Looking Polished Without Make-Up

I have heard many women complain that they have to wear make-up even when they don’t want to because it would look unprofessional to go without it.  Co-workers comment on them looking tired or even ill– or worse, unkempt. If putting on make-up is the cornerstone of your grooming routine and you go without it, you may very well look like a hot mess when you skip it. Yet there are ways to look well-groomed without wearing make-up. If you want (your face) to look polished without wearing makeup, this is the list for you, (whatever your gender):

Professional AF. 

Healthy lifestyle. (blah, blah, blah.) Seriously though, you look and think better when you’re well-rested, physically fit, well-nourished and hydrated, and emotionally healthy.

Wash and exfoliate your face and neck. It doesn’t require special products or devices. Just whatever cleanser you prefer to use and a washcloth with warm running water. Lather up, massage into face then use the damp washcloth to exfoliate and then remove the cleanser. Splash face to ensure all residue of the cleanser is removed.

aura glow.jpg
Under $30 for the whole kit, 20 applications– results after 7. I was very impressed! 

Teeth: Brushing them isn’t enough. You need to floss too. Flossing gets the crap off the edges and between the teeth, defining them and improving breath (and your health). Bonus points for using a tongue scraper. While teeth whitening is considered cosmetic, it’s not a daily, putting-on-make-up type of cosmetic. Brighter, whiter teeth can improve your entire appearance. If you want professional results without a professional price tag, I can’t recommend Aura Glow enough. Owning to lupus and Crohn’s, I have a tendency to develop oral ulcers, so any dental product that aggravates that is strictly prohibited but this product has been fantastic.

tinkle eyebrow razor
Pack of 6 for under $5 and it gets all those little hairs between brows.

See to Facial Hair. Regardless of your sex or gender, you are probably going to have some facial hair to deal with, whether that’s maintaining a beard shape with trimming and conditioner, dying or bleaching facial hair, plucking random chin “whiskers”, waxing or epilating unwanted peach fuzz. Personally, having some species of Yeti in my ancestry, I use a combination of Tinkle brand facial razor, epilator, and plucking depending on where the hair is, it’s texture, and how much of a rush I am in.

eyebrow kit
Everything you need for brows, under $12.

Brows: Every day you’ll want to brush brows into place, and if needed, use an eyebrow wax to keep them in place. More importantly, a couple of times a month you should groom your brows. You’ll need a spoolie brush and a small pair of scissors, and if necessary a pair of tweezers. First, start with a clean face. Then brush the eyebrow hairs against the grain, then brush then all upwards. Using the scissors trim any stragglers or excessively long hairs. Brush downwards and do the same. Brush them back up, slanting towards your hairline towards the out edge of your brows. Pluck any hairs that are growing away from the brow line. If you want to shape your brows be sure to consult a few different sources on ideas about how to shape to compliment your face, hair type, and gender expression. If you have light colored brows and want more definition, try an eyebrow dye.

Moisturize. Again nothing special required, just slather on some moisturizer after washing your face (and after grooming brows, you don’t want lotion interfering with brow grooming). For daytime, I recommend getting one with a sun protectant.

Lips. Find a lip balm that you like and use it frequently. I see you giving me the side eye, but I argue that this is not cosmetic, it’s a moisturizer and skin protectant.

  1. eyelash and brow dye
    What I use. Pick a shade lighter than you think you need for brows.

Eyelashes: to brighten eyes you can use an eyelash curler to get all the eyelashes in line and lifted. For those with light colored eyelashes who want them darker, you can use an eyelash dye and not have to bother with mascara.


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