These days it goes without saying that when you turn the page of your fave fashion magazine you expect to see photoshopped models airbrushed to perfection and all looking closer in age to your graduation photo than your badass self rocking it in the present. You'd be surprised if you saw otherwise, right?
Well not anymore.
We want every woman to feel their best and most confident, regardless of age, skin tone, hair type and everything in between. Which is why we've edited the beauty tools you need to boost your natural beauty, rather than mask it, whoever you are. And we've got the un-retouched images so you can see what really works IRL, so you can have a realistic shot at recreating the look minus your go-to Insta filter.
Because real women are always the most beautiful. Photoshop, who?
The Power Of... Bright Red Lipstick
This simple complexion boost is a fail-safe route to make-up induced confidence -but you need to do it properly. Consider your lip shape and use a lip liner to even out irregularities. Blend with your fingertip to soften harsh edges- if your lips are thin, avoid dark shades. Fill the centre with creamy, sheeny, or demi-matte textures that don't bleed into fine lines you may have around your mouth. And if a lipstick washes you out in natural light, move on – it's not the one.
If a lipstick washes you out in natural light, move on- it's not the one.
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The Power Of... Thick And Bold Brows
When they're shaped correctly, big brows bring everything together by adding structure. If you focus on elevating the arch, they instantly lift your features. This makes eyebrow enhancers the easiest face-transforming tools your make-up bag has to offer. Don't be afraid of a proper brow-boost: follow the natural shape of the top of your brow and define the outlines, concentrating the colour at the arch. Then fill out the rest and always buff through with a spoolie to let them 'settle in'.
Eyebrow enhancers are the easiest face-transforming tools your make-up bag has to offer
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The Power Of... The Dark And Smoky Eye
The true strength of the smoke doesn't lie in recreating that perfect precision you've seen on Instagram. All eyes are different, so get to understand yours and adapt your technique accordingly- think about colour, texture and shape. If black feels too harsh, opt for mocha, chestnut or concrete tones. If you're worrying about creasing, use an eye primer to smooth out lines and stick to long-wear powders and creams.
Shape is key: look straight ahead in the mirror – the top of your smoke should sit just above the crease of your eyelid, but not too close to the brow, and should frame and define your natural socket line. Remember: diffused edges are more flattering, and a wing shape is lifting, too.
Remember, diffused edges are more flattering
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The Power Of... Healthy Looking Skin
It (almost) goes without saying: clean and clear skin starts with hydration, which is the groundwork of great make-up. Spend time on this, even if it's only a minute or two. Don't put your skin under unnecessary stress by quickly slapping on cream.
Instead, work slowly, gently massaging your face to remove toxins, focusing on your eye area, between your brows and around your lip line (where dry make-up shows first). Soothing, almost slippery formulas make great bases, too.