Ah, yes. The whole “no makeup” farce. We roll our eyes at those with the #wokeuplikethis selfies, or the #nomakeup selfies, or #nofilter selfies, or whatever. We really just roll our eyes too much in general, but for the sake of this post …
Let’s discuss “no makeup” makeup. Yes, there is such a thing. One of the things that has frustrated me with the makeup conversation over the years is that makeup is all too frequently assumed to look like the obvious, the dramatic, all the time. Wearing or loving “makeup” all too often means you must wear full coverage foundation, lipstick, dramatic eyeshadow, and false lashes and all the like on a regular basis. When I’ve mentioned to new guy friends that I have a beauty blog, I’ve gotten a few perplexed looks because I’m not wearing a Nicki Minaj or Gwen Stefani-level face when I say it, and I rarely do wear this kind of makeup (though I love it when I get to). And if I really like makeup and enjoy writing about it, well, doesn’t that mean I should be wearing a full face all the time?
Nope. Not necessarily.
What I frequently go for when I have some time is a “no makeup” makeup look. I love running errands or going to a friend’s house or the movies with this kind of makeup. Sometimes I’ll even choose it for something a little more special because no-makeup-makeup has a minimalist feel to it, and I like that. This is my favorite kind of look to create on others as well.
What this involves is some liquid or powder foundation, primer beneath that if I feel like it, some blush, some eyebrows, some concealer in any necessary areas, and probably lip balm and a touch of “my lips but better” lip color. The eyes are left completely bare (except for maybe some underage concealer). I know Jennifer Connelly’s look pictured above definitely features some eye makeup, but see how barely visible it is? It’s just a bit of sparkle and a little mascara, or maybe a couple individual false lashes. I love how modern it looks contrasted with that sheet of shiny, raven hair on her head. I personally never add to the eyes with no-makeup makeup, but perhaps I add a touch of highlighting if the foundation doesn’t give off enough of a glow on its own. My easiest formula for the look is this: even skin, flushed cheeks, good brows, and “your lips but better” lips.
No-makeup makeup also allows me to focus more on my skin. I can take my time with serums, oils, and moisturizers with less makeup to worry about, and this kind of care makes a beautiful canvas for foundation. I need to pay more attention to my skin these days anyhow because it’s starting to become very, very dry.
The weather here in Chicagoland has surprised me in that I did not expect it to be so drying to my skin. I was bracing for the freezing temperatures, didn’t bat an eye when the first snow arrived, and totally expected the thick, damp humidity during our first month here, but the dryness of winter? Wow. And it doesn’t just come from the weather. The dry, cold winds, coupled with the dry indoor heaters and the hot baths and showers I’ve made a habit of taking have left me dry as a bone. Therefore, I’ve had to consider an overhaul on my skincare and spend a lot more time focusing on moisture and masks before I even think about makeup.
Anyhow, here’s my own take on no-makeup makeup:
There’s no filter on this, so it is what it is. I know I took some time with my skin before taking this, using my favorite serum- Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum, along with a sample of May Coop Raw Sauce. Can you believe that name? Raw Sauce. It’s a Korean essence that contains a lot of maple tree sap; it’s meant to prep skin to receive and more effectively absorb other skincare products. It sounds really gimmicky but I truly felt a significant difference when I used it. When applied, it feels so cooling and almost tingly. I would wear my serum on top of it and my skin would feel cool and smooth to the touch all day. But the Raw Sauce is a little expensive- $43 – though the bottle is pretty huge and a little goes a long way. And I like the Caudalie serum better than Shiseido Ultimune, which I tried last year. I’m almost out of the Caudalie, and if I repurchase it will be my third bottle. I love it.
For the makeup, I think I actually used my BareMinerals Original SPF15 over some Hourglass Veil Mineral primer. I’m really trying to blast through that BareMinerals, though sometimes I forget how nice it can look with the right prep beforehand. The concealer I favor is Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat in 2.5 Vanilla for the undereye area, but I may have used NARS Creamy Radiance concealer in Custard here, too. The NARS is a little more powerful in my opinion for highlighting, but it’s also thicker which makes it not as great for the undereye area. You want the thinnest, creamiest formula for your undereye area; nothing thick or cakey which will age you and make you look tired.
For blush, I think I used Stila Convertible Color in Lillium. It’s a nice, basic pink cream blush that you can also use on your lips. I just tap (not rub!) it into the apples of my cheeks. I used my trusty CK One Color Brow Pencil + Gel Duo in Crafty Raven for my brows. If I go for bare makeup I really like to have my brows stand out, otherwise the look is kind of like an unframed picture. And I’m just wearing Burt’s Bees here, maybe with a touch of their Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands on top of the beeswax. I will not use any other lip balm than Burt’s Bees Beeswax. The peppermint oil in it is so relieving, and there’s no mineral oil in it so it actually works and I only need to apply it about twice a day. No “chapstick addiction” problem here.
It’s sort of surprising how much makeup is involved in no-makeup makeup, huh? The fact of the matter is, I did not wake up like this. I mean, I know I’m not wearing that much or anything terribly obvious, but I am wearing makeup and this did take a few minutes! So two things not to be fooled by- “makeup” doesn’t always mean a full face, but “no makeup” sometimes involves much more than you’d think. The trick is to stay honest, and just enjoy it either way! xo, MR
Image credit of Jennifer Connelly to Getty Images.