Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Turning On the Light - Mastering the Dewy-Glowy Radiant Look

Even the most hard-core makeup lovers sometimes crave a natural, fresh look that emphasizes natural beauty and a softer everyday youthful feel to your overall appearance.
Don't get me wrong, as a beauty blogger and a lifetime cosmetics fan, I appreciate the variety makeup experimentation can bring to the table and what fun we can have with the transformations resulting from such play time, however I admit there are days and occasions where the non-makeup look is just easier and perhaps even more appropriate. There are beauty queens that can pull off bold, glamorous looks every single day and I have to admire their dedication but for me personally that simply isn't feasible to accomplish. I might over-complicate my beauty routines from time to time but even I have days when I just can't be bothered to follow through with all my essential "steps"

The "natural" makeup look sounds deceptively simple and easy to preform but even such minimalist presentation needs a variety of products, time and technique to execute and perfect. Replicating the "no-makeup" look ironically requires a combination of both good skincare and you guessed it...makeup products!

The best way to get the dewy look is to have a good base to start with. What I mean by that is that having good skin in the first place, increases your odds of getting things right when it comes to this makeup style. It makes sense, if your skin is dry, uneven, dehydrated and lack-luster to begin with, you'll have much harder time accomplishing any makeup goal and this is no exception to that rule. If anything good skin condition is the most important for the "natural" look because the whole point is to use sheer cover-up products in order to allow your natural glow to shine through. 

Your regular skincare routine, including gentle cleansing, exfoliation factors and sufficient moisture levels are major players throughout that process. 

Beauties with already oily skin may have a hard time with this makeup effect for the simple reason that adding additional "glow" or "dew" to such skin types can only exasperate the "grease" problem. The silver lining for oily skin is that their skin cells produce an abundance of natural oils that can be tamed through the use (but on over-use) of oil-absorbing, mattifying products that will allow some natural dewiness to shine through and amplify the radiance everyone else is working so hard to get. 


As i already mentioned, a good skincare routine created through the use of appropriate skin-loving products is going to be your best friend in developing long-term complexion radiance. Healthy skin is your best starting point but if that's not a possibility there are a few things you can do and products you can use to give your skin a boost and fake some glowy smoothness prior to actual makeup application. 

Replacing your usual, daily cleanser with a cleansing balm will allow you to gently remove skin impurities and add skin-plumping hydration just by washing your face. The ones that never let me down are the Antipodes Certified Organic Grapeseed Butter Cleanser ($42.00) and the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm ($70.00).

Good skin preparation following the cleansing step should include a radiance & hydration boosting serum topped by a nourishing moisturizer that will smooth out your complexion canvas and get it ready for additional products. My current favorite serums are the REN Radiance Perfection Serum ($66.00) and the Jurlique Purely Bright Radiance Serum ($72.00), which I follow with the MuLondon Organic White Chocolate Truffle Moisturizer ($25.00) almost daily. Taking a few extra minutes to massage these potions into your skin will stimulate the circulation and elevate the natural radiance factor as well. 

Using a light exfoliator before preparing this "no-makeup look" such as the Melvita Foaming Facial Scrub ($30.00) can also increase your natural radiance exponentially. When I am feeling especially productive I like to use the LUSH Bubble Gum Lip Scrub ($9.95), following it immediately with my beloved By Terry Baume de Rose ($60.00) to pamper and plump up the pout. 


After completing your skincare routine you can focus on completing and perfecting the makeup steps of this transformation process. I am sure many of you will be surprised just how many products I consider useful and necessary to achieve this seemingly basic "no-makeup look"! However keep in mind that even though the number of beauty items may be high, the application technique and time needed is significantly reduced so once you master the steps the look itself will be easy to replicate each time. 

Depending on your coloring, skin tone and skin condition the type of products you end up choosing will differ but as long as the "sheer" theme is the main attribute of the choices you make, the basis of your personalized natural look should remain universal. The texture and feel of your makeup base needs to be sheer and light, with the goal being a satin-like glowy, real-skin finish in order to achieve the youthful, fresh look we are pursuing. 

