I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare-faced (but not boring) natural look

Balmain - Fall 2011 beauty

Do you go through beauty phases? I TOTALLY do. There was that time in 2006 when I became obsessed with winged eyeliner and wore it day in, day out… my coral lipstick moment of 2010… and now, lately, I’ve been pretty much all about a bare face. (Although I know I said I was brushing up on this, and I WILL.)

Anyway, mostly it’s because there’s just been so much going on lately (I know, I repeat myself) that I haven’t had the time for my usual beauty experimentation. I was probably influenced by these ladies too. But if I’m being brutally honest, I was also just plain ready for a nice palette cleanse. You know, after trying to replicate the Fashion Week eyeshadow-to-the-brows, and juicy red lips, and borderline-chunky mascara. Sometimes it’s cooler to dial it all back and not try so hard. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Still, everyone knows that a natural look done right takes as much (sometimes more) effort than when you make one feature the focus. So come have a peek at what goes into mine…

1. Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base

Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural look

Chanel’s national makeup artist Julie Cusson turned me on to this puppy a while back—I don’t know if I’ve ever heard someone rave about a product so much! It’s a little intimidating in the bottle because it’s a white liquid, but it goes on completely sheer. And it’s kind of magical. I don’t know what to call it, really, because it does all sorts of things. You could use it on its own or as a primer under the rest of your makeup to help it go on more smoothly. Somehow it brightens and evens out your skin tone without making it look whiter or shiny or greasy. (There is no shimmer in this product. I repeat: NO shimmer.) I don’t always use this, but when I do I can definitely see a difference in how flawless my skin looks.

2. Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural look

I was recently converted to this product, and I don’t think there will be any going back. Full disclosure: I love it more than my Armani, my FACE atelier, my Hourglass, my Chanel, my Living Nature… it really is The Best. Not only is my shade a 100 percent perfect match, but there’s something about this stuff that just sinks into your skin and doesn’t look like you’re wearing foundation at all (which is the goal, obvi). Following the philosophy I wrote about in this post, I apply a very thin layer anywhere I have redness and then build it up as needed, so that concealer only needs to happen in a couple of tiny spots.

3. Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural lookThis guy goes hand in hand with the foundation. (And has, for the most part, replaced my concealer wardrobe. Shocking I know!) The twisty-pen format can take some getting used to, but it’s like that for a reason: you really don’t need much of this to get results. I can do the inner corners of my eyes, around the nose and the odd blemish or two with just one twist of the pen. You don’t even need to set it with powder for it to stay put. This is why I love it, folks. (That and the fact that it comes in as many shades as the foundations, guaranteeing seamless coverage.)

4. La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural look

So you know how I was all about the YSL cream blushes, oh, about six months back? Lately I’ve been finding the colour a bit too strong (at least the rose one… occasionally I wear the peach, but not a lot). Maybe Carmindy’s anti-blush advice is finally sinking in, as I’m sporting much more toned down cheeks courtesy of this La Prairie number. I know La Prairie costs a zillion dollars, but the quality is definitely there: I have the shade Plum Glow and it goes on very, VERY sheer and is extremely easy to blend. It really doesn’t look like you’re wearing blush at all—which, again, is the goal here. (Note: I also love Make Up For Ever’s HD blush, but that would be a little too much MUFE love for one post.)

5. it Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Silk Micro-Powder

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Silk Micro Powder I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural lookI LOVE this product. Y’all know I highly recommend HD powders instead of those (often cakey) tinted ones. I’m not sure about how this would work on dry and/or dark skin, but on my fair, shiny areas, it’s amaze. I tossed the sponge (because that would deposit too much product) and instead use an eyeshadow brush to paint the barest amount of powder in the T-zone.

6. M.A.C Pro Longwear Eye Shadow in Carefree

M.A.C Pro Longwear Eye Shadow in Carefree I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural look

Remember how I said my go-to thing is to slap on a shimmery beige waterproof shadow—a cream one? Well, during a beauty archives clean-up the other day (yes, we beauty folks really have to do this), I came across this powder and thought I’d give it a go. The verdict? It passes with flying colours. Surprisingly, my lids didn’t crease up at all—it gives you a full eight hours of wear time. And I love the colour.

