Natural Beauty: Less Makeup is More — A Quick How-To
Lit from within. Naturally radiant. Glowing. Read any style magazine or makeup packaging, and you’re likely to come across phrases like these that describe just how perfectly luminous your skin will be upon application of such-and-such serum, primer, or foundation.
Indeed, today’s products lean toward sheerer coverage and often contain subtle, light reflecting magic dust to ensure the makeup enhances, rather than flattens, the natural contours of our lovely faces. The most sophisticated products don’t even look like makeup—and they certainly don’t look like the pancake masks of previous decades. Rather, makeup should look our skin—just better. (Or so the idea goes.) I think most of us agree that this is a huge step in the right direction.
This trend in sheer, “natural” coverage has inspired me to think about the rest of my everyday makeup palette. All too often, I begin with the intention to apply all of my makeup with a light touch, but sometimes I get carried away, and all of a sudden, my eyes look too smoky/shimmery/retro for 8AM! Or worse, I walk out the door with over-powdered, older looking skin.
Here are a few ways that you (and I) can embrace the less is more makeup trend without feeling completely bare—unless that’s what you’re going for! This modern take on makeup application is ideal for daytime, work, and anytime you want to feel like the best version of yourself. Think of it as the makeup version of your favorite pair of jeans: Comfortable, sexy, and you.
Let your natural skin show. If you have off-and-on problem skin like me, this idea may not sound terribly charming, but here’s how I customize the no-makeup look: I apply a layer of BB cream or light foundation (of the lit from within variety) to the areas of my face that could use more even skin tone (nose, chin, jawline, and lower cheeks—bascially where I tend to look pink or breakout). You don’t have to apply coverage to areas with perfect skin! Then I cover any spots with a good concealer and blend the edges well. Next, I apply a translucent powder only to my T-Zone and spots of concealer—never any place where I want glow (like my cheekbones). (Of course, I break this rule when I’m feeling oily and frustrated. Ugh.) If you love customizing as much as I do, you may be interested in making your own BB cream.
Live in your lip color. The less is more look doesn’t rule out a bold lip! I would never suggest anyone give up her favorite red lipstick! It’s all in the application. For soft lips, exfoliate with a simple blend of sugar and natural oil (like olive or coconut). Gently rinse (or eat 😉 ). Apply a light layer of your favorite lip balm. Using your finger, pat color onto your lips, and apply gloss (if you want) only on the fullest part of your pout. This technique makes your lip color looked lived in. In other words, it’s not overly formal or exact. Save the lip liner routine for formal events.
Try cream formulas—on your cheeks and eyes especially. Good cream blushes emulate naturally supple skin and are often easier to blend than powder formulas, ensuring a more natural look. Ditto cream eyeshadows—but be warned, they can slip and slide if you don’t apply eyelid primer. An ordinary face primer will do the trick. Blend with fingers, sponge, or synthetic brush.
4. Trust Mother Nature. Work with the colors you got. For the most part. For example, if you’re blonde, try light brown eyeliner instead of black. Brunette? Try an espresso or charcoal liner for a softer look. While you’re at it, try to find a blush that’s close to your natural flush—you know, that pretty color on your cheeks when you come in from the cold? When you are actually “lit from within”? That’s it!
It’s that simple! What are your tips for the Less Makeup is More look?
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Photo: Laura Loveday via Flickr, GlamNatural