Imperfectly perfect

Always dreamed of looking like a million bucks with blemish-free skin, rosy cheeks and expressive eyes? Why not try your hand at the ‘no make-up’ style?

A natural look is all about ensuring your skin looks flawless.

The ‘no make-up look’ is a contradiction in terms, for not only will you need make-up to get this look, but in trying to make it appear like you haven’t applied any, you may have to put in even more work! There are many times when you would want to look like you’re wearing little to no make-up, like for a serious or sombre occasion, or perhaps on your trip to the gym or a class where make-up would be inappropriate. And at times, you may just want to cheat and let everyone think you got out of bed looking like a million bucks.

Whatever the reason or occasion, here’s how you can look good and make it seem like you were born this way.

Skin first

A natural look is all about ensuring your skin looks flawless. Sure, having great skin helps, but if you don’t have perfect skin, you can cheat by applying foundation. Don’t use a heavy one, though. Tinted moisturisers or BB creams look natural, yet provide coverage without giving you that caked-up look. They allow a little of your natural skin to show through and hide open pores and blemishes just enough to make it seem like you haven’t applied anything on your face. If you don’t have a BB cream or a tinted moisturiser, mix your foundation with a little moisturiser to dilute it, and then apply.

Should you apply primer? Make-up artiste Shwetha Raju thinks so. “You can skip this step, but a primer smoothens your skin so your foundation or BB cream has the perfect base to glide on. A primer also fills out fine lines and wrinkles, and gives your face an almost ‘soft focus’ quality.”

If your skin is clear, to begin with, after applying moisturiser, use a primer and skip the BB cream, tinted moisturiser or foundation. Primer goes a long way in making your skin appear flawless. After applying primer, apply a touch of concealer to your dark circles and blemishes, if any, and blend well.

For a natural flush

Blush applied under your cheekbones does contour your face and can look beautiful, but it doesn’t look natural and it is easy to go wrong with this look. Instead, apply blush to the apples of your cheeks for a natural flush. Steer clear of shimmery or sparkly blushes and choose a matte, rosy shade. “Cream blushes are a better option for the no make-up look as they sink into your skin and look natural, as opposed to powder blushes,” says Shwetha.

“Although, we typically apply blush after applying foundation, try working the other way round. Apply blush, and follow it up with a light dab of BB cream or a dusting of compact powder. The final look is surprisingly subtle. Your cheeks will look like they are glowing from within,” suggests make-up maven Ambika Pillai.

Pop those eyes open

Tight-lining, or applying eyeliner to the inner rim of your eyes, makes eyes stand out without making the use of eyeliner obvious. Although most of us regularly tight-line our lower lids, applying liner to the inner rim of upper eyes makes eyes pop, without making the use of liner apparent. Be careful though, you don’t want to poke yourself in the eye! Feel free to further define your eyes by applying liner on your eyelids, but for a more natural look, use a brown liner instead of a black one. When lining the lower eyelids, apply liner from the outer corners to the middle of your eyes. This makes your eyes look bigger.

“Use an eyeshadow that is one tone lighter than your skin and apply it all over your lid and brow bone. Follow up with an eyelash curler to really open up the eyes. An eyelash curler, although often overlooked, is a must for a no make-up look,” feels Ambika.

You could leave your eye make-up natural, or apply a few coats of mascara. Mascara isn’t obvious unless it clumps, so apply carefully, taking care to move the wand side to side while sweeping up.

Big, big brows

Big brows are in. They define the eyes, and the good news is, the thicker and bushier your brows, the more natural they look — if you do it right, that is. Brush your brows, and using a brown brow pencil, fill in any gaps with light, feathery strokes. Build up the colour gradually. Apply more colour towards the nose, and less as you work outwards. In addition to defining your features, thick brows take years off your face and always make you look younger. If you have bushy, unruly eyebrows, brush them and keep them in place by applying a coat of clear mascara to your brows. Instant gel!

Baby lips

First, exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush and Vaseline to plump up your lips and infuse them with colour. However, the colour is not going to last; so follow through with a lip tint. Lip tints add just a touch of colour to lips and are your best bet when you want lips to look natural. Or, use tinted lip balms, which moisturise and keep lips looking soft, in addition to adding a hint of colour. You could also apply your regular lipstick in a natural pink shade, and blot lips with fingers to remove excess. Skip the lip liner.

There you have it. Follow these steps to look your natural best, and brace yourself for the compliments!

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