I’m a huge fan of a no makeup look, which usually for me consists of translucent powder and eyebrows. Maybe a cheek/lip tint. But it’s mostly no makeup at all. I mean, that’s literally the point of #nomakeup. Not surprisingly, that just isn’t the case for our favorite celebs. A typical no makeup look for them requires falsies, grooming, dermatologists, Photoshop, and of course, a lot more makeup than you would think. Smh. But what can we say? It works! And by that I mean, it successfully convinces impressionable women (and naive men) that these women look camera-ready without a stitch of makeup or enhancements. Because we don’t have enough to worry about as it is… now I have to be concerned with not looking like a model when I wake up with a debilitating hangover? Cool cool cool cool cool…
And in case you have no idea WTF I’m talking about, an example of a no makeup look is like this photo of Kylie for her Kylie Skin brand.
View this post on Instagram
KYLIE F*CKING SKIN! wow. skincare and makeup go hand in hand and Kylie Skin was something i dreamt up soon after Kylie Cosmetics. I’ve been working on this for what feels like a lifetime so i can’t believe I’m finally announcing! building my makeup line from the ground up has taught me a lot and I’m so blessed with that knowledge to apply to my brand new company! Birthing a whole new team, manufacturing, fulfillment etc separate from my cosmetics line was challenging but here we are! I got the best of the best for you guys! Everything is cruelty free, vegan, gluten free, paraben and sulfate free and suitable for all skintypes. Make sure you follow @kylieskin to stay updated. I’ll be revealing these amazing products very soon! the official launch date is 5/22! Yay!! so much love went into this. it all starts with skin. Stay tuned ? can’t wait to share. #KylieSkin KylieSkin.com
“If only I could look that good without makeup,” you think. No. Stop it right now. How are celebrities actually achieving looks like this? Well… it’s a surprising amount of work. Especially if you’re like me and have no eyes without liner/mascara, and acne, so you can’t just do actual no makeup and look this good. Let’s break down what really goes into photos like these.
To fake a celebrity-scale no makeup look, it’s easier if you don’t have a lot to cover up. That means having an on-point skin care routine, a great dermatologist, and plastic surgery. Like, sorry, but if you have your lips full of fillers, you don’t need as much lipstick. If you plump up your cheeks, you have more of a cheekbone. And getting eyelash extensions takes care of the need for mascara, while still leaving your lashes over-the-top and dramatic. Celebs also have their eyebrows done perfectly. Sooo yeah, it’s a lot easier to look “perfect” when your face is engineered, so don’t take it out on yourself. Just a little reminder that Kylie used to look like this:
Amazingly, a no makeup look requires a lot of… makeup. For this particular picture, Kylie likely has on foundation (perfectly matched, of course), and it looks like they went back and wiped out her freckles to make them look less noticeable. Then, they probably used a glow powder—it’s like a translucent powder, so it absorbs oil, but it catches more light. It’s like a more subtle highlighter but it still hits in the perfect spots (especially under professional lighting), to give you a dewy look but not oily. Laura Mercier makes a great one:
LAURA MERCIER Translucent Loose Setting Powder Glow
Since Kylie already has lash extensions, there is no need for mascara. Lash extensions also are clumped darker/tighter than your real lashes, so it gives the impression of top eyeliner already, which means no liner. I think this was pushed further though, with an eyeshadow that’s slightly darker than her skin tone, and then using an even darker shadow to lightly line the bottom lashes. Then they tightlipped the top lid with black (where the liner just goes right at the lash follicles and no more). It makes her eyes pop. Eyebrows are done the same as always, pencil/cream/shadow and then brushed out to blend. From there, there’s definitely a light contour, blush, more highlighter (even on the lips!), and a lip tint. If you’re going for natural/subtle, I’m really into Milk Makeup’s lip/cheek combo sticks right now.
Of course, there is always a ton of editing in these photos, but especially one that’s being used for an ad. It’s done really well, which is why this photo hasn’t made it in my Photoshop Fail series. No makeup photoshop consists of erasing blemishes, dodge/burning highlights and shadows, and making it so her face is even more contoured, and darkening around the eyes so that they don’t blend in with her skintone. Also, color correction. If they are using a lighter foundation or erasing out for the freckles, they would probably have to go back and clean up any redness/uneven color that happens on real skin. Those would just be my basics.
So as you can see, it’s a lot of work to pull off the casual, flawless, celeb off-duty no makeup look. It’s funny because this seems like a perfect going-to-the-gym sort of face, if you really want to be that girl, but all that makeup on my skin would definitely make me break out once I start sweating. So…. not worth it. I personally don’t have the energy to do this all just to look like I’m NOT wearing makeup. Go big or go home, amiright? Anyway, good luck to you. Post your own no makeup looks below, I’d love to see what your routine is!
