Mix up the textures
It’s difficult to look polished without makeup. Good yes, polished no. But “nude” is still one of the most difficult looks to perfect, especially if your cheeks are deathly pale and eyelashes sparse. The key is not to be daunted.
START WITH SKIN. To keep the complexion healthy, you need sunblock, cleanser, some sort of exfoliant and a moisturiser loaded with antioxidants. To disguise the bits that are less than perfect, you need an arsenal of skin perfectors. Or a really, really good foundation. I continue to be obsessed with M.A.C’s Next to Nothing Face Colour, $ 64, which looks and acts like a conventional foundation but is, in fact, quite different, with a light, balm- like texture that leaves your skin comfortable and glowing. Another to tr y is L’Oreal Paris True Match Mineral
Foundation ($ 35), a new product with skincare benefits and oil control ( great for summer) that doesn’t leave the skin feeling or looking dried- out.
FIRST BLUSH. Flawless skin needs some contour to stop it from looking flat, so don’t neglect blusher. But you might be surprised at how little you actually need. As the skin warms up, the blusher increases in intensity, which may explain why what looked perfectly good at home makes you look like a rag doll when you next check it.
SHADOW PLAY. Cream shadows and shimmering glosses in tawny shades of gold, peach and dusky pink add a monochromatic glamour to the face. Using different tones in the same colour imparts an expensive “laissezfaire” look synonymous with modern French actresses like Lea Seydoux and Marion Cotillard – women with a lot of style and a lot of money. One proviso: mixing textures such as gloss, cream and powder stops the look from
being flat. Some of the most covetable shadows to cross my desk recently are those in Shiseido’s new Paperlight Cream Eye Color collection ($ 49). Inspired by washi paper, the eight shades can be layered for a matte finish or kept light and airy with just one smear. The soft greens and lilac/ pinks are better than gorgeous.
GET LIPPY. A natural look relies on wellconditioned lips so a treatment such as Clinque’s new Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Balm ($ 42) is essential. Packed with shea butter, glycerine and linoleic acid to retain moisture, these juicy tints ( guava, cherry and tangerine) are perfect for delivering a sheer wash of colour and immediate smoothing benefits. A clear untinted formula is also available, and will go very well under a lip colour from the new L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Nude Lip Paints ($ 24 each) range, all of which boast a beautiful, velvet matte finish. Tracey Strange