Simple & Clean

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Recently, I’ve been really loving much more basic makeup looks that focus on the skin, cheeks and highlight rather than the eyes. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my eyes are often very dry and irritated, so I’m trying to get myself a bit more into looks that aren’t quite so heavy on the eye makeup. I’m also really inspired by Estée Lalonde’s makeup to be honest; I love how polished but natural she looks in her videos and after marathoning a tonne of her travel vlogs I’ve been wanting to replicate that kind of look more often.

This look has very little going on with the eyes – although I used a few different eyeshadows when I did it just to tweak it to get something I liked, you could just not use any, or use only one across the whole lid and blended out. The key for this simple and clean makeup look is just dewy, glowing skin and natural radiance.

For any makeup that’s very skin-focused, you need to have a good skincare routine in place first! The healthier the skin is, the better it looks beneath your makeup and the less makeup you have to use in the first place. Start with freshly cleansed, moisturised skin and be sure to exfoliate your lips and apply a lip balm.

Next, apply your primers. I used both a face primer and an eye primer by Neve Cosmetics, but if you’re not using any eyeshadow you could skip the eye primer. The one I used for this look was their Brightening Bioprimer, which although it looks a little bit dark and orange-y when you first apply it to your skin, blends out like a dream and leaves your skin tone looking more even and your skin more radiant.

I recommend a liquid or cream foundation applied with a damp makeup sponge for any natural, dewy looks. I used LUSH’s Jackie Oates colour supplement, applied with a Real Techniques Complexion Sponge. I was a little iffy about this colour supplement when I first bought it, but since trying it out with my makeup sponge I’m a much bigger fan of it now and it both looks and feels much better than when I initially tried it with a brush. For this kind of look, you don’t want to cake on the foundation or use too much – I used only enough to even out my complexion and make any blemishes a little bit less obvious. Particularly with simple makeup, I prefer my skin to look like skin and don’t mind any imperfections showing through; the idea is for it to just look like your real skin, but a little bit better.

For concealer, you want to erase only the most obvious of ‘issues’ – for me this was my dark circles (although they aren’t really visible in photos, they are face to face) and a couple of red spots that have appeared on my face recently, as well as around my nostrils and the outer corners of my eyes that are prone to redness or darkness. I used the Neve Cosmetics Nascondino concealer, which is a crème to powder formula that I’ve found pairs well with my LUSH foundation and also works well on my oilier areas and areas prone to creasing like my under eyes. Because it dries to a sort of powder formula, I probably didn’t need to, but I still set this with the e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting powder.  I’d highly recommend setting your concealer if you opt for a liquid or cream finish formula.

Now for brows! I just filled in my brows as normal using my Anastasia DipBrow Pomade and GOSH brow gel. I did experiment with adding a little bit of a purple eyeshadow to match my hair, but it didn’t really work without a light base so it was pretty much pointless and I haven’t even bothered to include it in the products used below. Better luck next time!

I kept the eyes extremely simple, using a light wash of a nude Lily Lolo eyeshadow over the entire eye, plus a mix of satin mauvey taupe and grey taupe eyeshadows in the outer corners, crease and outer third of my bottom lashes. I chose these particular colours because I wanted something light and subtle that would give the lid a nice sheen to it.  You can’t really see the colour come through in the photos (I haven’t retouched them beyond editing the white balance, contrast, lighting, curves etc.) but in person there’s a bit more of a subtle purple-taupe colour!  I blended them out well to try to keep the look as soft as possible. I then just very lightly tight-lined my top lashes with a black Inika liner, lined my lower waterline with Pixi’s Extra Eye Bright Liner to open up my eyes, and applied my usual PHB Ethical Beauty mascara. I’d recommend any mascara that creates long, fluttery lashes for this kind of makeup to compliment the youthful, glowing skin but I just went for my go-to product here. You could use false lashes too, but I couldn’t be arsed and I’m too crappy at applying them to not apply a bit of liner to my top lid to hide the band.  So, this look is me in all of my awful short, sparse lash glory.

