Natural beauty - get the look

The natural look has become increasingly popular in recent years, with BB creams and barely-there makeup all the rage. If you're unsure where to start, here are our tips on achieving the nude beauty look.

Nude beauty

An even base
Starting with a clean and clear complexion is a must if you are to achieve nude beauty. Cleanse your face to remove any trace of makeup, oil or dirt, and pat dry to avoid irritating the skin.

Since the whole purpose of the nude look is to appear makeup free, the ideal is to wear no foundation. But unless you already have flawless skin, the chances are you will feel more comfortable applying some kind of base product to even out skin tone and hide blemishes.

BB cream has been a big buzzword in recent years and these all-in-one products come with a variety of added extras like moisturising or whitening, and are designed to give you a dewy, blemish-free look. They can be used instead of a foundation or as a primer, and should provide a lighter coverage than standard foundations. But getting the right tone is just as important so you'll need to try those testers just as you would with a foundation.

Bobbi Brown's BB Cream SFP 35 comes in five shades, and is water-based, so feels wonderfully light and smooth, and it blends beautifully into the skin for that flawless look.

If you struggle to hide imperfections though, there are a number of BB creams on the market these days that are designed to adapt to your own skin tone. The Body Shop's All-In-One BB cream is colour-adapting and won't clog your pores, and comes at a very reasonable £12.

For those that prefer a foundation, you will no doubt already have found on that matches your skin tone as closely as possible, and this is the key to a good nude beauty look. Using too much will quickly give you that caked-on makeup appearance so be careful to use just a little, and experiment with different types, whether it's liquid, foam or powder, to ensure you seem makeup free.

Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation (£9.99) gives a really light but excellent coverage, and is available in four shades. At the pricier end of the market, Clinique's Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup (£23) will give you a smooth, even tone without the dreaded chalky effect.

With your fabulously flawless base ready to go, adding a little colour to the cheeks is a must for highlighting and illuminating. Whether you choose blusher or bronzer really depends on your skin tone and personal preference. Bronzer often works well for very fair skin, as long as you opt for a fleshy tone, and should be applied just below the cheekbones.

For a rosier glow, a little blush will give you that just-in-from-the-cold appearance. Champagne undertones work really well for very fair skins, light, rosy pinks and peachy colours for medium tones, while dark skins can take deeper rose colours or even orangey tones. Apply to the apple of the cheek and blend backwards.

The Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand (£25) to easily define your cheeks with a dewy glow that gives a light shimmer to reflect light. Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge (£18) is a cream blush that develops throughout the day so that it becomes part of your natural skin tone, while Stila's Convertible Colour (£16) adds gorgeous glow.

Less is most definitely more when it comes to nude beauty eye makeup. Ideally do away with the eyeliner and curl eyelashes to add length and open up the eyes, opting for a lash separating mascara rather than a volumising one. Apply to the upper lashes only, as this achieves a more natural look. Boots No 7 Lash & Brow Perfector (£8.50) is a great product for lengthening and separating.

If you feel naked without a liner of some kind, don't assume black is the only way - a brown or grey shade will add definition without the drama. Apply to the waterline for a barely-there appearance.

When it comes to eye shadow, neutral colours like brown, beige or a hint of gold will keep your look subtle, and there are a host of nude beauty palettes available on the market these days.

Urban Decay's Naked Eyeshadow Palette isn't cheap at £36, but it comes with 12 different shades so you can blend away until you find the perfect match.

The general rule when it comes to selecting a nude lipstick is to go for a shade that is the same or slightly lighter than your own skin tone. Much like blusher, fair skins are suited by a hint of champagne colour, medium tones with beige or light pink, while darker skins can carry off a brownish hue.

Another handy tip for beautifully natural lips is to experiment with concealer. Use a lip exfoliator, apply lip balm, then blend concealer into the lips. Once you find the perfect colour match, clear lip gloss is the perfect dewy addition.

MAC offers a wide range of nude shades like Creme d'Nude (£14). Alternatively try Revlon's ColorBurst in Soft Nude (£7.99).

What are your favourite nude beauty products? Leave your comments below...