7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural lookThis brow tint is super-similar to the one Urban Decay came out with a little while ago, except it might get the edge because it’s also waterproof. I have the “light” shade, and it’s the perfect grey-beige to camo any sparse spots in your arches. You just paint it on in short, quick strokes. Done and done.

8. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

Benefit Theyre Real Mascara I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural look

I’m not really loyal to mascara, so I can’t gush about this one TOO much, but of the ones I introduced to my rotation in the past few months, it definitely pleased me the most. (Sadly, it’s been three months, so time to toss.) You can check out my review here and Elizabeth’s here. I’m much more excited about the next prod…

9. Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer

Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural look

I already told you about this guy in my mascara tips post, but it’s soooo good I have to mention again. Like the Chanel illuminating base I mentioned above, I don’t use this one on the daily, but when I do—wowza! It’s a shiny, uber-black topcoat for your lashes that goes over your regular mascara to create more length, volume and darkness. When you’re wearing an otherwise bare-ish face, I find that it really makes a difference.

10. Guerlain Rouge Le Brillant Jewel Lipstick Compact

Guerlain Rouge Le Brillant Jewel Lipstick Compact I gave myself a makeup makeunder! Check out the 10 products I swear by for a bare faced (but not boring) natural lookThis is my most recent discovery, which I held off test-driving because I assumed it would be too lipsticky. Nein, nein, nein. Imagine my delight to uncover the most gorgeous, sheer, glossy finish, with the moisturizing feel of those gloss-balms I adore so much. I don’t know why they are calling this one a lipstick at all. The packaging is incredible too… and as an added bonus, I was really happy to see that my shade of choice (pale peachy coral) is called Brenda.

You know… as in THIS Brenda:

Tell me:

Do you go through makeup phases too?
What goes into your bare-faced look?
Have you tried any of these prodz yet?

36 Comments

erin
Monday, December 5/2011 at 1:46 pm

i am such a fan of the natural look! i use the MUF foundation, and along with NARS sheer glow- it is my fave. hilarious that you added the 90210 clip!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 5/2011 at 8:37 pm

Ooh I don’t know NARS Sheer Glow… tell me more! How does it compare to the MUFE?

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Arianne
Monday, December 5/2011 at 2:01 pm

First Janine with the new Clinique foundation post, then now you, with the minimal makeup! I sense a trend here… :) I always do admire people who wear a bare faced look for parties instead of the usual smokey eyes or red lips that we see all. the. time.

I have never heard of that Chanel base, but it does sound incredible. Do you think it’s kinda like MAC Strobe Cream? That one is a sheer pearly-pink cream that you can mix with moisturizer or foundation (or use for layering).

Right now I’m having a love affair with liquid liner (YSL Shocking), berry cheeks (FACE atelier Facade in Godiva) and matching berry-stained lips (Revlon Black Cherry).

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 5/2011 at 8:39 pm

I like it better than the Strobe Cream… it’s somehow a bit more matte and primer-like. And not as pink.

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Susie
Monday, December 5/2011 at 3:54 pm

This is my dream post!

Allure also picked the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer as their top concealer this year. I usually like a thick, creamy concealer, but I’ll give this one a try.

I’m going to check out that Guerlain lipstick pronto!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 5/2011 at 8:40 pm

Both are amazing! If you try pls let me know what you think… I didn’t know that about Allure but not surprised. :-)

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Gina
Monday, December 5/2011 at 5:18 pm

I find that They’re Real Mascara kind of hurts when I apply it. The brush is a little too hard.
Anyone else find this?

p.s. Great post!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 5/2011 at 8:41 pm

Thanks! I know what you mean… I’m not 100% in love with it either. However, it’s better than the others I’ve tried lately. Still searching for The One…

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Joanna
Monday, December 5/2011 at 6:53 pm

So many great new products to try! :) I’ve been using the YS rose blush since you recommended it, and now I’m very curious about the MUFE blush! What shade are you using?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 5/2011 at 8:42 pm

I use #8 – I think it’s their top selling colour. Very natural – looks like you were just outside or to the gym. I will definitely re-purchase.

