MY “NO MAKE-UP” MAKE-UP ROUTINE Beauty, July 21, 2016

Charli Howard

I originally wrote this for and as I’m often asked for my skincare or make-up routine, I thought I’d share it with you here!

Before I began modeling, I would wear heavy makeup every day and take great pleasure in doing so. I’d painstakingly apply contour, eye shadow, and lip liner, carefully creating the features that I deemed beautiful. But as much as it boosted my confidence, wearing so much makeup was my equivalent of a security blanket: It took attention away from the features I wasn’t confident in.

When I first started modeling, it felt slightly alien having to strip my makeup kit to a bare minimum. As a model, the client always wants to see you as fresh as possible at castings. Foundation was replaced with BB cream; lip liner with lip balm.

Soon, though, I began appreciating the features I’d been so quick to cover up. I liked my button nose, and my lips were full enough without needing to emphasise them with liner. Most of all, I now have an appreciation for makeup—more than I did before. Applying red lipstick or cat-eye liner feels like a treat rather than a routine.

If modeling has taught me anything, it’s how to embrace the face I have, and to step away from the hyper-sculpted look. I’ve since learned to love and feel confident in little-to-no makeup—and guess what: You can, too! So whether you’re a model or not, here are my tips for achieving a fresh-faced beauty look that will trick people into thinking you’re not wearing makeup.


Prep the skin with a plumping moisturiser, like Rodial’s Bee Venom Day Cream With SPF 30 ($282). I love this because it primes the skin and adds luminosity for a healthy-looking glow.

Rodial Bee Venom


The goal here is to provide minimal coverage without masking any natural marks (like freckles). A skin tint with a glow (note: not shimmer!) will help make you look awake and fresh without looking too made-up.

My go-to products are Rodial’s Skin Tint With SPF 20 and Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint, which both come in a variety of shades and provide buildable coverage that lasts all day.

Rodial Skin Tint

Using a Beautyblender ($30), blend the foundation seamlessly onto your face and neck. (Bonus: Beautyblenders also make your makeup last a lot longer).

Beauty Blender


For a natural look, the idea is to not cover all the blemishes or dark circles—at least not excessively. It’s natural to have a few marks on your skin. (Hey, we all have them!)

Using your ring finger, pat a liquid concealer lighter than your foundation shade on the top of your cheekbones, slowly patting it outward and upward under your eyes. I use MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($32) in NC15.


A tiny bit of bronzer will make you look sun-kissed and healthy. I use the “striping” technique, where you brush a minimal amount of matte bronzer from cheekbone to cheekbone across the nose. Be careful not to go overboard with this, or you’ll go from looking sun-kissed to sunburned!

Charli Howard cheeks


Slightly feral eyebrows look youthful and natural. I brush them up slightly using Illamasqua’s Clear Brow & Lash Gel, which makes them stay in place all day.

Dab a small amount of plumping lip balm onto the lips. My inexpensive drugstore favourite is Carmex ($6).

To finish, spray a small amount of Avéne Thermal Spray ($13) over your finished makeup. Don’t be put off by the water aspect—this helps your makeup set and stay in place all day, making you look even more beautifully fresh-faced!

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