Fakeup Makeup: Easy Tips and Low-Maintenance Products for a Better Bare Look


The no makeup policy. Say what? It’s sad to think about, but some people are restricted from wearing makeup at work or school; such rules exist at some private schools, military posts, hospitals, medical facilities, and even restaurants. On the plus side, going naked from the neck up saves time in the morning! But for a lot of us, there are also those days when the idea of full-frontal facial exposure would be (almost) reason enough to fake a sick day. Even if you have to go bare day to day, you can still bend the rules ... at least a little. Here are some tips to achieve an easy, natural look—also perfect for those who want a break from an all-done-up routine. 

Creamy, Natural Skin Secrets

Stay away from dry and powdery makeup because it can look cakey. BB cream will give you a dewy finish and help camouflage redness and enlarged pores; I recommend Too Faced Beauty Balm. For a creamy natural-looking complexion, you can also mix foundation with a daily moisturizer and blend it into you face. Imperfections won’t completely disappear, but you’ll be left with a radiant glow that looks anything but phony.

Barely-There Eye Enhancers

Because shadows and liners are a dead giveaway, these lash tricks are something every beauty sleuth ought to know. If you want darker lashes, apply a light coat of brown mascara after using a curler (like the Billy B Beauty Eyelash Curler). This helps to open up and spread the lashes. To add depth and shine to a bare eye, dab a small amount of Vaseline (or a petroleum-free balm like this shea butter–based version from Sula) onto clean lashes—it will also moisturize the follicles and promote growth.

The Subtlest Brow Tamers

Well-groomed brows are the first step toward a great face. But unless your name is Cara Delevingne, you’re going to need a little help filling in the blanks. Forget the precarious pencil—we love the Tinted Brow Gel from Anastasia. The mascara-like formula tints the brow hairs rather than the skin, and even helps keep strays in place. An old tube of clear mascara is a good solution for taming brows, too. 

The No-Blush Cheek Flush

Even though our cheeks take up the most space on our face, they are one of the less conspicuous places to add a little color—emphasis on little. Stay away from red and fuschia blushes and stick to a brush-on bronzer for an instant authentic glow. For the most natural look use a no-fuss pressed powder formula that’s a couple of shades darker than your skin tone. Hoping for something more rosy? Try a sheer, balmy cream like Korres Cheek Butter for a controllable, dewy flush. It leaves your skin with that fresh-from-the-gym wash of color. 

The Sheerest Long-Lasting Lip

When pretending to go au naturale on the face, the last thing you want is for lipstick to give you away. The secret to a fabulous natural-looking pout is a stain with a light tint (I like Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain). So save your mattes, shimmers, and semi glosses for another day! A stain will last for hours, and if you really want an understated shine that no one will question, top it with chapstick. To even and define the mouth, find a lip liner that matches your natural lip color.

Photo: Carlo A / Flickr