We have all heard of barely-there makeup and we have no doubt all seen bold beautiful looks on runways and in editorial magazines that only the likes of supermodels can pull off. But in 2020, all bets are off and the way makeup is going, it is possible for everyone to find even a little part of such a niche corner in the makeup world, not just supermodels.
The trick is to use colour and shape to liven up a barely made up face with confidence and turn these bold looks into something we can all wear on a daily basis.
If you are quite timid with your makeup, then experimenting with colour might be a big step for you, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t work. In fact, this could be the most exciting part of your makeup journey; discovering new products, colours, techniques and styles.
Creating A Base
With any means to creating a new look, the only place to begin is at the start, and that means a clean and fresh face, especially concentrating on the health of your features. So, think here about your lips, your skin, your eyelashes and eyebrows.
For makeup to sit firmly and proudly on your features, they need to be strong and nourished to take the weight of your new makeup. The first step in creating a base is having a clean palette to work with so ensure that your skin is clear, any mascara has been removed and you have gently exfoliated.
This includes your lips too as no bold makeup look is complete without some colour on your lips and it can go wrong if you still have dry or dead skin hanging around from the unforgiving winter months. The best thing to do here is to use an old toothbrush (not too old) or a textured cloth and when they are wet, gently exfoliate the skin on your lips to create a smooth base.
Don’t do this too often or too vigorously as the skin here is so delicate and it may make them sore and delay your new makeup adventure. The same goes for the skin around your eyes, especially as makeup here can be harder to remove than anywhere else. Go gentle on your skin and eyelashes and try to keep up this routine so your face is always in good health.
Nourishing your Features
Once your cleansing routine is down, its time to build some extra nourishment and beauty. Start with your eyes and skin and make sure that you moisturise taking careful consideration into your skin type. Oily, combined and dry skin should be treated accordingly so that you don’t add to the problem and so that any makeup you put on top isn’t going to look clumpy or cause any further issues to your skin.
Don’t overload your face with moisturisers and creams, but when you are feeling the fresh-faced look with minimal makeup, this could be the way to go. I choose to prime my skin with active moisturisers that also mattify my skin and provide a great base for my foundation. Then an extra delicate and non-oily one for my eyes so that my bold eyeshadow doesn’t decide to slide off halfway through the day!
Your lips can sometime take on the weight of the world, especially in the coldest depths of winter or the heights of summer on a cloudless day. So, nourishing them year-round is a must! But especially if you’re planning on experimenting with bold makeup now.
Try out an intensive care lip balm like Xlips EGF lip balm that will help repair sore or dry skin and acts as a thin barrier against the elements. Daily use of this stuff will have your lips back to their perfect self in no time, just don’t ditch your new repair kit as soon as you feel a difference, or you could end up back at square one!
Next onto the eyelashes. It isn’t an obvious one that these babies need nourishing often and we tend to take them for granted because they just seem to exist. But don’t relax on your eyelashes as over time they can get weak and thin due to excessive mascara use and not cleansing properly.
Give them a little push with Xlash Eyelash Conditioner, which not only nourishes your lashes daily but assists with eyelash growth so if yours are a little on the short or thin side, then this stuff will get them back to a long and healthy state so they are ready to take part in your new makeup ventures.
The same goes for your eyebrows too and luckily Xlash have an eyebrows serum that promotes healthy growth and hydration. Don’t worry about these products being sticky or having a heavy coating as they are light as water and makeup can be applied over the top of them too, which means you don’t have to worry about makeup clumping or making your lashes or brows stick together.
Ok, so to achieve the fresh-faced look, it can usually take more effort that anyone would even realise. But it doesn’t have to as long as you have created a great base to start off with. Flawless skin seems unachievable, but it is something we all want so just a few changes to your own beauty routine can help you get there.
Once you have it, it is up to you what you do with it, and if you are a real minimalist when it comes to makeup then you might want to just leave it there. You may add a few flicks of mascara and get on with your day, but if you’re like me you may have a few dark circles to contend with that require some clever concealer and foundation.
To be honest, I’m more scared of the minimalist makeup look than I am of bold statement makeup as I love features that pop and with dark hair and even darker eyes and a medium skin tone, I need to create interesting shapes that frame my face and eyes or I feel I look too “boring”. It is subjective though so I’m for whatever works for each individual person.
It is easier these days though to make yourself look done without much of the doing! By using natural colours on your eyes, and browns instead of blacks to line them, it is possible to leave the house feeling made up but not being too overbearing.
