It was Kylie Jenner’s most recent ‘Get Ready With Me’ Vogue video, that made me realise change was in the air.
While her makeup routine still had the same number of steps, the outcome was very different to the typical Kylie look. Her contour was way softer, her powder eyeshadow switched for cream and her foundation applied with fingers.
However, it wasn’t until Sofia Richie joined TikTok that we finally got a name for this new style: ‘gentle makeup’.
In news that better not get back to Nicola and Brooklyn, Sofia is having a renaissance (if that’s possible at 24) thanks to her extravagant wedding to now-husband Elliot Grainge.
While I’m not interested in the festivities, I am very interested in Sofia sharing her GRWM routine and coining the term ‘gentle makeup’.
Now, don’t get it twisted. ‘Gentle’ is not the same as ‘no makeup, makeup’. Normally in the latter, additional steps like contour and lip liner are skipped. You won’t look barefaced using Sofia’s approach, but the result is rather a pared back, natural glam – think Hailey Bieber vibes.
Additionally, some of the products Sofia loves are ones we would associate with heavier makeup, but it’s her application that makes it softer.
I’ve watched her blend the full coverage Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick, £49, Sephora, seamlessly into her skin with her fingers, while dabbing the sold out, bright red Nudestix Picante blush into her cheeks.
The key to gentle makeup is less product. You can still apply all your favourite steps, just use less of them.
Watching Sofia apply her contour is the best explanation of this. She still contours her jawline with her Nudestix in Bondi Bae, £30, Cult Beauty, but instead of lining her entire jaw, she does one swipe on either side.
You don’t even have to ditch your beloved lip liner (by the way, Sofia’s favourites are MAC’s Oak, £18.50, ASOS, and Victoria Beckham Beauty No2, £24, Victoria Beckham Beauty). But instead of adding a lipstick, Sofia says she prefers just to add a gloss or a balm. I spotted her applying the Summer Fridays Pink Sugar (which is annoyingly also currently sold out, but these are some great lip balm alternatives).
Oh, and if you thought ‘gentle makeup’ was a term that only applied to high-end products, think again. Two of Sofia’s favourite products are from the drugstore, including the only mascara she will use as she claims all others give her “raccoon eyes”.
That honour goes to Maybelline Lash Sensational, which I’m sure all of us have owned at one point in our lives. Her other drugstore favourite is Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, £14.29, Sephora, which you can now get in the UK.
The only area of gentle makeup where I personally need a bit more help is the brows. Whereas Sofia just uses a clear gel (Charlotte Tilbury’s to be precise), I would need a little more help for my sparse arches and would swap with a tinted version instead.
However, I’m very much on board with the application of not one, but two cream blushers (I told you this wasn’t the same as no makeup, makeup). Sofia and her makeup artist Pati DuBroff both love Nudestix Sunkissed and Picante for the ultimate honeymoon glow.
Shop Sofia Richie’s gentle makeup favourites below: