The clean beauty, no-makeup look reigned supreme at the 2014 Academy Awards. Along with the it-girls of the moment, the mature actresses wore a clean beauty, no-makeup look. Bette Midler and Meryl Streep epitomized this trend. They were radiant, beautiful, and flawless.
The clean, no-makeup look is one that is appropriate for every woman, no matter her stage in life, but it is especially appropriate for the mature women. The clean beauty look is easy for the mature woman to wear because the look consists of just a slightly enhanced “you”. The goal is not to transform or reshape facial characteristics. It is to present the best natural “YOU”. The clean, no-makeup look is ALWAYS appropriate and can take you from day to evening.
The basis of the no-makeup look is the flawless face. Wrinkles, fine lines, and creases are a NON-ISSUE. That’s right! Texture is NOT an issue with this look because the look is based on unblemished, even-toned skin. Think about it! When you think of flawless skin, you think about color and clarity. You don’t really think about texture. For example, in the photos below, Bette Midler and Meryl Streep have flawless-even skin. They have crow’s feet and laugh lines for sure, but their SKIN is without flaw. They are beautiful.
The keys to achieving the no-makeup look are:
- Warm, even-toned skin
- Concealed flaws
- Sunlit cheeks
- Softly radiant eyes
- Kissable lips
Warm, Even-toned Skin
Goldie Hawn’s skin looks healthy and radiant. She has the warm, vibrant glow of a woman that spends time outdoors. Although she is fully made up, you see her skin, not her foundation. Seeing the skin is the most important characteristic of the no-makeup look, and a tinted moisturizer is the ideal product for achieving it. Tinted moisturizers provide both hydration and light, translucent coverage. Exactly what the mature woman wants! They are sheerer than traditional foundation, and a lot more forgiving. The good ones contain ingredients that allow them to adapt to the skin-tone to which they are applied. All one has to do is select a shade that is close to their own.
Try warmer neutral tones because they impart youthfulness and avoid pink-based products as they tend to produce a “cool” look. Remember, the goal is to appear vibrant and healthy. Warm tones typically look more vibrant and alive than cooler tones. When shopping for a tinted moisturizer, start with one produced by the company that makes your tried and true moisturizer. If their moisturizer works for you, chances are good that their tinted moisturizer will perform well for you too. Beauty.com’s 13 Best Tinted Moisturizers is an excellent source of additional information about drugstore and high-end brands.
In the winter, I like to use a priming moisturizer before applying tinted moisturizer. In the first photo, my face is clean. I’ve used Laura Mercier’s Hydrating Foundation Primer in the second photo. Click the link for a detailed review. The primer is optional, but I use it to minimize the appearance of fine lines and even my dry, flaky winter skin. In the third photo, I’ve groomed my brows and applied Salma Hayek’s Nuance brand Flawless Wear Tinted Moisturizer in Deep 265. It provides the sheer finish I’m after for this no-makeup look.
The goal of concealer is to conceal dark spots, pimples, and under eye circles, without negating the “clean” look achieved with the tinted moisturizer. One way to do this is to apply concealer after applying the tinted moisturizer. In fact, you should give your tinted moisturizer 3-5 minutes to “work” before applying concealer. During this little break, you are allowing the product to “set” and adapt to your skin tone. You may find that the tinted moisturizer already covers the areas you were going to conceal.
The two most important things about using concealer are to (1) not use too much product and (2) to blend, blend, and blend some more. Apply product with a thin brush and blend with your finger, sponge, or beauty blender. Rather than applying tons of product in one pass, build to the desired coverage using thin layers. The result will be more natural, less cakey, and less likely to settle into fine lines and wrinkles. This is especially true for highly textured skin.
There are tons of concealers out there, but the one created by Eve Pearl is special. Eve Pearl, Emmy Award winning makeup artist for The View, is famous for her salmon concealers. Many have tried to duplicate them, but nothing works like the original.
If your skin is prone to shininess, apply a very thin veil of powder. Enough to combat shine, but not so much that you end up destroying the bare-skin look you are trying to achieve.
The clean beauty look is characterized by a natural flushed cheek. You are trying to replicate the flush of a child’s cheek. The cheek should not be dramatic or exaggerated. Use cream blush to achieve a dewy look. Peachy and peachy-pink shades are the most flattering.
TIP: do NOT smile when applying blush. As we age, the apple of the cheek in resting position (when you are not smiling) tends to be lower. If you smile and apply blush to the apple of the cheek, blush ends up in a position that is too low on the face. When you aren’t smiling, your blush ends up below the plane of your nostril. It might feel strange the first time you apply blush higher up on the cheek than you are used to, but the result will be significantly more flattering.
Softly Radiant Eyes
A matte neutral eye shadow palette should be in every mature woman’s makeup kit. Apply a matte shadow that is a slightly darker than skin-tone to the crease and blend through the crease and downward to the lid until all hard lines are completely blended. To balance the eye, apply that same shade tightly under the outer 2/3rds of the lower lash line. The goal is to enhance the eye without making the effect dramatic in any way, so avoid contrast by thoroughly blending all intersections of skin and color.
Viseart (link to detailed review) makes an excellent matte neutral palette of shadows that are very blendable and DO NOT settle into textured eyelids. There is a famous $52 neutral palette that comes highly recommended by YouTube makeup gurus. The colors are pretty and the package is beautiful, but those shadows are shimmery, sparkly, and shiny –everything the mature woman should avoid. For most of us, matte is the way to go.
If you find that your eyes need more definition, apply a dark brown or soft gray pencil or shadow to the upper lash line. Do not use black. It is too harsh. Dark brown and gray are much softer and conducive to a no-makeup look.
TIP: If your eyes are hooded and upper liner bleeds to your lid, apply liner to the tightline (the inner rim of the upper lid). You’ll be amazed at how much better lining the tightline looks. Plus, once you get the hang of it, it is much easier to get straight than the upper lash line.
The no-makeup look requires a natural lip. To achieve this, select a lip stick or gloss that exactly matches your natural lip color. This may mean tones that are pinky-peachy if you are fair, or honey and cinnamon if you are deeper toned. You’ve probably seen ads for lipsticks in taupe hued “nude” shades. Although the taupe-nude lip is very popular, is VERY difficult for most women to wear. Remember: The goal is to appear natural and healthy. For most, a taupe-nude lip makes one look washed out or ill. For day, go with a shade that is close to your natural lip color. To transition the look into evening, just intensify the lip color and you are ready for a night on the town!
Crème Luxe Lipsticks by BH Cosmetics.com are the longest lasting lipsticks I’ve ever tried. I apply lipstick at 7am and still have full lip color at 8pm. I drink coffee all day, and eat lunch and dinner and still have lip color on at 8pm. Do not be put off by the $3.95 price tag. These lipsticks are highly pigmented, moisturizing, and stay put ALL DAY.
The Completed Look
I completed the look applying concealer, blush, shadow, and mascara. In the day look, I used a lip gloss similar to my natural lip color, and transitioned the look to evening with “Te Amo” lipstick by BH Cosmetics.
The clean beauty, no-makeup look takes moments to achieve and requires little skill to execute. It can take you from work, to play, to an evening out.