The “Blank Canvas” Makeup Look

beauty blogger ruth crilly

I’d just like to say before I start this post properly that I have become utterly obsessed with face charts. Obsessed! Did anyone used to have one of those makeup doll-heads that you could put waxy lipstick and eyeshadow onto? Well makeup face charts are so much better! It’s just a piece of paper with a face drawn on it. Who would ever have thought that a sheet of paper could bring so much joy? You can photocopy it a hundred times and play about with makeup all day! There’s no mess! You can crumple it up and throw it in the bin if you go wrong! You won’t be tempted to cut all of its hair off with your mum’s nail scissors and then lie about what happened to the hair!

I digress. The above face chart was actually very expertly created by Max Factor makeup artist Caroline Barnes. It was suggested that I might make my own, but then everyone looked at the mess I’d made of my face (I spent an afternoon trying on just about every single product Max Factor have ever made) and the papers were removed from my vicinity. But what a pretty job – I think it’s like a mini work of art. The chart shows my “Blank Canvas” makeup look, one of three looks that I’ve created along with Caroline for Max Factor’s Many Faces campaign. Last year they signed Gwyneth Paltrow as their new creative inspiration for the brand, their new face, if you will. Or actually, faces, because the campaign is all about the many personas one woman can have. Gwyneth went for “The Writer”, “The Singer” and “The Rockstar Wife” and chose three different makeup looks to express these sides of her personality. (She looks best as “The Writer” in my opinion, but that’s because I like her looking all glowy and Californian. I say I like her, I actually hate her because she got to go out with Iron Man and Brad Pitt.)

Max Factor asked me to create three looks for myself to express three of my personas (I wasn’t allowed my first three because they were deemed inappropriate, ha!) and so I decided to keep it simple and go for the three “hats” I wear most often. The first is my Model Face (this post*) the second is my Business Face (next post) and the last one is my Off-Duty-but-High-Maintenance Face. That look will be posted up in a few weeks’ time. But for now, onwards with the Model Face.

Rather than having some kind of OTT sculpted and groomed look, I thought that I’d strip back the makeup to the bare minimum, creating a perfectly natural base with just a hint of colour in the lips, eyes and cheeks. I know I hate that phrase “no makeup makeup” but this is kind of that. It’s really barely there and it’s what I’d wear most often to a beauty casting. For a fashion casting, I’d probably wear a little more makeup, but at a beauty casting the client and photographer always wants to see how you look naturally. You’re often a blank canvas on which they can create their own look and so it’s not a good idea to turn up with a full face of makeup – you want to correct and enhance, but not mask.

Caroline suggested that I use Max Factor’s CC Cream in Tanned for my base because it would give a more natural finish than foundation. I have to admit that I was quite sceptical at first – I haven’t really fared so well with all of these BB and CC creams that have flooded the market – but my skin got on nicely with this one. CC Cream stands for Colour Correcting Cream and I’d say that it gives more coverage than a tinted moisturiser, but it still lets your own skin show through. Here are my before-and-after pictures (please ignore the fact that in the “before” I look as though I’ve escaped from some kind of secure institution):

max factor many faces

max factor many faces

You can see that the CC Cream has a “realness” to the finish and doesn’t look cakey or flat – it has livened up my skin, given a bit of a tint and covered up minor imperfections. I have also used the “Master Touch” concealing pen in Light beneath my eyes for a bit of help with the old circles, but only a tiny amount. Again, I didn’t want to mask, just correct a little bit.

Caroline suggested a wash of colour over the eyelids and at first I thought that the shadow, Golden Bronze, would be a bit pale and pointless. It’s actually surprisingly bold and I only needed a light sweep of it to add a bit of definition and contour to the eye area. I popped a little underneath, which wasn’t on the face chart (naughty!) and I finished off my eyes with one coat of the Lash Extension Effect mascara. Unfussy, unclumpy lengthening, though for a bolder look I’d go for the mascara I use in my next looks. (Stay tuned for those.)

ruth crilly a model recommends

On my cheeks, a smudge of Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in Soft Pink. Now, I think that this should be renamed Miracle Touch Glossy Blush because it’s so plumpy and shiny. It’s like a lipgloss for the cheeks, except that it doesn’t go sticky and get hairs, flies and dust stuck in it. I have no idea how they manage to do it, but it’s a glossy blush with a cream texture and a matte, dry finish. Very flattering, very pretty, just be careful when blending so that you don’t disturb the makeup beneath it or it’ll look patchy. I wait for a few minutes after applying base just to let things set a little – maybe do base then eyes, lips and finally cheeks. I just applied the blush with my fingertips, but you could use a brush I suppose, I haven’t tried. I’m too lazy.

On my lips, another new little glossy surprise – the Colour Elixir Giant Pen Stick. Incredibly shiny, sheer lip colour in a handy chunky pencil. I used Hot Chocolate, which sounds as though it might be scarily dark, but it’s not. You can see on the photograph that it’s far paler and sheerer than it comes up on paper, and I didn’t go for such a mammoth lipline either – Caroline drew that in heavily just so I’d remember that it was part of my plan. No, the lipliner is very subtle – I’ve just used a touch on the lower lipline to create a slightly fuller pout. I popped a tiny tiny amount of concealer on my cupid’s bow, too, just to catch the light a little.

I wore the “Blank Canvas” face to my castings yesterday and I have to say, I got a very good response. Unprompted, I had “you look very fresh” and “your skin looks good” all in the space of an hour! Success. Keep an eye out for the other two looks – they are much more dramatic!

*the Many Faces posts are sponsored by Max Factor

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 


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