5 Steps To Flawless "No Make-Up" Make-Up

With summer calling for barely-there bases and stripped-back holiday make-up, there’s never been a better time to nail ‘no make-up’ make-up…

We’ve enlisted the help of top make-up artist Charlotte Cowen, who gives us her five-step guide to achieving glowing skin, subtle facial sculpting and natural flushes of colour…

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Start With Skincare

Creating a flawless base all starts with skincare. Team SL are big fans of SMASHBOX’s cult range of primers – loved by celebrities and editors alike, they’re some of the most renowned in the industry. This summer, we’re looking to the beauty brand’s multitasking heroes; boasting a whole host of skincare benefits, along with perfecting skin ready for make-up.

Those looking for a boost in moisture levels should turn to the Primerizer, which is packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and niacianamide for a smoother, more even skin tone. The ultra-light Primer Oil is your best bet for a radiant, youthful glow – apply under make-up, as a night-time treatment or tap onto cheekbones for a dewy finish. The Photo Finish Foundation Primer Dermaxyl Complex is ideal for anti-ageing, featuring a protective broad-spectrum SPF20 and powerful blend of rejuvenating antioxidants.

Correct Your Complexion

When it comes to natural-looking make-up, less is most definitely more – and that’s where problem-solving primers come into play. Helping to solve and minimise the appearance of skin issues, you’ll need to use far fewer base products – from concealer and foundation to finishing powder – as a result.

To help keep shine at bay all day, those with oily skin types should turn to SMASHBOX’s Mattifying Primer Stick – proven to control oil and shine for 12 hours, without clogging pores or drying out the complexion. If redness is your beauty bugbear, the Color Correcting Primer in ADJUST will help even out your skin tone thanks to its subtle green hue, while the peachy BLEND shade will add radiance to sallow skin in seconds.

Cover & Conceal

Swap thick concealers, mask-like foundation and talc-based loose powders for sheer, glow-giving formulas designed to improve your natural skin, not cover it up. Tap SMASHBOX’s Photo Op Under Eye Brightener under your eyes before applying a few small dots of concealer – minimising dark circles, puffiness and fine lines, not only will you need far less product, but it also helps concealer look fresh all day.

For flawless-looking skin, we love the Camera Ready BB Cream, which works to boost moisture, minimise shine, provide perfect coverage and protect skin with a broad-spectrum SPF35; after smoothing over your entire complexion, pat a small amount of extra product over any problem areas for fuller coverage, if you need it. The Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder is another complexion hero – the first ever anti-ageing face powder, it’s proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in just ten minutes. Wear alone or over the BB Cream for extra coverage and a blurred, luminous finish.

Sculpt Your Features

Contrary to popular opinion, contouring can be subtle – it’s all about the techniques and products you use. SMASHBOX’s Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio make sculpting easy thanks to their ultra-blendable, creamy formula, which glides effortlessly onto skin for precise application and an even finish. Sweep the darker shade underneath cheekbones, down the sides of the nose and under the jawline; the lighter shade on top of your cheekbones, on your browbones and down the centre of the nose; and blend out into a natural finish using the bronze shade to add warmth and eliminate harsh lines.

For a barely-there eye look that will have you looking more awake, sweep the Photo Op Eyeshadow Single in the shade Hang – a light grey taupe – into the socket. And for fuller lips using just one product, you can’t go wrong with the Be Legendary Lipstick in the shade Work It (a pale nude cream) – which keeps lips hydrated and smooth all day, while adding a subtle flush of colour and added definition; without the need for lip liner.

Add A Radiant Glow

Finally, finish off with an extra touch of radiance – no Instagram filters needed. Sweep the pearlescent shimmer and bronze powders in the SMASHBOX Cali Contour Palette powder over your entire complexion, focusing on the high points of the face where the sun would naturally hit. The ultra-blendable formulas create an effortlessly 'lifted' look, like you've just spent an afternoon in the West Coast sunshine.

For the most natural-looking flush around, apply the O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color to the apples of your cheeks – a clear gel that reacts with your personal skin chemistry to turn your cheeks the colour you naturally blush in mere seconds (think your skin, only prettier). Set the whole look off with the multi-tasting Primer Water, which sets make-up, boosts hydration and leaves skin glowing all day. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, spritz on at any point throughout the day for instant refreshment and an extra dose of radiance.

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