How To Fake Your Favourite Filter

Your selfie needs a little something but what’s it to be – Rise, Mayfair, Valencia? Or you could go lo-fi (the way of life, not the moody Instagram effect) and learn how to fake the look of your favourite filter with your own brilliant makeup expertise. We asked Nars Makeup Stylist and catwalk pro Helena Kastensson how to go hashtag no filter for real. Rogue, no?

Probably the most flattering filter of all, Mayfair floods the frame with soft pink light, brightening up the centre of your face and making skin glow (naturally, your iPhone knew about strobing way before you did). "Highlights should look as if they’re coming from within your skin not sitting on top," says Helena. "Start with mixing some glow into your foundation – I like Nars Illuminator in Copacobana. If you need more, highlight the highest planes of your face only – cheekbones, bridge of your nose, under your brow and Cupid’s bow."

Try: Smashbox L.A Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour in Hollywood & Highlight, £25, and Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent, £34.
Rise and Valencia
Say hello to health: Rise’s soft golden tones leave you looking fresh and rested, while Valencia gives a light dusting of tan. A pink-based concealer will rival Rise’s eye-brightening properties – pink colour-corrects blue to disguise under-eye shadows, says Helena. "Put it in the inner corners where the shadow is darkest and feather out to nothing, and always wear eye cream underneath, it’ll help you blend." For instant Valencia, dust bronzer in a semi-circle around each eye from temple to cheekbone, in another curve following the perimeter of the face down onto your jawline and (here’s the kicker) from the crease of your eyelid up to your brow. "It’s a little trick that makes you look more awake," says Helena.

Try: Ren Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift, £30, Soap & Glory Kick Ass Just Bright Concealer, £8, and Marc Jacobs Beauty O!mega Bronze Perfect Tan, £33.
X-Pro II
If X-Pro is your go-to, you’ll need a cheat-sheet in definition and contour. "Lightening the centre of your face pulls your features forward and creates contours without having to do any actual contouring," says Helena. "Dot Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, £22, in a semi-circle around each eye, down the bridge of the nose, around your nostrils, out to the corners of your mouth, over your chin and blend out." Glossy eyelids will catch the light, while brows need attention too. For a dramatic but natural effect, always make the arch darker than the head or the tail, says Helena. Finally, lips and lashes look saturated under X-Pro’s warm glaze, so go bold as you like with both.

Try: Diorshow Fusion Mono in Equinoxe, £25, L’Oréal Sculpt Brow Artist, £9.99, Bobbi Brown Nourishing Lip Colour Oil Infused Shine in Claret, £21 (available from April) and Revlon Dramatic Definition Mascara, £9.99.
Amaro devotees love this faded filter for its ability to wash out blemishes and redness. "No matter what you’re trying to cover up, keep your base as sheer as you can and let your concealer do the hard work," says Helena. A touch of colour correction underneath your base will help – green or yellow undertones will disguise redness around the nose, mouth and eyes, while some post-foundation handiwork with a yellow-toned concealer will knock blemishes into the background.

Try: Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturiser SPF15, £29 (available from April), Nars Concealer in Pear, £19, YSL Beauté Touche Éclat Neutralizer in Vert Green, £25 and Vichy Dermablend Corrective Stick, £15.

More from Makeup


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
A look at the subcultures around the world that colour what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
Explore the world's most vibrant cultural and culinary centres—in 60 seconds, of course.
Watch Now
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Millennial survivor-woman Lucie Fink dives headfirst into social experiments, 5 days at a time.