There comes a time in any makeup wearer’s life when the inevitable mirror-free application has to happen. Maybe you’re in the back on an Uber frantically running late. Or in a guest bedroom where there’s a distinct lack of dressing table, or rummaging around in a festival tent! Either way, mirror free makeup application is a skill worth knowing. It’s also important to have the right sort of products on hand for this specific (and stressful) eventuality. Here are my go-to’s.
The key to any satisfactory makeup application is in the prep – so a good moisturizer is essential. I love the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre for under makeup. It plumps and smooths my complexion and leaves a slightly sticky finish to make my base glide on and stay put.
A great mirror-free base option is the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50+. One pump of this smudged-on with fingers can pretty much blur out any blemish and even the skin tone. It also adds a subtle glow and that all-important sun protection. Another great option is the Work It Tinted Moisturiser, which offers less in the way of coverage, but still helps even out the complexion for a no-makeup look.
If in doubt, adding some glow can always bring a haphazard makeup look together. The new Becca Ignite Highlighters are amazing for giving cheekbones that frosty glazed donut effect. But you’ll only need a drop! For a more subtle, dewy cheek, I love the Burt’s Bees All Aglow Highlighter. It combines a shimmery pigment with an oil core for a truly wet-look gloss.
Contouring can feel tricky without a mirror, but the Westman Atelier Face Trace Stick is absolutely foolproof. A swipe of this sheer stick under the cheekbones will add definition without ever looking obvious or overdone. The packaging is also a total joy. You can also add a hint of definition to the cheeks using a cream blush. I’ve been loving the Superfluid Combo Goals, which can be dabbed on from the stick and then blended in seconds for a subtle wash of color.
Cream for the eyes
On the eyes, cream products reign supreme when applied without a mirror. I love the Too Faced Melted Chocolate Liquid Matte Eyeshadows. The shadows can be dabbed on with fingertips and blend incredibly easily. Even better, once they set, they stay put. For a little extra sheen, a smudge of the Lush Eyeliner in Tellin (also applied with fingertips) can give a gorgeously ‘90s frosty blue look.
Applying mascara without a mirror can feel stressful, but the Silly George Heart Eyes Mascara makes it a little easier. You can choose whether you want a fully loaded brush or a softer look. Going for the more lengthening, fluttery effect means less product to get in the wrong places. But it still gives a beautiful lash look.
Another great tip for when you’re applying makeup without a mirror is glitter. Pressing on some sparkle can fool the world into thinking you’ve expended time and effort on your look in seconds. The Smith & Cult Glitter Shots are absolutely ideal for this, as they combine glitter with a sticky gel to hold the particles in place.
Other Mirror-free applicators
Most mirror-free application is reliant on fingers, but if that’s not your vibe, the Sunday Ivy Beauty Sponges are fantastic. They’re microfiber, which gives them a fluffy appearance, and unlike most beauty sponges, they can be used dry. They give an impeccable blend to all cream products, offering an almost airbrushed finish. I’m also a huge fan of the Tarte Airbuki Brush to ensure my cheek products look as seamless as possible.
My final recommendation is a fragrance – in particular, the Tom Daxon Crushing Bloom Perfume. Nice perfume doesn’t just lift your mood – but it can fool others into thinking you’re perfectly pulled together. One spritz of this incredible scent and no one will notice if your makeup looks a little funky – promise.