There are two temporary effects of face lifting that patients find bothersome to manage; healing incisions, and bruising/swelling. Although it is possible to apply make-up as early as two to three days after rhytidectomy, it is probably not very useful. Doing this would camouflage bruising. The swelling and the incisions would not be addressed. This is because incision lines should not be covered while sutures are still in, or in the case of absorbable suture, for the first 7-10 days. Because of this, it would make little sense to use cover-up early, as bruising and swelling may be covered, but healing incisions will not. So the bottom line is that realistically, a face lift patient should not expect to look presentable until seven to ten days after rhytidectomy. After one week, any of the commercially available camouflage packages may be used to conceal the early effects of face lift surgery. Aestheticians working alongside a plastic surgeon may demonstrate the appropriate techniques for getting the most out of the cover-up makeup in masking the consequences of rhytidectomy or face lift surgery. The basics of appropriate post-rhytidectomy camouflaging include concealing, color correcting, and contouring.
Concealers are heavier and less transparent than standard foundation makeup. They are used to hide healed incisions, scars, bruises, or stretch marks, whether facial or elsewhere. When selecting a concealer, pick a waterproof, opaque make-up, but one sufficiently creamy not to place traction on your skin in application. If you hit upon a kind of concealer that strongly resembles your skin tone, the need for foundation may be obviated. The paper thin, fragile skin about the eyes does not do well with concealer, collecting the thick substance within the periocular creases. Standard liquid foundation, eye make-up, or a color corrector should be used in this area.
To hide the redness produced by laser or chemical skin resurfacing/peeling, or to conceal the myriad of colors produced by post-surgical bruising over time, color correctors may be used. Correctors have the consistency of foundation, but are applied under it. Various shades may be used to counter the aforementioned variety of colors found with bruising.
Contouring may more aptly be described as the use of two dimensional illusion to create the appearance of three dimensional contrast, through the use of light and shadow. Deep plane rhytidectomy, alloplastic implanting, and rhinoplasty (nose face lift surgery) all result in profound swelling that may be especially helped by this technique. Lightening, through the use of a highlighter, several shades lighter than the standard foundation, improves projection, while rendering an area dark, with foundation several shades darker, results in the impression of concavity. Ensuring a smooth transition through careful blending will not give away the use of contouring by leaving behind sharp areas of transitioning bands.