As someone who possesses next to no makeup skills, I spend an impressive amount of time trying to copy other people’s faces. And no, I don’t mean that I sit at home following those hour-long YouTube tutorials that require a million shades. (I admitted defeat on those long ago.) Instead, I save Instagram looks of my favourite celebs looking their understated, natural, glowing best and analyse every aspect of their makeup so that I can give it a go myself.
Only I never get it quite right, and I think there’s a very valid reason for it (besides the fact that I’m useless, of course). You see, the sort of natural-looking, no-makeup makeup aesthetic that I lean toward is actually incredibly tricky to pull off. The whole premise of the look is that you shouldn’t really be able to tell where the makeup is at all. And frankly, when I’m trying to decode looks painted by expert hands that have spent years perfecting the art of disguise, I stand no chance.
So in a bid to get to the bottom of what makes a really great natural look, I decided to scroll through my Saved folders to see who, exactly, is behind these seemingly unachievable, chic looks. Painting the faces of basically every celeb whose makeup I swoon over, from Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne to Nathalie Emmanuel and Jodie Comer, Florrie White was undoubtedly the makeup artist I needed to speak to. So for half an hour, I grilled her on every tip and trick she has up her sleeve to achieve the ultimate no-makeup makeup look, and this is everything she had to share.
“It’s really important to invest time in your skincare. When I work on models and actresses, I spend longer prepping their skin than I do applying makeup. For me, it’s important to wash your face and give it a massage for a few minutes. A lot of people still don’t cleanse their faces at night, and I try to explain to them that it’s like eating off of a dirty plate. It’s all about priming yourself for the next morning. If your skin is in its optimum state, the products go on so much better.”
“Eyelash curlers are really underrated. A lot of people don’t know that when you’re curling your lashes, not only does it create the effect of long lashes and lift, but it allows more light to catch the eye and makes them sparkle a bit more. My favourites are Kevyn Aucoin. They have a red rubber strip that allows you to actually see the lashes and get close to the root. Then I just wiggle some mascara into the roots only. That way you don’t have full mascara lashes. It’s just creating a nice frame for the eyes.”
“Mixing lip liners with balms allows you to even out the shape of your lip and add a little bit of colour without looking too ‘done.’ It’s sort of a cheat. Even better are tinted balms, like the Dr. Lipp ones that just give you a little sheen.”
Next up, the only 7 makeup trends we plan on wearing this spring/summer.