No-Makeup Makeup

By Céline D

This look is for when you don’t want to go all out, but you also don’t want people to know you stayed up last night binge watching Netflix and decided to hit the Snooze button a few too many times this morning… 😴

Cause you know, you’re a professional now. 👩🏻‍💼

If you are new to makeup, this is a great place to start.

Make sure your skin is primed and ready for this minimal look. The key to a minimal look is a subtle glow and a hint of colour. The best way to apply my makeup is to go:

  1. Prime 1️⃣
  2. Spot Cover
  3. Eyes 👀
  4. Face
  5. Lips 💋
  6. Selfie like crazy 📱

Note that Eyes come before  Face so that if you mess up your eyeliner or have eyeshadow fallout, the mistakes can easily be erased with makeup remover, and without wiping half your face off…

Start with a fresh face. Or at least one where you splashed water on it.


1. Primer

I use Nivea After Shave Balm for Sensitive Skin. It’s inexpensive and makes for an excellent primer when you have dry-normal skin. If you have large pores you’d like to mask, this is when you would apply a pore filler. I am currently using Benefit’s Pore-fessional on my T-Zone and my chin (kissing men with scratchy 5 o’clock shadow can really irritate a person’s face…). Pore fillers are basically the Blurr tool IRL and I love them. A great one to use is the NYX Pore Filler, its comparable to the pricey Smashbox one and is very easy to use.

I use my fingers to apply both products.

2. Spot Cover

The secret to a flawless face is building coverage gradually. As you can see, I have a few spots that will need a bit more cover up. I am also very very pale (when I go to the beach, I can spot the Twilight fans because they are inexplicitly attracted to me).

Using your ring finger (aaaaalways wash your hands before touching your makeup), dab on some concealer or foundation on your spots. This allows time for your makeup to dry and build coverage in the foundation stage.

3. Eyes

Prime your lids. Always always. This is the secret to looking fresh all day. If you have oily lids and you find your makeup creases by mid day, an eyelid primer is your friend. If you have dry skin and you find your makeup looks cakey or flaky, primer is your friend. Colour not pigmented the way you like? Primer primer primer. I love my Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eye Lid Primer because its neutral coloured, and the anti-aging formula is gentle on my sensitive lids. I am prone to eczema on my face and this formula helps smooth out the skin around my eyes.


Now you are going to subtly highlight your eyes. The key to this look is to lift and brighten the eyes. Use a fluffy brush to blend a matte eye shadow that is close to your skin colour as a base. I’m using Foxy from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.

Next, locate your brow bone. Using another clean fluffy brush, blend a subtle highlighting colour (something with a little shimmer) to highlight your brow bone. Using the same shade, highlight the centre of your eye lid, without blending it out too much. To pack on the sparkle (if you want a little more glam instead of a subtle look), I use my ring finger to pack on some more of the eyeshadow in the centre of my lid.

I like to use the Vermeer shade from my Modern Renaissance palette.


To give your eyes the illusion of looking larger and more defined, tight line your upper lashes with a pencil. Soft brown for a more natural look if you have fair hair, or soft kohl for darker hair (I am using this pencil I’ve had for years. It’s an old Marcelle pencil (I warm it up by sticking it in my bra 😉 while I start my face to make it easier to glide on).

The secret to looking refreshed is using a flesh coloured eye liner on your water line. I find white too stark. Also, your eyeballs aren’t perfectly white and white eyeliner will make them look greyer, which makes you look more tired. 😑

We want to brighten with this look. ✨✨


4. Face

Choose your level of coverage. There is no right/wrong amount of coverage for a No-Makeup look, however the heavier the coverage, the less natural (perfectly imperfect) your look will be. It’s your face, you do you.

Personally, in the summer I opt for a light coverage, to let my freckles shine through with a foundation that contains SPF. In the winter, because my skin is bluer and more acne prone thanks to the constant changes in the weather, I opt for a medium coverage. I love Cover FX Total Cover Foundation because I can easily layer my coverage and I can use both a foundation brush or a damp beauty blender.

Today, I am using a knock off beauty blender (ain’t nobody got time for a 40$ sponge 🙅🙅) that I got at Forever21.

Since my spots are now drier, I can build up my coverage. I like to dab the foundation on my face in dots all over and then blend with my blender.


Now, brighten the under eye area: this is key for that fresh-face look this style is trying to sell. Use a concealer that is 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation. If you have dark circles under your eyes, use a concealer with a yellow undertone to neutralize the purple. If you have Medium-dark skin tone, you’ll want to use an orange colour corrector under your concealer.

Blend with your fingers or that trusty sponge.


Next, it’s all about that subtle sculpting and glow. Using a light bronzer, add warmth to your face. Find your cheek bones and trace underneath them with your bronzer, using an angled brush. Blend some bronzer along your temples and hairline up to your forehead. If you have a prominent forehead, blend your bronzer down to add warmth, in a heart shape.


Now, add a touch of blush to wake up your face, and gives you a subtle glow that will totally hide your late night.

I’m using Hot Mama by the Balm because it has a subtle golden shimmer that I love and it’s pretty universal.


5. Lips

Pick a neutral colour similar to your natural lip shade, or a subtle punch of colour with a pink, mauve, or a pinkish brown. 💋💋💋💋💋

Today I used Mauvy Night (473) by Revlon. I like a mauve colour because the blue undertones make my teeth look whiter. 😬

Don’t forget to add a touch of mascara (or 12 coats, remember, you do you)…


6. Selfie like Crazy

Spritz on a makeup sealer to make this look last all day/night. I swear by my Urban Decay all Nighter and finish your look with some mascara. I have very sensitive eyes so I use Makeup For Ever’s Smoky Extravagant because drugstore brands make my eyes water.

I’m finishing this look up by adding a little powder to my brows because I have patchy eyebrows thanks to anxiety induced plucking. Small angle brush and matte brow powder is all I use.

Voilà! An effortless look (that required some effort).

I can usually pull this look together in about 12 minutes since it requires minimal blending.

IMG_1348 2


*sample of products used

About the Author

16819354_10155080140144036_5811531852356143584_o.jpgI love makeup. I started getting interested in Grade 8 when I wanted to do my own eyeshadow for my graduation. I chose “black eye bruised purple” and I didn’t have the internet to help. Only books and flimsy sponge applicators. I’d like to think I’ve grown since then. I am an Administrative Assistant by day and moonlight as a Makeup
I learned what I know from books, the internet and good old fashioned trial and error. The administration field is not exactly the high life, so I bud
get myself for my makeup splurges. You don’t need a 24K Gold Leaf Face Mask to bring out that inner Beauty Queen. 👸

I hope these articles help you find that confidence 👊you need to try a crazy makeup look, whether it’s mastering the cat eye (work in progress), or blending the rainbow on your eyelids to transform yourself into the magical unicorn that you are. 🦄✨

I believe makeup is genderless and classless (livin’ that dupe life). Makeup is for everyone. It’s a great tool that you can use to express yourself, boost your confidence or tap into a different side of your personality. If someone ever makes you feel bad about your makeup, just remind them that you don’t exist to please them. You don’t need that kind of negativity cramping your diva style.💁

As my favourite TV teacher would say: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

– Céline D.


2 thoughts on “No-Makeup Makeup

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