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21 May 2013

Minimal makeup - attempt 1!

I have tried the minimal makeup thing before. It either ended up involving more products than usual or comments from friends/colleagues along the lines of "you look tired/ill/rough/hungover".

Makeup has always been a way for me to look better than my natural self. It's my game face to the outside world, disguising the tiredness and replacing it with brightness.

The thing is though, I have always loved that look of skin. Fresh skin with nothing on it. It looks good in daylight - no hints of caked on slap - and I am convinced that not wearing foundation must do good things.

So the other week I decided to give it a whirl. 

Well, kind of. I didn't exactly go cold turkey but I really tried to use the bare minimum.

It went something like this:

* Slap on NARS Creamy Concealer in Custard below the eyes, around the nose and on chin...basically everywhere. Blend in and then promise yourself never to be without such a great product ever again.

* Apply some sort of colour on the face. This can be bronzer (FACE Stockholm in Capri) or it can be a blush. The key is warmth so that you don't get told you look like crap when you get to the office. 

* Do something with eyebrows. Those patchy bits need to be filled in and doing that adds some structure. Very necessary! (Not pictured but it has to be MUFE Aqua Brow).

* Get an eyeliner and create a flick on the outer half of your eye. Don't take it all the way in. If you do, your eyes will look like pinholes. I used Chanel La Ligne - not the easiest product in the world to work with but if you want a black/black then this is a must!

* Apply a lot of mascara. Better yet get eyelash extensions. Minimal makeup challenges fully endorse cheating.

* Get a lip product on. Go for something glossy. Maybe MAC Underage because applying it makes you feel nostalgic or maybe it's By Terry Baume de Rose which makes you feel oh so sophisticated (and poor). 

Leave the bathroom, carry on with your day and come 5pm look in the mirror and admire your shiny T-zone before touching up the concealer and bronzer. 

And that's pretty much it.

So what have I learned in reducing the routine? 

a) It takes a nano second to get ready in the morning which leaves more time for procrastination/alarm clock delay tactics.

b) I no longer feel self-conscious/worried about whether my foundation matches my skin tone, whether my shadow has dropped on the top of my cheeks or if I look like I am wearing too much for daytime. 

c) NARS Creamy Concealer is a must. I LOVE this stuff and would recommend it to everyone. It does remind me of MAC Moisturecover but I think this is perhaps slightly creamier in consistency. I have heard some reports from users who found it drying. I personally didn't but I have normal skin that is probably more oily than dry. You cannot buy NARS in Dubai but I got this from Space NK - Link!

d) Good skin days are key. There are two products I have been loving but I will mention those in another post. Hint: REN and Dr Sebagh :) 

I think this is my new "thing". Foundation is still lovely to wear at night but during the day, and especially during the summer, it's nice to keep it simple. 

I might do a "What I am wearing" kind of post every week - sort of a retrospective with a review of key products. What do you think? 

PS. I feel like this post reads as very dramatic..."oh look at me trying something so out there/brave"...I take makeup way too seriously!


  1. I agree, less is more in terms of foundation - especially during summer! All you need is to enhance your brows and eyes with some mascara and liner, and you're good to go!

    Thanks for sharing your tips! xx

  2. You look so pretty! I agree, I don't like to wear lots of makeup in summer, it makes me feel kind of gross haha especially when it's WAY too hot :) Great post!

    X Valérie

  3. You look breautiful! Sadly when I'm doing the minimal makeup I will always need at least a thing veil of powder, or I'll be shiny way before 5PM. But other than that, being ready on 2 mins on a good skin day is lovely.

    On the other hand, on some work days, putting on makeup is really the funniest thing on the agenda so I don't want to skip it.

    And yay to more FOTW posts :)

  4. I love the nars creamy concealer, it works wonders.


  5. Would LOVE a what I'm wearing series of posts with your key products - you always recommend the best things! This "no-makeup " look is so pretty on you!

    I've been feeling pretty brave myself recently becuse I've been "making" my own foundation by mixing MAC concealer (2 shades), moisturizer & benefit High Beam on the back of my hand and blending it on to my face. I feel like a chemist LOL - and I love how I can get the glowing finish I want without worrying about longevity or color matching (because the MAC concealer-as-foundation sticks around ALL day!)

