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No-Makeup Looks That Actually Aren't Makeup

The authors of "How to Win at Feminism" and editors of Reductress teach you how to let your natural look shine through.

Photo: Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images

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As editors at Reductress and authors of the upcoming How to Win at Feminism, we’re psyched to see the no-makeup look trending among stars like Alicia Keys and Kim Kardashian. There’s nothing more feminist than telling the patriarchy "I don’t need to wear makeup" with a cute, natural look that still looks like you dabbed a little product on. As industry insiders know, the no-makeup look actually does involve some makeup, but let’s say you wanna go all the way and really raw dog it. How can you jump fully into this no-makeup trend without wearing any makeup at all? We’ve come up with some no-makeup looks that truly don’t involve any makeup but still give you the reassuring effort that you desire in your morning routine.

1. Smear a banana on your face. Wash it off.

Bananas are a great way to feel feminine without using damaging products marketed to you by oppressive, male-led corporations. Look and feel like the fresh, no-makeup-ed person you are by taking this sweet-smelling fruit and rubbing it deep into your pores. Mushy banana provides no proven benefits that we’re aware of other than the fact that it will make you momentarily smell like banana while eating up some of your precious getting-ready time in the morning that used to be filled with makeup. When you’re done rubbin’ in that ’nana, wash it all off with water and apply no makeup whatsoever. Wow! You look completely bare-faced! You’re a dewy fresh-faced lil’ banana! Fierce!!

2. Put on sunglasses. These aren't makeup!


Want to look like you’re not wearing makeup while actually not wearing makeup while also hiding your under-eye circles and sad-looking lashes that people can see when you don’t wear makeup? Put on a pair of sunglasses! This technique was invented by the French who are very naturally beautiful but also conscious of not wanting to look like garbage if they were up late drinking a bottle of wine the night before. Let your freckles shine unobstructed while your tired eyes remain totally hidden with this guileless no-makeup look! With the right pair, you can spend just as much this month as you would have on makeup!

3. Contract a cold.

It’s okay to look sick if you actually are sick, so spare yourself a day of wearing makeup by getting kind of sick! Your raw, red nose will tell people you’re okay with not trying so hard all the time without it seeming that this is part of your usual routine. Accentuate the look by carrying a balled-up tissue in one hand and coughing occasionally. You’ll love how easy it is to really actually not wear makeup for a day. Feminist win!

4. Make your own salt scrub and cancel all your plans.

Did you know it’s easy to make your own face scrub with sea salt and oil (olive, coconut, jojoba — your choice!)? A simple face scrub can help slough off dead skin and rejuvenate your tired complexion and requires absolutely no makeup. Your skin will be kissably soft and totally fresh-looking, even without makeup. Just don’t go anywhere. That salt probably scratched you up a bit and you’ll be looking a little raw. Probably best to wait until tomorrow to see people, when you’re back on the makeup wagon.

5. Wear a ski mask.

While summer may seem like the perfect time to rock a no-makeup look due to the healthy glow of tan skin, it’s actually much easier to do in winter, when cold-weather accessories can completely obscure your face. Nothing says "I’m a carefree, natural lady" like hitting the ski slopes and getting your blood pumping sans makeup. The exercise will also give you that rosy, post-coital look that men love. But a flushed face can also emphasize blemishes, so opt for a full-coverage ski mask and goggles to tell people you’re "totally whatever" about your looks without letting them actually see the whatever of your face. With a simple ski mask, you’ll be owning the slopes and showing off that natural glow, minus the shine or the face.

So those are a few ways you can take the plunge and dive face first into the no-makeup trend! Let your janky face hang loose! Bare what’s left of your natural beauty! You don’t need to be a slave to the beauty industry. Just be very careful in case you’re one of those people who has blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, dark under-eye circles, or any type of skin at all. Whether you’re wearing makeup or not, just remember that you’re the only gender that will get called out for it either way. Now get out there and share that brave, so-so face of yours with the world!

Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo are the editors of Reductress and the authors of the new book How to Win at Feminism. Order it today!