Is your biggest fear about hiring a makeup artist that they’re going to breeze in and ‘cake it’ on?
I’ll let you into a secret, I can’t stand the Instagram look. Divisive, I know (and a whole other blog). It looks great in front of a ring light, but can look terrible in daylight. Two layers of concealer and then ‘baking’ under the eyes? Don’t get me wrong, I love drag makeup. Its been around for years and has a place, but it tends to be way too heavy for most people in everyday life. Aside from it being ageing, all that contouring is also making you look less like you. And you’re beautiful just the way you are!
My most asked for look, from almost every client I’ve had the pleasure to work with, is for their makeup to be natural. I’d say 99% of my enquiries mention looking natural. So I’d never breeze on in and cake you in makeup… unless that’s what you wanted, obviously. The natural look can be a difficult one to create, especially for camera as it always needs just 10% more makeup than you’re used too. But my aim is always for it to have a natural feel to it too!
It’s an ambiguous ask. It’s also open to interpretation. But from experience I take it to mean that skin needs to look and feel like skin. And the main aim is to eradicate those flaws that make us feel insecure, without changing who looks back at us in the mirror.
So here are 7 steps to natural looking makeup:
1. Invest in a medium coverage foundation. Double Wear Light by Estée Lauder would offer longevity and medium coverage. Revlon Colour Stay is a decent dupe if you’re after something cheaper. The key is to layer it up slowly where you need it, and use a dome headed brush to buff it in bit by bit. It’ll stop it looking caked as you’ll only use what you actually need. Real techniques have an affordable one. Spend time here!
2. Next turn the spotlight onto your brows. I’m a High Definition fan and they only do 3 shades. Bombshell (blonde), Foxy (mid brown/red) and Vamp (dark). So it’s super-easy to place yourself! Their Browtec is foolproof and long wearing. Start from the outside looking for gaps working into the middle… brush out the makeup all the time. You’ll feel like you’re brushing the product away, but it’ll look way better as you’re slowly building it up. Starting from the outside and working inwards stops the bulb (the bit nearest your nose at the front) looking too dark.
3. Most people would agree we look healthier with a little bit of a tan. Get a big fluffy brush and whack this where the sunlight would naturally hit your face. I always go around the hair line and top of the forehead, cheeks (leave a spot for your blusher), chin and bridge of nose. Glowing is good and this is ‘old-school’ contouring. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extra.
4. In beauty, big, wide-open eyes are desirable, so curl your lashes and add 2/3 coats of mascara. You could do brown on the bottom lashes, but I’d always go for black as it creates the starkest contrast with the whites of your eyes. Then I’d head for a MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or Maybelline Creme De Rose, which is a good dupe. It’s a cream shadow base and helps eye shadow last longer. Pat that across your eye lid with your finger. Then in true Kevyn Aucoin style get your bronzer brush back out and just give both eyes a bit of a dusting.
You could get a white or cappuccino eyeliner pencil for the waterline. And if eyeliner is you, do it. It adds drama to the lash line. I’d then use a black or brown eye shadow to softly buff the line. This is called called Double Lining.
I’d also correct and conceal under the eyes for a really flawless finish. Click here for a ‘how-to’.
5. For that healthy flush pick a blush colour that mimics the natural colour your cheeks have when you’ve exercised. Build it up slowly again. And for a flush focus on the front apples of your cheeks. You can place it higher on your cheek bones, but that’ll create a more sophisticated look. I tend to go there with evening looks.
6. If you’re keeping it natural pick a lip colour that’s as close to your natural lip colour as you can get it. Bobbi Brown have 10 original colours that are pretty neutral. They claim there’s one for everyone. I like Blondie Pink and Sandwash Pink the most. Or Charlotte Tilbury do some lovely neutrals too. Maybe check out Bitch Perfect?
7. And lastly set what you’ve done with powder if you’re oily or want a matte finish. If you’re a fan of dewy, leave it out and head for a setting spray. If you’re oily L’Oréal do an inexpensive one. It has a powder within in it, which works well with oily skins. And if you have dry skin Bobbi brown do an amazing Face Mist with calming ingredients like chamomile and cucumber. I’m addicted to it.
Obviously natural looking makeup is up for personalisation. If there’s something you do that makes your makeup yours, do it! It’ll make you feel better and more secure to add those kind of finishing touches. I encourage all of my client’s to let me in on their little ‘idiosyncrasies’. I have enough of them! But hiring a makeup artist definitely isn’t all about thick and heavy makeup. It’s about working to the boundaries of the individual in our chair.