I had a really great response to last weekend’s post (thank you!) and a few people asked me about the makeup, or lack-of, that I was wearing. I do like to wear makeup, but I try to apply it and choose products strategically in order to create a really natural, healthy appearance. Of course, the best way to appear as though you’re wearing no makeup is to wear none at all – but, if you’re looking for a way to achieve an almost-natural look without going bare, do read on!
I like to create a ‘no makeup’ makeup appearance as an everyday look, either for work or casual social outings and there are a number of reasons for this, the first being due to my skin complexion. I have quite enlarged pores and combination skin, therefore I don’t like to pile too much product up on my face if I can help it. I prefer to let my skin breathe and my pores remain clear as much as possible.
I also adopt this habit throughout Spring and Summer, when the weather warms up and the air becomes more humid in the UK. Walking around with a heavy face of makeup on a hot day is not pleasant so, if makeup is essential, I stick to light products.
A third reason is actually because I wear light coloured clothing so often, particularly white tops. We all know the frustrating feeling of trying a beautiful white top on in a store’s dressing room only to realise someone has left a great orange mark across the neckline. I hate doing this to my own clothes because face products can be such a pain to wash out, so this led me to begin wearing a little less makeup.
Without further ado, I’ve compiled a list of some products and techniques I use on an everyday basis to achieve my minimal makeup look!
Applying makeup to create a natural, healthy appearance depends massively on the base you’re putting it on. I always make sure to cleanse my face with a natural, kind-to-skin cleanser each morning and evening as well as moisturising to lock in hydration.
The first product I apply onto my face after moisturising is a primer. This has plenty of benefits, such as smoothing out your skin to create an even base, helping to prolong your foundation and reducing the appearance of pores. You can find a huge number of primers on the market all targeting specific issues, but my current personal favourite is the Pixi Flawless & Poreless primer. It works well on my oily skin, creating a semi-matte finish and ‘shrinking’ the size of the pores around my T-Zone. If you’ve been following my blog for a little while, you’ll know I LOVE products that can multi-task and this is one of them – Pixi’s primer also contains salicylic acid which is great for clearing blemishes!
I then deposit a couple of drops of foundation onto the back of my hand and use a damp beauty blender to apply it all over my face. A beauty blender helps to spread the product as evenly as possible and create a natural, dewy appearance.
The No7 Airbrush Away foundation is a particular everyday favourite of mine because it’s affordable and does exactly what I require a foundation to do for me. The coverage is buildable and it really helps to blur out my pores along with any redness or imperfections. The great thing about No7 is the huge range of colours available – it’s easy to find one similar to/the same as your skin tone so it always looks natural on your face.
Following on from foundation, I apply concealer (also with my beauty blender) to the necessary areas on my face. I have pretty dark circles under my eyes so I tend to add the most product here, in an upside-down triangle shape to ensure it blends well with my foundation and appears naturally. I also create triangle-like strokes on my forehead and a stroke down my chin, too.
The Bourjois concealer in particular is great for creating a healthy, radiant appearance to your skin. The formula is brightening and adds a subtle highlight to areas of your face that catch the light. The coverage is ideal for me and seems to stay on for most of the day which is always a great bonus.
To finish my facial makeup, I pick up my favourite Real Techniques brush and add some colour!
I lightly apply a natural bronzer to give my skin a subtle tan – although I use tanning products on my body (see my tanning routine post here!), I don’t always like to use them on my face in case my skin reacts badly. A bronzer is perfect for creating a light dusting of colour to match the rest of your body. The Rimmel bronzer is a favourite of mine because it’s natural and very affordable; you can see how often I use it!
I then grab a blush or small kabuki brush and swirl some blusher onto my cheeks. A light coating of this makes me look much more natural and healthy so it comes in handy when my hay fever decides to pay me an unwelcome visit! I love the Bourjois ‘little pot of blusher’ colours because they’re subtle and not too intense on my paler complexion. They also smell strangely nice, too…
Finally, I apply a light dusting of finishing powder to my face to set my makeup and create an airbrushed appearance. I prefer a translucent colour to avoid adding any more colour on top of my bronzer and I find that it ‘finishes’ off the look really well.