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La La
Monday, December 5/2011 at 7:40 pm

Being dark skinned I can attest to the difficulty of using just an hd powder after applying foundation or concealer. What I do is use a loose powder which matches my skin tone and interestingly enough I apply it with a circular makeup pad. Then afterward I use a tiny amount of MUFE hd powder to set. I get complimented all the time on how flawless I look and I def think the hd powder helps :). I think just the hd powder CAN work for women of colour of certain shades but I’m just a bit too dark for it to be feasible for me.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, December 5/2011 at 8:44 pm

Good to know! I’m so pale that these powders always work on me but I wasn’t sure about dark skin. How do you prevent looking powdery though with powder on top of powder? I usually spritz with an atomizer to get some of the dewiness back…

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La La
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 2:25 am

I have combination skin so dewiness isn’t normally a problem…and honestly I use such a minuscule amount of the hd powder and I really only use it on my t.zone….and I blend the tinted powder I use really really well…I’ve wondered about using an atomizer though…especially in the winter when I’m not as naturally oily…any recos?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:11 pm

Ok good to know – I like your technique!
I honestly haven’t noticed much of a difference with the atomizers… I’ve used everything from La Roche Posay to Shu to Evian and they all seem kind of the same to me. I don’t think I could justify paying tons of money for that product category. Although interestingly, M.A.C’s VP of global makeup artistry (who is AMAZING) always recommends spritzing with one before you apply makeup. He says it helps give you that dewy “baby skin” look…and who wouldn’t want that?!?

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Sophia
Monday, December 5/2011 at 11:09 pm

Maybe Santa will bring me Le Blanc for Christmas… it sounds divine. I get by without foundation but would like to add some “oomph” to my skin.

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Julia
Monday, December 5/2011 at 11:40 pm

I’m really into Burt’s Bees new tinted lip balm in Black Dahlia. On par with Fresh’s tinted lip balm for a third of the price. It’s the perfect amount of color when you’re on the go and want the natural look. DO IT.

PS – Are cheek stains out now? I’m pro-blush and love Bare Minerals’ Vintage Peach!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:13 pm

Oh nice! I think I have Black Dahlia…somewhere… I’ve been using glosses lately but need to switch to balms what with the cold weather.

I don’t think cheek stains are necessarily “out” but I find creams and powders a lot easier to control… you don’t have to blend as quickly as stains before they set.

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Marina(Makeup4all)
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 4:19 am

Now you’ve made me curious about that Chanel illuminating base.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:14 pm

It’s a really cool product – unlike anything I’ve seen before!

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Nomadic D
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 5:09 am

Totally loving the bare faced look too these days, maybe something in the air? I’m sort of shocked that the MUFE foundation trumped the armani for you, but I’m also sort of jealous. I loved the texture when I tried it but, believe it or not, couldn’t get a good match. I know, they have a zillion colors, but one was too yellow, the other too pink. Argh. That’s ok, I still have enough foundations to choose from (read: too many!). The chanel base sounds interesting. I hardly ever use a primer, but the Armani master light primer is the best one I’ve tried, slightly shimmery but only just barely. Have you tried that one? And as for blush, right now I’m alternating between a MUFE HD blush and Benefit’s ChaCha Tint, both of which feel totally natural and lovely to me.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:16 pm

I think it’s got a thinner texture than the Armani – that might be part of it too, besides the great colour match.

I do have the Armani primer but haven’t used it much… I will now though! I didn’t realize it gave a shimmer – was focusing more on oil control. I will re-attempt!

I loooove MUFE blush and the ChaCha Tint… although I was only using the latter in the summer, not sure I can pull off coral without a tan.

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Miss Mara
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 11:16 am

I’ve always heard HD makeup photographs horribly. True? I’ve not used any HD products myself but understand that although they may look good in real life, if you’re planning on being in any photos, to be cautious.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:18 pm

It’s only the powder you need to worry about – and the problem is only if you apply it in a very heavy-handed way. (Check out this post – the problem is with flash photography and they used A LOT of powder, way more than I recommend: http://beautyeditor.ca/2011/04/07/first-nicole-kidman-then-eva-longoria-now-ashley-judd-twice-why-are-so-many-celebs-wearing-visible-white-powder/)
Otherwise, HD products are actually designed to hold up well for photography and film… I’ve found with the MUFE foundation and blush that they really sink into my skin and look like I’m not wearing any makeup.

