Ohhh, the irony… Welcome to my step-by step guide to creating a natural, ‘you-but-better’ look with make-up. It kind of defeats the object of natural beauty, but I think you’ll agree with me when I say it’s a very small percentage of the population who are blessed enough to be able to go out of the house completely makeup-less. The rest of us, well, ‘natural’ for us is using beauty products to enhance our features, as opposed to totally transforming our faces with cosmetics. This ‘no-makeup’ makeup trend was very popular on the catwalks recently, explaining the rise of products like cream blushes and liquid highlight; both very blendable items. So, that’s the kind of look I’ve gone for today – it’s perfect for almost any occasion, be it a supermarket trip or a dinner date, due to it’s transformability. Maybe skip the contour for Tescos on a Sunday morning but add a slick of vibrant lippy for a night out? You get the gist.
Alrighty, so here’s me with a totally bare face. As you can see my skin isn’t wonderful, especially around my T-zone, but it isn’t awful. My skin is naturally rather red-pigmented and extremely sensitive. I often get dry patches and, as you can see, I get the odd spot, making skincare purchases pretty damn hard. At the moment I’m using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£15.50) and I have to say, it’s performing very well. I adore how clean it makes my skin feel and I’ve had a handful of compliments about how it has brightened up my complexion, however, it hasn’t done a whole lot for my spots, although they seem to clear a little faster. Anyway, most days, I prefer to use a little make-up after cleansing and moisturising instead of going straight out…
For a dewy, laid-back look I usually relax a little on the priming side of things. Instead of using an actual primer, I use a thick nourishing moisturiser like Benefit Total Moisture (£29.50) or Clarins Gentle Day Cream (£40.00) and smooth it out with my fingertips over my cheeks. This really helps any product to stick to my face and prevent sliding.
Okay, this is where it gets slightly more complicated… First of all, I apply a pea-sized amount of By Terry Sheer Expert in Neutral Beige 2 (£45.00), dabbing it around my face and blending with the Zoeva Silk Finish brush (£13.00). Sheer Expert is a BB Cream/liquid foundation hybrid and boy does it do what it says on the tin; evens out skin tone and covers blemishes without appearing heavy or drying and dries to a silky finish. AND IT’S SENSITIVE SKIN FRIENDLY!! One word: heaven.
Next up is concealer – I like to use MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 (£17.50) on any remaining spots etc. because it’s a super heavy concealer. Unfortunately, this does mean it can be pretty drying for some. I blend this concealer out using Zoeva Face Shape Brush (£11.00) and The Body Shop Lipstick and Concealer Brush (£9.00). For my under eye, I brighten up this area with a creamier concealer – Maybelline Fit Me in Fair 15 (£5.99)- and a base of Benefit Ooh La Lift (£17.50). These products then get blended together with the assistance of the trust Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99).
To set my base, I apply Laura Mercier Invisible Pressed Setting Powder (£26.00) with the Real Techniques Powder Brush (£12.99) over my T-zone, but because this look is very natural, I use a light hand as I don’t want to appear too ‘matte’.
Possibly my favourite beauty trend of the last few years; who doesn’t love looking thinner without actually having to eat less or exercise more? I begin to contour using NYX HD Blush in Taupe ($6.50) and my Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush ($16). Light circular motions along the bottom of my cheekbones build up a cool-toned shadow.
4. Blush and Bronze
For natural looks, I find that cream products are often the best due to their ‘blendability’ – here I dotted Rosie HW Cream Blush in Camisole (£14.00) on the apples of my cheeks and used the Zoeva Silk Finish Brush (£13.00) to blend it to it’s powder-mimicking finish. And finally, to bring the blush and contour together, I used a teeny bit of Shiseido Bronzer in Light 1 (£34.00) over my cheekbones, temples and jawline.
5. Eyes and Brows
Although these are super toned-down, of course you still need to give them a little attention. Using a fingertip I smooth Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Creme de Nude (£4.99) all over my eyelids, so as to banish any discolouration. If you can’t go without a little bit of sparkle, I would recommend gently brushing Zoeva Foil from the Rose Golden Palette (£18.00) or Too Faced Silk Teddy from the Natural Eyes Palette (£32.00) over the lid.
Concerning lashes, I like to keep it simple by using Benefit They’re Real Tinted Lash Primer (£18.50) – a brown mascara type which makes lashes look naturally longer.
When it comes to the brows, first I groom them with a spoolie brush. Then, I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel (£15.50) to fill in any gaps and accentuate the arch. A slick of Miss Sporty Clear Mascara (£2.99) can be helpful to make them stay in place, but I’d love to hear how something like Benefit Gimme Brow copes.
Highlight is something that takes centre stage on a night out – you often find yourself truly sparkling like a glitterbomb has just been throw at your cheeks. Just because this isn’t necessarily a full-on going out look doesn’t mean we should disregard highlight though! Instead of a powder, maybe try a creamstick or liquid highlight? I swear by Benefit Highbeam (£19.50) along the tops of my cheekbones and around the inner corner of my eye, as well as Collection Speedy Highlighter in Pearl Sheen 1 (£2.99) for my cupid’s bow and on my brow bone. I tend to blend out cream and liquid highlight with the assistance of my trusty Zoeva Face Shape Brush (£11.00) – like a mini Silk Finish brush.
So… Here’s the final look in natural lighting… Blemishes gone? Yep. Complexion evened? Yep. Would people know you’ve got make-up on? No!
That’s the beauty of it!
I’d love to see some of your own takes on the natural look and please tell me if you recommend any new products to add to my routine!
Love Emilia x