Between December 1 and 23, it’s all about smokey eyes and red lips. But, come Christmas Eve, we’re ready to embrace fresh, dewy no-makeup makeup. When applied correctly, it does just enough to make your relatives remark on how well you’re looking, yet it’s not too glam for, say, a week spent hibernating on the sofa with a box of sweet treats.
Other benefits include speed, ease, and the fact that when it comes to erasing the many signs of festive fatigue, nothing nails it quite like light-giving, luminosity-boosting makeup. Between now and New Year’s Eve, consider this your go-to routine for a foolproof glow. Keep scrolling for the no-makeup makeup tips and tricks that will see you through the holidays…
The cornerstone of flawless no-makeup makeup is a good skincare routine, and few things boost radiance quite like cleansing with an exfoliating powder. Clinique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser are miracle workers, providing a measured dose of a not-too-scrubby cleanser that makes skin look instantly glowy. For added dewiness, follow with a moisturising lotion while your face is still slightly damp. Doing so will lock in hydration and help your makeup go on like a dream.
You want your base makeup to look completely natural, so opt for imperceptible pigments that act like a luminous second skin. Prep first with a blurring primer, like Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Pearl Primer (£28), then use a blending sponge to daub a BB cream or tinted moisturiser over the top. If you’re looking for more coverage, get it from a creamy concealer—like Nars Soft Matte Concealer (£24)—and use a flat brush to press it directly onto blemishes and enlarged pores. For under eyes, there’s nothing quite like It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer, which camouflages even the most worn-in of dark circles. Just remember: a little goes a very long way.
With the remaining concealer on your makeup sponge, neutralise discolouration on your upper eyelids. Then, reach for a soft, fluffy brush and dust a matte bronzer into the crease of your eye. Take a finer, angled brush and use the bronzer to trace your lash line before adding two coats of a lengthening mascara, such as Revlon Super Length Mascara. On brows, keep things simple by swapping fiddly pencils for a few deft sweeps of Glossier Boy Brow (£14).
On cheeks, use a skin-mimicking cream or gel blush to get the most natural-looking flush. We’re fans of Canmake Cream Cheek in Red Heart, which we recently picked up in a Tokyo drugstore. Use the tips of your fingers to tap a rosy blush shade into the apples of your cheeks, then swipe a stick highlighter, like Collection Speedy Highlighter in Pearl Sheen (£4), across the tops of cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose.
Stash the matte liquid lipstick away for now and glide on a sheer tinted lip balm. You can’t go wrong with Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in a just-bitten shade, like Red Dahlia or Rose. Best of all, tinted balms can be easily applied without the need for a mirror, so you can tuck one in every available pocket/clutch bag/purse for on-the-go touch-ups.