But why stop there? This is 2020! We should be celebrating our faces and exciting colours and techniques that help bring it to life.
It is easy to inject a little colour without going over the top and causing yourself any worry that you may have overdone your makeup. The idea for a minimalist is to just focus on one feature and add a touch of brightness that you wouldn’t usually but perhaps in the same way you would with neutral colours.
So, for example a great statement that hold up on your barely-there makeup promise but with a little boost in colour would be to swap out your normal black or brown eyeliner and be as daring as you like. Of course, different skin tones suit different colours but when you’re just adding a little pop, I say just get to experimenting.
My favourite alternatives to black are variations of green and teal. The work wonders on my big brown eyes especially and even with a fresh face of thinly applied foundation, it adds just the right amount of excitement that it is wearable in the day or evening. Sweep a heavy line of green or teal gel liner over your top eyelid, making sure to have primed first for extra staying power and invest in a high pigment colour that really stands out.
Finish this off with a light coat of mascara so that your eyes are still framed but the focus isn’t drawn instantly to extra thick or long eyelashes when you’ve finally embraced the bright colour behind them.
This year I’ve been seeing a lot of red eyeliner in place of black and I absolutely love this twist on the vampy classic red pop of colour. It’s normal to see red on the lips, but in a smooth line leading to a wing over your top eyelid is just a modern approach to minimalistic makeup that I think should stick around for years.
Keep the eyelid free of any other colours and finish the look off with a heavy brow and dark eyeliner but remember to keep your eyeliner neat and crisp for this sharp take on a classic look.
A bold eyebrow is always a nice but daring statement when it comes to minimalistic makeup as it frames the face nicely without having to inject too much colour into the mix. Now I’m not saying to paint on thick black eyebrows and call it a day, just focus on the grooming and shaping of your eyebrows to compliment a nude look on the rest of the face. Clear and powdered skin is a must for this to work and a little tweezing may be required to get rid of a few unruly eyebrow hairs in the process.
Start with an eyebrow wand or gel wand and brush your hairs upward, this looks great and helps you build from their natural shape and without being sticky, it keeps your eyebrows exactly where you want them. Use gel or a pencil to create thin strokes in the direction of your eyebrows but don’t be too neat with this or it may start to look too unnatural.
Play with colours to get a nice mix and create more texture that also helps with the barely-there look. The space between your eyebrow hairs can get too crowded if you aren’t careful so always start thin and build accordingly until you have your desired depth of colour.
Use an eyebrow brush to ruffle them up a little bit and keep them looking natural or you could end up with them looking too sleek and stuck down. Finish off with more pencil where you need to define the shape underneath your brows but be careful not to end up drawing an outline!
I personally love playing with makeup on my eyebrows and depending on the occasion I sometimes just fill them in messily or really create a defined look to compliment my other makeup. It takes some practice to get comfortable doing your brows, but it is one of the easiest ways to make your face stand out when you don’t want to go full on with your makeup.
Add a touch of mascara to finish this look off and keep the colours similar for a softer take on it that will still frame your eyes nicely.
This is easily the one area we can play around with colour and texture that will always be in fashion. As long as they are healthy, lips are my favourite playing field and in more recent years, I look to lipstick lip colours for my own take on minimalistic makeup.
With a fresh face and a little blush, the use of lipstick to create a bold statement is really easy. Keep eye makeup to a minimum and rely solely on your lip colour to take your face to new heights. Red is always a classic colour that will stay a firm staple in my makeup kit, but when I’m feeling more adventurous, I go for corals and thick pinks in summer and purple in winter.
I’m not talking about tints either, I’m talking bright and bold colours that get people talking! To keep this look neat, line your lips in a natural colour to prevent lipstick from bleeding into the rest of the skin and apply it defining the shape of your outer corners right into the cupids bow.
I love bright and shiny for my own personal kit, but matte textures in dark plums and purples works really well as you still get that big pop of colour. Remember that mascara is your friend at all times if you cleanse it off properly and look after your eyelashes, so a strong lip colour only needs a little mascara to set your face off without bucketloads of bright eyeshadow that can make it look a bit old fashioned.
At the end of the day, your face is your own palette, and should you choose to keep it completely minimal then I envy you! But if you do feel like it’s time to get experimental, keep these tips in mind when you next walk past the makeup counter and see if a little pop of colour ends up in your own makeup kit.