Dare to skip foundation for a dewy natural face look?

Since I could remember, I wore foundation and powdered my nose because shine on my face was the enemy. Although dewiness is a sign of hydration and skin health, the make-up trends saw it as not fashionable.  Then guess what?  Now it is in vogue. Shiny and smooth skin is all the rage in South Korea and Asia where the goal there is to amplify the natural dewy smooth shine of young skin to unnatural proportions. It actually requires little to no make-up to pull off, but it is unnatural in this way:  How do adult women get a new born baby’s smooth and soft skin, and a shiny glow on our face?!  Basically impossible for anybody above the age of 2.  And even more impossible in our day and age of working hard, sleeping late, drinking, smoking, thinking, smiling, crying, and just about any thing that is required to live a normal adult life.  So how do we do this “blessed by nature”, “don’t need make-up to cover-up” look?

Some of my skin care products that I have a regular relationship with. Toner and cotton balls, vitamin E capsules, heavy night cream, and coconut oil. Lots of work, but it is worth it! Kinda of like a boyfriend. :)
Some of my skin care products that I have a regular relationship with. Toner and cotton balls, vitamin E capsules, heavy night cream, and coconut oil. Lots of work, but it is worth it! Kinda of like a boyfriend. 🙂

I myself am getting along in the years, and even though I take care of my skin, the years of wearing make-up has left me insecure about skipping it.  I go through at least 5 skin care steps every night, and exfoliate and use clay masks on a weekly basis.  I stay out of the sun and use SPF whenever I can. All this care so that I can cover it up with make-up for confidence. But our faces in their natural state can be pretty too.  I recently figured out a few things to boost my skin’s shine on days I wanna rock that sans make-up shine:

Moisturize.  Wrinkles are formed when skin is stretched too much and has tiny cracks in them that then heal, but leaves behind a tiny bit of scarring formed in a slight bump.   Moisturizing increases the elasticity of our skin, and minimizes the chance of making the cracks that then would need healing on our face.  And when we age, less natural moisture is produced by our face.  So I always use a slightly heavier moisturizer than I need, and my face thanks me.  Cocoa butter has been known to improve skin elasticity, and I also use this regularly.

Exfoliate.  I exfoliate about once a week now.  Before I barely had to.  But as we age, our skin stops expelling dead skin as often and can be dull and dry because the dead layer of rough skin on top.  I exfoliate with ground walnut shells, sugar, honey and olive oil mixed together and then rubbed gently on a wet face, in circular motions. Rinse off with water, then soap and water.  My skin feels so soft after exfoliation…I can’t believe it. Follow with a clay mask.

Detox by toning and masks.  I can’t stress this enough.  After a night of partying, late hours at work, all day of wearing lots of make-up.  Your skin needs to detox.  Whatever crap you ate or drank in the night, also makes it into your skin and is expelled to the surface.  If you don’t wipe it off, it will stay there like a dull film on your face.  When I have drinks at night, in the morning, my skin is usually lifeless, puffy, and saggy.  I rejuvenate it with a rosewater and vinegar toner.  It removes impurities, and re balances the ph of my skin so that it is happy again, smooth and ready to shine. A weekly facial mask with clay also draws out impurities.  I like to use a mask after exfoliation, so that the clay is on new skin and can pull out impurities more easily.  Always follow with moisturizing after toning or detoxing with a mask!

Use an anti-oxidant.  We are not perfect.  We hurt our skin often.  We offend it on a daily basis, without even knowing.  The damage is there, don’t wait for it to be visible.  And we need to heal it.  For that I use an anti oxidant.  I like Vitamin E, but you can also use Moroccan oil, anything that has an anti oxidant effect.  Why?  It prevents damaged skin from healing with scar tissue.  That’s right.  If you have damaged your skin unknowingly, which you have…vitamin E can make it heal with minimum scarring.  So use it in your daily moisturization routine, like I do.  🙂

Drink tons of water.  Water keeps your skin hydrated from the inside, and will help you have skin that is firm and not saggy.

And here is the piece de resistance.  Am I confident enough to post a pic of myself without make-up, bb cream, concealer and all those cover ups?  Yes I am.  Take care of your skin and be confident to wear it the way it looks sans make-up any day.

