How to Live Without Makeup (Or At Least, With Less)

Jan. 9, 2007 — -- The idea of a week without makeup is enough to make waterproof mascara streak down many a rouged cheek. But according to one makeup expert, the challenge is a worthwhile one for women to consider.

"It's good to give your skin a breather from wearing makeup," said Erin Flaherty, beauty director of Jane magazine. "As much fun as it is to play with makeup, it can be as confidence-boosting, if not more so, to go without it."

Every month, Flaherty strips a young woman of her creams, powders, glosses and shadows to reveal the natural beauty beneath in Jane's monthly "Makeunder."

"The modern aesthetic is not a face with makeup. It's not chic anymore," she said. "We try to narrow down their skin products, their hair products and their makeup products."

When women aren't worrying about goopy mascara or cakey foundation, they can concentrate on living life instead of looking pretty.

"A lot of women don't have much time for themselves. Cutting out all this time spent in front of the mirror can actually give you some extra quality time," Flaherty said.

Flaherty offered tips for women who want go sans makeup as well as those who want to cut down on their arsenal of products. Follow her advice and breaking free from an oppressive makeup routine will be as easy as dumping last season's lip gloss.

How to Go Without Makeup

Concentrate on your skin care. The best way to go without makeup is if you've been taking great care of your skin, so you can show it off. If you're feeling confident about your skin you're going to feel good about going without makeup as well.

Get a great cleanser, a very gentle exfoliant and a moisturizer with SPF. Most of the anti-aging creams out there are too rich for a woman under the age 35. If you still feel like you need anti-aging products, incorporate it; but, just like with makeup, less is more.

Keep your hair and nails looking good so you don't look unkempt, even though you're not wearing makeup. Consider getting a manicure or get a blowout that you can wear for most of the week.

Have your lip balm handy. If your lips look healthy and moisturized, you won't look scraggly.

If you must have something on your face, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Clinique and Benefit make great ones. They offer moisture, a small amount of coverage and sunscreen -- makeup or no makeup, you should wear sunscreen everyday.

How to Go With Less Makeup

First, conceal and correct. Makeup artists love Amazing concealer because just a little bit covers blemishes fabulously.

Swipe on some mascara. Maybelline Great Lash is a wonderful choice, or try a curling formula.

Apply a bit of a multi-tasking color product -- a palette or stick you can use on your cheeks, lips, even your eyes for a touch of color. A quick application will give you a slight amount of polish and a little glow. Try Stila's convertible color, which comes in a convenient compact.

Dump the dozens of products you're toting around and replace them with two essentials: a powder compact (so you can tell if you have an ugly ink smudge on your face) and a superior lip balm, like Sally Hansen's Healing Butter for Lips or Smith's Rosebud Salve.