18 million Britons tuned in to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot on May 19th, 2018 and I was one of them. In-between daydreaming about being a princess and anticipating the first kiss there was one thing in particular that I couldn’t stop doing: staring at Meghan’s naturally flawless makeup look. Wasn’t it beautiful?
There wasn’t a bold lip or smoky eye in sight, just effortless, glowing skin and it was utterly mesmerising. Meghan could have easily opted for a more heavy-duty look, and with so many HD cameras on her who would have blamed her? But she stayed true to her go-to look, which just goes to show that you really don’t need to pile on makeup to get flawless-looking skin.
I may have run out of British princes in my age bracket to marry, but one thing I can do is show you how I create a ‘no-makeup’ makeup base while covering imperfections…
Step 1: Prep
Put the foundation down! That’s right, coverage is nowhere to be seen in step one, it’s not even up next. And, that’s because a crucial step in achieving beautiful-looking skin is prepping it.
No matter how much foundation you apply, if your base is flaky or undernourished you’ll be able to tell. So, before applying any makeup, exfoliate your skin and banish those dead skin cells for good; a great all-rounder option, for all skin types is The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. This liquid formula is mess-free (just apply to a cotton pad and sweep), non-abrasive and uses 7% glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin’s surface and boost cell turnover. The result is skin that looks and feels soft and smooth.
Another pre-makeup must is moisturising. Trust me when I say that moisturiser plays a fundamental role in ensuring your makeup looks its best, especially if you have dry skin. The key to moisturiser is to find one that’s suited to your skin type: a range that has something for everyone is Shiseido WASO, it has everything from ultra-hydrating creams and colour-correcting tints to mattifying lotions.
It’s usually halfway through applying my foundation that I realise I’ve forgotten to apply primer. But, if you’re serious about creating the best base possible, then it’s a step you won’t want to miss.
Primer is the spanx of your makeup; it’ll hold it all in place and ensure the look you’ve created lasts as long as possible. It’ll also help to perfect your base, which means less foundation.
The primer collection of all primer collections is Laura Geller’s Spackle range. Their latest innovation, the Spackle Blur touch-up sticks are especially noteworthy. Available in Hydrate and Matte, they’re so easy to use and blur imperfections instantly.
Foundation is undoubtedly the bread and butter of any makeup look, so it’s important to get it right. And, for a ‘no-makeup’ makeup look there is only one that I can recommend: MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend.
This 80% water formula feels so lightweight and blends into skin with such ease, but most importantly it’s buildable without being cakey. Even if you have oily skin, this foundation can work for you, just pair it with the Laura Geller Spackle Blur – Matte.
For a natural look like Meghan’s, apply this with either your fingers or the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, and for more coverage opt for the MAKE UP FOR EVER Foundation Brush – Small – 104.
The secret to ‘no-makeup’ makeup is building coverage only where you need it. So, if you have a few unwelcome blemishes or your dark circles are little more prominent than you’d like, just cover those up rather than your entire face.
A holy grail for anyone seeking coverage is Vichy’s Dermablend range. Even though it’s a brand that is known for their coverage, Dermablend need not be avoided if you’re trying to pare back your look. Just remember: a little goes a long way.
The Vichy Dermablend SOS Cover Stick works wonders to brighten the under eyes, camouflage acne scars and promises to last a whopping 16 hours. Apply the cream formula with your fingers to melt the texture into your skin (but remember to wash your hands to avoid spreading bacteria).
You’ve worked hard to create a flawless base, so don’t let it slip away. All jokes aside, applying powder to your finished base will not only improve longevity, but a light-reflecting formula can also help to diffuse any irregular skin texture and brighten the skin tone – just what we’re after!
Hands down, my favourite setting powder is the Shiseido 7 Lights Powder Illuminator. Made up of 7 colour correcting hues, the compact targets uneven skin tone and adds an ethereal freshness to your look. And, if that’s not enough, it can even be used as a highlighter thanks to its subtle shimmer, and as a blush due to the warming selection of shades inside.
The Finishing Touches
For me a natural makeup look is all about perfecting the base, however, there are a few finishing touches I like to do, before leaving the house. To complete my look I apply a few coats of the La Roche Posay Respectissime Multi-Dimension Mascara (it’s perfect for sensitive eyes), dust a little bronzer and highlight on my cheeks to add dimension (my go-to is the Benefit Complexionista Palette), and last but not least, I add a glossy sheen to my lips with the MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Plexi-Gloss Lip Lacquer in Golden Coral.