When it comes to making people look good in photos, there really isn’t much better than having great skin. You’ve probably heard this many times before, but looking your absolute freshest is one of the keys to being gorgeous. And while most people know where to start when trying to achieve flawless skin (the right products, proper cleansing techniques), not everyone knows exactly how someone else might look if she didn’t put any makeup on whatsoever. Well, now you do!
In addition to telling us which celebrities’ faces you would choose for an ad campaign, we also wanted to hear from our readers about some of their personal favorites among Adelle sans makeup moments. What were those? Keep reading to find out…
10: Natural Beauty
We received several comments regarding the “unmade” appearance of actresses like Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz. While all three ladies appear as beautiful as ever in photographs, none of them wear makeup because they feel like it detracts from their true selves. Which leads us to believe these women aren’t wearing makeup simply because of vanity issues — instead, they seem to genuinely prefer their unmarred visages. If you want to follow in their footsteps, here are 10 tips to help get you started:
Don’t try too hard: Instead of applying thick layers of foundation, concealer and powder, keep things simple by using high-quality moisturizer, bronzer and blush. These items will work wonders without cluttering up your face.
You don’t need color: Don’t use colored cosmetics unless absolutely necessary. Just apply shades of brown, nude and tan to even out your complexion. Remember, less is more when it comes to makeup.
Go easy on the eyeshadow: Stick to neutral tones so you won’t end up drawing attention away from your features. Apply eyeliner only along your lash lines.
Focus on lips: Use lip gloss sparingly. Try adding shine to your pout or keeping lipstick minimal. The goal is to complement rather than compete with your facial features.
Play down eyebrows: Go for sparse brows, especially if they tend toward bushyness. This works well with bangs, long hair and other styles. Be sure to fill them in later with pencil or gel.
Try new colors: Experiment with different shades until you discover something unique. Stay clear of trendy red nails, however, since this tends to draw unwanted attention.
Be comfortable: When you walk into a room, take time to relax. Avoid fidgeting, twirling, adjusting jewelry pieces and running fingers through hair. People may wonder why you haven’t bothered putting anything on your face.
Know your angles: Look directly ahead when taking pictures. That’ll make your neckline look wider and create a curvier bust line. Also, avoid leaning forward, crossing arms over chest or walking backwards.
9: Smoky Eyes with False Eyelashes
If you’d rather leave your peepers bare, then opt for smoldering dark eye shadow. One reader suggested that Michelle Williams looked stunning during her Golden Globes 2011 acceptance speech without any makeup except black mascara and false eyelashes. Another said Natalie Portman had a similar effect at the 2010 Academy Awards. Both stars sported dramatic smokey eyes despite lacking heavy application of traditional eye liner. To pull off this style, experts recommend going light on the eyelash glue, curling lashes naturally instead of professionally and lining eyes lightly with liquid eyeliner.
8: Dramatic Lips
Lipsticks come in every imaginable shade, tone and finish, including shimmery nudes, bold brights and deep purples. While it seems like such a fun option, painting your luscious lips with bright-colored hues has its drawbacks. For starters, intense pigments can cause irritation, dryness and flaking. Plus, you risk messing up your perfect pucker by accidentally rubbing off excess product. So, how does one go about achieving the drama factor while avoiding pain, embarrassment and frustration? Experts suggest starting with two coats of regular base coat/color followed by two thin coats of matching hue and finishing with top coat.
7: Bright Chances
No matter whether you enjoy playing dress ups or dressing down, chances are pretty good you already own whatever you need for both activities. However, when it comes to creating a truly effortless look, you’ll definitely need to hit the store again for additional supplies. First, consider shopping for brighter accessories. Jewelry and shoes should feature vibrant hues, sparkle and interesting textures. Next, pick outfits consisting mostly of solid tans, grays and blacks. Finally, ditch the bulky sweaters for lightweight cardigans and tees. No one will notice your lack of wardrobe investment!
6: Black Smokey Eye Liner Run All Over Your Face
It’s tempting to paint your eyelids completely black, but doing so results in raccoon eyes, aka caked-on eyeliner. To ensure smooth blending between your upper and lower palettes, stick with liners that offer subtle gradations. Experts say choosing a charcoal gray makes for the smoothest transition.
5: Bold Lipstick
While we understand the appeal of leaving lips bare, pastel pink is never considered appropriate attire for everyday occasions. Unless you want to stand out from the crowd, add a little color to your lips. Experts agree that adding a splash of vivid crimson provides instant impact while still remaining classy enough to wear around town. Consider pairing your favorite shade with a neutral cheek and shadow palette. In fact, you could achieve a similar result by mixing your own custom lipstick concoction. Simply mix together equal parts of rosewater, glycerin, lemon juice and sugar until blended. Then dab onto blemishes with cotton balls. Once dried, rub gently with circular motions to remove stains. Repeat weekly until desired level of softness is reached.
4: A Little Bit Goth Chic
Some people love the idea of gothic chic so much, they actually wear it straight up. Whether you’re interested in exploring the darker side of life or merely expressing your inner angst, you can adopt a spookily cool aesthetic without resorting to plastic surgery or excessive amounts of pancake makeup. Instead, focus on classic basics like white clothing, black nail polish and lots of stark shadows. Of course, if you want to go full vampire mode, try incorporating metallic finishes, shiny accents and multicolored highlights.
3: Red-Tinted Glasses
The big secret to pulling off the retro trend known as cat-eye glasses rests within the power of the frame itself. Most frames come equipped with mirrored lenses that reflect your irises back into your eyeballs, forming a distinctive starburst pattern. To emulate this effect, place sunglasses inside a small bowl and hold against hot water for 30 seconds. Set aside to allow heat to soften lens coating. Now, slip each temple between your thumb and index finger and slowly bend outward, focusing on maintaining eye contact throughout. Afterward, rinse thoroughly under warm water to remove soap residue. Dry thoroughly before hanging up to air out.
2: Blurred Brows
To achieve perfectly blurred edges, first invest in quality tools. Choose brushes made specifically for this purpose, and limit yourself to one pair per day. As far as technique goes, experts say the trick lies in sweeping upward strokes across the arch area, and downward ones below it. Never brush inward toward the nose, nor outward toward the temples. When brushing the outer corners, concentrate on separating hairs instead of joining them together. Lastly, pay close attention to the direction of your eyebrows, particularly when shaping arches. An acute angle can lead to unnatural looking shapes.
1: Fresh Scrubbed Skin
Your fresh-scrubbed-looking self doesn’t have to remain hidden behind closed doors forevermore. With a bit of planning, preparation and persistence, you can turn your bathroom mirror into a mini photo studio. Start by filling a large pot with warm water, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Bring mixture to boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove lid, transfer scrubbing solution to a clean washcloth, dip cloth into the bubbling bath and swipe softly over your entire face. Rinse thoroughly, pat dry and repeat once more if needed. Enjoy!