The naked truth of neutrals

TRACEY STRANGE
Last updated 05:00 10/11/2013

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When it comes to makeup, the term nude is a total misnomer. Unless you have the skin of a teenager and the eyelashes of a Jersey cow, it's difficult to look polished without makeup.

Primer, concealer, illuminator, powder, bronzer, foundation... your work is cut out for you trying to look as if you're
wearing no makeup when you are, in fact, wearing a truckload.

» 8 steps to nude makeup

Thankfully, there's a huge range of products outthere, all light in texture and neutral in colour, designed to emphasise your best features and draw attention away from those you don't like.

START WITH THE SKIN

Perfect skin comes down to genetics. Those without perfect genes have to cope with pigmentation, capillaries, uneven skin tone, pimples and dry or greasy bits. To keep the complexion healthy, we need sunblock, cleanser, some sort of exfoliant and a moisturiser loaded with antioxidants. But to disguise the bits that are less than perfect we need an arsenal of skin perfectors. The key is not to be daunted.

DON'T HIDE

Start with concealers. Essentially, there are two types. The first camouflages dark circles and redness around the nose and inner corners of the eye. The second - thicker and in stick or cream form - takes care of blemishes, broken
capillaries and pigmentation. (We like Dr Hauschka's Pure Care Cover Stick, $39.) But to look flawless, you are likely to need both.

Thick cream concealer under the eye makes you look like you are wearing a mask; light, fluid under-eye concealer will be as useful at covering pimples as ankle straps are at drawing attention away from cankles.

And yet before you even consider concealer you need a good base. BB, CC? BB/CC creams and tinted moisturisers help make the skin look supple. But if you need extra coverage, use a moisturising foundation and set it with a light - or translucent - powder.

Your skin will still reflect light and look suitably luminous.

IN THE PINK

Flawless skin needs some contour to stop it from looking flat, so don't neglect blusher. Cream blush
leaves a dewy finish. Powder, on the other hand, adds an all-over glow as well as helping to 'set' your makeup.

Consider light shades such as coral or rose, which will add warmth without the 'pop'. Darker skins can reach for
the terracottas.

NUDE & PROUD

When the experts advocate bold brows, they don't mean neglected. Keep yours well maintained and, if they aren't
naturally strong, feather them in with a product such as Estée Lauder's Automatic Brow Pencil Duo, $69,
a pencil/brush combo which makes it oh-so-easy to create fullness.

LIP SCHTICK

Like finding the perfect swimsuit, getting your hands on the perfect nude lipstick can take trial and error. Subtle-but-not-too-subtle nudes tend to be elusive. Generally, sticking with a creamy nude-pink is a good idea.

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Add gloss the same colour as your blush if you want extra colour.

LASH ADDICTION

Stumpy lashes need lengthening? Just double up on your mascara. Apply one coat, wait a minute and then re-do the top lashes only. Doing this makes the upper lid appear 'lifted'. Brushes with angled bristles also help. Try Shiseido's Perfect Mascara Defining Volume, $51.

BODY BEAUTIFUL

If you want bronzed, satin-like limbs, an effective exfoliant is key. Exfoliants remove dead skin cells to reveal the fresher-looking skin underneath and are essential if you want to extend the life of your fake tan.

Slathering on the moisturiser while your skin is still damp and warm from the shower also helps it to retain necessary
moisture, and look silkier as a result.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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