Want to know what’s happening in spring makeup right now? From the streets to the runway and back again, the look du jour is elevated no-makeup makeup.

Fashion has kissed the highly stylized Kardashian-inspired highlighted and contoured cheekbones chiseled out with the use of specifically designed makeup palettes all too numerous to count goodbye for now darling. It’s time to say hello to elevated “No Makeup Makeup”.

What’s elevated no makeup makeup? Simple. Translucent shades for cheeks and eyes and realistic looking touchable skin – and no you don’t have to throw out your contour makeup palettes, but rather use what you already have in a new way.

Marc Cornwall, celebrity makeup artist and Webb On The Fly contributor is here to explain how we achieved the elevated fresh faced look for this beauty story.

“It’s all in skin prep,” says Cornwall, who arrived on set with a quarter of the makeup he would normally carry in his kit. “It’s important to have your skin as clean as possible. I used a toner a face cream and a serum. It’s important to let the skin drink in the products and feel smooth to the touch before applying makeup to your skin.”

Makeup slides around or disappears into the skin along with the products if the skincare is not given 5-10 minutes to settle in and do its work. We used Valmont V-Shape Filling Cream. “The way these products cleanse is extraordinary without stripping the skin” adds Cornwall.

CC (Color Correcting) creams are the foundation of choice for an elevated no makeup makeup look. What a CC cream offers as opposed to liquid to powder or cream to powder foundation, both of which are also  one-step prep for makeup because cream to powder dries down to a matte finish, as opposed to a CC cream, which, Cornwall says, “Stay in a luminous looking state all day.”

The real benefit of CC cream proffers to Cornwall who has worked with personalities as diverse as actress Priyanka Chopra and septuagenarian CoverGirl model Maye Musk, is “Once you master the application of BB creams they are undetectable – even to the trained eye.”  A little BB cream goes a very, very long way… One pump of did the trick for full, but sheer, coverage on the face and neck for this photo shoot.

IT Cosmetics makes one of our absolute fave CC creams in formulas for both dry and oily complexions. IT Cosmetics formula contain the trifecta of super saturated pigments coupled with 50 SPF and anti-aging serums. While IT Cosmetics doesn’t offer as comprehensive a shade range as brands like Fenty Dior or Clinque, all of whom market 42 shades or more of foundation, but IT Cosmetics comes in 12 shades and manages to do a decent job of being inclusive. Tan CC Cream anti-aging hydrating formula is the color used here.

Cornwall used a large circular foundation brush to apply the CC cream, being careful to allow the natural tone of the skin to show through. He followed this step with a damp beauty blender to lift the excess foundation from the skin. Cornwall says he “does makeup backward” applying concealer as the last step. This is the polar opposite to contouring the face which begins and ends with concealer to erase flaws and very often erasing the individuality of a person’s face. It’s more about creating a blur than a blank canvas when it comes to a no makeup look. “For the girl who has an even skin tone’ says Cornwall, ‘she can skip foundation entirely – just use a little concealer to cover dark circles or blemishes where needed.”

Blush is as key as using good skin care and foundation for achieving the elevated clean makeup look. Rosy glowing cheeks implies healthy diet exercise and great circulation.  Nars Orgasm blush is a cult classic for makeup artists around the world for a reason – “It looks like healthy glowing skin and there’s a perfect shade for every woman.” What’s important for a natural look is slowly layering the blush on the apples of the cheeks ONLY is one of Cornwall’s cardinal rules for a clean fresh look. Sweeping the blush up the entire cheekbone ending at the hairline creates a contoured made up look that we’ve all seen enough of for now. At the Marc Jacobs show in New York last week supermodel Christy Turlington walked the runway without a stitch of makeup on her face!

Keep mascara to a minimum. “Wipe down that mascara wand girl!” Cornwall says with a laugh and some serious side eye at the same time. Detectable mascara is a dead giveaway for a made-up face, wiping excess mascara off the wand with a tissue avoids clumping lashes together or an unintentional black eyeliner along the bottom lash line. “That’s a common makeup mistake, dinging the lashline with a cakey wand that will cause makeup look hard and sometimes dated” adds Cornwall.

Makeup artist trick – to make lipstick look really natural, wipe down the lip to remove all traces of foundation which can make lip color appear chalky – since we’re going for glowy naturally juicy looking baby lips, chalky just isn’t the look.  

The big finish to the elevated no makeup makeup look is a generous coat of Pat McGrath Divine Rose Lip Lust gloss. This rich creamy non-sticky formula is  one of WOTF’s current raves and faves at the moment.

Fall in love with your face again and go for the fresh clean no-makeup look this spring.



story x @veronicawebb

photos x @StandaMerhout

hair x @andreaewilson

post production x @darrentretacosta

dress @nicolemillernyc

jewlery @lalique