North American teenage model, Cassandra Banks, always knew there was a difference between outer and inner beauty but admits that as a young woman, she sometimes found it hard to draw the line. That was until her boyfriend, who often saw her sans make-up and was well aware of her severe skin problems, took her aside and told her exactly why he loved her. “When I realized what that was, what that felt like, I knew that every man, woman and child could feel the same way”.

Description: Make-Up Tips from Viral Video Sensation, Cassandra Banks

Cassandra Banks

Cassandra, 19, is an upcoming model as well as a dancer, event’s organizer, entertainer and “all-round entrepreneur”. At an age when most teens are obsessed with simply getting through University or being invited to the coolest parties, she is already choreographing shows, running a talent agency for models, photographers, actors and other talent (which she does for free to “give back”) and producing photo shoots, commercials and music videos.

Despite her hectic schedule, she is best known for one short video, which she posted on her YouTube channel, diamond sand heels 14, and which went viral practically overnight, with some 7.6 million hits and counting! The video shows Cassandra’s transformation from a severely acne-ridden teen to a stunning, alabaster-skinned beauty, thanks to a number of products she discovered over the years, when make-up artists at professional shoots were at a loss as to how to cover her blemishes properly. Cassandra’s skin is so bad in the ‘before’ scenes, she admits that it look her an entire month to post the video after recording it, fearing she would receive “the same hatred and insults I received in high school… it took me a further four months to actually watch the video and see how I looked”. The uplifting words received from her boyfriend prompted Cassandra to bury her biggest fears and show herself exactly as she was, flaws and all, revealing how a few simple products could hide an agonizing problem. “I though, if I could help just one person with my video, then it was worth it”. Indeed, her good deed has helped millions suffering from the same skin condition all around the world. This month, we share her secrets with you. These are the products and techniques she uses to achieve a look that is as perfect as porcelain:

Step 1

Cassandra applies Smashbox Anti-shine Lotion across her face in a thin layer. This lotion keeps skin from taking on an unpleasant shiny look as the hours go by, though for older skins, we recommend an oil-free moisturizer, available from brands like Clinique or Deléor.

Description: Before make up

Before make up

Step 2

She applies Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 12. Most people apply foundation straight to the skin after moisturizing, but using a primer allows the foundation to glide on smoothly to obtain a very polished look. She advises using a primer from Makeup For Ever, to MAC, Bare Essentials or Sephora.

Step 3

She applies Makeup For Ever HD Foundation in 125 and 120, though you can stick to your favourite foundation, so long as it is High Definition. She uses two ‘Pumps” for the entire face, using her fingers to dot the foundation on then spread it evenly across the face. She uses the 120 shade (which is lighter) on her forehead, cheeks and chin, and the 125 shade (slightly darker) on her jawline and neck. The reason for using lighter colour in the middle of the face is to highlight the ‘triangular’ area comprising the forehead, nose and lips. She also applies 120 to her lips and the visible parts of the inner nostrils.

Step 4

She uses MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC 30 on the most affected areas of the face, blending it with the foundation until a smooth effect is a achieved.

Step 5

She uses a 134 brush to apply MAC NC5 Powder, patting it onto her forehead, cheeks and chin and spreading the power around over her eyelids and the sides of the nose.

Step 6

She uses the same brush to apply Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Power in Light to her face and neck.

Step 7

She uses Makeup Forever Micro finish Setting Power to set both her foundation and powder. It is a super-fine powder that “gets into all the spaces that the other powders missed”, says Cassandra.

Step 8

Finally, she sprays on a bit of Mac Fix Plus Spray from a distance of around 30 cm to ‘set’ all the products previously applied.

Description: After make up

After make up

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