How to Look Good Without Makeup

Now I know makeup isn’t a necessity in life and some people look perfectly lovely bare-faced – so please don’t think I believe everyone looks or should feel ugly without it – I definitely don’t. This tutorial (can I call it that?) is for those days when you can’t really be bothered caking on creams and powders, or perhaps when you have to wear suncream and will have to reapply throughout the day but still want to look somewhat like the person you present when wearing makeup. Capiche? Good.

Maybe I should have titled this post "How I Try to Look Good Without Makeup" but I think it's good to have some self-confidence. And if you think I look not so good, well that's your opinion and you are perfectly entitled to it.

What you will need:

  • Exfoliant
  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Moisturiser
  • Mouthwash (optional)
  • Toothpaste
  • Lip scrub
  • Lip balm (definitely not optional are you insane?!)
  • Tweezers
  • Spooly or old mascara wand
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Glass (or more) of water
    (I guess most of these are optional depending on personal preferences but this is what I recommend for most people) 

Step 1: Water
Drink a glass of water. Go on, I dare you. As soon as you wake up, take a drink, even If you dilute a glass of fresh apple (how I do it). Water will rehydrate your skin after sleeping, helping to reduce puffiness around eyes and also dark circles. It should also help to make your skin less saggy over the long-term, so stick at it! You’ll be glowing in no time.

Step 2: Exfoliate, Cleanse and Tone
Exfoliating makes your skin super soft and smooth, which is why it is great for days when you’re not using foundation and powder to fake that idealised complexion. My weapon of choice is baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda. Just mix with a little water to create an easy to apply paste.

It is also important to cleanse your face to remove excess oils and trapped dirt etc. It also helps to balance out your skin tone and leaves you feeling refreshed, creating a great complexion for the day ahead. My favourite recently has been black soap from Ghana. I buy mine from Akoma Skincare.

Just remember to gently pat dry with a clean towel afterwards but don’t rub and scrub as this will aggravate your skin!

Toner is one of my favourite skincare products because it is a quick and easy way to refresh your skin while still pampering it with lots of lovely jubbly vitamins and other goodies. I have been hooked on LUSH’s Tea Tree Water since the day I was born (okay maybe a slight exaggeration) and I seriously recommend you give it a try too!

Step 3: Teeth, Breath and Lips

I’m sure you brush your teeth twice a day, but if you are planning to go out then I suggest giving your pearly whites another quick clean before you leave. By using a non-damaging whitening type (like Pearl Drops - my fave is the pink one), you can brighten up your beautiful smile to revive your makeup-free look.

Okay, so you may have loved that absolutely delicious bacon roll with mountains of ketchup you had this morning, but your friends and family probably won’t appreciate it quite as much as you did. Strictly speaking your breath doesn’t affect your physical appearance, but I think it's important to feel good too! Sometimes, brushing your teeth isn’t enough, or if you want (or need) a really really quick pick-me-up before leaving then mouthwash is the solution. And you get to gargle the Doctor Who theme tune too!

A lip scrub will exfoliate your lips, make them soft, smooth and give them a natural, healthy look. Simply rub on, lick or wash off and pat dry with a towel. I use LUSH’s Sweet Lips because it tastes like vanilla and chocolate. ‘Nuff said. If you don’t have a lip scrub, you can either DIY your own by mixing honey and brown sugar or use a wet toothbrush to scrub off the dead skin. But the vanilla and chocolate-tasting version is my favourite of course. Hoever apparently Sweet Lips is now discontinued in the UK. Ew. Bubblegum is just as good though - and it's pink!

After exfoliating your lips, I recommend applying a moisturising lipbalm. Is that classed as makeup? Nahh. The one thing I couldn’t live without is lipbalm. If you won’t be able to apply it throughout the day, I still recommend using it once in the morning or before you leave to keep your lips hydrated.

Step 4: Moisturise and Sun Cream
After exfoliating and cleansing, oh and toning, your skin may be feeling a little tight or dry. To combat this, apply as much moisturiser as you think you need, and then a bit more. Your skin should absorb the moisturiser until it is happy, so just keep going till you’re satisfied with how it feels. This will keep your skin hydrated throughout the day and give you a healthy and glowing appearance.

Also, if you do need to apply sun cream, now is the time to do it. Wait until your moisturiser is fully absorbed, then go crazy and slather on that SPF – you can never put on too much. However you probably don’t want to reach the extent of dripping the stuff, often executed by my dad.

Step 5: Eyebrows and Eyelashes
If you’re not going to be filling your eyebrows in, it’s a good idea to keep them well-groomed for a defined appearance. Mine become invisible after the arch, but I can live with that as long as I keep them plucked, trimmed and brushed. Makes me smile when I see a well-groomed eyebrow – is that sad..?

I begin by plucking any stray hairs to create a more defined brow. I recommend using a magnified mirror because it's very easy to miss hairs. The more neat, the better they will look - in my opinion. Although some people can pull of the bushy brows and I salute them - just not me haha.

Next, take a spooly brush or old mascara wand (make sure it's clean!) and brush your eyebrows in an upwards direction. I then trim (with nail scissors - but I should probably get some hair suitable ones...) any hairs that are too long for my liking. This is optional and up to your personal preference, but just be careful and don't go crazy with the scissors or you could end up with not-so-nice patches! Also be careful you don't stab yourself in the eye or cut your eyelashes. I trimmed my left eyelash once and I'm still not sure if it's fully regrown! It was a sad time.

At this stage you could always curl your eyelashes if you're into that sort of thing. It will help to open up your eyes and make you appear more alert and awake without actually wearing any mascara! I myself am a bit scared of eyelash curlers, but I hear NYX have a good one, so maybe I'll give it a go soon. I'll do it if you will?

Step 6: Hair

When I'm not wearing makeup, I sometimes feel less feminine and used to think I looked like a man with my hair up lol. That's just my insecurities I guess! Anyway, if you feel the same way, I suggest wearing your hair in a pretty way. I went for my FIRST EVER messy bun with a doughnut because my hair is too thick and heavy to do it any other way. But you could also experiment with braids, french braids, wispy fringes, curls, waves - anything you can think of and want to try out to be honest! Whatever your style, wear it with confidence.
I then added a bow because I'm cute like that. And ooh look you can still see some of the pink/red from my Kool-Aid hair dye!
And that, my friends, is the final no-makeup look we have created. Well done, this wouldn't have happened without you - well the tutorial wouldn't have anyway. So a big round of applause is due! I hope this maybe makes you feel more confident to go out and face the world without makeup, maybe when you're nipping to the shops or going out for lunch with a friend. Whatever the occasion, it is perfectly acceptable to go makeup-free. And there are many ways to do so while still looking fresh-faced and healthy!
In case you do still want to wear a wee bit of makeup (which is also totally acceptable of course), here is what I decided on:
This look was really quick and simple. First I dabbed a bit of concealer over my dark circles to make me appear more awake. I also covered the worst patches of redness on my skin. I skipped powder (which I honestly never do) for a more natural and dewy look.
I then filled my brows in very lightly with my MUA Luxe Power Brow and used the highlighting side on my browbone, above my brows, the inner corner of my eyes, my eyelids, my cupid's bow and my cheekbones.
I followed by applying very dark purple Bourjois eyeshadow along my top and bottom lashline with an angled eyeliner brush to give the illusion of thicker lashes because I couldn't be bothered with mascara. It takes me about 5 minutes to put on mascara and I just wasn't going through that today.
Finally, I applied a chunky bright pink lipbalm/crayon thing on my lips. I prefer wearing pink rather than red on minimal makeup days because it is a more youthful colour, giving you a fresher appearance! Top tip there.
Wow that was a long post!! I really hope it helped you however as it was a lot of fun for me to write! If you ever want to chat about makeup versus no makeup I would love to hear your opinions either in the comments, on Twitter or other social media or even privately in an email!
Hope you're all having a lovely summer,

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