7 ways to look great without makeup

I have acne, acne scars, pigmentation spots and dark circles. It’s not that I like to flaunt these :P, but I just cannot get myself to use even a bb cream, let alone foundations and concealers. So much so, that for my wedding, I got trial makeup done at 3-4 top beauticians in and around Cochin but settled for a no makeup look. The trial makeup looked very made-up (well!), ghostly, so-not-me & maybe even evil. I even concluded that dark circles make me look good 🙂 . All I had on for my wedding was lipstick and kajal. You can see my acne and scars in the photos clearly but I was very happy. The only products I use now are loads of lipsticks and eyeliners. And sometimes not even those as you can see in this old post – SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Reconstructive Finishing Elixir Review. My mantra is that the better health & condition your skin is in, the less dependent you’ll be on products to cover up problems. I am slowly but effectively working towards a regimen to remove the flaws from my skin.

Here is how to look great without makeup:-

1) Exfoliation with hydroxyl acids – Use instead of primer to even out your skin texture

I am not talking about physical scrubs but about glycolic and salicylic acids. They can be done in the form of peels if there is a function in the near future (I owe my wedding day skin to peels). The better option is to accommodate them as part of your daily routine. A 30% peel every fortnight may show fast results but a 6% gel applied every day is better in the long run.

Sun damage causes the skin to be uneven, rough, dry and pigmented. In addition to removing the sun damaged top layer, exfoliants eliminate the buildup of dead skin cells and excess oil that can cause clogged pores, uneven skin tone, and breakouts.

AHAs (the most common is glycolic acid) are best for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin; BHA (salicylic acid) is best for normal to oily, breakout-prone skin with enlarged pores. I alternate between them.

2) Sun Protection and a good dose of Antioxidants – Use instead of foundation to have problem free skin

Any amount of treatment is worthless if you are to reverse it with sun and free radical exposure the very next day! Not only do sunscreens and antioxidants prevent further damage to the skin, they also prevent the already troubled skin conditions like acne and pigmentation from being worsened. Invest in a good sunscreen and antioxidant rich serum/moisturizer and make sure to slather them on!

How to look great without makeup

3) Lightening serums and creams – Use instead of concealers to cover up those spots and discolorations

A good skin lightener works within weeks to lighten & fade pigmentation and dark spots, leaving you with an even complexion rather than a blotchy or spotty one.

4) Say good bye to wrinkles (premature ageing included) – this is something that no amount of foundation can cover

Even the best foundations with full coverage tend to emphasize wrinkles instead of covering them. Use wrinkle fillers as a short term solution but start the use of retinoid in your mid-twenties to delay wrinkles as much as possible.

5) Haircut – for that instant makeover

I have seen at least 7-8 people personally who have had a dramatic change in their looks just by a change of hairstyle. It’s high time to ditch the boring, no layered, side partitioned pony or plait. Book an appointment with a reputed hair stylist who will add wonders to your look by just a simple change of haircut.

6) Grooming & hygiene – the basic essentials

Keep your nails in proper shape, paint them if you are growing them long (at least with a clear coat or a French manicure). Long painted nails on just the left hand is an Indian specialty and looks weird. Keep hands clean. Keep your feet crack and callus free. Get your eyebrows done regularly, Use a deodorant (after making sure you bathe regularly :P). How to smell good all day long. Wear clean, ironed clothes. Wax or shave your hair if they are not very fine. Keep your teeth clean – visit a dentist at least once a year. Exfoliate your lips – they shouldn’t look unkempt. 7 lip care product must haves.

burberry deo colorbar maybelline

7) Diet & sleep – beauty from within

Drink lots of water, fresh fruit juices, herbal teas, anti-oxidant rich foods & nuts and seeds so that your body will start to heal from within and that will show on your skin. Avoid refined foods. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep everyday (that is one area I just excel in :P).

Check out this post for the products I use – My anti-acne skin care routine 🙂



    1. Hey Maria, fillers are done by dermatologist. If you mean cream, adapalene cream (available at chemists) is good. For lightening, look for creams with ingredients like kojic acid, Vit C.

  1. You look incredibly beautiful in your wedding pic Anjana. Certainly you just rock the No Makeup Concept. Love your jewelry.
    Could you do a detailed post about skin care mentioning some recommendations available in Indian Market?
    Also, love your eyeliner style. Could you do a tutorial on it Please?
    Sorry being too greedy 😛
    All in all, a very nice informative post. Love all your pics.

  2. oops…I thot u were reffering to any mask or something lyk dat…lol n thnx for mentioning name of creams…p.s luvv luvvv luvvv ur bridal pic…looking forward to see some more of them

  3. I have curly hair, but it is so dry and I got dandruff by using conditioner directly on the scalp. Can you suggest any product for me to get rid of these?

  4. Hai Anjana mam,
    Big fan of your gorgeous curls.. A Can you please suggest a retinoid as well as a lightening serum for dry skin. I have extremely dry skin.

  5. Hi anjana, can u plz explain how you apply products like after face wash aha or bha next moisturizer and something like that for morning and evening routine and pls tell me ur current products

    1. This is my current routine – Morning : Wash>BHA>moisturiser>sunscreen, Night : Wash>AHA>moisturiser. I am currently trying out some Korean products, will right about them once I’ve used them for long 🙂

  6. Hi Anjana,

    What are the products you use in step 1? Do you get peels done at a dermatologist? I’d rather not incline towards that. Daily product to use, would be quite nice 😀

  7. Hey Anjana, thanks for the cool tips.. I too have been struggling with pimples and scars for as long as I can remember and recently my dermatologist prescribed Glocin gel and glyco 6. I have been using them as suggested but I think glyci 6 is causing more pimples due to its cream base. Although I use a very little amount, do you think it’s because of its cream base?

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