To help achieve more of a youthful glow, I used theBalm’s Downboy, which is a natural, baby pink blush with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow layered over the top of it. I love these two blushes together – Downboy provides a little bit more pigment, but Ethereal Glow gives, well, an ethereal glow as though you’re glowing from within and just have really healthy skin. I amped up the glow further using a creamy highlighter with pink and silver tones – this one was by Colourpop; I love the texture of these and the natural sheen it gives the skin, and I find that liquid or cream highlighters tend to be the best for a more dewy glow. I applied this to my cheekbones, cupid’s bow, under my brows, a bit to my nose and to the inner corners of my eyes. Then, I went over this with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light as a finishing powder and used it to help blend out the blush and highlight a bit. I’ve heard some people didn’t think the Ethereal Light powder did anything, but I think it really draws everything together and further adds a soft, diffused glow to your face.

Last but not least, lips. You could wear pretty much any lip colour with such an understated look but I opted for a light wash of pink. Using my finger, I just dabbed a bit of one of Colourpop’s Ultra Matte lipsticks in Clueless over my lips to add a little bit of colour. It looks like quite a bright pink in the tube but it’s a bit more dusty and understated on the lips and isn’t quite as light as you’d think it would be when applied, and applied using my finger it just gives a slightly more youthful, feminine ‘my lips but better’ aesthetic. Of course, this would also look amazing with a bright red lip, or a dark berry or even black or whatever the hell you want!

And there you have it, a lovely soft, glowy and natural makeup look that you could easily adapt to your own makeup routine and products! Oh, and all of the products used are 100% cruelty free! I had hoped when I started out doing this that they’d end up being all vegan too as I knew that the majority I started out using were, but sadly a shocking number of them actual contain carmine so aren’t vegan. Still, hopefully it’ll give my fellow vegan readers a place to start and a bit of inspiration if nothing else. If you recreate this look, let me know – I’d love to see it!

Products Used:
Neve Cosmetics Brightening Bioprimer
Neve Cosmetics Eye Primer & Base
LUSH Colour Supplement in Jackie Oats
Neve Cosmetics Nascondino Concealer in Fair
Anastasia Beverley Hills DipBrow Pomade in Medium Brown
GOSH Defining Brow Gel in Brown
e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting Powder
Lily Lolo Pressed Eyeshadow in Stark Naked
Lily Lolo Pressed Eyeshadow in Rolling Stone
Lily Lolo Pressed Eyeshadow in Truffle Shuffle
Inika Organic Eyeliner in Black Caviar
Pixi Extra Eye Bright Liner*
theBalm Down Boy*
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow*
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light
PHB Ethical Beauty All-in-One Mascara in Black
Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick in Clueless*
Colourpop Highlighter in Smoke N Whistles*
* non-vegan, contains carmine


  1. WOW, Steph, you are GORGEOUS!! But curse you, I had a look at the Neve Cosmetics website, and now I want pretty much everything on there. ;A;

    1. Thank you! ;3; I know right, I did the same thing when I first discovered them! And I'm such a sucker for the cute packaging of a lot of their products...

  2. I love this look! I bought a few Lily Lolo pressed eyeshadows recently and have been trying them out...they don't seem as pigmented as their loose shadows but Stark Naked worked pretty well over an eyeshadow primer for me. I really like how subtle it looks on you in these photos. That Neve Cosmetics concealer sounds rather interesting, may have to check that out as I need to replace my Illamasqua one soon xx

    1. Thanks! I thought the same - if you want bolder colour, I prefer their loose ones but their pressed ones are still great for buildable colour or just washes of pigment. It's pretty cheap so it's definitely worth a try! I wouldn't quite say it's as good as my Illamasqua one but it's a very close contender if you can find a way to use it that works for you; I really wasn't sure about it at first but it's grown on me a lot.


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