How to Look Good Without Makeup On

Above: models from the Louis Vuitton F/W 2011 show, all without makeup. This was a bold move for the fashion house: while these are just a sampling of 10, the brand’s website boasted all models they casted for that show sans makeup (how many do you recognize from above?). Many women find refuge behind a mask of makeup; I fit into that category only until very recently within the past two years. It takes courage and confidence to wear no makeup when we’re often told and shown images of women made exceptionally beautiful by makeup. Today’s post is for the ladies who are wanting to take that initial step into the makeup-free abyss, but aren’t sure how.

Today is the start of Hell Week for those of us in undergrad. At my school, today is the last day of Fall classes; Final exams start Monday. This was an incentive for today’s post: While in the midst of finals, who has any time or energy to do their makeup? It’s pointless to “put on your face” just to type papers and spend what seems to be endless hours in the libs…I mean, the library. Below are a few tips that make going au natural easier than any exam you’re studying for! 😉

1. Shape Your Brows

Your eyebrows essentially frame your eyes as well as your whole face. Keeping them maintained is one of the easiest ways to look groomed without cosmetics. Whether you opt for a bold, strong brow or a simple groomed arch, make sure they’re defined. No bushiness or stray hairs. You’re simply not wearing makeup, you haven’t stopped caring!

2. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

I’m not encouraging you to scour your face, but I recommend sloughing off dead skin at least twice a week. I’m now in the habit of scrubbing every night simply as an effective way to get my makeup off, but it has more benefits than that. When you exfoliate, you’re removing the top layer of dead skin cells to ensure that your “new” layer of skin has the chance to give you that glow. Without exfoliating, dead skin can give you the look of ruddiness, dull complexion, and make dry skin look even dryer. I also find that the smoother your skin is before you moisturize, the better the moisturizer maintains that smoothness.

3. Moisturize

It goes without saying that you should be moisturizing everyday. Whatever your routine is, make sure you’re maintaining it—think of one day without moisture like one day without water. Your skin is parched! This is the best way to ensure for that dewy glow you’re looking for. To accommodate my extra dry skin, I’ve bumped up my winter routine by adding 3-4 drops of avocado oil with my moisturizer in my hand before I apply. I’ve been doing this for just under a month now, and I have not had a flake on my face since!

4. Brighten Your Whites

There is no better way to look awake (without the help of mascara) than by ensuring that the whites of your eyes are their brightest. Simply use 2 drops for each eye in your morning routine, and you’re good to go. Brightening those pearly whites will also make people stop and stare. In a sea of chain smokers and heavy drinkers, you’ll sparkle when you flash your newly whitened teeth on exam day. Many college kids don’t think about their teeth, but think of how much you talk, smile, laugh, and have people looking at your mouth. Let’s make sure it wows them when your makeup isn’t there to. Opt for an at-home whitening kit (you can wear them while studying in your dorm room!) unless you have the cash to get a professional job (or you scored a deal on LivingSocial recently).

5. Hydrate from the Inside Out

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing it, but a healthy complexion starts with your diet. I’m not going into detail about foods you should/shouldn’t eat, I’m simply encouraging you to drink more water. It’s a huge challenge I face too, but when I do it I fall in love with the results. It minimizes blotchiness, reduces redness, and makes you have this plump radiance that you noticeably are lacking on days you don’t drink gobs of water.

6. Confidence

No, this isn’t something to apply, smear, or blend. This is something you need to wear all day to rock no makeup. If you are self conscious while not donning foundation, don’t do it! You’ll feel uncomfortably insecure all day—I know, I’ve been there. You have to ease yourself into less makeup if this is new for you. Maybe start with no eye makeup, only foundation, and progress from there with whatever you’re comfortable. If you’re ready to rock a fresh face then hold your head high. Let people see the real you. If someone says, “Oh, I didn’t realize how many freckles you have,” or “I never noticed that birth mark before,” thank them. They’re finally seeing the true you.


As you begin studying and spending endless hours under fluorescent lighting just remember, some of the women we most adore actually do go without makeup on occasion, too. It’s just that the photos aren’t often seen. Below are some of the biggest models in fashion. 1. Heidi Klum, 2. Gisele Bundchen, 3. Adriana Lima, 4. Kate Moss, 5. Cara Delevingne, all sans makeup (click on each for enlarged images):


Good luck to everyone on exams! I hope to see your radiant makeup-free faces on campus!


Banner photo via, model photos via 1,2,3,4,5

Fall Beauty Trend: Wine Lips (How-to)

Of the many Fall beauty trends on display, I’m most excited for the dark lip look and all of its variations. After stalking the different looks, I narrowed down my favorite and headed to Sephora to get the low down on how to recreate it. I opted for the Gucci variation: an ombré lip with the darkest wine around the lips fading to a lighter red-wine on the pout (see: center photo above). That way, I am able to achieve the other looks with the lip liner and lipstick I bought for this combined look. To start creating this look, slough off any dry, peeling skin from lips with a warm wash cloth or a toothbrush. Apply a thin layer of lip balm to soften lips and ease cracks. Have a fresh face as your canvas:

Using the lip liner and a steady hand, trace the defining line of your lips, being careful not to veer over onto your skin. Fill in about 1/3 of your lips with the liner (both top and bottom).

  1. Using your finger or a cotton swap blend the dark line inward toward your mouth (on top and bottom lip) to create the gradual fading effect.
  2. Apply the lighter wine lipstick to the center of your lower lip and upper lip over the “gradual fading” section and blend outward. Once your lips are drenched in color, make sure there is not a distinct line across your lips–a sign that you needed to blend more in step 2. As your last step, clean up around the edges for any remaining product that may have smeared.


The other variations are just as eye-catching: if you’d rather go for a glossy blackberry pout or a maroon stained pucker, be prepared to stand out.

photo via