5 Steps To Getting The Barely-There Beauty Look

Photo: MCV Photo.
No makeup-makeup might just be the hardest look to achieve. Many women are interested in getting a minimalist makeup look, which showcases an easy radiance with its toned-down color palette. The stripped-down look of the barely-there, fresh-faced beauty that's so popular right now requires some know-how, and we're excited to explain how you can put an effortless face forward.
Indeed, the minimal makeup trend was seen all over the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 runways. Skin is in with a focus on contouring, defined features, strong brows, and nude hues. The models at Marc Jacobs paraded down the runway with blunt bobs and sharply contoured, severely structured features. Fall 2015 beauty looks on the 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang runways played with reflective light in an effort to really highlight a flawless, sculpted appearance.
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The bare beauty look relies on expert application in order to achieve that sense of effortlessness. When creating this look, surgeon-like precision is key, and less is always more. Here are five tips for create a no-nonsense, naturally beautiful, and vibrant visage.
Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh.
Critique Your Complexion
Begin with skin that is clean and free of any makeup or cleanser residue. Apply moisturizer with a deliberately tender, yet vigorous massage of the face, taking special care to feel out the cheekbones and smooth out the neck. My go-to skin-care products are Shiseido’s Brightening Mask, Bliss’s Triple Oxygen Hydrating Mask, and Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer. Follow up with an under eye corrector, but be careful to only conceal where needed. Be conservative and only dot the true trouble spots.
Groom
Long eyelashes and full brows are paramount! Curl the lashes, and skip the mascara for an super natural look, or opt for a very clean lash by using Lancôme Definicils. Brows should be ample and borderline unruly! Put down the tweezers and apply several coats of a clear brow gel to beef up the texture. Add small flicks of your favorite brow pencil to fill in sparse spots.
Find Your Light
Natural makeup looks best when executed in the light in which it is viewed, so pay attention to where you apply your barely-there makeup products. Front-facing natural light sourced from a window is a great option. Another idea is to use the flashlight feature on your iPhone. Place the phone on a flat surface, shining the light directly on your face.
Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
Contour
Let your bone structure take center stage, showcasing the skin, cheeks, and overall shape of the face.
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To contour, focus on adding depth where needed. Tilt the head to the side you are working on, with your ear almost touching your shoulder. Stick your brush inside of the natural shadow, underneath the bone, blending back toward your ear and down at an angle toward your mouth.
Technology-driven highlights created with creams, glosses, liquids, and shimmery powders add depth to the skin. My favorite products are Becca’s Contour/Highlighter in Moonstone and Tom Ford’s Cream Contour Palette. To highlight, switch the angle of your head to the other side. The light that hits the top of the cheekbone should be amplified with a cream highlight.
Go Monochromatic
Focus on soft washes of similar tones on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. Opt for shades of grey, brown, or apricot, and rose tones with an earthy, natural base. Play with the intensity of these tones, placing the darker, matte colors in the hollows of the face to create depth. The monochromatic look is super chic when delicately executed with expert shading.
Mastering these five steps will get easier the more often you do it. And, given the popularity of this show-stopping look, it's worth learning how to do.
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