our everyday life

How to Not Wear Makeup & Still Look Good

by Jennifer Blair, studioD

Makeup can come in handy when you want to cover up flaws or play up assets like your eyes or lips. But you don't always have time to do a full face, or you might not like the heavy way that it feels on your skin. If you concentrate on your skin care, you don't need makeup to look good. That's because a proper skin-care routine can give your clear, glowing skin without a drop of foundation or concealer -- it just takes the right products and steps.

Keep Skin Fresh

When you don’t use foundation or concealer to make your skin look more even or bright, exfoliating regularly to remove dead cells to help get rid of dullness, dark spots, clogged pores and acne is key. A manual exfoliant like a facial scrub can be a good option, but opt for a formula with round beads instead of harsh grains that can irritate the skin. Chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids that dissolve dead skin cells are another effective option. These ingredients come in liquid, gel and cream formulas so you can choose the best option for your skin type. If you have acne-prone skin, choose a product with beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid because it doesn’t just exfoliate the surface of your skin but inside the pores as well. Chemical exfoliants can be used daily or every other day. Use a scrub once a week if you have dry or sensitive skin and up to three times a week if you have oily skin.

Stay Hydrated

Without foundation to give your skin a healthy glow, moisturizer is a must. It hydrates the skin so it looks plumper and healthier, even when you aren’t wearing a stitch of makeup. If you have oily skin, opt for a lightweight gel or lotion formula that doesn’t contain oil to prevent clogged pores and acne. For dry skin, look for richer creams with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to prevent water loss in your skin. To get a dewy look, choose a moisturizer with light reflecting properties so your skin looks glowy even without highlighter, bronzer or blush.

Protect Your Skin

If you don’t want to wear foundation, concealer or powder, try to prevent damage that you’d want to hide like age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The sun is the prime culprit in that type of damage, so wearing sunscreen every day – even in winter --- is crucial. Use a sunscreen or facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 and broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sun damage. Apply your sunscreen liberally at least 30 minutes before you plan to head outdoors. Don’t forget a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips as well.

Groom Your Brows

Without eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara to add definition, your eyes may need a little extra help standing out. Take the time to groom your eyebrows to help frame your face for a more attractive look. Hold a makeup brush vertically against the bridge of your nose, and angle it toward the inner corner of your eye to figure out where your brow should begin, using tweezers to remove any hair that falls outside the area. Next, figure out where your arch should be by lining up the brush with the outside edge of your iris -- this should be the highest point of the arch, so pluck any stray hair. Step back from the mirror, and make sure that your brows look even, tweezing any necessary hair for a neat, groomed look.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

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