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Good news for those who are into a seriously low-maintenance look: Wearing no makeup is now an actual beauty trend. Here's how to enhance your natural look without a drop of makeup.

September 18, 2014

Good news for those who are into a seriously low-maintenance look: Wearing no makeup is now an actual beauty trend.

At Marc Jacobs’ runway show in New York last week, models went makeup-free. (Really, not a stitch.) Makeup legend Francois Nars was on hand to apply nothing at all. Even dark circles and T-zones were embraced. “We love the shine you see on the nose, and around the eyes,” Nars told reporters backstage. “It’s real life.”

More evidence the un-done look is gaining ground? Even sweat—yep, the post-gym look you probably sport a few times a week—was on display at runway shows. At Prabal Gurung, hairstylist Paul Hanlon said of the models, “We want her to look like she’s just been working out or went for a run. We don’t want to look like a hairdresser has touched it—it should be naturally sweaty or greasy.”

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How…refreshing! The beauty industry is actually encouraging you to stop fussing over foundation, cut the blow-dryer cord, and just look like you. Talk about a runway trend you can master, right?

But let’s face it, you still want to look good. Here, some bare-faced must-do’s to pull this trend off the right way:

Follow these good-skin basics

Drink lots of water to hydrate from the inside out and get a good night’s sleep (at least 7 hours). Dark circles on runway models may look chic, but on us real gals? Not so much. After cleansing your face at night, use a skin-smoothing retinoid to boost collagen production. In the morning, apply a daily moisturizer with SPF 30, then take a little extra and press it over your cheekbones for a glowy, highlighter effect.

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Tidy up your brows

You’d be surprised what a difference just combing—and, if necessary, trimming and tweezing—your brows can make. Start by brushing hairs upward with a spoolie (a clean, mascara-like wand), then snip any ends that fall above your natural brow line; brush hairs down and repeat. (Be conservative.) Pluck obvious strays, and always set your shape by brushing brows up and out with a clear gel.

Pay attention to your hair

You don’t want to look totally disheveled. Give your hair a little love when you’re rocking no makeup: Pull it back into a clean ponytail or just enhance your natural bedhead by running a pump of mousse or a spritz of leave-in conditioner through strands for extra cool-girl texture.

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Brighten your teeth

When you’re not wearing lipstick or blush, it’s even more important to make sure your teeth look really white. Keeping up with your flossing habit helps: It removes plaque in between your teeth, where stains typically start. You may also want to brush with a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste once a week for an easy, affordable whitening alternative.

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Paint your nails

A dash of color on your nails makes you look, well, polished. (It also takes the focus off bare skin.) Hot polish choices right now: everything from nude to midnight blue to deep reds and berries. Heck, even Marc Jacobs’ makeup-less models had color on their toes (a limited edition metallic burgundy shade called “Wine Not” that will be available next spring).

Ilana Blitzer is the Beauty Director at Health.

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