The first product I start with is a radiance-boosting primer, typically looking for a formula with light-reflecting particles included in the medium itself. Some excellent primers I have used in the past are Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer ($32.00), BECCA Radiance Primer ($55.00) and Elizabeth Arden Let There Be Light Radiant Skin ($19.99). I find that using a radiance boosting formula primer can add glow to the complexion in a lot more subtle way than most highlighters and since the natural look is all about subtlety and natural lights a product like that can really pull the entire look in the right direction. 

Keeping with the sheerness theme my primary choice for coverage are usually tinted moisturizers, BB creams and very sheer, lightweight foundation formulations. To keep the finish natural I apply the base with my fingers or a damp sponge making sure to blend and buff everything in to perfection. The final result should be satin-like, sheer perfecting evenness that glows and gives the illusion of a healthy radiance. The one that's been getting the most play time on my vanity lately has been the Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer ($46.00) which has been making me glow for weeks - people actually noticed! 

To amplify the dewiness even more I sometimes apply a liquid or cream highlighter to the cheekbones, brow-bones and Cupid's bow, once again making sure to blend and smooth the targeted areas. My choice for subtle, light reflecting highlighters include: Guerlain Meteorites in Mythic ($67.00), Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! ($36.00) and Illamasqua Intrigue ($32.00). 

Using a concealer where needed will add polish to your complexion, covering and neutralizing any redness or minor imperfections that the lightweight coverage of the tinted base was unable to deal with. Once again reaching for a creamy, illuminating concealer formula is your best bet and the cult classics NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30.00) and BECCA Radiant Skin Creamy Concealer ($39.00) will deal with just about anything. The hybrid formulas such as the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch ($50.00) and its budget dupe L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Concealer ($12.99) will do miracles around the eye area, illuminating and contouring all in one step. It takes some practice but with the right touch the results can be quite flattering. 

Light layer of translucent powder to set everything painstakingly applied completes the makeup base and ensures that the achieved results will last the day without smudging, melting or uneven fading. Keep in mind that the powder dust needs to be applied with a very light touch because too much product can just end up mattifying the dewy glow you were aiming for in the first place. Powders that haven't let me down and are still going strong in my stash are: Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder Quartet ($60.00), Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder ($72.00) and the trusty bareMinerals Mineral Veil ($25.00)


Perfecting the "natural look" complexion is the key when achieving this particular makeup look because skin is where most of your radiance comes from however adding a few extra steps to just finely enhance the rest of your features can elevate your look from plain and boring to polished and youthful. 

Sheer colour, glowy blushes can add a very healthy flush to your cheeks and if applied correctly actually imitate the outdoorsy, cheeky radiance. I personally prefer cream-based blush formulas because they blend in easier than their powder counterparts and just look more natural on my face. One of my most recent discoveries are the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blushes ($31.00) and they are perfect for faking naturally flushed cheeks. 

To maintain the no-makeup vibe the eyes can be enhanced with just a sheer wash of colour with a neutral, taupe or champagne low-shimmer shade while the lashes retain the natural look (try Benefit Cosmetics Velvet Eyeshadow, $18.00)with just a light coat of brown or clear mascara (try Sephora Collection Clear Defining Mascara, $15.00). 

Going the natural look route doesnt mean that you have to underplay your pout. Applying a sheer lip stain like the Buxom Full-On Lip Tarnish ($23.00) or a sheer balm like the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Balm ($7.99) will keep your look low key but still give you a believable sheer colour to draw some attention to your lips without the stickiness of a lip gloss. 

If you have bronzer experience adding a light layer to the the areas of your face where the sun naturally hits, can chisel and emphasize your features through expert contouring. That particular step is lost on me - my limited skills just end up making me look muddy and no matter how much I want to get the natural sun-kissed look every attempt fails miserably. But I am practicing with my Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel! 

The general consensus for this natural, no-makeup, radiant, glowy look is the sheerness of everything you use. This is not about strong colors, seductive smoky eyes, bronzed goddess like cheekbones, foundation masks or statement-making red lipstick. This look is about enhancing and bringing attention to our own natural beauty - spotlighting our own uniqueness and best features all the while celebrating the youthful spirit that resides in all of us. 

Sure, makeup makeovers can be extremely fun and empowering and sometimes even the most confident girl can have trouble taking the mask off BUT stripping the artificiality of it all gives us a chance to experiment on the opposite end of the spectrum and no-makeup look is still a makeup look regardless... 
Its just softer and prettier...for me anyways!

What do you prefer - nature or glamour? 

Thank you for reading 



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