|as nature intended, i'm certain of it|
when i was younger, i tended to go heavier applying foundation and powder, because i didn't know any better and because i always aspired to a perfectly even matte complexion. i could usually maintain that for about a minute and a half before a little bit of shine started to emerge, which was like some kind of torture for someone who gets obsessed over little imperfections. as i've gotten older, i've come to prefer a look that's less heavy-handed, but with all the advances in product technology, it has become easier to achieve a natural but extremely smooth and even finish. it's also possible to subtly shape and sculpt the face in ways that would previously required a lighting crew and a professionally trained makeup artist.
so here's a look at what i did to achieve that "all-natural" look...
nuxe bio bb cream "light" [love, love, love this stuff, but even the light is way too dark for me to use alone]
rouge bunny rouge highlighting liquid "sea of clouds" [pearly white]
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
rouge bunny rouge bronzing liquid "as if it were summer still"
urban decay naked skin foundation "1.0"
chanel joues d'ombre contouring blush "notorious" [lavender taupe]*
nars powder blush "deep throat" [light coral pink]
chanel joues contrastes highlighting blush "delice" [shimmery white]*
hourglass ambient lighting powder "diffused light" [yellow-white]
rouge bunny rouge e/s "gracious arasari" [soft pinky-beige]*
rouge bunny rouge e/s "solstice halcyon" [light mauve-taupe]
armani eyes to kill mascara
laura mercier stick gloss "black orchid"
clearly, there is extensive contouring and highlighting going on here. the idea was to be able to carry a perfectly lit look by carrying my own lighting with me. i also played around with layering products to make them more or less obvious. for instance, the rbr bronzing liquid was applied over the bb cream but under the foundation, because on its own, i felt it looked too warm to pass as natural on my winter white skin. i used that just under the cheek bones, whereas "notorious" i used to contour my entire face- around the hair line, along the jaw, on the sides of my nose and also under the cheekbones, because it appears more like a natural shadow.
i felt like my under eye area needed more help on the inner corners, so that's where i used a tiny bit of "sea of clouds" to make things more luminous. however, to control any shimmer, i mixed in a little concealer [aside from what i'd already applied over the whole under-eye area]. "delice" powder highlighter was limited to the upper cheekbones, because i felt that it would be a little too dazzling anywhere else. to being more light, but subtle light, to my forehead, nose and chin, i applied "diffused light". the last thing that i applied was "deep throat", because the subtle colour tamped down the more intense highlighter.
the eyes are simple and while you can clearly tell that i'm wearing shadow and mascara close up, it looks remarkably natural from normal viewing distance. unlike the face products, this is a super-quick application, because precision and placement, which normally slow me down when applying more vibrant colours, are not issues. i've just patted "gracious arasari" all over the lid and swept "solstice halcyon"in the crease. the key here was the wonderful rbr satin formula, because either frosted or matte textures are going to look unnatural. skin, even the skin on your eyelids, normally has a bit of a sheen and that's what these have. they're not so pale that they can't pass for your usual eyelids [at least if you're fair-skinned], but they do allow you to shape and perfect that skin. a deep brown mascara might have been more natural, but i'm fresh out. i also find that most brown mascaras are too reddish for them to look natural on me. black may seem weighty, but it at least doesn't distract.
"black orchid" freshly applied is a little too deep to pass for my natural lip colour, but it fades quickly to a stain that's just a hair deeper and brighter than my natural lip. i like this shade for a "no makeup" effect because most "my lips but better" colours are warm. my natural lip colour is very cool-toned, probably the coolest-toned part of my face. in the pictures you're seeing, i have let the initial colour fade just a little, so that it's truly at its most natural.
whew! that's a lot of work to essentially look like i didn't do any work. i like the end effect, although it's not going to win me away from my bold lips or winged liner any time in the near future. any secrets you'd like to share for a flawless "no makeup" look? feel free to share them in the comments.