How I Learnt To Do No-Makeup Makeup After Years Of More Is More
I've always been obsessed with makeup, ever since I was at school, and I definitely grew up in an age where more was more. From Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation to concealer nude lips, my generation wasn't exactly about understated beauty. But here's the thing: over the past couple of years, I've learnt how great it can be to embrace what you look like naturally and ditch the super heavy makeup. Here's how I learnt to do the no-makeup makeup look.
If you'd have seen me five years ago, you would have seen someone who wore high-coverage foundation, the palest of neutral lipsticks, and kohl eyeliner all around my eyes. It was kind of my look and it made me feel my best. But, as I got a little older, I learnt I was probably actually hiding what I really looked like, and became more and more comfortable in my own skin. There's nothing wrong with wearing lots of makeup, but there are some days where a less dramatic look is ideal just in terms of timing, if nothing else. This has become my new norm, and the look I am usually happiest with for the day time.
While I still love a beaut eyeshadow palette and lashings of mascara, I just don't tend to reach for them as often and, on the days I don't, this is the routine I go for:
A tinted moisturiser
The first thing to do is to ditch your foundation. Foundation is not necessary for every day, and if you want your skin to shine through a little more, a tinted moisturiser is your new go-to. On days when I am going really bare (for example if I am just popping out to the shops etc), I just whack on a layer of the Origins GinZing Tinted Moisturiser, which is more of a skincare product than a makeup one. It adds a tint of colour and makes skin glow like no other. For days I need some coverage, I'll reach for something like the Bareminerals Complexion Rescue, which works even better when applied after a radiance-boosting moisturiser or primer.
Under eye brighteners & concealers
As someone who doesn't get enough sleep, and often picks at their skin, a tinted moisturiser isn't usually enough to cover all my sins. That's why I make up for the lack of foundation with concealer. For under eye circles, there's literally nothing better in the world than the Becca Under Eye Corrector, which brightens like no other, and makes you look so much perkier. For spots and the like, I love Shiseido's Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Concealer. It has a serum-like texture so is super lightweight but still has great levels of coverage.
Adding a pop of colour to the cheeks can elevate any look, and make tired complexions come alive. What I've learnt over the years is that I'm much more of a cream consistency kind of gal, as creams give more of a dynamic finish rather than sitting flat like a powder can do. I love the options by Florence by Mills and Daniel Sadler.
Another product I much prefer in cream formulations for a "less is more" effect is highlighter. It adds a subtle glow to the skin and still looks super natural. My favourite is the Glossier Play Highlighter Concentrate in Platinum Rose; I always seem to get compliments when wearing it.
Natural, hardly there makeup is much better suited to a clear brow gel rather than a tinted one. Fairly bare faces with super dark brows can look odd, so stick to something that can tame brows and make them look fluffy, but without the colour. I love the Anastasia Beverly Hills one, and I don't just use it on my brows; I also add a light layer onto my lashes to separate them and give them a bit more definition, without having to coat them in black mascara.
An eyeshadow gloss
A good no-makeup makeup look doesn't require layers of eyeshadow, but giving your lids a little swipe of dewiness can elevate your natural glow. The best I have found is by Jillian Dempsey. Lightly apply it with your ring finger and don't rub in.
A sheeny balm
Lips needn't be layered in lipstick or sticky gloss; I keep things super simple by using a slightly tinted balm, which adds a natural sheen. My fave is the one by Cle De Peau, but Clarins Natural Lip Perfectors are also brilliant.
A dewy setting spray
I always finish off my look with a few spritzes of a setting spray, which promises to hold my look as well as adding a last layer of dew to my face. I like the one by NYX, which is also really affordable.