New no-makeup makeup looks: 5 fresh-faced, natural beauty trends to kick off 2019

New no-makeup makeup looks: 5 fresh-faced, natural beauty trends to kick off 2019

New year, new face

Text: Angelyn Kwek

Editor: Jolene Khor

Image: The Playlist

All that talk about not looking like a hot mess when the new year comes around is kind of derivative by this point, but before you eyeroll at this cliché train, let's consider the pros to looking bright-eyed and clear-skinned. For starters, you won't be judged for going hard on the boozy eggnogs over the holidays. Plus it'll give whats-her-face from accounting some serious envy to see you immune from the curse of hungover skin. So to look like you've got your life in order (or at least a semblance of it), here are the FOTDs you'll want to swan into the workplace with:

Ditch the Instagram makeup and make like a certain Emma embracing her freckles and beauty marks. Not only does it detract a few years from your face — caked on foundation makes you look older, FYI — it lets your skin breathe and hints at time spent under the sun, even if all you do is Netflix and chill. Hey, no judgment.

What you need: A tinted moisturiser or a water-based foundation to keep things sheer. Apply in thin layers to ensure your skin's natural texture still comes through, and use only the lightest dusting of powder where you need it. Don't be afraid to appropriate a brow pencil or brown kohl eyeliner to add more freckles wherever you feel like it. They'll be none the wiser.




A statement lip doesn't just give your face some pizzazz, it directs the attention to your pout, which lets you get away with the not-quite-able-to-be-hidden eyebags from many a late night. No doubt inspired by the balm and powder lip kits brought out by Chanel and Nars, this is the lippie texture that's slated to be huge this spring.

What you need: A cream or velvet-textured lipstick that dries down to a semi-matte finish. Barring that, blot with a thin piece of tissue to exile excess shine to get that powdery effect. In the event you need to touch up, be sure to tap the colour on with a finger instead of applying it straight from the tube — this will help prevent the new layer from caking and cracking.

Gabriela Hearst SS19


Revisionist plot aside, Saoirse Ronan's makeup as the legendary Mary Queen of Scots is a masterclass in non-touring, otherwise known as the anti-contour contour. Makeup artist Jenny Shircore (she won an Oscar for her work on another monarch aka Cate Blanchett in 1998's Elizabeth) has made the look such that it translates from movie set to real life. Uh huh, honey.

What you need: A cream-based highlighter (no chunky glitters, please) to achieve that no-sculpting sculpted look, plus a good primer to lay down the prep work for even, smooth skin. Pop the highlighter on the high points of your face — brow arches, cupid's bow, the apples of your cheeks, and the centre of your nose — to bring out your features. Be sure to blend, blend, blend for that flawless finish.

Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots


Nothing says you're young and (still) millennial than rosy, cherubic cheeks. Just take a gander at Miranda Kerr or Chrissy Teigen, whose cheeks have taken them far and are doing a bang-up job belying their true age; girls know what's up. Easily the simplest look to pull off, a glowy flush is your ticket to appearing more youthful in a snap.

What you need: A combination of cream and powder blusher in similar hues. To ensure your "just pinched" flush will see you through to the end of the workday — or even just past lunchtime in our humidity — you'll need to layer your products. Start by tapping the cream blusher on the apples of your cheeks and blend it out with soft brush strokes. This step serves as a base for the following powder blusher to "grip" onto, and will help intensify the pigmentation. If you find yourself veering into ruddy territory though, simply dial down the colour by buffing it out with a beauty blender.

Sonia Rykiel SS19


We could all take a pointer or two from the most recent Angel to strut down the runway with the Victoria's Secret Fantasy Bra. Proving that a monochromatic nude look is the furthest thing from flat, Elsa Hosk works flattering peach-toned neutrals to add depth to her features. We're calling this one, the your-face-but-better look.

What you need: Eyeshadow, blusher, and lipstick in the peachy-tawny colour family, with shades that complement your skintone. Created by the talented Hung Vanngo (who's on Selena Gomez's speed dial), be sure to cop some of his makeup genius and vary the texture between the eyes and lips to play up the dimension. Going for a matte eye? Switch it up with a more pearlescent-looking lip and vice versa.