By Sophia Hussain
We saw this look most recently on the catwalks of haute couture week, in Paris. Valentino, Ralph & Russo and Rami al Ali were just a few of the incredible designers who showed natural makeup looks on their models.
Minimalist beauty is all about having a refined natural make-up look that mimics a healthy glow. Of course there is no substitute for great skin, but why not work with what you’ve got, with a little help? An all-natural look can be effortlessly achieved using organic or mineral cosmetics that maintain healthy skin and never look like a caked-on make-up mask.
We help you recreate the coveted natural make-up look (think “model off duty” or “I woke up looking like this”) with our brilliant selection of universally flattering organic and mineral cosmetics.
Now, here’s how to get a fresh face in a flash!
Step 1: Five Ways to a Flawless Face
Choose your base! There are lots of options to prepare your ‘canvas’. Choose what works best for you, depending on your skin type, and if you can’t choose between products, remember that the brand that uses SPF as part of their formula should ‘win’ your purchase–there’s nothing kinder you could do to your skin than protect it from the sun!
Mineral Base: Mineral makeup gives a barely there neutral base, and is perfect for oilier skins. One I like is Inika Mineral Powder Foundation, which is a 3-in-1 foundation, concealer and powder formulated with SPF15, which provides long-lasting coverage without clogging pores. Using a Kabuki brush or your fingers, gently buff on the foundation using circular motions to blotchy or red spots over the entire face, to create an even-toned fresh-finish complexion. Remember to apply a thin veil of foundation to the eyelids and lips too–this helps set other types of makeup.
Organic BB Cream: While most BB creams are full of an alarming number of chemicals including silicone, parabens, fragrance and more that are difficult to even pronounce, there are luckily a growing number of organic ones out there too, such as La Mav, 100% Pure, and Pure Organic. Given that there’s such a wide variety out there, there’s certainly one for you, no matter what hue your skin tone may be. Always test on your face or your neck, not your hand, as the skin tone there may be different.
It’s best to apply a BB cream with your fingers, as the product reacts to body heat and makes it easier to apply, but for an even smoother finish, some prefer a sponge or a brush.
Start by applying 5 dots of product to your forehead, nose, two cheeks, and chin and blend by patting the product into your skin, or gently flicking it in an upward motion with your ring finger. The ‘dots’ should be about even in amount; apply the cream fairly sparsely to avoid a ‘masky’ look. You can always apply more later if need be. Note that you may never achieve a perfect look with BB cream alone, as it just evens out skin tone rather than covering imperfections. If you have spots or dark circles, you may need a concealer, too.
Perfect Primer: The Stratus Instant Skin Perfector by Vapour Beauty is a 3-in-1 product that has become an absolute favourite with Eluxe staff. This is a moisturiser, primer and no-colour foundation that evens out skin tone and hides common issues like rosacea, large pores and fine lines. You can use the thick stick to gently ‘dot’ the product your entire face, or just focus on problem areas. In any case, you’ll need to blend it in gently, patting it in or flicking upwards with your fingers afterwards. Leaves a smooth, satiny finish, but like BB cream, you may need some concealer for problem areas later, as this product aims to even out skin tone only.
Only the Spots: If you’ve got amazing skin and would rather just camouflage the tiniest imperfections, or if you need a bit of a boost after applying a BB cream, base, foundation or primer, go for a concealer stick one shade lighter than your skin tone, like Dr. Hauschka’s Pure Care Cover Stick (which is formulated with tea tree and manuka oils). Dot on and blend well in a gentle, upward motion with a non-latex sponge or your fingers. As the under eye area is extremely delicate, you may want to try ‘bouncing’ over the area–make sure you don’t drag the skin here. For an even more illuminating effect or to mask dark circles, apply the concealer in an inverted-V formation, starting from the inner eye corner, and extending towards the upper cheek.
Step 2: Sculpt and Contour
Create defined cheekbones using a mineral based or cream blush–dry skin should use the creamiest blush you can find. Not sure which colour to use? Pinch your cheeks and seek that exact same shade.
To apply a powdered product, you’ll need an excellent Kabuki brush–check out Sigma for a great range of vegan brushes. For a creamy blush, we like AEOS’s blushing compacts. Cream blushers are a bit trickier to apply than powder: always remember that a little goes a long way! Start by dotting 3-4 dots of product on your cheekbone and blending up with your fingertips. For an alternative technique, watch the video below.
For a powder blush, Studio 78 Paris We Evade Bronzing Powder is super: the baked formula offers long-lasting natural result. Using either a bronzer brush or blush brush, apply the bronzer on each side of the face, starting from the top of your cheekbone and following the angle of the face contour in a triangular shape that sees the widest angle on the outer part of your cheekbones, tapering inward towards the nose. Not sure where to stop? Imagine drawing a line from the outer corner of your lips, upward–that’s around where the blush should end.
Step 3: Bright Eyes
After you’ve prepped your lids and hidden your dark circles with the tips above, it’s time to open your eyes to beauty with curled lashes and strategically placed eye makeup for an innocent effect. Nude is a huge look, popular with models and all the big brands. Watch how Burberry gets their nude look on Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne below (too bad that Burberry makeup is full of toxins though!)
Curl: I love Eyeko’s goof-proof wide-grip Lash Curler. Using a mirror, position the curler close to the lash root, squeeze gently, hold down, then release and carefully remove curler from eyes. Finish off the look with lashings of mascara. For a less clumped, more natural look, brush off excess mascara with a lash brush, or even an old (well washed!) toothbrush.
Fill in: If your brows are thin or not naturally well defined, fill in with a perfectly matched, well sharpened brow pencil by flicking tiny lines in where hairs should ideally be. Make sure you blend well with your finger, a Q-Tip or a brow brush to ensure there are no telltale pencil marks.
Shadow: No liner required for this look! A tawny brown or even a golden pink eyeshadow lends some depth to the eye and still looks natural. Faerie Organic makes some wonderful, highly pigmented eye shadows, such as their Cocoa Bean and Free Spirit shades.
Step 4: Lovely Lips
Mimic the hue of natural pink soft lips for a perfect pout. Since you already applied a thin veil of mineral foundation to neutralize your natural lip tone, opt for universally flattering pink hues, like Chère by Vapour Organic. This lipstick also doubles as a lip conditioner for long-lasting colour and nourished lips. After applying the colour, blot then re-apply. For extra dimension, dab a tiny dot of gloss in the very centre of your bottom lip. We love AEOS’s organic gloss in neutral. If you prefer a totally glossy look, Knutzen Lip Gloss by UND Gretel in Nude Shimmer is the perfect natural pink hue for an all-out amplified pucker.
Step 5: Nude Nails
Elongated fingers are always elegant so add a polished finish with flesh-toned nail enamels that suits any nail-shape too. After prepping nails, (see video) apply either one or two coats of a 5-free (no formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, and camphor) enamel. We like Void Beauty’s Peace and Quiet shade. Perfectly nude, and lasts for ages without chipping!
What kinds of organic makeup tips would you like to see in Eluxe? Let us know! [email protected] or leave a comment below.
Images: Ivonne Veith photogaphy