From the porcelain doll-like faces that lingered throughout Missoni’s Milan presentation to the Frankenstein-chic layout of Prada, nearly naked faces seemed to be a key player this season. By now, we’re all used to the glitz and glam of a perfectly bedazzled liner, so what gives? Well, according to almost every major runway show thus far, the “no makeup”-makeup trend is taking center stage.
This faux-natural style is exactly how it sounds: a toned-down, unrefined take on your makeup that makes people guess whether your face has been consistently flawless forever, or if your foundation is just that good. This oxymoronic trend has come and gone throughout the decades, but has begun to see a resurgence like none other. Is it because we’re finally tired of seeing comically glitzy cut-creases, or is it that fashion’s most praised makeup artists are too exhausted to create something that takes a little more effort? We honestly couldn’t tell you, but James Vincent, Makeup Artist & Director of Education and Artist Relations for The Makeup Show, has a thing or two to say about the trend:
“This minimal makeup trend is a reaction to the heavy handed applications and overly made up looks so prevalent and popular on Instagram and reality TV,” says Vincent. “This look requires using makeup to diminish anything that might be distracting while focusing on features you want to bring attention to in a manner that allows people to see the wearer and not the cosmetics that have been applied to your face. Designers like Marc Jacobs and his key makeup artist Diane Kendall delivered it for NYFW, and celebrities chose barely-there coverage and color for award season, maybe most famously Alicia Keys’s and Lady Gaga’s much talked-about Oscar look.”
While in theory the “no makeup”-makeup looks seems simple, it’s not as easy as you’d think. Vincent notes that this look requires more skill and diligence with your cosmetic tools because you have to take every aspect of your face into account to make it truly look natural. That means a perfect foundation match, seamless blending, and attention to the details.
Want to create the popular runway look at home? Then follow some of Vincent’s go-to tips for crafting the “I woke up like this” glow in minutes.
Skincare Is Always #1
To give your skin a truly natural radiance, Vincent says practicing a proper skincare routine is the best way to get a dewy glow. “My favorite way to prepare the skin is to use a gentle toner to help balance and diminish redness,” he says. “My choices are Mario Badescu Herb, Aloe and Rosewater or Rebels and Outlaws Potion. Next try a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin. A non-granular formula like Twin Medix Resurface will do the trick. Follow with a moisturizer that gives a glow without being too heavy.”
Don’t Forget To Color Correct!
“Color correction is the key to no makeup makeup,” says Vincent. “Instead of using a full coverage concealer to get rid of issues, use a sheer color correct to neutralize problem areas. Make Up For Ever or Smashbox Color Correct Primers are an ideal choice. This will diminish anything that you usually cover and allow you to use a liquid foundation that is more sheer and looks like skin. My professional favorites are Face Atlelier, MAC Face and Body or Charlotte Tilbury.”
Pinpoint The Features You Want To Show Off
Once your skin’s complexion is on-point, Vincent suggests subtly exaggerating the features you’d like to focus on. “Try filling in a brow with soft strokes of a pencil and a wash of a metallic shadow like gold across the lid to get a an easy look with a lot of impact,” he says. “Mascara should be applied right to the root of the lash leaving the lashes looking full and voluminous.”
Try A Subtle Monochromatic Moment
Monochoromatic makeup has become one of the most beloved trends in beauty, but there’s a way to do it subtly. “Let your lip color double as blush for a monochromatic look that always works and takes on a less dramatic tone,” says Vincent. “Try a color close to your own lip shade as it will always be the perfect shade for you.”
Finish Off With Some Tiny Touch-Ups
To wrap up your look, Vincent recommends swiping a light amount of bronzer on areas where the sun hits your face for more definition. To give your lips a poppin’ pout, dab a little bit of lip balm or gloss on the center of your lips for an instantly plumper look. Et voilà: the perfect “no makeup” finish for a ‘grammable look, sans the heavy makeup or FaceTune.