’s not well cleansed, it’s not well exfoliated, it’s not well nourished, it’s not well hydrated and it’s not well protected with SPF –until they realize they need help.
Photo by Steven Simko Photography.
“What makes for a beautiful décolletage,” he continues, “is uniform color and a smooth, glass-like surface. If you try to cover up rough, flaky, dehydrated skin with makeup, you’re not doing yourself any favors.”
Treatments with tenderness
While the skin on your chest may need a lot of remedial help – in texture, tone and pigment – you have to go very lightly when choosing your treatment products. Skin on the face is comparatively tough but skincare treatments containing exfoliants or concentrated nutrients that may work beautifully on the complexion could well be too harsh or heavy for the décolletage.
“The skin on the neck and chest is physiologically similar to the skin under the eyes,” Geoffrey reports. “It’s lighter, thinner and more prone to injury. So whatever remedial skincare steps you’re taking have to be done slowly, gradually and consistently. That means that getting your chest ready to the holidays is really a day in and day out proposition all year around.”
Hydrating for health
Without question, our necks and chests are crying out for hydration, morning and night. The best time to do this is when the skin is slightly damp after washing (you are washing your chest along with your face every evening, aren’t you?). And the optimum way to get the most out of your hydrating (aka moisturizing) product is not to rub it in at first. First apply a layer that you think may be too thick and leave it on for 10 minutes. The skin will drink in what it needs. Then if there are any traces left over, you can wipe them away.
There are a lot of excellent neck and chest products out there at mass, in prestige and by prescription. Look for ones with a high concentrations of hyaluronic acid. Geoffrey’s two personal favorite chest skin hydrators are by iS CLINICAL:Reparative Moisture Emulsion and Copper Firming Mist.
“The biggest mistake I see – and it’s particularly obvious when there’s a deep neckline – is that the foundation color does not match the skin,” Geoffrey warns. “Your bathroom light is NOT the place to make this judgement. Go outside into natural light which is the most unforgiving light there is, and figure out your match there. Match to the area at the base of the jawline and going onto the side of the neck which will work on the face and the chest.”
Blending for beauty
“Another huge mistake in the décolletage makeup arena is a lack of blending,” explains Geoffrey. “Makeup shouldn’t just stop at the chin and then start up again atop the breasts. What you want to go for is a smooth, evenly pigmented and continuous application, however lightly you choose to go.”
Mineral Air in the picture
Mineral Air fits in perfectly with Geoffrey’s ideal chest paradigm. The Four-in-One Foundation’s hyaluronic acid content keeps the skin moisturized for hours even under makeup. Plus the AirMist Device’s application is so fine that it blends flawlessly with no edges, even with repeated passes or spot corrections.
“There is a specific order to apply foundation for the best results that will work quite well for Mineral Air too,” concludes Geoffrey. “Start at the base of the jawline first, work both sides down over the neck and further down blending carefully across the chest as you go. Then, going back to the jawline, work your way up back and forth until you reach your forehead’s hairline.”
“The chest is the most forgotten about area of the skin for women until they realize they need help. It’s not well cleansed, it’s not well exfoliated, it’s not well nourished, it’s not well hydrated and it’s not well protected with SPF.”