A great foundation is the base for all makeup, and it's even more important when you're going for a nude, bare-faced look and for me the YSL Serum Foundation (£37) is perfect for achieving a flawless radiant look. Since I have reviewed this foundation before (see here) I won't go into too much detail, but it's a wonderful product that combines anti-aging and rejuvenating skincare with a medium-full color correcting foundation coverage. The formula has just the right light weight consistency and it's easy to blend into your skin using either fingers or a brush for a subtle and natural radiance. This is a very long lasting product and on me the coverage lasts about 9-10 hrs without any need to correct and it also moisturises the skin throughout the day. There's no denying that this is a luxurious product, but when you barely wear anything on your skin it's even more important to be 100% confident in the product that you do wear, and YSL makes your skin look and feel amazing.
Having found a great natural looking eyeshadow, you want to make it stay on as long as possible, and to help with that I use the amazing Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£15) that helps your makeup last all day. The consistency is wonderfully smooth, creamy and quick drying and with this product a little goes a long way, so you could say that it's long lasting in more than one way e.g. I've had mine for almost a year... It comes in four different versions; the transparent original and three others that all have a very subtle color. I absolutely love the shade Eden, which is a nude matte color that looks so natural that sometimes I have even worn it just on its own on the lid without any eye shadow.
One of the easiest and best tricks to achieve a wide-eyed fresh and natural look is to apply an eye pencil on the lower waterline in a light shade. You can go for white if you wish, but personally I think that a nude shade works even better. Lately I've been using the Isadora Inliner Kajal in Blonde which is a soft and creamy kajal, and although it's not specifically smudge- or waterproof it's very resistant to daily wear and it stays put for hrs before you need to touch it up so it's perfect to use on the upper or lower waterline to add that little extra brightness to the eyes.
From left to right:
L'Oréal Color Riche Collection Privée Lipstick - Julianne Moore
Isadora Inliner Kajal - Blonde
Bourjois Eyeshadow - Rose Beige
Last in this row of natural looking products is a nail polish that I picked up fairly recently - it's the Maybelline Color Show Nude Nail Polish (3.99) in the shade In Your Flesh. It's a wonderful, classic nude shade that creates the illusion of longer fingers and it's a very clean, understated and chic look that would go with most outfits. The formula is a little bit thicker than most nail polishes, but despite this it's actually very easy to apply evenly and even though nude colors are by nature quite sheer, the formula is pigmented enough that you'll get a nice opaque look after two coats. Since I'm going for a paired down finish, I'm not wearing a top coat in the photos and there's enough shine in the polish for a fresh natural sheen. The polish will last for about 3 days before you need to touch it up and it's nice and easy to remove.
It's taken me a while to find products in nude shades that I'm comfortable in wearing and that look just like my natural colors - only better. After many frustrating visits to MAC I have also accepted that more often than not, the most popular nude shades don't work as well on me as they might do on others and I've had to look for other color options. But a natural look doesn't have to be just beige colored and the key to carry it off and to avoid a bland, non descript appearance - is to find products that work with your own skin tone, that blend in seamlessly and that also enhance your colors in a subtle "je ne sais quoi" way. Have you found the colors that work for you? What are your favorite natural shades?