The Natural Look
We love trowelling it on. That’s our thing. The clue’s in the title (I live for the one person who only figured it out just now).
But not like, all the time. That’d be expensive, and time consuming, and anyway we’re not afraid or ashamed of how we actually look.
It’s not like it has to be one extreme or another though. It doesn’t have to be ‘full drag or dark glasses & baseball cap’.
It would be nice though, wouldn’t it, if when we went bare faced in public it was like when Jennifer Anniston does it, or Blake Lively with her brilliant face and life (HOW good is Blake Lively’s life though? Seriously).
Except - SURPRISE! Those women are of course wearing make up, they just favour a look that’s more natural. I liken natural looking make up to lightly facetuning yourself - it’s still #nofilter, just your spots are gone and your eyes don’t blend in to your face so much.
Natural make up is obviously the way to go for women who aren’t sure where to start. I’m gonna make something clear here: I am not in any way stating women should wear make up. But some might think it looks fun but intimidating, or have been put off by going too hard too soon. What we have below……god I wanna say ‘the gateway drugs’ but that’s bad isn’t it?
I’ve deliberately tried to keep costs down in general, but some of the fancy products are really too good not to include. If you’re shy of make up, start cheaper and work your way up.
YOUR FIRST STEP
Your secret to great make up is having great skin. Drink lots of water. Find a skincare regime that works for you (cleanse, serum, SPF 30+ at the very least. Refer to our other guides).
It sounds obvious but. If it was you’d already be doing it.
Ignore foundation and go straight to this. It’s basically foundation that’s been watered down with moisturiser. It means it’s not matte and will make you all dewy, and it’s not as opaque, meaning you don’t really have to do much blending in to the edges and you won’t get telltale lines. But it pretty much does the same job; of making your skin look more even, less shiny and a bit healthier.
It’s a great idea if you’re anxious about looking overly made up to try it on in the shop, then ask to take a mirror with you outside quickly and see what the colour looks like in natural light (doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or not, it’ll have the same effect). It’ll be different than in the shop. If you’re not comfortable, keep trying shades until you’re happy and don’t listen to what the shop assistants say they often want you to look more tanned than you are. I
KIEHL’S ULTRA LIGHT DAILY UV DEFENSE CC CREAM, £30
I know I know, I said I tried to keep costs down but please hear me out.
This is not only a CC (colour correcting) cream, it’s your daily moisturiser and SPF as well. It’s quite thick but a little goes a very long way. Don’t rub it all the way in like you would a moisturiser, be a bit gentler. I use this every day.
NO7 BEAUTIFUL SKIN BB CREAM, £14
Right: CC is colour correcting and BB is beauty balm. AA is a type of battery. And DD is is the tit size the fittest girl in your year at school had.
But anyway. 2 years ago I got a job in Stratford Upon Avon for 3 months, and I took pretty much my whole house there including cushions and candlesticks and a teapot as I am a nester and anyway it’s my bloody life. The only thing I forgot was my make up bag. Guess I assumed it must be under the ice bucket.
The day before I started rehearsals I popped in to the local boots to buy foundation, blusher, mascara and eyeliner on the cheap as I reasoned it was all I needed until I could get back to London. Me being me I went for brands I hadn’t yet tried as an experiment. This was the runaway success.
They have a woeful selection of colour options, which I must point out. But they do different ones for different skin types, which is quite a good thing if you’re oily like me.
NYX BARE WITH ME TINTED SKIN VEIL BB CREAM, £10
A ‘tinted skin veil’. A veil, make out of tinted skin. Imagine that wafting down the aisle toward you.
Anyway I’ll overlook the obvious nonsense and say that my Drag Queen housemate got this as a freebie for a NYX event. Neither of us were quite sure what they were doing giving out tinted moisturisers to Drag Queens (a five o clock shadow cover stick it ain’t) but I was glad of the freebie. It’s brilliant and a bargain. Again, a little goes a very long way. Lots of skin tones. Gosh, NYX really are impressive.
LAURA MERCIER OIL FREE TINTED MOISTURISER, £35
Apologies for the eye watering price, but this really is the don. It’s always knocking about in the make up artists bag on several sets I’ve been on. It lasts ages, lovely texture, lots of colours, doesn’t rub off. Ignore the fact it’s SPF 20, as we all know anything under 30 is about as useful as a cock flavoured lollipop.
I’m gonna retract the lovely texture comment. They’ve all got a lovely texture. And that texture……is ‘shiny cream’.
Concealer goes over tinted moisturiser, in emergencies only. Make sure you take your tinted moisturiser with you so you can match the colours up.
The following are both quite expensive, but believe me when I say it pays to have a really good concealer. Their whole point is to discreetly shield your flaws, and most do a great job of flagging them up & screaming ‘THERE’S A MASSIVE SPOT UNDER THIS!’.
Both of the following don’t require buying a fancy brush also, which many need to work properly.