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Amanda
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 1:08 pm

Hi
Thanks for the fab post.
I used to use Blanc de Chanel many years ago (20 at least). I was really into achieving a perfect complexion.
Taking your previous point ablout concealer shades, I’d really like to try the HD concealer.
A cream blush worth trying for a sheer natural flush is Turkish Rose by Becca.
Amanda

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Sarhana
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 7:51 pm

I second the Becca cream blush recommendation! Turkish Rose is awesome.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:20 pm

I bought 2 of the concealer, I like it so much! One for home, one for my purse – it’s the perfect concealer to travel with because the pen format makes it really easy to apply. (And hygienic.)

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Jane
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 2:57 pm

What a swoony post! I must try that Chanel primer- I’ve seen it and wondered about it. Curious about silicones. The lash lacquer, and the Guerlain Rouge Le Brilliant! It sounds like just the lippy I like!

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H. Shar
Wednesday, December 7/2011 at 4:01 am

The products look amazing. I’m especially curious about the MUFE HD foundation. I heard lots of great things about it. Is it dewy or matte finish? OH, and I also heard that HD powders photograph horribly. Is that true??

I always envy girls who can pull off the whole no-makeup-bare-face look and still look absolutely gorgeous. I feel like I should try it too, but I think it only flatters people with really lovely facial features already and non-problematic skin. ‘Cos there isn’t much need to accentuate any features in particular, y’know what I mean??

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:23 pm

Dewy or matte… good question! I think it’s somewhere in between. It’s like a natural skin finish – not dry but not shiny, you know?

HD powders are only a problem if you apply a crazy amount. (I’ve never understood why MUFE sells theirs with a kabuki brush – that’s crazy!) I recommend using a domed eyeshadow brush and painting on very sparingly just in the areas where you get shiny. I have never had a problem doing it that way.

As for the bare faced look… I’m actually the opposite, I find that I can’t pull off more noticeable makeup if I have any blemishes. Just looks wrong on me if I have red lipstick or a smoky eye with an angry pimple or something! :)

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Dori
Monday, December 12/2011 at 3:43 pm

I am all about the natural look and I’m so glad to see this post! I swear by Tarte ReCreate foundation (I’ve used the Makeup Forever but like this even better), Tarte Park Ave Princess bronzer and Smashbox blush (can’t remember the shade right now).

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:24 pm

Oooh even better than MUFE? Noted! (I wish I had more Tarte stuff – love them.)

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skybluesky
Thursday, December 22/2011 at 7:40 pm

I love the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer! There’s a color that matches my skintone perfectly. I also really love Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara; one of my favorite ones, it makes my straight, sparse lashes look lush.

I agree with your love for cream blushes, I’m still loving my Stila convertible in Peony.

Anyway, guess what?! I’m moving to NYC! Come and visit some time when you’re in town, Michelle?!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 23/2011 at 10:32 am

Oh wow, NYC? I hope this means you got a fabulous new job! (Are you done school now?)
I only make it there maybe two or three times a year now but I’d love to visit! :-)

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Skybluesky
Wednesday, December 28/2011 at 2:13 am

Needed a chance of pace of life. I’m in Brooklyn but I can come up to manhattan to visit you! I even know of this great inexpensive clean hotel called the cosmopolitan hotel in TriBeCa…my mom and I stayed for 2 nights and each night was only $143.O

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 2/2012 at 4:25 pm

Amazing! Sounds so fun – I love NYC! Will def keep you posted (and thanks for the hotel tip!!) xoxo

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Alicia
Tuesday, March 27/2012 at 10:11 am

I am a first time commenter on your blog, but I just had to share that I recently bought the Guerlain lippie and I love it! It’s unlike any lip product I’ve tried before, the color Brenda is gorgeous, and it doesn’t feel or look like a lipstick. Horrible for my bank account, though ; )

I also just tried the terracotta liquid blush/ highlighter that is due out at the end of April and it is amazing. It has shimmer in it, so I was skeptical, but when I went out in natural light I couldn’t see any shimmer at all and it looked really natural!

I’m looking for a new neutral eyeshadow and should probably try the MAC you recommended : )

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