No Makeup Makeup

The runways of fashion week are the invariable platforms to showcase makeup’s best and boldest. Avant garde collections embrace the extreme (bleached eyebrows, lace eyes, and geometric contouring), and classic couture is paired with the monochromatic. So in a fashion soup of the latest designs and idolized faces, the no makeup look stands out.

Models who have already hit the genetic jackpot are enhanced with color correctors, concealers, and tactfully applied foundation to look like themselves but somehow improved.

Take for example the before and after photos of Constance Jablonski at Helmut Lang. After a little time in the makeup chair, she looks the same but better. Could it be that she took a refreshing nap? That she walked into better lighting? That’s no makeup makeup.


It’s no surprise that the no makeup look is increasing in popularity. From musicians to filmmakers to respected journalists, a face without makeup is becoming the marker of authenticity in our beauty counter world. And whether we pile on the good stuff or wear no more than moisturizer, we all encourage the unmasking of well-known faces. Didn’t we give Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb an air fist bump when they co-hosted the Today Show with not an inch of foundation? Praise Jessica Simpson for covering a magazine with a bare face? Flip to Kim Kardashian’s makeup-free photoshoot in a glossy magazine?

Are we baiting celebrities—especially those celebrated for their beauty—to skip makeup as a girl power, or mean girl move? Lest we forget the Photoshop theories after Simpson’s and Kardashian’s photos were released

And I’m curious by the dominating objection to makeup that is conversely reflected in consumer behavior. National cosmetic spending is at an all time high, despite the economy and more conservative shopping habits. Are we saying one thing and then doing another?

So for those of us that prefer no makeup makeup, why? Are we liars? Are we trying to fool people into thinking that we wake up each morning with defined lashes, highlighted cheekbones, and perfectly even skin? Are no makeup makeup looks a subconscious attempt to recreate the naturally supple faces of our youth?

Or are we just having fun?



No Makeup Makeup How to Guide

1) Moisturize. If you have time, throw on a mask. Origin’s Quench boosts skin in 10 minutes and helps with the “I’m naturally dewy look.”

2) Correct. Prep dark circles, scars and other discoloration with a color-correcting cream. A mix between yellow and orange works best for my skin tone.

3) Conceal. With a creamy concealer one shade lighter than skin tone, cover all skin imperfections.

4) Smile. Choose a peachy-bronze cheek color and brush a small amount on the apples of cheeks. The blush before foundation creates a a super natural flush.

5) Buff and blend. Choose a sheer, or buildable coverage foundation. Take a makeup brush and blend the formula all over the face and down the neck.

6) Highlight. Add illuminator above cheekbones; down the center of the nose; on the cupid’s bow; directly above and below the brows’ arches; and underneath the bottom lip. Choose an illuminator that is more shimmery, and less glittery.

7) Line. Trace the upper lashline with a dark brown pencil. Glide the pencil along the waterline (not above lashes) for a subtle yet defining look.

8) Define. Apply one coat of dark brown mascara to lashes. Clinique’s Clump Crusher is my new daytime favorite.

9) Brush. Brush eyebrows and trim stray hairs if needed.

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