Only wearing lipstick that I used to stain my lips and then wiped off. skin is au naturale, for real.
Only wearing lipstick that I used to stain my lips and then wiped off. My face is “au naturale”, for real. Just toned it and then moisturized it with cream for a bit of shine.

The “no make-up” make-up look for realsies…

Nobody wants to look like a hoochie mama, with thick make-up and colours layered all over the face.  When I was younger, I would wear a lot of make-up, and for some reason, it didn’t age me.  Now that I’m getting more experienced with make-up and looking at it on faces, I don’t think more is necessarily better.  What has been on all the runways, and make-up magazine these days is this minimal, natural, “no makeup look”.  Kind of athletic, and Plain Jane looking, but polished and slightly seductive (think bronzer, defined brows and a nude lip).  The ironic thing though, is that in reality, this “look” relies on tons of concealer, shadows, primers and heavy lipsticks…

runway fashion model close-up
runway fashion model close-up
j-lo also rocking the no make-up look.  but we know she is probably wearing tons!
j-lo also rocking the no make-up look. but we know she is probably wearing tons!

As you can see in the photos above, this look does work.  The problem with the “no make-up” tutorials I’ve seen are that it kind of defeats the purpose of wearing less/no make-up, which is: 1) Speed (getting ready in record time is awesome for gals that like to sleep in).  2) Lightness (wearing heavy make-up, even for the illusion of “no make up” is still gunky feeling if slathered on). And 3) Doesn’t really look like “no make-up”, because it isn’t, far from.

I think the only way to truly have a no make-up look is with minimal and light make-up application.  During the day, I sometimes want a light make-up look, that looks better and more put together than no make-up, and also feels fun and low maintenance.  You know, in case I run into an ex-boyfriend during grocery shopping or something! 🙂 But yeah, to achieve this look, I think you really have to wear less make up, instead of adding more to give an illusion of less.  It helps if you take care of your skin and have naturally nice skin too, that is half the work.

3 kinds of make up needed daily:

1.  Mascara:  Omigosh, this is so important. Without it, eyes can look sleepy, even after 3 cups of coffee, and you are bouncing off the walls.

2.  Blush: I used to always skip blush when I was in college in my early twenties.  I used to think it looked weird on me to constantly be in a state of “flushed”.  But now I can see if done with the right blush colour, and using not too much, it actually looks quite natural and good!

3.  Defined brows!  Brows are most often over-looked by people who don’t wear a lot of make-up.  For some reason, having lightly defined brows, (filling them in with a powder colour) can make a huge difference over the whole look of your face.  It’s like a frame for your eyes, and gets people to look at them!

What can be skipped:

1. Lipstick.  I actually find lipstick to be kind of gross.  Not only is it filled with heavy metals and chemicals, it’s thick and messy to use.  It also dries out lips severely.  Since I stopped using lipstick, my lips never dry out and are in a happy state of pink!  I prefer a tinted lip balm if I want extra colour!

2. Foundation.  I like foundation/bb cream when it’s needed.  For more formal looks or for going out, and for work, it’s a necessity.  Set it with powder.  But for an errand day, I don’t think it’s necessary at all.  It dries out the face, and when used too thickly, looks cakey and can amplify fine lines.  On errand days, I cut it with face cream to moisturize and cover ever so slightly.  I set it with powder if needed.

3. Eyeliner/eye shadow.  The reason I skip this on light days is that overly defined eyes always look heavy and noticeably made up.  Eyes naturally have a way of defining themselves, with lashes, and also with the shape and natural shadow they produce.  Adding liner is not a must, and while it looks great for going out and photos, in daily life, it sometimes feels a bit much.

This is only blush, eyebrows and mascara with a touch of shadow.  I did sneak in tinted moisturizer...
This is only blush, eyebrows and mascara with a touch of shadow. I did sneak in tinted moisturizer and tinted lip balm, but it’s still a really light application!  But it is enough!

Conclusion: While I love make-ups and different make-up looks, sometimes I actually feel wearing too much ages me a bit.  My skin has gotten more delicate and sensitive with age, and doesn’t seem to want to be a blank canvas for me to cover with loads of make-up as I did in my youth.  They were fun times but how about showcasing good skin to begin with?  How about less focus on covering up, and more focus face care options for clean and healthy skin?

Are there any make-up trends that you agree/disagree with?  What have you changed about your make-up routine as you grew up and changed yourself?