    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥

  6. I've never gone "bare faced" with just concealer before (and I agree, to wear this you must be having a good skin day). If I want a minimal look, I usually wear a tinter moisturizer from Laura Mercier or an auto-adjust lotion like the Origins Vitazing. Obvi add mascara (my blonde lashes NEED this step more than anything), add a cream lipstick to both lips and cheeks and I'm out the door! Love how it takes .2 seconds and you still look glowing, healthy, and fresh!


  7. I think you look absolutely stunning!

  8. You look so fresh, suits you a lot :)

    I look like a greasy monster when I leave the office, so I will copy you but swap the concealer for Studio Fix concealer and bronzer for powder! xx

  9. Wow!! Looking stunning even without much make up!!Is it hard to wear foundation in hot months in Dubai?!? I'm moving there in a couple of weeks and can't imagine living without foundation tbh! It wa fine when I've visited so hoig the summer months will be ok?!!!

    Might bump in to you one day! :) xx

  10. I truly believe you don't need any make up Laura. You are beautiful !!!

    ♥ ♥ '' Think Pink | Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle Blog " ♥ ♥

  11. I've tried the 'no makeup, make up look' and I just look too - dull. Gawd, I need color on my face .. lol.

    You look great though ~ !


  12. Laura you look younger which is a good thing. I just can't do nothing on my face I'd look rough as a badgers arse

  13. good job!!!I'm always sold on the 'more sleep,less make-up time' concept...And btw I always look crap in the morning....so no make-up saves me till 10am

  14. Oooh can't wait for the Dr Sebagh post! I got sucked into a Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty infomercial over the weekend and almost ordered! I was inspired by your minimal makeup product picture yesterday and tried the method this morning. Not too bad although I think the EL Double wear stay in place shade I have is not the best for this job. Feeling a bit oxidized but carrying on anyways!

  15. I've been going with less makeup as well. Mostly because my skin feels much better when I wear less foundation/powder.

    Regarding eyeliner - I love love love the Avon m.a.r.k. "get in line" waterproof liquid liner. It is only $6 and it stays on all day! I just posted something about it on my blog last week - SnappyLemon.com

  16. This is such a gorgeous look. Gorgeous hair style too!

    - Keyta x

  17. Oh yes I agree...brow,brow, brow! I use Gosh Eye Brow Pencil in Greybrown. You have to try it, Laura!
    I use MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural,concealer, blusher, mascara and lipbalm. That´s about my summer routine (daytime!) most of the time :)

    Makeup or the lack of it, you look lovely as always!


  18. I have been thinking of doing this myself and this is definitely the way to do it have gotten very similar comments on my previous attempts as well. I have to say it really suits you well you are obvs a pretty natural beauty and mascara would have to be the one thing I could not be without any day! thanks for sharing this so inspiring to me! xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

  19. Loved this post!! I think I'll have to try out the nars creamy concealer :)

  20. It looks really lovely! Fantastic post :)


  21. You look gorgeous without 'proper' make up.. :)

    Amy xx

  22. Omg what are you talking about? I would never say you look ill/hungover like your colleagues..not sure what they were talking about because you seriously look gorgeous. I started wearing minimal makeup too and i honestly feel more beautiful. Not only that, my skin isnt so congested and the removal process is no longer me trying to rip off layers of base makeup and mascara, making me look better.

  23. It's beautiful!

  24. I've recently stopped wearing quite so much make up on a day to day basis, and it's amazing how much extra time I have! I think you still look great with less make up :)

    Lucy x The New Northerner

  25. You look gorgeous Laura! You pull of minimal make-up so well. I think you'd like the Daniel Sandler Invisible Radiance foundation (it has an amazing concealer in the cap, too).

  26. hold on a sec.... YOU CAN'T GET NARS IN DUBAI?????

  27. love your blog!
    -Sarah from http://sarina515.blogspot.com/

  28. I agree, less is more!
    If you can skip foundation go for it!
    I can't stand liquid foundations in the summer either... I like to use mineral powder. I just did a review of the Laura Mercier Powder a few days ago. I love it! It feels so light!
    I would LOVE to read the 'What I'm wearing' posts! Please!
    Night night Laura, mwah!

