Beauty: Finally mastering barely-there makeup

It’s no secret that when it comes to makeup, I can’t exactly call myself a master. Call it laziness or lack of time, but I just can’t seem to find enough patience for it. Sure, I have plenty of pals who absolutely adore their daily makeup routines. Since I started lecturing at Northumbria, I sometimes like to marvel at the sheer commitment to contouring some of my students have. Whereas most days I’m lucky if I can muster up the effort for liquid eyeliner. But you know, New Year, New Me and all that, so I decided it was time to start trying to master the whole barely there makeup. And although I definitely feel like I’m still getting to grips, I wanted to share a few of my favourite miracle products that have helped me create that allusive ‘I’m not really wearing any makeup’ look.

Having very dry, sensitive skin (and eczema pretty much my whole life), my complex tends to be pretty clear. I’m pretty lucky when it comes to skincare that I only really have to worry about break-outs once a month. So usually, unless I’m feeling pretty conscious, I tend to skip foundation and concealer. While I feel like this must be better for my skin in the sense that it lets it breathe, it does make me feel like I look a little pasty.

An oldie but a goodie, Chanel Les Beiges is my go-to powder for instant colour. More of a warm glow than a bronzer, it’s light enough in colour to sweep all over your face to give it more healthy glow. Paired with my new favourite, Benefit’s Watts Up highlighter, it creates the perfect dewy, radiant complex with minimal actual effort. If you’ve not tried it out yet, I’d definitely recommend investing in Watts Up. Having tried it now with paler winter skin and tanned skin this summer, it gives the perfect iridescent shimmer for your skin tone. Plus with its spongey applicator, it’s easy to create that perfect soft focus, old Hollywood look that makes your cheek bones pop!

While I can skip foundation and I can honestly say I wouldn’t know where to begin with contouring, I have to admit that my eyes are important to me. Naturally, my lashes are fairly long and have a nice curl. But being someone with naturally fine hair (which suits me just fine for my legs) they’re just so bloody fine and fair. The last time I was due for a wax and chatting to my beauty therapist, Claire (who owns CT Beauty Therapy in Heaton – head over to her Facebook for all her latest offers!), I started complaining about my dilemma. Having known a few friends who got pretty addicted to semi permanent lashes and had some balding, they kind of freak me out. So Claire suggested I try out the LVL Lash Treatment from Nouveau Lashes.

The treatment works by straightening your lashes at the root to create longer, thicker looking eyelashes followed by a lash tint that darkens them. The effects are pretty dramatic, giving you a mascara-like look naturally and lifting your lashes way higher to create a wide-eyed look. Perfect for a pre-holiday treatment that means you don’t need to worry about mascara when you’re in the sun. Plus they last for 6-8 weeks which is fairly good value for money with a treatment that Claire offers for £35 a pop (including a free lash boost 3-4 weeks after your first treatment). I also invested in one of their conditioning lash serums to help extend the length of the treatment and nurture my lashes.

In a world of lip fillers and artificially enhanced features, I’d say my lips are more like Kylie Jenner’s pre-surgery pout. The trouble is that they’re not just thin, they’re small. So while overdrawing them makes me look like a clown, having a swipe of colour doesn’t make them look a lot better. If only just a little more noticeable. So while I’m not interested in remedying this with anything that can be injected into my face, I am willing to concede that I should make more attempt with my makeup.

Although I’m definitely a fan of a brighter lip colour, I’m also the same person who constantly moves their lips or rubs their face. So within ten minutes of applying my lovely matte red, you can guarantee it’s probably stained around my face and chin. I guess I’m still learning not to be so expressive. Or to pay more attention to what I have on my face. In the mean time, and when I’m trying to create a more natural look, I’ve fallen for the hype of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk lipliner. Dubbed as a cheat sheet for full lips and paired with a nude lipstick like Penelope Pink, it really does give the illusion of a fuller, more kissable pout.

If anyone has any more recommendations for great barely-there makeup products, please let me know! I’d love to hear your recommendations!

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