Showing Skin: Why Tina Turnbow Hopes 2017 Will Be the End of “Instagram Makeup” As We Know It

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If you’ve ever scrolled through your social media feed and found yourself a bit thunderstruck at the extremes that makeup tutorials are going to…

You’re not alone. And celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow feels the same way.

Beauty in the social media age is often about filtering and layering to reach a certain standard of perfection. And while retouching bothers Turnbow greatly, it’s the skin sameness and loss of realistic complexions that puzzles her more.

“I’ve always had the aesthetic of trying to let the skin come through, trying to be honest in my work, not masking but enhancing the natural beauty,” Tina, whose clients include Keri Russell, Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon, shared. So you can understand her weariness at the fact that the looks getting all the “likes” these days are the exact opposite of natural.

A typical base on any top makeup video will likely include baking, highlighting, strobing, contouring and color correcting—and in the end the skin, while flawless, is also fully covered.

Now, one could argue that beauty bloggers know that the more dramatic the transformation, the more interested the viewer will be—thus, more layers and more makeup. Plus, the more products they use means more opportunity to show off their skills and collaborate with brands.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains: Bare skin is not in.

But Tina hopes the ever-changing beauty pendulum will soon swing away from this trend and that 2017 could be the tipping point for so-called “Instagram makeup.”

It’s entirely possible, especially since the undisputed ruler of trends, Kim Kardashian, has been sporting a very minimal glam as of late. In the handful of times we’ve seen the E! star in the last three months—a date night with Kanye West or the family holiday party—she’s been sporting power lashes with little to no actual makeup, or so it seems. 

And just last September we saw the massive impact Alicia Keys made with her no-makeup proclamation. The Internet lost its collective mind over the fact that she was opting out of the beauty norm, so to speak.

“It’s not about no makeup or no color for me, it’s about what enhances the face,” says Turnbow. “Let’s take what you have and bring it out and let’s try to take things that blend, products that don’t look as obvious.” She also believes that true beauty lies in “highlighting the individuality of each person.”

In that vein, Tina started a makeup-photography project that focused on the allure of skin and the uniqueness that comes with all the textures, colors and types. The unretouched results are an ode to the motto “less is more”—and perhaps a glimpse into what could rightly be the next phase of makeup.  

Here, she shared her project exclusively with E! News:

Olivia CulpoTurnbow first hydrated the former Miss Universe’s face with Tata Harper moisturizer and then misted with the brand’s floral essence to give the skin a healthy glow. Next she applied Tata Harper cream tints along the cheekbones by hand. And the finishing touch? “I just combed her brows and curled her lashes. “Yes, those are her natural lashes, without mascara,” she confirms.

Jordana Brewster “I always like to leave skin dewy,” says Turnbow. Which is why she cleansed the Lethal Weapon actress’ skin using Pond’s facial wipes. Next she patted on a touch of lip and cheek stain, added a few swipes of mascara and enhanced the brows with Gimme Brow Gel by Benefit. 

Katie Lee: “All she needed was a pinch of this and a pinch of that,” says Turnbow, of the chef and Food Network star. Literally. Tina encouraged a natural flush by massaging moisturizer into the skin before adding a light layer of Laura Mercier Radiance foundation primer and a light rose tint from Tata Harper on the lips, cheeks and eyelids. Again, she opted to curl the lashes rather than add mascara. “I think it makes her eyes feel bigger, more open.” she explains. 

Emily Wickersham: “I thought: ‘Let’s play up her lips because she has such amazing lashes and brows already’,” explains Turnbow. So after filling the NCIS actress’ arches a bit and adding length with Benefit They’re Real mascara, she dabbed on moisturizing foundation here and there—leaving her freckles visible—and filled in lips with Nars velvet matte lip pencil in Dragon Girl. 

Bethany Mota: Tina brought the blogger’s  natural glow by applying Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer with a touch of Kevyn Aucoin bronzer on the lids and cheeks. “I felt like a smoldering eye went with her vibe and I find that too many eye shadows become overdone and too powdery, which is why I like to work with pencil a lot. I like to take them and smudge them with my fingers. This time I went a black kohl liner.”

Sarah Rafferty: To complement the Suits actress’ fiery red hair and natural coloring, Turnbow started with Chantecaille copper eye shadow all around the eyes. For the complexion she went with the spot concealing technique. “Using my fingers I tapped in Mineral Fusion concealer just in the areas that need it, trying to leave as much skin exposed as possible.” Last was a light layer of Laura Mercier Radiance foundation primer for a bit more glow.

Nikki Koss: “I wanted to create a modern holiday look,” says Turnbow. So instead of glitter she went for gloss. Specifically Kevyn Aucoin Diamond eye gloss. Then skipping the traditional red lip she applied Yu satin lip pencil by Nars on the Famous In Love actress. Finally, needing a budge-proof mascara that wouldn’t smudge too much from the gloss, she used CoverGirl Remarkable Washable mascara. 

Madeline Brewer: This look was created by only three products. Turnbow added illumination to the Orange Is the New Black star’s pale complexion with a light layer of Laura Mercier Candleglow sheer perfecting powder. Her lips were filled in with Tarte universal lip liner and the dramatic pop of punk pink along her lids is Urban Decay eye shadow in Woodstock.

Anna Wood: “I wanted to create a pretty contrast with her crystal blue eyes,” says Turnbow of the Falling Water star’s whimsical look. So she went with a glossy crayon by Wander Beauty named Tinseltown.

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