Makeup is a fun way to express yourself, there’s no doubt about it. But when it becomes more about fitting in than standing out, it’s nice to tone it down. Earlier this summer, superstar singer Alicia Keys (pictured above) kicked off a #NoMakeup movement with an essay on Lennyletter.com … and walked the talk a few weeks later by showing up to the BET Awards with a clean face. “Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup,” Keys wrote. “What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.”
We’re all about embracing natural beauty — especially in the summertime, when heavy makeup is a melty mess. Here, we’ve rounded up the best products and services to keep skin healthy … plus a few lightweight options if you just can’t bear to go bare.
Wash away the dirt, oil and makeup build-up to give your face a fresh start.
Garnier: SkinActive Micellar cleansing water and makeup remover, $8.99, Ulta Beauty locations citywide; Ulta.com
H2O+ Beauty: Elements On The Move cleansing stick, $28; H2oplus.com
A solid format is perfect for your carry-on luggage.
Arcona: raspberry clarifying bar, $42, Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand; Shop.nordstrom.com
Recommended by Chicago makeup artist Shannon O’Brien
Talk to a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon and create a skin care routine that makes naturally flawless the norm.
< DERMAFLASH: facial exfoliating device, $189, Neiman Marcus, 737 N. Michigan; Neimanmarcus.com
This handheld device uses sonic vibration to remove peach fuzz and dull, dead surface cells.
The Few Institute: SilkPeel, $250, 875 N. Michigan; Fewinstitute.com
Microdermabrasion and customized serums treat fine lines and hyperpigmentation with almost instantly visible results.
Whether it’s a spreadable serum or a hydrating mist, find a product that boosts your natural radiance.
> Babor: Glow Booster Bi-Phase Ampoule, $109 for 14, Mario Tricoci, 900 N. Michigan; Tricoci.com
Babor, a storied German brand that just launched at Mario Tricoci, offers age-defying facials (starting at $120) and a handful of at-home products. We can’t get enough of the single-use capsules: Crack open the small glass bottle and spread over your face, neck and décolleté whenever you’re looking to pump up the glow factor.
Yes To: grapefruit pore perfection toning mist, $10.99, Target locations citywide; Target.com
Elizabeth Arden: Oxygen Beauty Blast, free, Elizabeth Arden beauty counter at Macy’s, 111 N. State; Elizabetharden.com
This 10-minute pick-me-up mists the skin with a serum loaded with 16 trace-minerals.
If you favor barely there over totally bare, get the natural look with easy-on-the-skin concealers and lightweight foundations.
Covergirl: Clean Matte BB cream, $8.99, Walgreens locations citywide; Walgreens.com
Amazing Cosmetics: Perfection Stick, $23; Amazingcosmetics.com
MAC Studio: face and body foundation, $27, MAC Cosmetics, 910 W. Armitage; Maccosmetics.com
“A staple in every makeup artist’s kit — my clients love the way it feels,” says Shannon O’Brien.