Thursday, 16 December 2010

My Face - Without Makeup! (I'm sure tomorrow I'll realise this post was not such a good idea)

This is a bit of a new one for me as when I started blogging I had decided that I didn't want post pictures of myself, it was one step too far. However, now I've been doing this for a while, it feels more like I am amongst friends so I've had second thoughts. My main aim with this blog is for it to be as useful as possible for other people and I think that one way I can achieve this is to show you what I look like without any makeup on at all.

This may seem like a drastic step, to go from no photos to some without makeup (and incredibly unflattering!), but when I am talking about my skintone, eye colour, hair colour etc I think it would be helpful for you to see what I am trying to describe. You can see the main concerns that I have and when I mention foundations, blushers etc, you know how the shades look compared to my face in its natural state. To be blunt, I don't think swatches on the inside of my wrist are cutting it anymore.

Another reason for this post is that after watching the new Twilight film yesterday I was trying to look up what makeup was used. I found a great sight,, and looked up the products used in some other film looks that I liked. Now I am not particularly naive and know that an actress doesn't turn up to a film set and with a bit of mascara and tinted moisturiser is ready for HD, but I was shocked at the number of complexion products used, really shocked. I think women, and young women in particular can really beat themselves up about looking less than perfect (I know I do) and it makes it so much worse when trying to compare yourself to your peers on TV, film and the front covers of magazines. It is too easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone else is naturally beautiful, when really they just spend longer in the makeup chair or know the products that really work for them.

I would like to think I was old enough to not get taken in by the kind of airbrushing, editing etc that I know goes on, but I have to admit I felt a lot better when I realised quite how much work went into transforming Kristen Stewart into Bella Swan, and how much makeup Keira Knightley had to wear in The Duchess. The thing I love so much about makeup is its ability to transform the ordinary into the often extraordinary and the confidence boost that comes with this, so by baring my face I hope you will be able to see what products work for me by having the 'before shot' available

So, not the prettiest sight for you all on a Thursday afternoon but here some photos taken today of me with not a scrap of makeup on, in natural light. You've been warned! (I look pretty pissed off in these but I really struggle to smile in any photos, not helped by orthodontic work having ruined my mouth and jaw!).

So there we have it. I hope you can see how pale my skin is and the pink undertones. My major concerns at the moment are dark circles under my eyes, from medication, some sun damage/pigmentation under one eye, oily skin and some rather large spots that I am doing daily battle with since coming off the pill about four months ago. There are a number of things I dislike about my face but I'm not going to draw attention to them here, I guess you just have to learn to love what you've got.

In terms of foundation, these are my closest matches but none of them are perfect:
  • Bobbi Brown - Alabaster or Ivory
  • Chanel - 05 Faience (their lightest shade but still a little yellow for my taste)
  • Dior - 010 Ivory
  • Clinique - 01 Calming Alabaster
  • Le Metier de Beaute - 1 (probably my best match)
  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser - Porcelain
  • Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation - Blush Ivory
  • Nars - Mont Blanc
My aim for next year is to try out a number of different foundation brands, in a never ending search to find my Holy Grail product. The first will be Chantecaille's Future Skin in Porcelain, but I can't say how good a match it is yet until Christmas Day. After that I want to try something from By Terry, RMK and Revlon. Foundation is the main item I don't mind spending a lot on because I think it makes such a big difference to how the rest of your makeup looks.

Now indulge me for a minute. Having posted some awful photos, I thought for the sake of balance, I would post some pictures of me with makeup, just to make me feel a bit better! I like to think that it shows the huge difference that just a bit of makeup can make to the face.

The only look I can vaguely remember what makeup I was wearing: Chanel Teint Innocence, Chanel Blush in Tea Rose, Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita (I think the eyes were using Stila shadows), MAC Eyeliner in Teddy

So there we have it. I promise future posts will not be covered in pictures of me! As a few of you liked the eye look I posted last week I am going to endeavour to do more of those kind of posts, but possibly a whole face. I've just ordered Photoshop for Dummies so I might learn to be a bit better with the camera and editing next year as at the moment I know nothing. It can only get better!


  1. you look gorgeous hun, your skin looks really clear to me. Great post, you describe a few things that I struggle with myself so looking forward to hearing what all you use


    ps doing a big giveaway at the mo so swing by the enter,

  2. You are lovely, bare-faced or not. I find it extraordinarily difficult to take pictures of myself where I don't look odd - I either badger Mr L to take the full face pictures or crop them!

    It is helpful to see skintone etc.

  3. I agree with Grace, you look lovely either way. It's nice to put a face to the person I chat to online too :). I look forward to seeing more of you!
    Jane x

  4. Bravo for going barefaced and good luck on your HG foundation hunt!!

  5. Hi Jennifer

    It's so good to put a face to your lovely prose.

    Add me to the *you look lovely either way* list... you are WAY too hard on yourself- you have gorgeous features.

    Btw, your brows are fantastic, they have such a lovely shape.

    I can't wait to read all about your quest for the perfect foundation.

    x jeanie

  6. great great post and very brave. And another for the any way list!

  7. I think you look great! And taking photos of yourself is very difficult, I agree. I was photographing some lip swatches and there were some full-face photos there too and my bad skin was even more emphasized in the photos than in real life, grrr. So for now I'm staying with lip swatches and eye looks. It's definitely a challenge, but also great help for us so we can see what the products look like in action.
    x Klara

  8. Hi everyone,
    Thanks so much for your kind comments, it can be a little scary when you see your face (made up or not) on a computer screen in minute detail, luckily the pictures are so much smaller when on the blog!I really hope this post will be a helpful resource when it comes to shade selection and I definitely feel more confident now bare faced.

    I'm going to try and work on a way to take decent photos of makeup without them completely distorting my face, unfortunately I fear this might involve reading a lot of boring manuals!

    B - Congratualtions on 100 followers!

    Jennifer X