Dublin: 10 °C Friday 24 May, 2024
Skin Deep

Skin Deep: If you're horrified when you look in the mirror without makeup, I've got some tips

…and some great new no-makeup makeup products.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

This week I had the opportunity to meet with Sonia Deasy, co-founder of Pestle and Mortar, the Irish skincare brand. During our conversation, we discussed the current trend for ‘more is more’ beauty. There’s no denying that makeup application has gotten heavier and heavier in recent years, and whether you blame the Kardashians or Instagram, faces with less than fifteen products on them are hard to find.

Regular readers of this column will know that that I’m not really into that look. As I’ve said many times, I fully support your right to put on as much makeup as you want to, and I will defend that right til my dying breath. Having said that, I am slightly troubled by the current trend for completely masking all of your features with makeup in order to sculpt new ones out of product.

It’s not so much the amount of makeup I have a problem with, or even the style, it’s more the fact that lots of women are starting to believe that there is something wrong with their own faces. There’s nothing wrong  with wearing a heavy face of makeup, as I sometimes do for a night out or a special event, as long as you remain connected to the fact that there is nothing inherently wrong with your own face and features.

My fear is that if women (especially young women) are wearing a full and heavy face of makeup almost all the time, they’ll disconnect with what their face actually looks like, leading to them feeling negatively about it every time they look in the mirror makeup-free.

PastedImage-26047 I'm wearing It Cosmetics Illuminating Your Skin But Better CC Cream, Giorgio Armani Neo-Nudes A-Blush, A-Highlight and A-Contour, Glossier Boy Brow and Birthday Balm Dot Com

The same way I always say that if you’re trying something like red lipstick for the first time, you need to allow for the fact that it will look jarring initially because you’re not used to it, your naked face will be surprising if you’re not used to seeing it. For that reason, I think it’s important to spend some time with your makeup-free face from time to time. I regularly take a day off from my beloved product, because if I didn’t, I would forget what my face actually looks like.

I know that there will be some of you who’ll read this and think, ‘SURE LOUISE THAT’S WELL FOR YOU YOU SIT IN A DARKENED ROOM ALONE FOR WORK’ or ‘YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, COME BACK TO ME WHEN YOU HAVE HORMONAL ACNE’. I hear you. It is easier to go makeup free when you don’t have a job which involves a lot of interaction with people and have decent skin. I still think it’s a good idea to give it a break sometimes. However, if you can’t bring yourself to do it at all, you might consider occasionally lightening your routine to reconnect with your natural face?


Fortunately, there has been a recent move toward ‘no-makeup makeup’ products which aim to lightly enhance your natural beauty rather than offering a dramatically different look. Giorgio Armani Beauty is a brand which is adored by beauty fans all over the world, and their Neo-Nude collection is all about delicate products which amplify your natural beauty. Tubes of water-based highlight, contour and blush offer a subtle wash of product which is easily blended with your fingers and is almost undetectable as makeup once applied. The range’s powder adds slight luminosity to skin, becoming a very light liquid upon contact with the skin’s natural moisture. It’s beautiful stuff.

I’ve written a lot about Glossier, whose entire brand is about a no-makeup look.

Truly, their products manage to make me feel polished and beautiful with true confidence in my own features. Stretch Concealer applied with a brush on a well-hydrated face offers light, natural coverage without a heavy finish, Cloud Paint offers a natural flush on the cheeks, Generation G is a sheer matte lipstick which gives your lip colour an extra bit of va-va-voom and Lash Slick is the ultimate your-lashes-but-better mascara. Does this sound like an ad? It’s not, I just really love and believe in these products.


Finally, It Cosmetics is all about offering product which not only boost your appearance, but also offer skincare benefits. Their Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream overs great coverage, without diminishing your skin’s skin-like qualities, as well as hydration and broad spectrum, factor 50 sun protection. I’ve been wearing the luminous formula recently, which adds glow, but the traditional formula amplifies the skin’s natural luminosity beautifully.

New Product

As I mentioned above, It Cosmetics is coming to Ireland via a new counter in Arnotts, but that’s not all Arnotts’ improved beauty hall has to offer. Four new brands are about to arrive, with Hourglass, Nars and cult natural skincare brand Tata Harper rounding out the new selection. If you live on Dublin’s north side this may mean you have no reason to cross the river, and if you live outside of Dublin, online shopping is about to get better.

Want to get a notification every week when Skin Deep is published? Of course you do! Just send us a WhatsApp saying ‘Skin Deep’ to 083 8120901, and add our number to your contacts as DailyEdge. (If you don’t add us, we can’t message you :( ) We’ll never spam you or share your personal details with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time. 


Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel