If there’s one beauty look that it’s taken me years to appreciate, it’s “natural”. I guess I could just never see the appeal in spending time prettifying your face to just look like you hadn’t.
With time though, I’ve gotten there. It’s mainly been through force to be honest. I’ve done a couple of shoots where the client insisted on natural make-up and despite my inner despair that I wouldn’t be getting the dramatic smokey eye and winged eyeliner that only a professional can make “work” on my stupid eyelids, I’ve realised that a fresh face can actually be quite pretty. I suppose it’s the beauty equivalent of realising you don’t have to have your boobs/legs/bum out to look like you’re going to a party. Beauty can in fact be more discreet.
I couldn’t say for sure why I’m particularly into fresh faced beauty at the moment. It could just be the fact that Spring is on the way but I think it’s probably more to do with the incessant rise of contouring, strobing and paint by numbers style colour correcting madness. I can’t log on to Facebook without seeing a video of a woman contouring the back of her neck or painting a crazy shadow cleavage.
I mean I get it, if you like make-up and enjoy applying it then by all means wear a tonne of it, but I’ll never be someone who sees false eyelashes as a normal part of getting ready. And the more I look at some of the Kardashian-esque YT tutorials the more I worry everyone is beginning to look the same. You can paint any face on anyone, it would seem. What’s wrong with showing off ourselves?
Perhaps it’s also the focus on skin that appeals to me with a more fresh faced look. I spend a hefty chunk of my income on skincare, it seems slightly bizarre to then cake my face in make-up. I may not have the patience to do anything about my thighs (lol) but I’ve put a lot of time and effort into my skin over the past couple of years so to then completely drown it in full coverage make-up seems somewhat counter-intuitive.
I feel like I have my “no make-up make-up” routine down now and I’ve managed to finally find the right combo of products that *actually last* all day without quickly withering into “LOL did you actually get any sleep last night?” nothingness.
This is my face right now, at 7.30pm, having been faffing about in town all day and enjoying the many delights of public transport. I put my make-up on nearly 11 hours ago and I haven’t touched it since.
I probably should have taken pics fresh faced this morning, but I thought it was perhaps more useful to see an end of the day version where I wasn’t blessed with sunlight or new day smuggery. It’s all well and good looking natural and fresh first thing, it’s another thing to look (relatively!) fresh when you’re 100% ready for bed and have a banging headache.
Obviously I haven’t edited these pictures. (Mostly because I don’t know how to. Ahem).
FYI, natural faces can still be moody faces. Hollerrrrrrrr.
So what am I actually wearing on my face these days?
I’ll admit there’s a lot of Pixi (I really do think Pixi struggle to be rivalled when it comes to natural looking make-up) but I wouldn’t be without my Smashbox BB Water or the Bobbi Brown bits.
Here’s what I’ve been doing…
Having done a full skin routine packed full of moisture, I start by concealing my comedy dark circles with the concealer stick that forms part of the Pixi Illuminating Tint & Conceal Duo (£21.50). I’m not using the tinted moisturiser at the moment because it’s too dark for my wintry face (I have No.3 Nude Glow), but as soon as I get some colour back in me I’ll be using it again as it’s gorgeously lightweight. I cannot believe this concealer has replaced my beloved Benefit Boi-ing (£17.50) but by some miracle it has. I really love it and I’ve emailed Pixi to see if you can buy it as a standalone product. (They do make stand alone concealers, but I’m not sure if they’re the exact same formula and this one is THE DREAM). I use it on my nose as well just to even out a couple of scars and enlarged pores, then I get to my all over base – Smashbox BB Water in Light (£29).
I mentioned this BB Water in my last beauty faves video but it really is the dream. It’s extremely lightweight but just gives a really flawless finish, like a sheer veil of loveliness. I just apply a few drops with my fingers (because hey, who has time for brushes?) and it blends marvellously. A little goes a long way and it really is a lazy girl’s best friend.
Base complete, I then apply Pixi Quick Fix Bronzer (£18) to the apples of my cheeks for a healthy flush. I sometimes add a teeny bit to my nose too for “YES I HAVE JUST GOT BACK FROM HOLIDAY” bonus points. Then I put a tiny bit of Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel (£12.50) on top in No.4 Flushed (only on my cheeks obviously, I don’t put this on my nose) and THEN I put a few strokes of my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar (£33) across my cheeks too. Yeah, I like a lot of colour in my cheeks. It looks a lot more delicate/natural/healthy than the layering of three products would imply though.
Then I brush and pencil my brows with Bobbi Brown Long Wear Brow Pencil in Mahogany (£29.50) and then for my eyes I don’t use any shadow but just apply a hefty dose of Pixi Lash Booster Mascara (£12.50) in Blackest Black.
Now I should point out that I only use this Pixi mascara for natural looks as it’s a bit of a weird one. If I’m doing a heavy shadow look or anything with liner then this mascara is basically invisible to the point of feeling like a waste of time to apply. I stick to Benefit They’re Real (£19.50) for anything but “natural eyes”. BUT for nearly naked eyes that just want the most gorgeous eye opening “yes I was born with these completely perfect lashes” mascara, I don’t think there’s a better one. It really does curl and lengthen with zero clumping and the way it seems to grab every individual lash ensures my lashes look like the best version of themselves – long, defined and naturally show-stopping. It’s annoying that dark shadows and liners drown it out, but it really is all you need on your eyes if you’re going for a natural look.
Lastly I coat my lips with Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm (£9.50) for alllllllll the lemon drizzle flavoured moisture. I am still so grateful to everyone who told me to buy this pot of miracles!
So yeah, that’s it! I suppose it’s quite a lot of products to slap on for a so-called “natural” look but it only takes five minutes all in and with the exception of the mascara they’re all products I’ve had for ages and use to create other looks too. It’s not like I’m only using them for this fresh faced malarkey.
I know one thing for sure though, it’s a lot bloody easier than trying to understand contouring.