BARE MINERALS COMPLETE COVERAGE SERUM CONCEALER, £24
Just believe me. This is amazing. I will not use anything else on my poor hormonal skin.
Get the right shade and you’re away, it’s foolproof. There will be a concessions in the circus hall of mirrors that is the Boots make up concessions.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER, £25
This is what my make up artist uses, and it’s very good. For the extra quid it’s also good for under eyes (the bare minerals one less so).
If you’re white skinned, I would go for a dark brown mascara here.
If you’re brown skinned, I would go for a black mascara.
Don’t bother with your bottom lashes, I never ever do.
TWEEZERMAN FOLDING LASH COMB, £11
So you’ve tried mascara, you looked like a blow up doll that’s had a breakdown, and now you’re resigned that it isn’t for you. You’re wrong, you just need this. It’s to comb through your lashes after you’ve used mascara, and gets rid of the clumps while retaining the length & volume. Clever right? Well, it is if your mascara isn’t the thick & gloopy kind, in which case it’d be like brushing down a sheepdog that’s just competed in ‘tough mudder’.
Have a cotton wool bud on hand whichever mascara you use, to wipe the telltale mascara flecks away & maintain the ILLUSION.
MAX FACTOR CLUMP DEFY VOLUMISING WATERPROOF MASCARA, £11.99
Will I ever stop going on about this mascara well no actually I won’t. You know why? It’s the best one I’ve ever used and every time I run out I try a different one and it’s never ever as good. Like being at Wagamamma and thinking ‘Well, I always get the katsu curry. And I know it’s delicious and actually, yes, perfect, but tonight I feel like I should have something else.’ So you get your pad Thai and yeah, it is really nice, there’s a lovely amount of spice in that and it’s substantial and the textures are varied which makes life interesting. But it’s not a katsu is it, you idiot? It’s not as good. And you’ll always wonder whether your evening would have been better, whether you’d have enjoyed the cinema more if you’d had the katsu you talked yourself out of. And next time, guess what you’re gonna order? The katsu. And it’ll be absolutely brilliant.
Do NOT eat it.
CLINIQUE BOTTOM LASH, £15
Not to use on your bottom lashes as the product suggests, but on the top. If you want your lashes to look super natural in a ‘oh these? They’re just my normal, really long and lustrous eyelashes that I’m going to fan you with’ way, you can’t really go wrong with something littler. It’s more time consuming but you’ll get lots more control over the outcome. And brushes don’t get much teenier than this.
They only do it in black sadly but it’s sparing enough to still look natural even on white skin.
If you’re using tinted moisturiser you’re using blusher. End of.
BOURJOIS LITTLE ROUND POTS, £6.49
These are delightful, and come with a little brush (not a very good shape, mind. Don’t be tempted to paint it on like a stripe. Smile and do little strokes where your cheek is at its plumpest). Lots of colours but I like ‘Rose Frisson’. I don’t speak French but I *think* it means ‘Rose sex’.
The only thing with them is sometimes they can have secret flecks of gold in, and when the sun comes out you’ll go disco ball. Just make sure you experiment with it on your skin in store, use the testers.
BENEFIT DANDELION, £13
Get the small version of this to give a go. I swear down, everybody looks fresh and adorable in it. Adorable like ‘wears a big men’s shirt in a perfume ad’, not like ‘a newborn’.
Benefit have brought out this massive range of powder shades, but in my day it was Dandelion or Benetint and that was your lot. And for good reason; they basically suit everyone (Benetint not for beginners though. Too streaky & requires quick, bold action).
MILK MAKEUP LIP & CHEEK IN WERK, £20.50
I really like these little face-deodrants that Milk do, you can take them everywhere and they’re no hassle. Let’s keep things simple: it’s a big stick you can dot on your cheeks and mouth.
Liquid blush has its pros and cons.
Looks more natural, no question
Dewy and gorgeous
Ultimate ‘I woke up like this, then had sex, then went for a stroll in Kew Gardens’
A bit too much and you’re Aunt Sally from Wurzel Gummidge.
Dab it on. Layer it up. You got this.
VASELINE ROSY LIPS, £1.95
As essential as your damn phone.
Realistically, that’s all you need for a super natural look. But added extras include:
NARS DUO EYESHADOW IN SILK ROAD, £25
This is a bit of a personal preference, as I think most everybody looks pretty in a soft pink eyeshadow. Put either colour all over your lid. Or if you want to step it up, put the lighter colour all over then lightly dab the darker on to the outer edge of your eyelid. Layer up as much as you like, but go easy at first.
GLOSSIER BOY BROW, £14
Rimmel’s tagline for this is ‘Kohl Britannia’ and it’s quite late and have been writing this for what feels like 17 years but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better branding-pun than that ever, in my whole life.
Lots of colours, but again I’d go brown for white skin, black for brown skin. Do a small line very close to your top lash line, just on the outer edge (add more if you like, but I tend to do this). If you want a slightly smokier eye, layer it up then get a cotton wool bud and just fuzz it up a bit.