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Glossip Girl: Barefaced beauty

October 2nd 2013 / Emma Gunavardhana


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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Georgia May Jagger went barefaced on the Balmain catwalk last week. Is no make-up the next trend in beauty for the rest of us? Only if you perfect your skincare first says Emma Gunavardhana

There are certain things that have appeared on the catwalks of fashion week with the sole intention of shocking and surprising people. Think back to a topless Madonna at Gaultier in 1992, a smoking Kate Moss at Vuitton in 2011 or when Gaultier did it again in three years ago by sending Andrej Pejic down the runway in both his men’s and women’s collections…

Last week saw another fashion first, which elicited gasps from women everywhere, when Balmain’s models, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Georgia May Jagger, wore nothing but concealer – you read that right, no complicated make-up charts, no carefully structured look just, as make-up artist Tom Pecheux described: ‘a touch of concealer where necessary’.

Then there was Holly Willoughby who left a TV studio in West London and faced the paparazzi without a scrap of make-up on? So, is it okay not to wear make-up? The answer is – kind of.

Skin is like life; you get out what you put in. So the key to nailing the barefaced style is all down to skincare – and no one understands this better than ‘supers’ like Rosie and Georgia.

Smart cleansing is a short-cut to that fresh-faced style as seen on the catwalk at Balmain. This isn’t a best-effort cleanse either, it has to be a water-runs-clear, cotton-wool-is-clean approach that gets every last scrap of make-up off. Think of it as rebooting your skin to factory settings; not only will skin be clean it’ll be ready to drink-in any skin care you apply. ‘Hot cloth’ cleansing is frequently cited as a favourite and Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish, £13.95 is the leader of the pack – not least because it suits all skin types.

Finding balance is crucial if you want a fighting chance at leaving the house without a base. Serums, canny for getting beautifying ingredients deep-down into skin, do this without breaking a sweat. Clarins Double-Serum, £55, and L’Oreal Revita Lift Laser Renew, £24.99 tackle signs of ageing but also address skin texture, edging you another step closer to that make-up free style.

Being fresh-faced doesn’t mean you can’t cheat a tan – we all look a little better for a touch of bronze after all. Rosie had been tanned by celebrity tanner James Read pre-Balmain and his BB Pen, £22.50, is a no-brainer for copying her look. As well as moisturising and delivering a subtle tan it also features a skin-true pigment that looks healthy not made-up.

L’Oreal pre-empted Balmain’s SS14 style when they launched their Skin Perfection range – a collection of skincare that also features a skin perfecting BB cream and blurring cream to give an air-brushed look without make-up. Cheryl Cole was impressed enough to pose for the camera wearing only the Skin Perfection goodies.

So, putting down the foundation and stepping away from the make-up bag might not be as scary as it first seemed. This is one trend we can all embrace without the need for a supermodel figure.

I’ve given it go a go – will you dare to bare and tweet back a picture of you with no make-up using the hashtag #GlossipGirl


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