How to master the art of barely there beauty

Achieving the ‘no make-up’ make-up might seem easy but looking natural takes a bit of effort.

AS the season changes and skin loses its post-summer glow, it might not be the best time to let you know that barely there make-up is still the go-to look. It might look like you’ve climbed out of bed, gulped down a healthy juice and simply swept a slick of mascara over your lashes, but there’s more to this look than meets the eye.


“The most important part of this look for me is flawless, natural looking skin. If you can see the base, it will completely ruin the whole look,” says Louise Connor, make-up artist for LOLA (available at Marks & Spencer).

“I always start with a primer to really begin that perfect finish. Choose one that has a subtle glow, to give the illusion of a natural luminosity to the skin.Go for a base that will give a natural cover, is lightweight, soft focus and blendable. Only use where you need to even out skin tone, not all over, as it will look more effective. You can then use a concealer to give extra cover under the eyes or on blemishes, if needed.

Magic ingredients: YSL Fusion Ink Foundation, €40. Mastering the quill-style applicator takes a bit of time, but once you’ve got the knack, it minimises pores and blemishes, and stays put all day long.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer, €25. A Hollywood hit used by make-up artists and celebrities the world over, this concealer really is amazing.


“Keep eye make-up to a minimum and accentuate the eye softly with a neutral eyeshadow that will colour-correct any natural redness or darkness on the lid,” says Connor.

“Next, choose a darker shadow and use this to contour the socket line to create a hint of definition. Use this colour to softly line the upper and lower lash line, to create a natural, fuller lash. Finish with mascara, using two thin coats, and be sure to brush through with a clean wand after, to separate the lashes so they don’t appear clogged and stuck together.

“Frame the eyes with a natural soft brow. Brush through with a comb and then very lightly fill in any gaps with a brow powder to achieve a natural looking finish.”

Magic ingredients: LOLA Eyeshadow duo, €17.50, Marks & Spencer. These two shades give a long-lasting natural eye.

Lancome Grandiose Mascara, €30 (Debenhams). The swan-necked wand with this mascara is designed to reach every single little lash, while allowing you to apply to both eyes with ease.


“Keep the blush to a natural, soft colour. Place this where you would naturally blush, on the apples of the cheeks, and gently sweep upwards onto the cheek bone,” Connor advises.

“Warm skins should choose yellow, peach tones and cool skins should go for cool pinks. I also use a creme blush for this look, to give a really soft, dewy finish. Avoid using too much powder to set the look — a light touch on the T-zone should be enough to prevent too much shine, and avoid mattifying the look.”

Magic ingredients: DHC Face Color Palette in Highlighter, €22.50 ( The three hues in each palette blend together perfectly for a natural flush of colour, while the olive and jojoba oils will moisturise and nourish every wave of winter away.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, €48.85, Space NK ( Diffusing and softening the way the light bounces off your skin, this uses cutting-edge technology to alter and refine the appearance of the complexion, evening out skin tone.


“For the perfect nude lip, block out any red tones on the lips with a little concealer on a foundation brush,” says Lancome make-up artist Shehla Shaikh. “Getting the colour right is important — it needs to be a balance of pink and beige, rather than just beige, which will make the face look washed out. The pink will add warmth and cheer up the complexion.”

Magic ingredients: Lanolips Lip Ointment With Colour in Rhubarb, €11.49 (Boots). Made with 60% pure grade lanolin, this subtle tint of colour will also keep lips hydrated.

Topshop Beauty Lip Bullet in Crave, €10.28. This richly pigmented, self-sharpening precision lipstick delivers a delicate peachy-nude shade with a satin finish.


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