(Contains press samples. Affiliate links.)
I really like the concept of the No Makeup Look. I just can't be bothered to spend all that time on my makeup only to appear the same walking out the door as I did rolling out of bed. If it's a no-makeup day, then it's really a NO makeup day. If I'm going to wear it, it's because I want to do something transformative and fun with my face - not to create a more presentable version of myself for others, but because the ritual and the results please me.
But then there are those days when I want to wear makeup, but I just don't have the time or the energy for the process - I need effect with minimal investment.
That's when I pull out the three staples that I know will always work for a No Fuss Look: a shimmery, mid-toned cream eyeshadow in a neutral but dimensional colour, a matte finish, medium cover foundation, and a MLBB lipstick.
The cream eyeshadow is what really makes this work. It needs to be something that picks up on the natural colours of the eyelid, so something in the taupe, greige, mauve, plum families for my skin tone. A bit of shimmer keeps it from looking too flat (or the look starts to lean into the Hungover Troll category).
The one I've been loving lately is the Clarins Ombre Matte in the shade Sparkle Grey (#05), which is that perfect mix of grey and plum - more silvered grey when applied intensely, more plum when buffed out. The texture is softer and than the Maybelline Color Tattoos, a bit more along the lines of the powder/cream texture of the Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill, or the Dior Fusion Monos. (I don't know if that's the case with the other shades in the range, as this is the only shimmer one.) It's ridiculously easy to apply and blend out, which is a big plus for this look, though I generally do need to use a primer as well to keep it from creasing or fading a bit after a few hours.
I usually apply it with a flat synthetic brush all over my eyelid, and run some under my lower lashes (not too thin, the idea is to have a bit of a haze rather than a defined line). Then I take a fluffy brush and buff it out from the crease. Mascara and some black liner to tightline, and done.
Then foundation. Here I do prefer it be matte, because I find the lasting power is generally better, and there's usually minimal need for a concealer or powder on top of it, especially with a medium coverage formula. I always apply with a beauty blender, fas the matte finish is tempered down to a more skin-like satin (which I prefer), without sacrificing longevity.
I've been trying out the new Bourjois 123 Foundation, which is marketed under some dubious claims about having special pigments that counteract the various defects in your skin tone. (Trufact: EVERY foundation has those same pigments. They're what gives foundation the beige/brown colouring. When you were a kid, did you ever mix all your different paints together and get some brown goo at the end of it? Same concept, only with titanium dioxide added to lighten the tone as needed.)
Eye-rolling claims aside, it's actually a very nice foundation. The finish is very comparable to the matte-but-not-flat result you get from the Chanel Perfection Lumiere (not shocking, as Chanel and Bourjois are sister brands), though it shares the latter's similar tendency to emphasize flakiness. (Which is another reason to apply it with a beauty blender.) I don't get the 16 hours of wear promised by the label, but it definitely keeps up during the better part of the day, getting a bit shiny around my nose about 6-7 hours in, but otherwise looking stable. The only touch up I'm likely to do is a quick pat with a kleenex. The coverage is decently medium on its own, and I find that dabbing a little extra on spots is usually all I need to cover those up. (Though I do still need my usual salmon concealer to cover up the epic sleepless zombie purple under my eyes.)
For lips, I like a product that 1) is easy and fast to apply and 2) equally easy to reapply during the day. Usually this translates into a nude-pink shade that just lightly deepens my natural lip colour, and in a finish that's doesn't require precision.
In the past the YSL Volupté Shine in Nude in Private was my go-to, but lately I've been using the YSL The Mats in Nude Acoustic (#210). I have a review here, but the short version: lightweight and comfortable to wear despite the matte finish, superbly flattering colour, and surprisingly easy to apply - no need for lipliner, and can be dabbed on using a window or other shiny surface as a stand-in mirror without getting that lipstick smear that makes me look like a barmy maiden aunt.
If I have more time and/or energy, I'll swipe on a quick blush, but generally I find these three main items are enough for me to feel "done".
Some quick swatches!
And the finished, No Fuss face! :)
The nice thing about this look is that it can be juiced up with minimal effort as well, should I feel like it. The Ombre Matte works well as a base, so I can just dab a lighter shadow in the inner corner, blend a charcoal in the crease and a bit under the eye, and then add more liner if need be. I can add blush or contour or highlight as I wish, maybe powder if the shine is breaking through on my nose, and then retouch the lip, maybe add a dab of gloss. With that extra few minutes, it goes from No Fuss to Casually Sexy Smokey.
Do you guys have a go-to look for those days when you have limited time or resources? What are the staple ingredients for you?
(I purchased the Clarins and the Bourjois items, the YSL was compliments of the brand. This post is not sponsored or compensated, opinions are my own. Contains affiliate links.)