We’ve all caught a glimpse of that preternaturally perfect girl, her face so flawless and natural, she’s borderline annoying (okay she is annoying). Seriously though, how can anyone look that good without makeup? With the runways teeming with nude-faced models, and more immaculately complexioned women showing up around town, we were feeling suddenly cakey. So we connected with Bill Westmoreland, makeup artist to the world’s most famous photographers (as in Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibovitz, and Richard Avedon to name-drop a few) for the rules of engagement on how to go nude. Pull up your foundations and prepare for an AHA! moment.
We asked Mr. Westmoreland, who has created looks for some of the most iconic commercial and editorial photos ever, how to achieve the perfect nude look. Liquid, powder, magic? Basically, he said yes. “I think a combination of both. A formulation that allows the liquid to disappear, leaving just enough of a sheer layer of powder to cover redness or discoloration.” Turns out, L’Oreal’s new formula, Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup, actually does this trick, transforming from a liquid on contact, leaving a soft powder-like finish that’s lightweight and natural looking. AHA! These (sneaky!) bare-faced-beauties must be wearing Magic Nude, the UN-MAKEUP!
Keys to the magic kingdom in hand, we asked about choosing the right shade to go nude. Mr. Westmoreland gave this advice. “Don’t test foundation colors on the back of your hand!! Match the color to your face making sure that your neck is the same color too. And change the shade throughout the year, darker in warmer months when you’re more likely to be out in the sun. And wear sunscreen!” Of course. With the formula and shade down, we wanted to discuss real life, as in social life: is bare good for dinner and/or drinks? “Nude at night is the perfect time. Your skin will look flawless in evening light and you can add a brighter touch of blush and a second layer of mascara to achieve a more formal look! You can also add a drop of shimmer to your cheekbone, nose, and chin to pump up your nude look from daytime to create a glamorous evening face. And now would be the time to add a pop of color to your lips—be daring! Go Red!” Since L’Oreal’s Infallible Le Rouge is our perpetual fave, we totally agree.
After so many years of dewy, we were still curious about the new obsession (ourselves included) with going nude. Bill Westmoreland says from his years in the business, it’s a cultural thing. “The culture of youth/fitness/health has cornered the market on the nude look and it’s becoming status quo to not only look fit and toned but to want to have that glow all of the time. Not just after the gym or yoga! A nude face reveals a certain level of confidence in the women that dare to go bare. They don’t have to hide behind a façade of smoke and mirrors to get noticed or heard!”
Say what Bill? A makeup that looks confident and glows like we just went to the gym? Two please.