  29. you look so pretty, as always :D xx

  30. I enjoy the weekly "what I'm wearing" posts! And I would totally do the minimal makeup thing if my skin wasn't so moody. You look great either way!


  31. Minimal makeup is the best for summer! I feel like it lets my skin 'breathe' a little more. Love your blog!

    Tasteful Texan

  32. You look lovely! I've also reduced my makeup routine for summer and am loving a more natural look too. BB cream, tarte bronzer or blush, an illuminating stick, and lots of mascara have been my go-to's!

  33. You look beautiful! I've been trying to cut down on the amount of makeup that I'm wearing too now that summer is coming up.

    The Grass Skirt

  34. You are hilarious ! xoxo You look fabby xxx


  35. I love the commentary & the results look flawlessly natural!
    Happy Wednesday Hun xoxo

  36. Can I just say, your skin looks amazing! I too love the look of bare 'skin' but first, I need to figure out how to get rid of my acne scars. :/

  37. So nice, I love it! I really wanna try it too! :X


  38. You're totally right, foundation is best when kept at night, specially in Dubai's weather. It's heating up so much!
    You look gorgeous! Great post! I looked like a goof laughing behind my screen..


  39. I just wanted to let you know that I've just purchased the navy skater dress from ASOS that you have here on your blog. It looks SO much like one I bought a couple of years ago from ASOS too but then lost on my move from UK to Spain. So fanx very much!!!

  40. I'm a total advocate of minimal makeup. My skin is always so thankful for breaks from foundation too! Love the look you've created, it's so elegant and clean.


  41. I have found that as I have gotten older - less is more. I feel like I look younger when I wear less. My skin isn't as nice as yours so unfortunately I will be chained to foundation forever. You look great though, love the look.

  42. Hello Laura,

    I'm taking the freedom of leaving you a comment because I'm currently working on a fashion-related dissertation for my MSc. I'm doing a survey about the perception of young women towards today's luxury brands ads, and if you, or any of your lovely reader, could take 5 mins and complete it, it would be of much much help :)
    Here the link of my survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WV3LYH6
    Thank you very much!


  43. i would love for you to do weekly posts on what you are wearing and loving in regards to makeup! and other products, skin , hair. love your posts laura! Wish you would make videos again one day:)

  44. i always love when you do a "no makeup makeup" look. you look so fresh and lovely. thumbs up to the weekly post idea.

  45. You look beautiful! I can't pull off the no makeup look, my skin is no where near nice without foundation but I'm going to give it a try doing it abit lighter for the summer! Xx


  46. Nars tinted moisturiser a must!

  47. You look lovely, very fresh faced, once I have more of a tan I might be brave and give it a go!

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. i love the idea of a weekly "what i am wearing" post!

  50. Wow, you look so naturally beautiful, this has definitely inspired me to go for the minimal look too :)


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  52. You still look lovely with minimal make up! I've been wearing less and less make up lately since I've been sleeping in a lot more.


  53. Just discovered and LOVE your blog! Started mine a couple of months ago, it's a lifestyle blog from a 22nd year old girl from Amsterdam (me!) If you fancy stopping by, please do at:
    Would love to get some feedback :) Love, Sipie

  54. Love your minimalist makeup look! I get anxious just thinking about going without foundation! Maybe someday...

  55. I take my hat off to you Laura. I don't know if I could even get my routine down to just that!
    I love reading your blog & have just made my own. I'm a makeup artist from Australia & would love it if you checked it out :)

    Also I'm so jealous of your weather! It's autumn here :(

  56. "I take makeup way too seriously" haha
    Sounds exactly like me! Less makeup is definitively the way to go during summer.
    I'm currently trying to use less but it's not easy :S
    I just started a blog if you want to check it out :)

  57. My routine is pretty minimal at the mo so I'll have to get me some of that NARS concealer. Rx


  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. this is such a godsend of a post! in summer i really hate wearing thick layers of make up because it just feels too heavy but this routine and these products sound perfect! i do, however, wear no make up at all on weekdays for school but now i've finished school forever, and summer is nearing very fast, i'll be wanting to wear make up a lot more often so i'm definitely eager to give this a go! X


  60. I would like to see more make up post, favourite products of the week or shopping your stash, maybe whats in your make up bag. X

  61. Damn, you look sooooo pretty with minimal make-up, LOVE!


  62. loving this minimal look. sticking with concealer and big lashes is a great idea!

