Isn’t it ironic that a look that requires a full face of make up is supposed to make you look as though you are barefaced? Despite the effort (and bevy of products required), we actually adore this trend as the no make-up makeup look is the ultimate day-to-night look (simply layer on a more dramatic lipstick and eyeliner when it’s time to leave for happy hour).
Plus, that dewy, fresh-faced perfection is a good look on just about everyone – the trick is prepping your skin and using the right products. Let us break down how you can achieve the no-make up make up look for your skin type.
Step 1: cleansing
First things first: a clean face free from loose dead skin cells and pore-clogging sebum. Use a gentle cleanser that won’t irritate or cause redness. For dry to normal skin types, we like Allies of Skin Fresh Slate Brightening Cleanser + Masque as it contains water-activated vitamin C to supercharge your glow, provides gentle enzymatic exfoliation and helps calm any signs of redness.
Another front runner would be cult favourite Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser is a gentle gel cleanser that thoroughly cleanses and tones while leaving your skin hydrated thanks to its amino-acid rich formulation that helps maintain elasticity, while cucumber extract and rosewater helps to calm and balance. If you have oilier skin, try Avène’s Eau Thermale Cleansing Foam, a soap-free formula packed with glutamic acid that helps keep oil at bay throughout the day. Mature skin types should focus on hydration, and we love Paula’s Choice RESIST Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser for that – it helps to replenish skin’s moisture content and restore the skin’s healthy barrier.
Step 2: hydrate
No matter what your skin type is, getting your skincare game right is crucial, because with this look is basically 50% skin care. Well-hydrated skin is luminous skin, and if you are blessed enough to have relatively clear skin, nailing this step means you could even skip the foundation altogether! In fact, instead of layering a foundation after your moisturiser, get you one that does you both: a tinted moisturiser. There are no hard and fast rules, but foundation is kind of a no-no for this look as it simply looks too heavy. Dry to normal skin types will love Chanel’s Les Beiges Tinted Moisturiser, formulated with their Healthy Glow Booster to help skin achieve a naturally luminous glow while providing sheer and even coverage. We love that it also contains SPF30 protection, meaning it’s technically a 3-in-1 product.
Combination and oily skin types should look for mattifying formulation, like NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, an oil-free and non-comedogenic that offers a medium and buildable coverage that helps to control shine throughout the day. Bonus: it comes with broad spectrum SPF30 protection too. If you have mature skin, you’ll want a tinted moisturiser that is packed with hydrating ingredients and antioxidants, like First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Tint Cream. Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid work together to nourish skin and plump fine lines while SPF30 protects again UVA and UVB rays.
Step 3: conceal
If you find that you still need some extra coverage for acne scars, sun spots or dark circles that your tinted moisturiser couldn’t handle, spot conceal. We love Vichy’s Dermablend Corrective Concealer Stick for this. The easily blended formula provides a high (and buildable) coverage that is water, perspiration and rub resistant, and comes with SPF30 coverage. Suitable for all skin types, it’s also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. #win
Step 4: highlight
Fake a glow like you had 8 hours of sleep and drank 4 liters of water (no, wine doesn’t count) with a touch of highlighter across your cheek, brow bones and chin. FENTY BEAUTY’s Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo comes in 4 different combinations to suit a wide range of skin tones; the unique cream-power formula melts instantly into skin and blends super effortlessly. For an all-over glow, mix a few drops of Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter into your tinted moisturiser for a seriously effortless radiance, or apply directly to your skin if you prefer.
Step 5: enhance
Now that your base is sorted, it’s time to fine tune everything else. For on-point brows that still look au naturale, we prefer Benefit’s Gimme Brow to create fuller looking brows that would give Cara Delevinge a run for her money. Containing tiny microfibers that adhere to your skin and hair, it helps create a natural-looking fullness.
Define your eyes with a soft brown eyeliner (black looks too make up-y) like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. The formula makes blending a breeze without compromising on its staying power. Line your upper eyelids as per normal, and dot 3 dots along your lower lashes and smudge with a cotton bud for extra definition. If you still need more pop in your eye area, grab some eye shadow that is just slightly darker than your skin tone and apply to the creases of your eye. We like Tarte’s Tartelette in Bloom Clay Palette for this as if offers a huge range of pigmented yet easily buildable skin-tone hues.
Speaking of eye definition, let’s not forget mascara. After curling with a heated eye lash curler, apply a couple of coats of lightweight mascara. It is important to choose a formula that doesn’t clump and is waterproof, so you don’t end up with smudges by the end of the day. Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara features a volumising formula that is sweat and waterproof, adding just the right amount of definition to your lashes.
Add a pop of colour to your cheeks and lips with 2-in-1 formulas like Benefit’s Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain for a natural, radiant flush that’ll have everyone believing you actually do hit the gym frequently. If your lips are in need of a boost of moisture, choose a tinted lip balm like Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip. Loaded with shea butter and mango, it hydrates your puckers like you cannot believe and leaves a sheer tint that’s no makeup makeup-approved.
Step 6: set
Finally, you’ll want to make sure all that effort doesn’t go to waste. Set your (no makeup) makeup with a setting spray that’ll take you from AM to PM. For drier skin types that need an extra boost of moisture, we recommend Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Marine Boosting Mist, a 4-1in-1 setting mist that keeps your makeup in place for up to 12 hours while delivering a dose of antioxidant-infused hydration.
Otherwise, Urban Decay’s fan favourite, the All Nighter Anti-Pollution Setting Spray protects against environmental pollution and helps to keep your hard work looking just-applied. Infused with Urban Decay’s patented time-release Temperature Control Technology, this setting spray actually lowers the temperature of your makeup, making it go the distance – perfect for combination and oily skin types.