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Fashion Opinion and Editorial

Back-to-School “No Makeup” Tutorial

*Editor’s Note: The following piece was written by BUnow staff writer Becky Smith*

First off, before you put any makeup products on your face you have got to take care of your skin. Makeup should be enhancing your natural beauty, not covering it up. So instead of paying so much money on layering up foundations, invest that money in a good skincare routine. Moreover, make sure you drink plenty of water and never EVER sleep in makeup.

This article will provide a step by step guide for a “no makeup” makeup look with product suggestions from both high end and the drug store. Even though it may look long on paper this is actually a quick and easy routine that does not require many products.


Step one of the makeup routine is primer. The primer you should use depends on your skin type.

  • If you have oily skin I would opt for a pore filling primer such as the Urban Decay Pore Filler or the NYX Professional Cosmetics Angel Veil Eraser and apply these primers to areas of your face that are prone to get oily such as your t-zone and around your nose.
  • If you have dry skin, you should use a hydrating primer such as Mac Strobe Cream or the Elf Hydrating Primer. I like to apply these with my fingers over my whole face like I would a moisturiser.
  • If you have normal/combination skin you can use multiple primers for different areas of your face.


Next is Foundation. Again, choosing the right foundation really depends on your skin type. There are so many foundations out there both from the drug store (affordable makeup) and high end (expensive makeup) that work well on different people. My tips for choosing a foundation:

  • Match it to your neck, not your arm
  • if possible before your purchase, sample the foundation for the day to see how it wears

For a “no makeup” look you want to use a light coverage foundation or even a tinted moisturiser. I tend to use tinted moisturizers that have SPF in such as the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 or the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream 3-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector. These tinted moisturizers allow your skin to peek through and have added protection from the sun. This allows for a more natural look whilst still giving some coverage.

Applying your foundation using a sponge gives a more natural finish. I love the Beauty Blender but so many brands have dupes for it which are also good, but remember to always wet your sponge before use. Do not use a sponge if your foundation is very liquidy, as the sponge will absorb most of the product, resulting in waste. Instead, use a foundation brush to buff the foundation into the skin and then go over the top with a sponge. When using the sponge, you want to pounce and press the foundation into the skin rather than wiping it onto the face. Be sure to bring the foundation down your neck to make sure it matches with your body.


After foundation, go in with a concealer under the eyes. Tarte Shape Tape and the Maybelline Fit Me are two great options. You’ll want to use a shade lighter than your foundation to give the under eye a brightening effect. Apply the concealer in triangle shapes under your eyes. I also like to apply the concealer under my nose where I need more coverage, and over any blemishes.

Using the sponge again press the concealer into the skin whilst looking up to avoid any creasing under the eyes. Once the concealer has been blended in, using the same sponge, pick up a translucent powder or light skin powder and press that on top of the concealer to lock it in. The Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder or the Maybelline Fit Me Powder are great setting powders for under the eyes. For an everyday look there is no need to bake the under eye by allowing the powder to sit and melt in the skin for extra coverage, just ensure the under eye is set. With any excess powder, set areas of the face that will get oily throughout the day, such as around the nose, the forehead and the chin.


Normally I would start a makeup look with the eyes (as any fallout from eye shadow can be wiped away from the face without ruining your base), but because this is a “no makeup” look, I use little eye shadow. I always like to prime my eyes, you can use your concealer as a primer and set it with the same powder that you used for the rest of your face. I like to go in with a light brown shade in my crease to add depth to my eyes, sometimes I even use my bronzer for this step. Feel free to use whatever eye shadow you like, go in with a fluffy crease brush and lightly buff the color into the crease of your eye socket in circular motions until well blended.


Next, I go in with some mascara such as the Dior Iconic Over Curl or Maybelline Lash Sensational. When it comes to mascara there are so many drug store options that are better than expensive high-end mascaras. I then like to take a black or brown pencil eyeliner and lightly line the outer corner of my eye just to give it more definition.


For eyebrows it really depends on what shape your natural brows are. When I am doing a quick makeup look I will tend to use an eyebrow pencil and lightly fill in any areas of my brow where the hairs are sparse and use a spoolie to brush through the hairs and disperse the product. TheMac Veluxe Brow Liner and NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil are good brow pencils. For gel, either Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel or the Essence Brow Gel are reliable. I will quickly run the gel through my brows making sure the hairs at the front are brushed upwards to make my brows look fuller.


To finish the face, I will actually use highlighter before bronzer to give a more natural finish. I apply a highlighter with a fan brush to the high points of my face. My cheek bones, my brow bone, my cupids bow, the tip of my nose, and also on the inner corner of my eye to brighten. For an everyday look you do not need a blinding highlight so some more natural highlights are the Nars Highlighters. They all give a more natural glow, and the shade will depend on your skin color. From the drug store the Maybelline Master Glow Highlighters are good with a light hand.


I will then use a bronzer with a large face brush to lightly sweep bronzer around my forehead, cheeks, jaw line, and a little across the nose. I love the Mac Mineral Powders, but Maybelline and Physicians Formula also do some good bronzing power.

For lips, I sometimes just put on a lip balm or sometimes nothing at all for such a basic look.

Setting Spray

Finally, I will use a setting spray to lock everything into place. For day time looks I tend to use hydrating setting sprays such as the Mac Fix +, or the NYX Professional Makeup Makeup Setting Spray, which comes in both dewy and matte formulas so can be suited to whatever skin type you have.


For further makeup tips and tutorials, I have linked some of my favourite YouTube Beauty Guru’s Videos Bellow.

KathleenLights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAX8tyQnTpU&t=452s

Jackie Aina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcxzcwNUP8E

Desi Perkins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TA9OHkxYOM&t=4s