Forget heavy mask of makeup, this season beauty has gone back to basics. Rather than reaching for a host of heavy foundations, concealers, and powders, make-up artists instead spent time layering moisturizers, primers, and strobe creams to give a truly healthy radiance to models’ complexion. This season is all about embracing the skin’s real beauty, and if your complexion isn’t flawless, you can still wear the no-makeup look without having model skin. Today I’m going to give you my French beauty tips to nail flawless bare beauty and to manage going makeup free.
Reasons I decided to go makeup-free
Getting rid of acne
The main reason why I decided to go makeup-free was to experience fewer breakouts. Your skin needs to ‘breathe’ and using daily cover up such as foundation or concealer can clog pores and lead to breakouts, especially for those who have naturally oily skin (like me). When I’m talking about skin ‘breathing,’ I’m referring to whether the skin is occluded or not. Occluding the skin can cause pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads. It can also cause the skin to look dull—especially if a heavy amount of makeup is applied and not removed.
The less cover-up you wear, the less you need to cover up
The biggest culprits are the fragrances, allergens, preservatives, and oils in makeup, which can cause blotchiness or acne. As long as you remove makeup properly it should be fine, but how many of us take off makeup properly? And yes, sleeping with your face makeup on can lead to dry skin, acne, and even wrinkles caused by collagen breakdown.
If the majority of foundations are non-comedogenic makeup products which are technically formulated in a way that shouldn’t cause breakouts, remember that the less you fuss with your face, the less likely you will be to unintentionally transfer bacteria and dirt to your skin that can lead to skin problems.
Spending less money on make-up, spending less money on skincare
Two options here: instead of spending more than 50£ at Boots for a liquid foundation that will most likely clog your pores and lead to future breakouts, you could put that money towards high-end face cream/serum that will improve your skin’s natural appearance. But you could also spend less money on skincare as your skin will improve by going make-up free and as you will not need anymore all the skincare you usually buy to fight acne (make-up remover, cleanser, toner, acne treatment, oil-free moisturizer etc.)
Making my face looking younger
It’s true – wearing a full face of makeup can add several years to your appearance. Especially if you’re not using the right shade of foundation which should match the natural color of your skin. No matter how hard you try, you can never seem to get the perfect shade of foundation. Save yourself a lot of time and headache by just ditching it in the first place. What’s more, many chemicals found in popular makeup products can actually cause your skin to age faster. Avoid older looking, drier skin and simultaneously ensure that your skin will look naturally radiant in the years to come.
When contemplating the decision to go make-up free, one thing holding me back personally was that I feared people might see all the imperfections that I was no longer covering up. But what I came to realize was people really don’t care what you look like; they’re too busy stressing about their own physical insecurities.
How to go make-up free
Now you’ve decided to go make-up free, I’m going to give you the tools you’ll need which will make you feel more comfortable about not wearing foundation. Having worn foundation 5 days a week for over 10 years, this was no easy feat. I’ll recommend using a long holiday weekend to get used to not wearing foundation at the beginning. If I’m not claiming that living a foundation-free life will guarantee great skin all the time, I do believe your skin will look healthier. Here are my French beauty tips to help you to look good without makeup (and without too much effort).
Never neglect your skin care
Rule number one; never neglect your skin care. But first things first, go through your home care system and trim the fat. A good rule of thumb: if the ingredient list is overwhelmingly long and you can’t pronounce most of the items, toss it! A product list is sorted by bulk, meaning that the first ingredient is what the product contains most of. If a product claims that it has active ingredients, these ingredients should be placed towards the top of the list in order to be effective. Regarding my skincare routine, I have kept only four beauty products.
- Cleanser: make sure you’re using the right one aka a cleanser which will not strip the skin of its natural oils. Suggestion: Micellar Water Bioderma
- Exfoliation: Get into the habit of trying to free your face of dead skin. Using a gentle scrub is a great way to introduce your skin to exfoliation without causing irritation to the skin. Suggestion: Japanese Konjac Sponge
- Hydration: Make sure you’re using a good moisturizer that will protect and hydrate your skin. Suggestion: Avene Hydrance Emulsion Hydratante
- Sunscreen: Most of us rely on our foundation having SPF built in, but this mustn’t be an afterthought once you’ve stopped wearing base. It’s important to make sure that you protect your skin to prevent dark spots, sunspots or pigmentation issues. Suggestion: Avene Hydrance Optimale UV Light
Best supplements for clear, glowing skin
Did you know that the lower, living layers of skin get their oxygen and nutrients from the blood supply, or from what you put in your body? That’s why what you eat and drink is at least as important as what you’re putting on your face. When it comes to a healthy glow, sometimes the best way to fix your skin is from the inside out by taking skin supplements that actually work. Alongside your skincare routine and eating well, these give your skin the boost it needs to leave it healthy, soft and radiant, as well as targeting specific skin concerns if necessary.
Zinc to get rid of acne spots and scars
You probably only know zinc as the ingredient to look for in mineral sunscreens, but it can also play a role in getting clear skin. Zinc reduces the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—which can clog pores and increase pimple-causing inflammation. Studies have shown that Zinc also has anti-inflammatory properties. This may help relieve some of the redness and irritation associated with moderate-to-severe acne. It may even help reduce the appearance of acne scars. I’ve been dealing with adult acne for ~5 months and this is the first time since a while that I’m able to see a real improvement with my skin: less oily/shiny, fewer breakouts and acne scars. Suggestion: ActiveComplex™ Zinc Pharma Nord or Solgar Skin, Nails and Hair Formula
The form of Zinc you use ultimately depends on the severity of your acne, your skin type, and your current dietary habits. Your doctor or dermatologist can help determine the right type of zinc for you.
Poor skin days or not ready to go make-up free
We’re all going to have poor skin days thanks to stressors like an unbalanced diet, transitional weather, hangovers, unruly hormones and lack of sleep, you’ll still have flare-ups occasionally. For an emergency quick-fix, when I have angry blemishes, tired eyes, or generally look quite gray, I always return to the Dior Hydra Life BB cream and the Tom Ford Concealing Pen, which will camouflage under-eye circles and all areas of uneven skin tone and redness without sitting heavily on the skin. Only conceal where you really, really need to; the ‘no-makeup’ look isn’t about camouflaging the complexion but enhancing it. To add a little extra coverage on blemishes, take a bit of your loose foundation in the lid and buff with a concealer brush, applying only to the specific areas. If you’re looking for more coverage whilst leaving your skin “breathe”, mineral makeup can be a good alternative to foundation and will offer both coverage and breathability to help your complexion stay naturally beautiful. Suggestion: bareMinerals Original Foundation SPF15
However, regarding bb cream, concealer and mineral makeup application the more you buff the better the coverage will become and the better your skin will look. You don’t have to keep adding more product, always buff some more for the ultimate natural finish. Complement your glowing skin by brushing the brows upwards to open your eyes and go for a lengthening mascara in brown to keep things natural-looking. Et voila!