I’ve spent years trying to nail the no makeup makeup look and, guess what, I’m here to tell you that it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Without blowing my own trumpet (too much) I can safely say I’ve perfected it. Let me tell you a secret: your skin can look like skin (albeit better) with a full face of makeup on, if you have the right products and know what the hell you’re doing. In this article, I will provide you with a helping hand and guide you to the glorious, sheeny skin you so long for. Take notes, people.
1. Skin prep
It has been said many times before, but I’ll say it again. Skin prep is essential if you want your face to look naturally flawless. Think of your skin as a base – a canvas if you will, that you can craft with an assortment of makeup products. If you were an artist, you wouldn’t start painting on any medium unless it was absolutely fit for the job. Case in point: it’s the same for your face. Putting in the work pre-makeup ensures the result is radiant – and, spoiler: looks like real skin. Comprende? Cool. Let me break it down for you…
An intensive moisturiser or face oil is key to getting that lit-from-within glow. Work with your skin type. If your complexion is naturally oily, don’t slather on oils, stick to lightweight, water-based gel formulas like instead. I love Antipodes Baptise H20 Ultra-Hydrating Water Gel for quenching my skin’s thirst on the spot. Alternatively, Neighbourhood Botanicals The Daily Glow Facial Oil, is a fantastic formula to perk up dull bases. Give yourself a mini facial massage to get the blood flowing and boost your circulation. It will get your skin in great stead ahead of your foundation – which is the next step.
If you don’t have time to treat your face to the above, a hard-working primer can be just as efficacious at bettering your base in a short space of time. The Ordinary’s High-Adherence Silicone Primer is a personal favourite of mine and a great all-rounder. Moving onto foundation: liquid over powder, period. Creams and liquids leave the most natural finish, so keep powders out where possible. Opt for a soft finish foundation, like Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation – the dewier the better – and apply sparingly to areas that need it instead of all over. This gives your skin a chance to shine through instead of being hidden behind layers of makeup. I rate Beauty Blenders for their dreamy application, but you can work it into your skin with fingers, too. Jouer Cosmetics’ Essential High Coverage Liquid Concealer delivers decent amounts of coverage without ever looking cakey or settling into fine lines. It’s a fabulous formula that I’ve been using for yonks and one that I highly recommend.
The same goes for your bronzer and blusher. Stick to liquids, or at the very least creams, to keep that sheeny skin a-glowing. We rely on Beached Rays For Days Natural Bronzer Serum, for our lit-from-within golden brown complexion. The 99% natural formula is enriched with nourishing and botanicals and protects against environmental damage, too. Buff in with a fluffy brush to blend seamlessly into the skin. MUA’s Blushed Liquid Cream Blush is a lightweight formula that can be applied using fingers to achieve a natural-looking, rosy flush.
Keeping the makeup on your eyes to a minimum doesn’t mean you have to ditch it. Stick to shades that are muted and neutral, like Nabla’s Eyeshadows in Narciso for lighter skins and Camelot for darker. Apply into the inner corners of the eyes and blend out, making sure not to stray too far from the crease. This will give you definition that still looks natural. Depending on whether or not you are naturally blessed with bushy brows, you may feel comfortable leaving them bare. If this is you, simply brush up and then set them with the West Barn Co’s cult Soap Brows. The result is fuller, fluffier brows that (amazingly) appear untouched to the onlooker. If the thought of going bare browed makes you want to crawl under your covers and hide – fear not, a few intentionally placed strokes of Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz will rejuvenate your thin arches no end. Eyeko’s Lash Alert Mascara gives just enough colour and curl without leaving your lashes looking like they’re ready for a night on the town. The perfect middle ground mascara, in my opinion.
Unsurprisingly, gloss takes the lead for lips and By Beauty Bay’s Lip Gloss in Ballet is our long-time trusted shade. One slick of this nude leaves lips with a barely-there soft sheen. I promise you’ll be hooked.