The Ultimate ‘No Makeup’ Makeup Edit

…that I’ve tried and tested for like, 365 days a year

Along with trivia titbits from The Office and Parks & Recreation, why pizza is ultimately the best food group and all the reasons why Blake Lively is an actual goddess, talking about ‘no makeup’ makeup is a topic that I could quite happily chew your ear off about for HOURS. It’s my beauty groove, my product happy place; and when coupled with good-quality skincare it creates the blueprint for the aesthetic that I try to aim for basically every single day. Of course I’m looking down as I write this at my palm-leaf print pyjamas (they’re from Hush and I love ’em), so I’m not always on the mark – but still all these years later I just can’t shake the beachy ‘model off duty’ brief that The O.C taught me way back when.

I know it’s a subject that I’ve covered many times round here and is actually all I cover in the realm of beauty these days (I KNOW, I KNOW, I promise I’ll whip out a bold lip soon), but there are a few new items that have crept into my routine recently that have snatched the title of ‘Ultimate No Makeup Vibes‘ from previous favourites, so today I’m collating all the products that win in that category for ya; old and new…

FOUNDATION: WELL ISN’T THIS TOUGH? Although I’ve photographed the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector Skin Tint here, I actually have a few recommendations up my sleeve. I chose that one because the colour selection is great and it’s a good ‘across the board’ product that doesn’t have much of a finish to it; it’s just like skin. However if you’re more dry, then I have to give a nod to the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, which is my personal favourite for this category, and also the Lancome Skin Feels Good, which I feel is better suited to those who are oiler and are looking for a shine-dimming finish. All have a light coverage and all look glorious on the skin.

CONCEALER: Of course you knew it was going to be the Glossier Stretch Concealer plonked in this category. DUR. As someone who has quite dry under eyes, I appreciate the slight grease in this formula and can handle a bit of tapping back in every couple of hours in exchange for the fact that it never looks crepey. In recent weeks I’ve taken to applying it all over my face for an über dewy, low coverage finish. That’s how mad in love I am with this product.

BRONZER: I’m a bit of a bronzer floozy, but I always, always come back to the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. Without a hint of shimmer it blends beautifully on the skin and is never patchy, which is a common problem that I find (this is where a bit of a powder on the cheeks comes in handy! I like the MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural). I tend to take it on a large fluffy brush, blend where I fancy and then smoosh it in with my fingers at the edges of the colour to make sure it’s properly worked in.

HIGHLIGHTER: Isn’t there something about swiping a highlighter over your cheekbones and forehead that just makes you feel more fresh? More awake? More like you’re looking ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS? I do enjoy the Glossier Haloscope, which come in three different tones depending on your complexion. However the NARS Highlighting Powder in Fort De France, just pips it to the post in this category. You just can’t detect it on the skin. Go on, get a magnifying glass out. It’s there, but not there. Such a gorgeous product.

BLUSH: Ahhhh you know I’m not the biggest fan, thanks to my cheeks which naturally flush a tone of ‘traffic light red’ from the moment that I wake up. I always feel like powder products are hard to blend and the texture can sit on your skin rather than melt into it. That’s why the Glossier Cloud Paints are my preferred blush product, whether I’m going for barely there makeup vibes, or not. Dusk is my personal favourite for the fact that it’s not too pink and instead distributes a tawny hue on the cheek.

BROWS: The quest for a brow gel that doesn’t make your brows feel like they’ve been glued down by a ’90’s hair mousse formula has been a long one. However, I’ve discovered the perfect product for them in the Hourglass Arch Brow Shaping Gel, which comes in six colours or a clear – whatever takes your fancy – and doesn’t glue the hairs down like they’ll never move ever again. In fact, you can’t even see it when it’s applied and there’s no need to remove all the product goop off the brush too as the perfect amount dispenses on the brush from day one.

EYESHADOW: It’s probably one of the toughest categories to ace because most of the other products used in the this line up put emphasis on natural features we have, however no one naturally has a sparkly bronze eyelid. So instead I’d recommend picking up a shadow that’s in a cream formula, but matte so it’s easily to bend in with your finger and therefore pretty hard to go too O.T.T with. I love MAC’s Paint Pot in Groundwork, for what I affectionately dub ‘the moody eye‘ look.

MASCARA: I’d treading water with mascara recently. Everything I tried was either too bulky on the lashes or made me look like a panda. Then I remembered that about three years ago I used the Estée Lauder Little Black Primer when it was first released, so I picked up a tube and have spent the past couple of weeks wondering why it took me three years to repurchase it. IT’S SO GOOD. It’s light, non-moving and gives the appearance of bushy lashes that *might* have had lash extensions. I have a feeling the new Glossier Lash Slick Mascara could be very similar. I’ll report back with my findings.

LIPS: I always went in hard for the CHANEL Coco Rouge Lipstick in Adrienne, but actually I think it’s the Hourglass GIRL Lip Stylo in Futurist that’s the closest match to my lip colour out there. Of course for true makeup vibes I wipe over some lip balm and leave it at that, however the use of a lipstick can help to beef up my lip line a little and even things out. The Hourglass gets full marks for the creamy, yet shine-free texture that gives your lips the appearance that you’ve drunk you two litres of water that day.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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