When it comes to eyebrows, I like to keep them looking natural if I’m simply going to work or wanting a simple, everyday look. I have a big range of eyebrow products all suited to various occasions and looks, but when I’m going for something natural, I always tend to use a brow gel. Not only are they quick to use, they add lovely volume to my brows (which are pretty thin and blonde) and don’t require the effort of getting perfect angles and arches. You simply work with a spoolie and your own beautiful brows.
If you read my April Birchbox beauty post you’ll know how quickly I fell in love with the Beautaniq Fill + Tame brow gel – I received it in the brown shade but almost instantly went and bought the blonde, too. It’s really easy to shape your brows with this product and it also contains aloe vera which has all sorts of kind-to-skin qualities!
My lashes are quite long but they’re also very blonde at the ends meaning I’ve got to have them tinted or wear mascara to avoid looking like I have very short lashes. If I’m going for a natural look I like to wear mascara that has a browner colour to it, rather than a bold black, simply because I’m blonde and have a pale complexion.
I apply my mascara in long, curled strokes ensuring I reach every lash. I gently press down whilst curling my hand at the ends of my lashes, too, to make sure the ends are completely covered with mascara that will last all day.
My all-time favourite mascara is the Clinique High Impact mascara in brown/black. It’s lengthens and volumises my lashes without causing them to clump together; they remain separated and look big and natural! I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a volumised look without having ‘spidery’ lashes!
The last thing I like to add to my face is highlighter, simply because it’s my favourite makeup product! That, and I always top it up around halfway through my day. It adds a beautiful glow to the parts of your face that catch the light and creates an overall radiant appearance. I use a brush to sweep highlight powder across my cheekbones, cupid’s bow, the tip of my nose and under the arch of my eyebrows. If my eyes are feeling a little dull, I’ll also use a small brush or my finger to apply some on the inner corner of my eye, too.
A highlighter palette I use often is the Barry M Illuminating palette. It’s so affordable and the powers are pigmented with little fallout. I use all three shades on different areas of my face and they can easily be used on all skin tones. The colours apply easily and seem to last most of the day, too. I’d definitely recommend this palette as a cheap, everyday or travel product! It seems to be lasting a very long time as well.
The final part of my everyday ‘makeupless’ routine is my lips. My lips are quite a nude colour and I like to apply something that enhances their natural shade.
One easy way to define the shape of your lips whilst adding a subtle colour is to use a lip liner. If you followed my Instagram story through London, you’ll know I was very excited to pick up this Lip Cheat liner in pillow talk. It’s one of the most popular liner shades from Charlotte’s collection and I now understand why – it’s so natural and creates a gorgeous colour! I like to use this when I want to add a pop of colour to my lips without making them stand out harshly against the rest of my ‘natural’ makeup – I’ve had lots of compliments whilst wearing it!
Alternatively, if you prefer a gloss to keep your lips looking as natural as possible without appearing dull, you can opt for a clear gloss. This helps to enhance the natural colour of your lips and adds a beautiful shine. I have a huge collection of lip glosses because I tend to get dry lips and don’t always want to wear a lipstick.
A big favourite of mine is the Too Faced Lip Injection gloss. Not only does this work as a clear gloss, but it quickly helps to plump your lips and leave them looking as though you’ve applied a gorgeous colour to them. It’s inspired by blood vessel technology and essentially causes your lips to appear fuller and brighter – with no needles involved!
That concludes my easy-peasy ‘no makeup’ makeup routine! It’s easy to create a natural and flawless appearance with the right products and the right techniques – I’ve been using the products mentioned above for varying periods of time and I’m always on the look out for new ones, too!
Which products do you like to use to achieve a natural makeup look?
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