A "No Makeup" Look For Girls Who Aren't Trying to Fool Anyone Into Thinking They're Not Wearing Makeup

“No makeup-makeup” is not a thing. You are either wearing makeup, or you aren’t.
Publish date:
November 25, 2014

For the past few seasons, every runway show has featured “fresh” barefaced models with maybe four atoms of foundation and some brow gel, sporting the trendy no-makeup makeup look (gag).

Dear makeup artists,

Stop with this omg!!!

Forever yours,


These models are 16-year-olds with naturally pristine skin, representing approximately five percent of the female population. “No makeup-makeup” is not a thing. You are either wearing makeup, or you aren’t.

Some days I wake up, look in the mirror and think, “Well… this is it” and comfortably walk out the door. Other days I look like a crusty goblin, and thank the heavens there are products to paint my face with. Let me clarify: I’m completely comfortable with my natural appearance and unapologetically show the face I was born with on a regular basis (shout out to everyone in my 8 a.m. classes).

However I simply enjoy the act of buying and applying makeup, and knowing what looks work well for my face. Self-esteem is as important as self-awareness. For example: I’m not hot in a bushy-eyebrows-pale-skin-ratty-hair-Tumblr-girl type of way, but I’m hot in a lots-of-mascara-and-lip-gloss way. That’s totally fine!

Makeup is also really fun, and even if I don’t need it I enjoy layering eye shadows and trying to recreate the perfect Beyoncé glow. The no-makeup trend spurs a lot of frustrating questions we’ll probably never get the answers to, like:

· Why should I be interested in fooling anyone into thinking I’m not wearing makeup?

· Is wearing makeup a bad thing?

· Do makeup artists really think this trend is empowering instead of creating an illogical definition of natural beauty?

· Can we all just accept that some days us girls look shitty and some days we don’t?

Maybe the solution is getting rid of the façade that you’re barefaced, and instead recognize that some days call for various cosmetic intensities. You know which group of women gets this mentality perfectly? THE BASKETBALL WIVES.

Yes I’m talking about "Basketball Wives," the VH1 show (Miami or LA, take your pick). Here’s something you need to understand about me, and this is a topic I will passionately debate with complete strangers -- I fucking love "Basketball Wives." I’m 100% completely morally opposed to the concept (half of them aren’t even wives!), but I still live for it.

I’m an adult, I’ve read Oscar Wilde recreationally, I kind of understand the Middle East, and I also love watching grown women fight each other and spend stupid amounts of money on clothes and vacations. This is probably the point where I negate any feminist-y opinions stated earlier, but I can’t change what’s in my heart.

I once sat courtside at a boyfriend’s men’s league basketball game calmly whispering, “my time has come” to myself. Last winter I waited in line at Duane Reade for one hour for an Evelyn Lozada meet and greet. I HAVE NO REGRETS AND I WOULD DO IT ALL AGAIN!

If a Kardashian walked past me it would be like a fart in the wind, but if I ever met Draya Michele I would die of a pulmonary embolism. I need to get to the point of why I’m even talking about this.

Look at these photos of Evelyn and Draya:

Here’s what I absolutely love about these photos -- they are obviously wearing makeup. You would have to be completely blind to think they weren’t, and the best part is that I’m sure that neither of these women care. This is an example of a minimal makeup look that isn't trying to pretend it's not makeup! I have a similar complexion to these two and they’re unknowingly my best friends, so who would be better to show you how to get this look??

Step One

Wash your face, and apply a light moisturizer. Give the moisturizer at least five minutes to sink in so you don’t look greasy.

Step Two

Apply a tinted moisturizer or sheer liquid foundation.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Dark

I love this Skin Tint from Glossier. By the afternoon I usually look like I rubbed a McDouble across my T-zone, but this gives me a natural velvety texture. I don’t even have to use a hundred oil blotting papers throughout the day!

Step Three

Use corrector to neutralize dark under-eye circles and weird eyebrow pimples (I will explain).

After buying this amazing corrector, I stopped using regular concealer. I apply this in a C-shape from the corner of my eye all the way underneath towards the middle of my iris. A small dot towards the outer corner of the eye and a swipe on the lid is also very brightening. Pat the product in gently with your ring finger. By the way, I had really creepy bumps around my eyebrows after getting them threaded so I just used this as a concealer on my pimples as well.

Step Four

Highlight the high points of your face.

Do not mistake the Touché Eclat as a concealer or a foundation, it simply brightens and gives that envious glow I was talking about earlier. It looks like I’m putting this everywhere and I kind of am…

Click the pen about four or five times, and then swipe in a V shape under your eyes, line the top and bottom of your eyebrows, create a triangle in the center of your forehead, and a stripe down the nose. Applying this around your nose and mouth is optional -- the lower half of my face tends to look dark and I don’t want anyone to think I have a 5 o’clock (6 o’clock? Which one is it?) shadow. Also swipe this along your cheekbones!

Step Five

Powder to prevent creasing and shine.

Get ready to have your mind blow out of your head. You know the little yellow powder that comes in the Bobbi Brown concealer kit? Well, you can buy a giant yellow powder on its own! Using a small setting brush (I got mine from Ulta for $7.99), pat this powder under your eyes and on the areas that become shiny throughout the day. This shade is better than a regular translucent powder -- no ashiness and it’s light enough to be swept under the eyes without looking cakey.

Step Six


One of the biggest takeaways from this entire article is that your eyebrows are key. As you can see in the before and after photo above, my eyebrows are stupid. Half of them refuse to grow in the appropriate eyebrow space and instead grow an inch lower towards my eyelid. Cool! I use the spooly end of this tool to brush the hair up and outwards into the desired shape, and then pencil in the back tail-end-thing. I also square off the front of my brows to give them that just-threaded look.

Step Seven

Warm up your face with a neutral blush.

This color is only meant to warm up your face, so do not tread too close to your hairline or the apples of your cheeks. This actual palette is sold out, but any tawny pink shade will do. If you have darker skin, try using a warm-toned bronzer.

Step Eight

Highlight some more.

I highly recommend any of the Benefit highlighters. Sephora used to give these mini Benefit highlighters as Beauty Insider birthday gifts a while ago, and they last forever. You can still buy a full-sized product which you’ll probably finish. I apply this in a C-shape along my cheekbone and temple.

Step 5 million

Prime your lips and apply lipstick.

We’re almost done, you guys. Does your lipstick ever fade in the middle, leaving a super gross dark ring around your mouth? Lip primer keeps this horrific act from happening. Your lipstick will last for hours and then fade evenly. Apply the primer and wait until it dries before applying a lipstick one shade darker than your natural lip color. YSL lipsticks are my favorite because they’re the texture of lip balm.

Step Ten

You’re done and look pretty!

This look can be a transitional base for any makeup look -- just switch up your eye makeup and lipstick and you’re golden. The keys to remember for a "Basketball Wives" faux-natural look are smooth highlighted skin, sculpted brows, and applying absolutely no mascara. Mascara will take you back into "made-up" territory.

This is not a no-makeup look. You still look like you have your real face, just with a little bit of help. That’s A-okay because wearing makeup isn’t anything to be ashamed of -- it’s fun and makes you feel pretty!

I would love to know all of your opinions on the no-makeup makeup trend. Do you wear makeup everyday or just walk around with your face?

Follow Courtney on Twitter and Instagram @courtneypizza