Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ask the Non-Blonde: How to do a "naked face"?

Angie is asking: "My skin tone is on the olive side and seems to be similar to yours. I'd love to try a natural look, the kind that appears almost naked, only it isn't, but I'm lost when it comes to the products. All the suggestions I see are for these peachy colors that do nothing for me."

My reply: I know what you mean. Peach-face isn't exactly our best look. Thankfully, there are enough other options for us.

The key to this "natural" look is to do exactly what works for your face, just keep to colors and textures that don't look over-done. It starts with a clear, even skin. My favorite lately is Shiseido Smoothing Veil. It solves the problem of finding the exact match for your skin tone, while still doing the job. Of course, if you need more coverage than this, stick to your regular foundation.

I do touch ups with concealer, mostly the sides of the nose and anywhere else that needs it. My choice is Lorac CoverUp in C2. Use a brush for best results (you end up using less product and looking more natural).

Eyes: I skip the liquid liner and use an eye shadow instead. Bobbi Brown Espresso shadow (the darkest one in the Stonewashed Nudes palette, also sold separately) is great as a liner, because it's very very dark without being a harsh black. I dip a brush in a tiny drop of Paula Dorf's Transformer, swipe a little eye shadow and apply it as close as I can to the lash line, trying to get it in between my lashes. Top only, of course, and without going the Amy Winehouse way.

Eye shadows: One or two colors (this look doesn't call for an elaborate color-by-numbers job) at the most, applied and blended according to your eye shape. Lorac Moonstone under the brow and Cocoa in the crease and on the lid are one option. I also love the two lightest colors from Dior Beige Massai palette, and if you have Bobbi Brown's last year chocolate palette, this would be a good time to use it (I suspect the Stonewashed Nudes are just as good, and would work for most skin tones).

Finish your eyes with a non-extreme black mascara. My favorite is still Clinique High Impact. It makes the lashes stand out without looking fake.

An all-over natural sun kissed color for face is Dallas, Benefit's little miracle. Use it lightly on those spots you want to look a bit tanned, and you're done. If you need powder (highly recommended. It gives a clean, finished look, as long as you're not overdoing it), use whatever pressed one you already have. Save the shimmer for evening.

The last touch is a lip gloss. Go with a color as close to your natural lip as possible, which if you're like me, means not beige, or with a clear gloss with only a hint of color. For the latter look, I adore Besame Cosmetics lip glaze in red berry. It gives that famous "bitten" look (and it feels and smells great). A more opaque option is Alison Rafaelle in Polished or Benefit Silky Finish in Dessert First.

That's it. You're all set.


  1. Okay, I'll admit it. Sometimes i envy the fact that women can wear make-up. Especially now that I have gotten a bit (ahem) older and my eyelashes have lightened to the point of bunny-ness and my skin shows it's freckles from when I forget sunscreen.

    I'm not going to wear mascara (althought I have seriously considered getting my lashes dyed- the grey on my head is fine, anything further south is less welcome), but I have found something from Erno Laszlo that's great: It's a toner with colored talc in suspension called a "shake-it". The color closest to my skin is porcelain; I shake the little bottle after applying sunscreen and dab it on. At first it's streaky, then it sort of melds is and evens out the tone. It also cuts the metallic shine of the sunblock I use (La Roche Posay Anthelios).

    Since it's talc and toner I can still tell myself it's not makeup.

    I'm told that it's also a great base for foundation. Not that I'd know.

  2. Ohhhh.... I envy olive skin. Mine is so pale. When I do a naked face I feel that my face is overwhelmed by the color of my outfit (and I'm not backing down there).

    I hope you'll consider submitting this or another color related post to the upcoming edition of the Fabulous! Festival (the deadline to submit is Sept. 14th). I'm hosting it and the theme is ... what else... color :)

    For more info, check out http://www.allaboutappearances.info/fabulous-festival/


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