Here we have Hugh Grant, Amanda Bynes and Phil Spector posing for mug shots. Hugh is make up free and looks attractive if a little grumpy, Amanda looks pretty ordinary in carefully applied make-up and Phil looks like a crazy train wreck who just kill somebody (funny, that). These pictures were taken in similar situations, with similar camera technique and no post production work. Unlike most celebrity photos, they’re fairly good representatives of the way these well known faces actually looked at the time.
At 6am on a Monday, I naturally look like Phil Spector. After a long night out, most girls look like Amanda Bynes. But occasionally we all get a Hugh Grant moment, where we look heathy, natural and lovely without make-up.
If I could lengthen those moments out, and join them together, I’d be ‘naturally good looking’ and that would be lovely. Which brings me to the point: there’s quite a bit to be done about that. You could call it make-up free beauty, if you wanted to be more euphemistic. Whatever you call it, waking up pretty (or at least prettier than Phil Spector) is quite possible. Here are some things you can do to improve your chances:
Neaten your eyebrows:
You might not need to do this, but I certainly do. I’m one to google the subject in detail, eBay the materials and learn the techniques. But if you have a life, just google the best salon I’m your area, tell them exactly what you want, then hand over your credit card and look away. You really need the best example before deciding to maintain a beauty ritual in the long run, so pay up the first time, then decide what to do from there.
Enhance your eyelashes:
There are two good ways to do this: tinting and extensions. Tinting is cheap at a good salon and can be done at home, the results are subtle and extremely natural. For a ginger like me, this makes a big difference. For a darker person, it may be pointless. Extensions are gorgeous, cleaner and more realistic than mascara and they make a huge difference to your appearance. They are, however, extremely expensive. Maintaining them is around AUD$100 per month. But if you have $150 lying around next time you go to a big event, try them. I think you’ll love them. Here is the same eye tinted to look natural, then with very long, spidery extensions:
Design your hair carefully:
Choose a cut and colour to harmonise with your complexion, face shape and lifestyle as it is without make-up or hair products. Then only add them when you want to, not because you need to.
Keep your skin healthy:
To do this, you really need to keep your body heathy. In particular, avoid abusing any substance (from cookie dough to heroin), stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, eat a varied diet, take supplements if you need them and keep your skin clean and moisturised.
Manicure and pedicure:
It’s not hard to maintain nice hands and feet all the time. You can do this in front of the tv, it takes about 15 minutes, once a week. Just file your nails to the same length and shape, file or trim off anything superfluous (Thick skin, hang nails, excess cuticle, dead skin) and moisturise. If you’re a farmer or a mechanic, you may have to use really rich moisturiser and put it on every night, but it is very worthwhile. Hands that have healthy skin and nails are far more comfortable to own! I worked on a farm for months at a time and still maintained nice hands, they had short nails and no decoration, but they were soft and healthy.
Remove unwanted hair:
Choose what body hair you want (if that’s all of it, great, bit if not…), maintain it religiously. Find a method that works for you, something that doesn’t create new problems (red spots, rashes, irritation, ingrown hairs) I’ve opted for lasering some and epilating the rest.
Keep your weight healthy and stable:
Fairly self explanatory. I’m fatter than I’d like to be, and definitely fat for a model/dancer, but I’m stable within healthy bmi, so although perfection is a long way off, so is diabetes and heart disease.
The more you do in the non-make-up area, the fewer products you will need to perfect your appearance when you want to. This has the added benefit of making you look better in make up.
My favourite thing about maintaining a clean, healthy, slightly tarted up body is that I only wear make up for dancing and photo shoots, but I can still leave the house without feeling like I have to cover anything, or worse ‘put my face on’.
Lastly: here is me, poorly focused, unclothed, ungroomed, un-waxed, un-enhanced, bruised, chubby, tired, but clean and healthy. We all have those days, and they’re fine too.
Because when you’ve spent hours dressed in glitter, sequins and sweaty nylon lace, surrounded by noise, alcohol and vulgarity, there is nothing sexier and more exciting than a cashmere sweater, a cup of really good Earl Gray and night in with Miss Fisher.