As fun as it is to get really creative with makeup, it’s not for everyone. For some, makeup can be transformative, but for many it’s a way to subtly enhance the features you already have. You might not have time to be putting on lots of makeup every day. Either way it’s cool: wear makeup to empower yourself, whatever your philosophy.
I personally wear a full face of makeup every day during the working week. On my days off, I like to give my skin a chance to breathe, but if I’m going out I still don’t want to be completely bare-faced. I’ve figured out a few strategies to use minimal makeup to make you look like you’re not wearing any – as if you’re just naturally this fresh-faced and flawless. Beyonce sings that she really did wake up like this, but let’s be real, she has teams of skincare specialists and dermatologists and dietitians and mountains of cash.
The “I woke up like this” approach extends to your outfit, too. This combo of a linen tee and draped patterned pants is the right way to wear your pajamas during the day. I am a firm advocate of comfort, and with a t-shirt that fits right and trousers in an on-trend print (as opposed to cupcakes or sheep) you’ll look stylish instead of slobby. Trust me, I wore trackpants and heels to work this week.
So what does it take to pull off “no-makeup” makeup? Not much, but you’ll need to know your face well. Identify the main thing that needs a bit of work. This bit is probably easy. What do you not like about your bare face? For me, it’s the redness and acne-scarring in my cheeks. This is something I’m working on improving through a solid skincare routine, but in the meantime a touch of concealer in the right places can go a long way.
I like to use creamy concealers, the kind that come in tubes with a soft doe-foot applicator, because they’re the most multi-functional. I dot some across red areas and blend out with my fingers or a brush, and because it’s not too heavy it still looks natural on the skin. You can also sweep it under the eyes to lighten up dark circles or bags. One thing that’s really important to remember is not to touch the applicator directly to a pimple, as it can contaminate the wand and therefore the rest of the concealer with bacteria. The best way to avoid this is to dot the concealer on the back of your hand and then use a (clean) finger to transfer it to your face.
The other thing that really gives lift to a woman’s face is a subtle enhancement of eyebrows. Eyebrows are something a lot of people forget about, but even filling them in gently can transform your face. I have a history of over-plucking and experimentation with other hair removal methods, so my natural brows leave something to be desired. I use a grey-brown toned pencil to just fill them in a little and enhance the arch, and it makes a huge difference.
My last tip is to bring a natural flush to the lips and cheeks. There are multi-function products like cream blushes or stains that can do both jobs, which is pretty cool because you have one less product to buy and keep track of. The advantage of cream products is that they look natural on the skin, too. Otherwise, just use what you have! Choose a colour that is closest to the shade of your natural flush.
The finished look isn’t anything groundbreaking. I don’t look like I’m wearing a ton of makeup. You can see the bags under my eyes, still! It just gives my face that tidy, polished edge.
What are your must-have items for when you want to look like you’re effortlessly stylish? A slick of mascara? A bright clutch? Let me know in the comments!