Seemingly dozens of celebrities these days are flooding twitter with their flawless, bare-faced photos appropriately hashtagged #nomakeup. However, most of those famous folks who are constantly in the public eye can afford expensive beauty products, frequent spa treatments, even plastic surgery. So it’s no wonder that many of them look fantastic without their average beauty regimens.
In an age where we all get judged on our appearance, it can be nerve wracking to not feel all done up sometimes — I personally spent years avoiding being in public without foundation, concealer, blush, lipstick, lipliner, eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, brow filler and highlighter. But once I realized that it’s
(A) impossible to always have a ton of time in the morning to apply all of that (B) it’s better for your skin not to anyway and (C) A natural appearance can look great, I started toning down on the products and looking for ways to look fresh-faced. So how can the rest of us non-celebrities achieve that beautiful-sans-makeup look?
Of course, the foundation to a great look is to keep things clean, clear, and smooth by always washing off any makeup or dirt before bed and then moisturizing properly. Treat your skin as gently as possible by using mild cleansers and not utilizing washcloths—not only can they be too rough for your delicate facial skin, but if you reuse them, they can be a breeding ground for pore-clogging bacteria. Other hidden skin care threats: pillowcases, cell phones, and mindless touching. Wash your cases at least once a week, wipe your cell with antibacterial cloth to keep germs from your mouth off of your chin, and try to not touch your face throughout the day. And every once in a while, pamper yourself by doing a deep moisturizer mask or hot towel treatment; both are easy, cheap ways to get a spa-quality complexion without spending celebrity prices.
2. Tinted Moisturizer
As I said in my last post, a tinted moisturizer (especially one with SPF!) can be the key to achieving a beautiful glow and getting some coverage without looking cake-y or overdone. Be sure to blend it into the neckline—if the neck’s skin quality doesn’t match the face’s, the look can be much less natural-appearing.
Whether you prefer cream, gel, or powder, a well-chosen blush can be a girl’s best friend when it comes to a gorgeous, natural look. Experiment with different formulas to figure out which is your favorite. When purchasing a blush, always walk outside, away from any fluorescent store lighting, to see how it looks before buying. A good rouge should look like the natural flush that comes to your face when you are out in the cold for a long time or have just recently been exercising.
4. Soft Lips
Having healthy-looking lips is essential. Keeping your pout full and soft is incredibly easy (in fact, it’s best achieved by #6 on this list). Exfoliate your lips by applying a bit of Vaseline or lip balm then gently rubbing a soft-bristled toothbrush across them to remove any dead skin cells. During the day, use a multipurpose lip treatment like Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment—it keeps your lips hydrated, smooth, lightly colored, and protected with SPF 15. Before bed, apply your favorite lip balm in a slightly thicker layer than you normally would.
An easy way to look polished without seeming like you’re wearing any makeup is to fill in your brows. Using a small angled brush, apply a matte eyeshadow one shade lighter than your natural brows (to avoid looking like Hannah in the one episode of Girls) in short, slanted strokes to mimic your actual brow hair. Your face will look instantly more framed and full of expression.
Always curl your lashes. It opens the eye area and automatically makes you look less sleepy. If you want to look like your lashes are naturally dark, use a brownish-black mascara. If you don’t want to look like you are wearing any makeup at all, use a clear mascara to keep the curl in place (as well as brows, if you so choose). A cult favorite curler: Shu Uemura’s, available here.
Last but not least, drink as much water as you can throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated is the easiest, healthiest way to look gorgeous on a daily basis. Not only does it keep your skin supple, your lips smooth, and your eyes bright, it also flushes out harmful toxins from your body and keeps your system working—and nothing is more naturally beautiful than a healthy person.
My own results of these steps:
What do you love doing to keep yourself looking naturally great? If you so choose, show some plain-faced solidarity post a photo of your own natural look in the comments!