Ready to get naked? Don’t freak—we’re talking about your eyelashes.
Mascara-free lashes showed up on spring runways at top fashion houses including Prada, Alexander Wang and Carolina Herrera. The understated fringes are the polar opposite of the Kardashian-esque lashes (klashes?) we’ve seen in the past, and to our eyes, they look refreshingly chic.
At Prada’s spring show, makeup artist Pat McGrath paired naked lashes with traffic-stopping red lips, while models at Alexander Wang sported minimal matte faces with naturally feathery lashes, courtesy of makeup artist Diane Kendal. She also worked her magic with MAC Cosmetics at Carolina Herrera, sweeping on sultry gray shadow but leaving lashes bare.
Before you dismiss the no-mascara look as something only runway models would try (and only then because they’re paid to), consider these two things: First, bare lashes can look beautiful. Just think about the Grantham clan on “Downton Abbey”– the sisters look gorgeous, and there’s nary a swipe of mascara in sight. (Traditional wand mascara as we know it today wasn’t invented until 1957.)
Second, going mascara-free doesn’t mean that you need to leave the rest of your face au naturel. On the contrary, the right makeup is essential to doing the no-mascara look beautifully (as opposed to just looking like you forgot your mascara).
“Skin is the key factor to this look,” says makeup artist Charlotte Willer for Maybelline New York. Without mascara to hide behind, your skin has to be (or at least appear) perfect. “I suggest creating dewy skin and covering up dark circles with concealer.”
Indeed, McGrath recommends paired with with this look to cover imperfections.
Curling your lashes is equally important. “It helps open up the eyes,” says Willer.
Beauty insiders (including this writer) swear by Kevyn Aucoin’s lash curler, which has a wide curling pad that leaves lashes nicely curved, not annoyingly crimped.
Next, swipe on clear mascara—it’ll keep your freshly curled lashes in place and add a glossy look. “I just did clear mascara at the DKNY show for Fall 2013,” says Willer, proof that we’ll be seeing more of the no-mascara look when spring ends.
You could call it a day after applying clear mascara, but if you’re a mascara addict, you can ease the transition with liner. Apply close to the lashline for the most fringe-enhancing look. We’ve found it can be tricky to get close enough with pencil, but a thin brush dipped in gel eyeliner (like Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner) does the trick. “It’ll give you a rock chick look,” says Willer.
Last, don’t forget about your lips. A bold lip paired with naked lashes can make your face feel less bare – and it also happens to look gorgeous and modern. “Personally, I never wear mascara, but I put on a bright red lip color. It makes my eyes look brighter,” says Willer.
And of course, for true lash purists, there’s always the option of a little professional intervention. “Latisse is a great way to lengthen your lashes,” says New York City dermatologist Arielle Kauvar, M.D. “It takes about three to four weeks of daily use, and the results are usually better than what you get with mascara. But you have to keep using it to maintain your lashes, and when you stop they’ll revert to baseline.”