Last night’s BAFTAs produced plenty of incredible beauty looks, including Kate Middleton’s laminated-looking eyebrows and Jodie Turner-Smith’s crystal freckles. The after party red carpet also saw Ashley Graham and her on-trend, vampy make-up. However, her matte base – which looked flawless in Instagram snaps – was washed out by flashes from red carpet cameras.

Instead of her skin looking perfectly velvety like it does in her own selfies, the professional cameras caused a make-up flashback – the dread of every make-up artist and celebrity. This flashback resulted in a white cast on her skin, making Ashley’s foundation appear flat. She isn’t alone in experiencing this red carpet conundrum. A-listers ranging from Angelina Jolie to Miley Cyrus have also suffered from powdery complexions in red carpet snaps, making it a common beauty faux pas.

So what causes a flashback on the skin, and is there anything that can be done to avoid it? Aimee Connolly, celebrity make-up artist and wedding make-up pro, explains the issue to help brides and other MUAs avoid a washed-out complexion.

The professional cameras caused Ashley's make-up to appear washed out

Ashley's Instagram photos show the real look of the gothic glam make-up

“Flashback is basically a reaction between your face and the physical flash of a camera. Yes, of course, it makes you look brighter in certain situations, but when SPF or heavy powders are involved, a harsh flash can make you look ghostly or as if you’ve applied a load of talcum powder to your face,” she says.

“Powders containing silica, for example, are killers for causing flashback. Something like the MakeUp ForeverHD is a big culprit when applied incorrectly. It's not always the powder’s fault, though, it’s also about how much of it is applied.”

Aimee also explains that flashback is worse when the bride or celebrity wears a matte, talc-containing foundation. Considering Ashley’s make-up look was designed to look more velvety and gothic-glam instead of dewy, this is likely the reason she experienced the flashback that others on the BAFTAs red carpet didn’t.

If you’ve got a big occasion coming up where you know there’ll be lights, cameras and flashing, Aimee recommends the Second Skin Foundation from her own Sculpted by Aimee range, £25 here, as it was specifically designed to look good in all lighting. As for powder? Use sparingly and with caution.

We learn something new every day!


By Editor