Natural-looking make-up is one of beauty’s biggest – and most flattering – trends. Here, we reveal the secrets to looking effortlessly undone.
There’s an art to achieving the ‘no make-up’ look, but with a little skill and the right products, it’s a flattering trend everyone can nail. So what is minimal make-up? Lisa Matson, make-up director for L’Oréal Paris NZ, says “it’s about seamless blending, using products that are lightly formulated and will work subtly with the natural texture and colour of your skin”. Kiekie Stanners, senior artist New Zealand for MAC Cosmetics, adds, “It’s about creating ‘real’ skin make-up that’s completely wearable as a day-to-day routine.”
ACE YOUR BASE
Perfecting your base is key to creating a fuss-free look and this begins with well-prepped and hydrated skin, says freelance hair and make-up artist Aimie Fiebig. “The secret to a perfect finish is to ensure the skin is well looked after. You need a great canvas to start with to create a minimal make-up look.” In terms of product, choose your favourite but ensure it promises a light finish. “BB creams, sheer foundations and loose mineral powders work best for a minimal base,” says Matson. And remember, you are aiming for a less-is-more finish, so when it comes to coverage, only conceal areas that need it. Stanners recommends applying a concealer over the top of a light base so you can achieve the right finish without using lots of foundation. When it comes to the right tool for the job, Fiebig says “use your hands and fingers. The warmth of your touch makes foundation melt into the skin instead of the caked-on feeling where you can see it in every nook and cranny.”
TRY: 1. L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Matte foundation in Vanilla, $38. 2. Estée Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup in Fresco, $80. 3. Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick in Intense Ivory, $57. 4. Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation in Neutral, $69. 5. Elizabeth Arden Flawless Start Instant Perfecting Primer, $59. 6.YSL Les Sahariennes, $105. 7. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in Annapurna, $68.
The softest hint of colour is all you need for the minimal look and creamy products work well because they blend easily into skin. “Dab a little blush onto your fingers to let it warm up before patting onto your skin,” recommends Fiebig. “You might then use a buffer brush to work in the colour so it’s almost unseen.”
TRY: 1. Smashbox LA Lights Blendable Lip and Cheek Colour in Hollywood & Highlight, $51. 2. MAC Cremeblend Blush in So Sweet, So Easy, $48. 3. Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in Defining Nectars, $70.
Beauty tip: The minimal make-up trend is particularly flattering for older women, who may find heavier products sink into fine lines. If your cheeks have lost their plumpness with age, blend your blush along the highest points of your cheekbones to enhance your bone structure.
If ditching eyeshadow altogether is a step too far, ensure you stick to natural tones like taupe, caramel and light chocolate brown. These earthy colours will all complement your natural skintone and will help disguise fine veins in your lids, as well as create definition. Avoid shimmery metallics and pearly finishes in favour of matt products for the ultimate barely-there eye, says Fiebig. “Stay away from glitter and shimmer and stick to matt shadows and creams in natural, dusty colours,” she says. Aim to get your lashes looking their best before applying mascara, adds Matson. “Enhance lashes by curling them first then apply mascara that adds depth and natural lash separation,” she says. “Use a wiggle motion with your wand when applying mascara for the ultimate separation.” Want a little more oomph for an evening out? Matson recommends amping it up with a slick of black or dark chocolate eyeliner.
TRY: 1. Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Palette, $129. 2. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Sparkle Shadow + Liner in Brown Metal, $57. 3. Jane Iredale PurePressed Eye Shadow in Steamy, $41. 4. Clarins Palette Yeux in Pretty Day, $87. 5. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara in Black, $57. 6. L’Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit, $25.
Finish off your minimal look with lips in soft blush and nude shades – but be sure your lips are in peak condition, warns Stanners. “Ensure lips are well conditioned and hydrated so a subtle colour enhances your natural lip tone,” she says. Once lips are exfoliated and prepped for colour, Fiebig suggests using a combination of lipliner and balm for a subtle, soft finish. “Blend a dull-coloured lip liner over the whole lip and then finish with a lip balm. I apply just the smallest amount dabbed onto the bow of the lips.”
TRY: 1. Estée Lauder Pure Color Lip Gloss in Jealous Blush, $54. 2. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in 43, $59. 3. Clinique Pop Oil Lip & Cheek Glow in Poppy Glow, $46.