Makeup minimalism is back in a big way; partially as a reaction to the pervasive tedium of heavy, full coverage matte textures, and partially thanks to Meghan Markle, whose simple, skincare-first approach to makeup has bucked trends. The minimalist makeup she favours is not the sort of "natural look" that in reality takes two hours and a makeup artist to achieve.
Foundation is about selective concealment without ever minimising her signature freckles. Thanks to Markle, sheer textures and fresh finishes are popular again. Thank goodness for that – this approach to makeup suits almost everyone a lot better than a heavy mask, and it celebrates makeup as an enhancer, and not a crutch.
To emulate the look, focus on skincare rather than makeup – double cleanse nightly, incorporate an acid toner into your routine, and don’t forget that oils work for everyone (yes, even those with oily skin).
With your skin in good condition, makeup has less work to do. Opt for a sheer foundation, or skip it altogether and simply use a concealer like Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer (€30 at Brown Thomas) to cover anything you would rather not draw the eye to. For that bit of extra coverage, buff more concealer under the eyes, and around the nose a mouth where redness and discolouration tend to be more obvious.
A cream cheek product looks more natural than a powder, and can be applied more quickly and with fingers. Chanel Hydrating Lip and Cheek Sheer Colour (€31 at Arnotts) is creamy, sheer and eminently wearable. It works just as well on lips as cheeks, blends dreamily, and is not at all drying. I love it for lazy days and travel.
Cream shadow is just as conducive to a quick makeup application as cream blush. Powders must be buffed and blended to prevent clumsy lines and uneven application. When I am less in the mood for hard work, and am feeling particularly rushed or incompetent, Trinny London Eye2Eye (€21.50 at brownthomas.com) is ideal. A cream shadow that applies very easily with fingers and gives a ‘done’ but very casually pretty Markle-style eye which is very fast and idiot-proof.
Perhaps the fastest way to give life and structure to the face is by very subtly filling in the brows to give them fullness and shape. Kat Von D Brow Signature Precision Brow Pencil (€21 at Debenhams) is small and solid enough to fill in individual hairs and comes in a wide range of shades to ensure that you get a perfect match. Opt for a shade very slightly lighter than your own brow colour for a completely natural looking finish.
To give the look a sense of being complete, don't forget the lips. A balm or tint will do. Markle tends to favour soft cream or almost (but never quite) matte finish for a more natural appearance. Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom (€12 at glossier.com) is a beautiful rich balm with a soft sheen and a touch of glitter shot through. The glitter is not at all obvious, but gives the balm a little something extra.