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How to Apply Natural Looking Makeup: Getting Around a School Makeup Ban

Updated on April 25, 2017

More & more high schools are embracing a “no makeup” policy for students. For girls who deal with skin problems, the application of natural looking makeup is a must. While I can see that schools want to de-emphasize the importance of physical appearance, what about the thousands of teens who struggle with skin problems such as acne breakouts? In so many scenerios, bullying begins because girls blessed with good looks feel the need to belittle girls who are faced with the completely normal cycle of hormonal skin changes.

How to Apply Natural Looking Makeup
How to Apply Natural Looking Makeup

While the school’s intentions for enforcing this policy might be in the right place, they aren’t considering the negative effect that a makeup ban could have on some students. Thanks to many makeup companies creating blendable foundations and natural looking products, teens can easily fly under the radar of the makeup ban.

Suffer from Oily Skin?

If you have a nice complexion that doesn’t need much coverage, but are still burdened with oily skin, use a transparent oil absorbing face powder. Try Mattify Cosmetic’s ULTRA Powder for Oily Skin. This is a completely invisible form of makeup that controls oil for hours. If you do have blemishes to cover, the Mattify Ultra also works great as an oil control setting powder over any type of concealer or foundation, to prevent smudging and fading.

Since Mattify Ultra is completely colorless, this product can be worn alone, or under and over foundation - and it even works for men who have oily skin! With this powder and a few blotting sheets, you should be able to survive the school day without looking like a total grease-ball.

Suffer from Acne Breakouts?

Acne is something that all teens, and many adults must battle daily. Unfortunately, acne is worse for some than others. While one person may only get 2 breakouts a month, others suffer from several per day.

First & foremost, follow a good cleansing routine to ensure that breakouts don’t get worse. One very simple and inexpensive treatment is to apply organic Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner, in the morning and evening. It prevents bacteria from cloistering inside pores, and kills the bacteria already present. Some people like to use it full-strength, but others dilute it with 50% water. You can try a few different application methods, to find the most suitable one for your skin.

To cover existing blemishes, use a gentle concealer designed for acne prone skin. Powder concealer is best, as it allows skin to circulate oxygen, so blemishes heal faster. Try Mattify Cosmetic’s Conceal-Zit & apply with a small concealer brush. It’s nearly impossible to find a liquid concealer without silicone (dimethicone), but as long as your skin isn’t super sensitive, you could try a liquid concealer like Almay’s Clear Complexion, or a stick concealer like Tarte’s Waterproof Concealer.

Have Acne Scars or Hyperpigmentation?

For those whose skin tone is exceptionally uneven, from hyperpigmentation or scars from old acne blemishes, purchase a full coverage foundation. To get full coverage without the need for concealer, try Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Maximum Cover (perfect to hide hyperpigmentation). If you prefer using concealer to erase individual blemishes, but want an overall even skin tone, try L’Oreal True Match. Just be sure to blend thoroughly, to fool school officials into thinking it's your natural skin. This can be accomplished by using a damp beauty blender sponge.

Have Small Eyes or Wear Glasses?

Trace a line of shimmery brown eye liner VERY close to upper lash line & smudge into a slight wing. This will add depth to eyes without adding a noticeable stripe of color. Try Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eye Pencil in Underground. Curl lashes and use just 1 coat of waterproof mascara, to hold curl all day. This is a simple and virtually makeup-free way to help your eyes stand out!

Have Faded, Pale Lips?

Sweep on a bit of lip stain. These dry to a natural finish – so it will look like your real lip color, only a bit more pigmented. Just don’t buy a shade that’s too outrageous or bright. Stick with light beige or medium pinks that won’t look obvious, like Ulta’s Double Duty Lipstain in Suspense or Fantasy. Top with a clear gloss, as most schools don't object to non-tinted cosmetics.

Uneven or Sparce Eyebrows?

Before you resort to a makeup fix, visit a salon to have your brows shaped. Most salons only charge around $15 to wax away stray hairs and give brows a shape that compliments your face. You can usually maintain that shape by plucking stray hairs, or return to the salon after a few months to have them re-waxed.

If your brows still need a little help in the shaping department, use a waterproof brow pencil that matches, or is 1 shade lighter than your brow color. Try Sephora’s Retractable Waterproof Brow Pencil, or Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil, which both have built-in brushes. Since these are water-resistant formulas, they work wonderfully on oily skin types and resist smudging. To apply, draw small lines in the direction of hair growth and blend with the attached brow brush.

Use Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil, for Perfectly Shaped Brows
Use Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil, for Perfectly Shaped Brows

Makeup Streaks & Fades by Noon?

Since you can’t apply makeup with a heavy hand & expect it to go unnoticed by school officials, you need some extra insurance for your makeup to survive the day. Use a makeup setting spray after you’ve finished your morning makeup routine.

Nothing screams “look at me” like a giant streak of mascara extending over your face after you fell asleep during 3rd period! Makeup setting sprays are clear and light weight, so nobody will know your secret. Try Urban Decay’s All Nighter or Model in a Bottle's Setting Spray. Close your eyes and mist over your face after all of your makeup has been applied.

Final Rule: Cover the Bad, Show off the Good

Everyone has features that they aren’t particularly fond of – thankfully makeup can help you minimize bad areas, so your flattering features can take center stage!

Applying makeup with a light hand and not going overboard with colors will leave you with a beautiful, natural look.

Whether or not you’re facing a school makeup ban, always remember that natural makeup accentuates your confidence and looks 100x more flattering than caked-on war-paint!

What Would You Do If Your School Banned Makeup?

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