Natural selection: The essential no-make-up kit
It’s a trend that’s not going away anytime soon; make-up so subtle that it just makes you look like a brighter and better version of yourself. Here’s the Muddy guide.
This all depends on how much make-up you want to use to look like you’re wearing no make-up. Confused? Well, let’s try to explain. At one end of the scale is this, Becca’s No Pigment Virtual Foundation (£29). Yes, you heard us right. No pigment. What it does is mattify and blur (like a primer). What it doesn’t do is give you a flawless complexion (unless you’re lucky enough to have one naturally). But pair with a good concealer (see below) and you may well have all the effect you need
One up the scale is Perfecting Skin Tint by Glossier (£20), who are arguably the queens of the no make-up face as you’ll discover. This is a liquid foundation that is super sheer. It gives your skin a lovely sheen, offers a smidgen of coverage and it does make your skin look imperceptibly better, so a win, no?
Cushion compacts are often cited as a no make-up must-have as they’re portable liquid foundations that you can either apply with your fingers or the supplied sponge. Lancome’s Miracle Cushion Foundation (£21.33) get high marks all round.
The humble concealer really comes into its own here. But what you need is something that melts into skin, covers the worst culprits such as three-hours-of-sleep-eyes and a hormonal outbreak and doesn’t look powdery and obvious on the skin. Enter Glossier’s Stretch Concealer – £15. (I told you they’d come up a lot.) I use this and I swear by it. It stays, it covers and you can’t see where your skin stops and it begins.
Want to glow like Meghan Markle? Hell, yes. So what you’re looking for is a cream blush. Glossier’s Cloud Paint (£15) is fast gaining icon status for it’s gel-like formula and ability to build colour to the intensity you want.
Slightly cheaper at £11.99 is Blush Bomb Color Drops for Cheeks from Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty. It’s a multi-award-winner, there are six shades and you just blend the drops with your finger to achieve the desired effect. And yes, it’s sold at Superdrug.
Just about everyone looks better with a touch of tan but if you’ve spent this summer either desperately tapping away in your spare bedroom or hiding inside from 34 degree heat, you might need to fake it. Luckily, By Terry’s Tea to Tan (£58) is a paint-on instant bronzer that you can either keep matte (by not shaking the bottle) or radiant (by shaking the bottle) as there are tiny specks of shimmer in the formula. And it doesn’t budge until you add soap and water.
Becca’s Skin Love Glow Glaze Stick (£24) is the product if you’re after the dewy ‘glass skin’ so beloved of the South Korean beauty influencers. With or without make-up, it makes you look like you nail five green juices a day. And complete six hours of yoga.
If you’re on the look out for something you can mix into your foundation (or body cream should you want a genuine ‘all-over’ glow), then look no further than Buckinghamshire brand Delilah Cosmetic’s Pure Light Liquid Radiance (£32). A pump or two mixed into your everyday creams and potions will imbue your skin with a natural-looking radiance. Plus, it blurs imperfections too so you might find on an everyday basis, you need this and not a lot more.
The fluffy, boyfriend brow is still everywhere but if, like me, you spent most of the Nineties and early Aughts trying to get your brows as thin as humanly possible, it may be a look that’s now beyond you without some cosmetic help. Suqqu’s Liquid Eyebrow Pen (£22) teamed with its Volume Eyebrow Mascara (£22) allows you to draw in fake hairs where you have none and then keep what hairs you do have tamed for the entirety of the day.
The real hero of ‘no make-up eyes’ is mascara that makes you look like you were simply born with Elizabeth Taylor lashes. If you haven’t got time for lift and tint in your local salon, fake it with Glossier’s Lash Slick (£14) that adds colour, definition and separates – and that’s about it.
If you’re used to more, well, oomph, you might do better with a mascara with precise application, so that while your lashes may look luscious, they won’t look ‘done’. Try Givenchy Phenomen’ Eyes (£25.50) that promises to catch every lash.
Now, if you have time on your hands (er… WFH anyone?) and want to make your newly dewy skin look even more natural, what you need is freckles. Don’t have them? Don’t let that worry you because you can draw them on with this: Freck Faux Freckle Pen (£17). Tap them on, set them with translucent powder, and you’re away.