  63. milamckinnon.blogspot.com
    I recently started my own blog.
    I'd really appreciate it if you would check it out :)

  64. I always try to do the minimal face makeup/long lashes look- and never turns out as good as yours!

  65. You look absolutely stunning. I can defiantly relate to the patchy eyebrow thing, so even when I do minimal makeup, the eyebrows have to be done to.
    You defiantly don't look hungover at all x

  66. I love the minimal makeup look, but my skin has some acne spots left over so I can't usually go with no foundation. You look beautiful!

  67. Hello! I'm trying this at the moment too and have found the Bobbi Brown BB Cream is great. I use it instead of my moisturiser in the morning and then go super minimal on the top. It stops me looking like a corpse, but also I don't feel super "done" which can make you feel worse than no make-up at all! x

  68. You should deifinetely try mineral make up. Looks so much more natural and is good for your skin. I tried ID Bareminerals a year ago for the first time and I'm hooked! I'm using a liquid foundation when I go out, but the mineral thing is great for day make up. I have the foundation, mineral veil and a powder blush + 2 brushes. GREAT products....

    free world wide delivery + the best prices:


    Thanks for great blog!

  69. This looks very pretty and "clean" :)
    Ive been doing my makeup like this for a very long time now, except i prefer wearing a cream eyeshadow instead of eyeliner and mascara.... Eyes feel "lighter" ... Wearing a bold blush really does help if your not wearing foundation too :)


  70. I love this post and love how you write about beauty in such a down to earth utterly-without-pretension way! :)

    Will def check out that Nars concealer next time I'm in Space NK and the MUFE brow pencil intrigues me. I'm addicted to Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but on my 4th & getting bored...

    Nic x

  71. you look gorgeous, i will definitely be recreating this look!

    Leyla xx

  72. I've been ditching the foundation too, I just found nothing was cutting it for me any more and everything I used looked unnatural after a few hours. The NARS Creamy Concealer is absolutely perfect, before I was using Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection but using the NARS one (like you said, pretty much everywhere) has made me feel even better about my skin without foundation x


  73. I found this very helpful because I usually wear almost full make-up most of the time but really want to be more natural, although scared to not wear foundation! I like the tips of using concealer, then a warm blush or bronzer (or both?) and not missing out eyes. Thanks!
    Also, don't worry that you take makeup too seriously because it isn't like that is all you care about (in a superficial way). It just happens to be one thing you have some passion for (I think it stays from childhood - loving to dress up etc). I remember reading once something Lisa Eldridge said about when she first started out, she was worried about not doing a 'worthwhile', 'meaningful' career and being judged, but on a visit to a terminally ill woman in hospital this person was thrilled to be shown different colours to explore and learning all these great techniques from a pro; it made Lisa feel her job was more then 'just' about makeup. It is about making people feel good in an often complex/difficult world, sometimes forgetting serious problems and embracing a bit of frivolous fun. As a recovering cancer patient myself, I devoured beauty blogs in hospital as they took my mind off the horrendous situation and made me feel I could still be pretty! Plus I learned a lot about skincare from amazing Caroline Hirons :) sorry about long post but I get on my high-horse to folk who say makeup is just shallow! (not that you did) x

  74. Hi Laura!

    I use Benefit's Erase Paste right now for my concealer, have you ever used it? Have you heard, as a make up guru, how it would compare to NARS concealer? Which one may look more natural, etc.

    I appreciate any help you can give!

  75. You really are a natural beauty Laura!


  76. I don't like to wear lots of makeup in summer, it makes me feel kind of gross haha especially when it's WAY too hot :) Great post!

  77. As a stay at home mommy I stick to the minimum specially in the hot summer days. Loved this post.
    I am following you now with Bloglovin and GFC. Would love if you visit me too. :)
    Take care
    Hugs from Toronto, Canada

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