Gimme Face: No-Makeup Makeup

I’m one of those people who improves vastly with a little makeup–although I love a full face, as you probably know by now, even a touch of foundation and some mascara does wonders for me. And in the last few years, “no-makeup makeup” has become a staple in beauty magazines, on Instagram, and in real life. The goal is to look like you, just better (and we’ll talk about how fucked up that sentiment is another time). But here’s the catch: most no-makeup looks… actually involve a ton of makeup and are super labor intensive, which, like, what? Betch, I’m lazy.

This is not to say that I didn’t get on the bandwagon in the beginning and spend hours of my life contouring and highlighting, feathering my brows, and generally obsessing over achieving a natural look in the most unnatural way. Eventually, though, I lost interest and patience, and I had to pare it down, especially since most mornings I’m getting ready for work in a gym locker room, and I can’t haul an entire train case of makeup with me. The result is not necessarily magazine-worthy, but that’s never the goal of a TST girl to begin with–and for a routine that takes ten minutes and a handful of products, I think my method is pretty impressive. So here it is, gals: the low-commitment version of no-makeup makeup.

First, and always, we start with a base. You’ve probably noticed by now that a lot of the products I use are sample-size, because I love my Ipsy subscription. If you’re cheap and makeup obsessed, I highly recommend it. A lot of the samples are generous and last a surprisingly long time. Anyway, this month I got this Korean primer from a company confusingly called Touch in Sol, and I LOVE IT. It makes my skin smooth and keeps me from getting too oily but miraculously doesn’t have the texture of spackle. I also slapped some of Urban Decay’s anti-aging eyeshadow primer on.

Photo Apr 17, 7 33 59 PM

Natural makeup is all about good-looking skin, and I like a medium-coverage demi-matte finish for this effect (I have oily skin, so if you’re dry, something with a dewier finish might be a better choice). I used Rimmel’s Matte BB Cream, which, by the way, is a great drugstore dupe for Benefit’s Big Easy BB cream. I concealed with another sample, Pur’s Disappearing Ink. (Note: both of these are slightly darker than previous shades I’ve used in tutorials, because I went to Hawaii and my skin is now summer-colored. Insert careless hair flip.)

Photo Apr 17, 7 32 55 PM

I applied with another Ipsy goody, a foundation brush. Finger application, especially with a BB cream, is totally fine, but I just wanted to try this thing out, and it did give me a nice finish.

Photo Apr 17, 7 35 19 PM
Definitely my best angle. Definitely don’t look like a stoned turtle.

Photo Apr 17, 7 35 30 PM

To complete that natural, subtly lit face that’s essential to the no-makeup look, I set the BB cream with powder and popped a little of this Ciate bronzer (you guessed it, another Ipsy sample) on my cheeks as a blush. Then I dusted my absolute favorite highlighter, The Balm’s Cindy-Lou Manizer, on the bridge of my nose, my cheekbones, my forehead, my Cupid’s bow, and my chin.

Photo Apr 17, 7 45 11 PM

Photo Apr 17, 7 46 37 PM

I kept the eyes simple, obviously. I used an Ulta eyeshadow single in the shade “Innocence,” which is slightly pinker than my natural lid color–this is basically just to keep my lids from becoming a shiny grease trap as the day goes on. I skipped eyeliner and used Smashbox’s Full Exposure mascara, which is great for enhancing your lashes without doing anything crazy to them.

Then came brows, which, as ever, were drawn on with Anastasia Dipbrow in Taupe, with a little of Elf’s brow pencil in Dark Brown layered in, and set with Anastasia’s clear brow gel.

Lastly came lips. I like to do a glossy lip with no-makeup makeup, but lots of ladies prefer a demi-matte or satin nude. You do you, boo. I went for Maybelline’s The Elixir in a shade I don’t know the name of because the sticker fell off the bottom. But whatever, we’ll live.

Photo Apr 17, 8 03 05 PM

Et voila!

Photo Apr 17, 8 04 05 PM

Don’t let my long-windedness fool you–you can easily do this look in ten to fifteen minutes, and although other makeup-wearing folks might know your secret, at least one man will probably think you’re bare-faced. And you know we’re all out here trying to trick men.

Photo Apr 17, 8 03 56 PM
The face of a woman who’s secretly a hag.

That’s it for this week! As always, we’d love for you to come say hi on Facebook and Instagram, and we’ll C U Next Tuesday!



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