By Rhea Cartwright
re-pandemic, we favoured products that offered maximum results with minimal effort, with bonus points if it didn’t require a brush or mirror to apply. With faint whispers of coverage and colour, the effortless allure of no-make-up make-up makes us look less shattered and like we’ve had a good dose of sunshine – two things that are largely untrue as we resurface after winter and a largely miserable spring in lockdown.
“Skinimalism” is the 2021 trend to watch according to the latest Pinterest Report, which says there has been a 180 percent increase in searches for “natural everyday make-up” since last year. Frequently tending to the faces of influencers Camille Charriere and Leonie Hanne and singers Sinead Harnett and Griff, professional make-up artist Chynara Kojoeva knows how to perfect any make-up look. "That's not to say that the days of full coverage are finished, but opaque textures are taking a backseat for now as we embrace sheer tints that grant us a glow," she tells The Stack.
Perhaps after months of staring at ourselves on Zoom, we’re embracing our skin texture and tone with high-performing products that make us feel like our best selves rather than adding unnecessary layers.
The Best No Make-up Make-up in 2021
This skincare-make-up hybrid is boosted by vitamin C, squalane and aloe vera for the ultimate antioxidant, radiance-boosting hit. Suitable for all skin types, with a natural finish, it stands head and shoulders above others, and doesn’t leave the skin too wet, as other dew-inducing tints can often do. The fact that they have only six shades would typically be criticised, but their thought-through formulations are based on the Fitzpatrick scale, which factors in your undertone and how your skin responds to sun exposure. This is one to try if you’re looking for a weightless, sheer base that still gives some coverage, but will probably have people second-guessing.
A lot of people are still scared by blusher. With increasingly pigmented formulas, it’s very easy to overdo it. For the freshest finish, replace powders with gels and creams. This double-ended dewy balm with its own brush can be used with or without a base underneath it for a healthy complexion. Chynara's advice is to use your blush placement to shape the face without the need for contouring. "Be aware that the technique of smiling and placing it on the apples of the cheeks is troublesome, as your cheeks then drop when your face is rested. The best method is to look in the mirror with a relaxed face." Safe for eyes and lips too, Nudestix is ideal for those who like to keep make-up to a minimum with a streamlined kit.
Trinny London BFF EYE, £26 Under-eye concealer is often the weakest link in no-make-up make-up. More pigmented formulas can be challenging to blend when worn alone and lighter offerings are often too sheer to show up. Accurately described on the website as being as if an eye serum and a concealer had a baby, BFF Eye is equal parts lightweight, deliciously hydrating and covering. Unlike Nars Creamy Concealer (which is also brilliant and the hero after late-night Netflix binges), BFF has a dewy finish to keep the under-eye area looking fresh rather than fraught. It also has a great shade range with a user-friendly website to easily colour-match from home, and if you need a helping hand, Trinny London offers £25 Zoom appointments that are redeemable against a product purchase.
Skipping foundation doesn't mean forgoing all coverage. Chynara says to start with concealer around your T-zone where we often have the most redness or discolouration. "Most people can see that they don’t need foundation as soon as those areas have been given some attention." She advises sitting in natural light to conceal any concerns with precision to keep skin looking as natural as possible. "Use your fingers and apply the concealer lightly into the skin so it really melts without any harsh edges."
When it comes to make-up innovation, Danessa Myricks is unmatched. If you thought a colour or finish couldn’t be imagined, Danessa will get it done. She’s loved by the likes of Lisa Eldrige and Katie-Jane Hughes, and although her brand is still hugely underrated in the UK, it’s recently launched on Cult Beauty, so expect to see big things. Unlike Nudestix, the Vision Flush blushers are waterproof, incredibly pigmented and dry down to a semi-matte finish, so are ideal for oilier skins or warmer months when you need staying-power. It’s formulated for all skin types in mind, so darker skins can rest assured that the colour payoff is worth it.
This product is the beauty equivalent of sugar in that it is highly addictive and will become your go-to skin enhancer. A bronzing primer sounds like an easy feat but they have often have too much sheen or visible glitter particles. In true VB style, this is absolutely delicious and melds into the skin. Gently illuminating, it's daytime appropriate rather than looking like a highlighter. Unless you have very fair skin, take our word for it and opt for the shade Golden. Your skin will look ever so slightly bronzed and feel hydrated thanks to the Augustinus Bader mega-formula.
Proving that quality comes at all pricepoints, these little pots of joy are a brilliant addition to your make-up bag. Marketed as a lip product, with a very bouncy, jelly-like texture, they are divine as a gel-cream blush. Using your fingers or a brush, dab a little on and buff into the skin to be as faint or intense as you wish. There are no rules with make-up but Chynara recommends using a hue that it closest to your own lip shade if you want to keep people second-guessing if you're wearing make-up. "Using your finger pat the colour onto the lips and tonally finish the look by applying what’s left on your cheeks."
If post-Zoom skinimalism is the trend for 2021, these versatile products will help you get ahead of the barely-there curve.
By Rhea Cartwright