Images: Instagram (@kyliejenner) (2); Sephora (2)
The more reality TV I watch, the more I notice one, highly specific effect: I become obsessed with the relative lushness of my eyelashes. It doesn’t matter that reality stars openly discuss their extensions, falsies, or long-standing relationships with Latisse. Every time I see a new VPR cast member upload a selfie, then take a quick peek in my own front-facing mirror, I’m left disappointed. SO, I did what any self-obsessed part-time beauty blogger sane person would: sent some emails, booked some appointments, and tested out each lash treatment du jour for myself. In the past year, I’ve tried out lash extensions, lash tints, and lash lifts—here’s what I found out.
Lash Treatment #1: Lash Extensions
Lash extensions were the first treatment I wanted to try, mostly because I didn’t really know lash lifts and tints existed until a few months ago. I’ve gotten lash extensions three or four times now, and the best advice I can give is that the quality really, really varies by location—so do your f*cking research.
Pros: If you’re going to be on camera, or you just really live for a dramatic lash, then extensions are the way to go. If you’re the kind of person who wants to pretend their lashes are totally natural and not have anyone be able to tell: this treatment is not for you. It makes sense that this treatment has the most pronounced effect, since it’s the only one that actually gives you more lashes than you were born with, in addition to making them darker, longer, and thicker.
Cons: First of all, they’re expensive. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but if you’re paying under $100 for a service, then the service they’re performing is likely very questionable. I also find the process fairly unpleasant, given that it’s up to two hours of someone repeatedly, if softly, jabbing your eyelid. I’ve also had some stinging reactions from the glue they use, but whatever, beauty is pain. The other downside I’d note is that my real lashes do seem distinctly droopier for a few weeks after the extensions come off. It could just be in comparison to how lush the extensions seemed, or it could be that my lashes are not quite as load-bearing as I hoped. Either way—once I started getting extensions, not having them seemed like a real bummer. And financially, constantly having them just isn’t an option.
Please enjoy this heavily filtered picture of me 3 hours post-extension treatment:
Lash Treatment #2: Lash Tint
For those of you who don’t know, a lash tint involves, well, tinting your lashes. Ideally to a darker shade, but I guess you could get weird with it if you wanted. I visited the Benefit Brow Bar back in February for a lash and brow tint, since I was in LA at the time and feeling intimidated by all the women marching out of hot yoga without mascara streaming down their cheeks. I’ll just discuss the lash aspect below, but I’d like to mention here that I also LOVED the brow tint—I usually stuck to a brow pencil that was similar to my natural shade, but I loved the added drama of going darker.
Pros: This is by far the most affordable service: at Benefit, it’s only $21. The process is also very easy and painless—you’re in and out in under 20 minutes. And it definitely works: I had jet-black lashes for the next 3-4 weeks.
Cons: Honestly, it just wasn’t a dramatic enough change for me to want to do it again. (Unlike the brow tint). I can see where this service would be useful if you have super-light lashes (looking at you, my blond and ginger friends), and color would give your eyes more of a pop. But unless your lashes are also naturally as curly and thick as you want them to be, I don’t know that it’ll fully replace your mascara routine. It also only lasts 3-4 weeks—as opposed to extensions and lifts, both of which should last at least 6 weeks.
I couldn’t find a picture of me post-lash tint that looks like anything, so here’s a video of Benefit’s tinted lash primer instead:
View this post on Instagram
Get ready to watch your lashes transform right before your eyes! They’re real! tinted lash primer is a mink brown shade so you can wear it alone during the daytime for a naturally lush lash look & layer they’re real! mascara on top at night for a bolder look! In stores 12/26! #reallashprimer
Lash Treatment #3: Lash Lift
Okay, admittedly the service I got at Lash Loft is both a lift and a tint—so I can’t really speak to what it would look like if my lashes were only “lifted.” Lash Loft uses a Keratin-based treatment that “turns lashes upwards” as well as tinting. They also offer a service called a “lash perm,” which adds curl but not color, and which is slightly cheaper so I’m considering trying it next time. Anyway!
Pros: This was my favorite treatment of the three. The application time was shorter than extensions (under 90 minutes), the look is more natural, and I don’t constantly have stray extensions shedding down my face two weeks after getting the treatment. Where extensions felt like a necessary evil for my natural lashes, this treatment actually feels like it’s helping them—the lashes on my face are 100% my own, but they’ve never looked thicker, or framed my eyes so nicely. Simply put, I’m in love.
Cons: Also expensive! It costs $160 for the full lash lift treatment at Lash Loft, and $100 for a lash perm. Like extensions, they’re meant to last 6-8 weeks (I’m in week 3, and will keep you posted), but my lash budget is just not that high. Also, if you’re getting these specifically for a photo op, you’ll want to add mascara on top—it’s not quite the dramatic pop of extensions.
My newly lifted lashes; ignore how dead I look in the eyes:
All in all—and depending on what your natural lashes look like—extensions are likely the only method that will replace mascara for you completely. But if you’re comfortable with a natural look, my personal preference for a no-makeup morning is the lash lift. So until my reality career is in full swing, I’ll be sticking with lifts—and the occasional swipe of my favorite volumizing mascara.
Images: Victor Hughes / Unsplash; @benefitcosmetics, @louisabhaus / Instagram