Allergic to makeup? Here’s how to look polished without it

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By Redzhanna Jazmin

Image: Instagram/@zendaya
Allergic to makeup? Here’s how to look polished without it

In our bare-faced guide, we cover all our best tips for looking polished and put-together without makeup (or, at least with very little of it).

PSA: Going makeup-free doesn’t have to leave you looking tired and dishevelled. In fact, in just a few easy steps, you can take yourself from barely awake to business-ready.

So, whether you’re having a particularly bad reaction and you need to take a break, your skin is perpetually sensitive, or you’re sleeping in too much this Ramadan (balancing a good night’s rest and waking up for sahur is not easy), it’s good to have a makeup-free contingency plan.

READ: This is what happens when you sleep in your makeup

Now, we know that going out bare-faced can be daunting, but we promise that you don’t need a thick base and lots of mascara to look presentable. Ahead, find our tried and tested tips for the perfect no-makeup look:


Make the most of what you can use…

how to look good without makeup
Image: Instagram/laurentsai

The more makeup you can work into your routine, the easier your job will be. So, the first step is to figure out what you’re not sensitive to or see which alternatives work for you.

For example, if you can’t use foundation, try using a tinted moisturiser or even a sunscreen powder for a little added coverage where you need it. Or, if you’re lucky, a dab of concealer if it is well-tolerated. The key is to experiment with discreet spot tests until you work out where your no-nos lie.


Double down on your skincare routine…

READ: These are the products that actually gave me glass skin

When makeup is out of the question, skincare is your holy grail. Your routine should focus on barrier-repairing, redness-reducing formulations that will get your complexion as clear and even as possible.

READ: The best acne and spot treatments to help you curb your breakouts


Add some colour to your face…

how to look good without makeup
Image: Instagram/@lirisaw

All you really need to look fresh is a little blush and lippy. Whether you’re opting for water-based tints or you’re good to go with the more hardcore formulations, this duo is all you need to wake up your skin and return to the land of the living.


A little petroleum jelly goes a long way…

Not only is petroleum jelly a great moisturiser, but its thick texture makes it a great option for a barely-there full face. Here are some ways you can use it:

Condition your lips (duh)

Believe it or not, your lips can never be too soft or too kissable. Using a little petroleum jelly as a lip balm is a must—plus, rubbing it into your lips can help stimulate blood flow and bring in a little natural colour to your pout. Of course, if you can, topping it off with a tinted gloss or even some lippy is a longer-lasting way to keep the colour in your lips.


Keep your brows in place

If you can tolerate it, brow gel works best for grooming (obviously), but in a pinch, petroleum jelly can be a lifesaver! All you’ll need is a clean or disposable spoolie. Apply a little petroleum jelly to your brows and style them to your liking. The jelly will help to keep your brows in place and brushing them up and out will help you lift your features and make you look more put together.


Highlight your best features

Dump your powders and liquid formulas—all you need to bring out your cheekbones is a small dab of petroleum jelly. And, if you want to get crazy, you can add a small amount to the eyelids. Not only will it add a little sheen to brighten your peepers, but petroleum jelly is a fantastic moisturiser if you suffer from dryness. Just make sure the jelly you use is eye-safe!


Define your lashes

If you want to fake the look of mascara, try this little hack. All you need is to brush a very tiny amount of petroleum jelly through the ends of your curled lashes—not so much that your vision blurs, just enough that you can pinch the ends of your lashes together. This creates the illusion of thicker lashes to help you look more awake!


Take advantage of gua sha…

how to look good without makeup

READ: This is why you need to gua sha every day

In place of contouring, facial massages can do wonders to lift the features and define your natural contours. Gua sha can help with lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness in the face and the increased circulation from the facial massage can help boost radiance in your skin for a naturally luminous glow.



Make sure your hair is done…

how to look good without makeup
Image: Instagram/tashimrod

Tidying up your unruly mop can make all the difference in your appearance. So, if makeup isn’t an option for you, make sure that your hair is brushed and styled neatly at the very least!


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