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Go big or go home, feels like the most fitting phrase when it comes to summing up influencer Uche Natori's beauty outlook.

She is unapologetically maximalist, somewhat a refreshing outlier in a world of barely-there skin tints and super-sheer washes of colour.

The Beauty Breakdown with Uche Natori

Uche Natori wearing a white halter top © Uche Natori
The digital content creator is known as the "base queen"

Her Beauty Philosophy

An authority on full glam, Uche's look is rooted in her beauty history. She used to have hormonal acne and hyperpigmentation, and so heavy-duty base coverage was less of a conscious choice and more, simply her default preference. "That's what I felt looked most flattering on me," she explains. "I am such a full-coverage complexion person, I would never do light, only because of the makeup that I like." 

Her love for makeup blossomed in her late teens and early twenties in the 2010s, particularly when she lived in Birmingham during her university years and discovered the intoxicating maze of the Selfridges Beauty Hall. "I would always like invest in all the popular stuff that people using online," Uche says. It was the age of boxy brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie Jenner's Lip Kits, and endless cut creases. It therefore comes as no surprise that Uche has a particular soft spot for "2016 makeup", describing the bold, full-glam era as her "go-to" look and reminiscing over when warm brick, orange and brown shades on the eye were all the rage.

Morning Skincare

Assortment of skincare products © Uche Natori
The influencer has quite a pared back morning skincare regime

Fastforward to 2024, and Uche is all about catering to her skin's needs. Her morning routine is reasonably pared back, stripped back over the last few years to simply include a cleanser, vitamin C and SPF.

"I think anyone who's ever had 'problem skin' or had skin concerns, we can almost hyperfixate on those concerns. Not necessarily to a detrimental point, but it's your face, you're gonna notice. I am very conscious of sun damage and overexposure; hyperpigmentation gets worse if you don't use SPF, so that's something that I am very diligent with." Uche uses an SPF 50 on her face every day, including during the winter. "People will say, 'It's not sunny,' but that's not how the UV rays work!"

A few of Uche's current everyday skincare favourites...

  • Fenty Skin Total Cleans'r Remove-It-All Cleanser
  • Clinique's Take The Day Off range
  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum
  • Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50  

Everyday Makeup

Uche Natori wearing a white long sleeved top with red hair © Uche Natori
Uche loves full glam for everyday

After her morning skincare, if she is wearing makeup, Uche will prep her skin for seamless application and a long-lasting finish. She likes a rich moisturiser such as Charlotte Tilbury's cult-adored Magic Cream or Weleda's Skin Food, about the latter of which she says: "I know it's a bit of a polarising one, but it really works well for me."

Then she goes in with a mattifying primer, a great "buffer between your skin and your makeup, I think of it as the glue that holds everything else together". Fenty's Pro Filt'r Mini Instant Retouch Primer Soft Matte is one of her favourites, but recently Danessa Myricks' Yummy Skin Water Powder Serum has caught her attention with its innovative hybrid formula.

The self-proclaimed "base queen" was always going to have a high-performing roster of full coverage products at her fingertips. "I usually like to layer creams and powders because it lasts longer," she explains. "I love a dense brush such as Estée Lauder's flat foundation brush, or Morphe's M439 [a domed buffer tool] – that is heritage for me, I've been using that for years." One of her favourite foundations is Nars' Light Reflecting formula, "like an elevated tinted moisturiser, light in consistency but it packs a punch" and she would typically pair this with Huda Beauty's Faux Filter Concealer.

"I personally love Refy's Brow sculpt, I think because I don't necessarily have the thickest brows. It works really well to lay the hairs down." Uche then draws on faux hairs and cleans up the shape of her arches underneath using concealer for a "tidy" feel. "You don't need high-end mascara, it's not a category that I'd say you have to splurge on. A thick long lash [is the goal], my bottom lashes are quite long, contrary to my top, stubby lashes, it doesn't take much to get them going."

"If I am going to add a bit of glow on the skin I use the Vieve Skin Nova. Liquid illuminators over powders add a glow from within. Use the back of a sponge and lightly dab over the high points of the face." Uche loves brown and pink shades, and the occasional statement red, with a glossy finish. To top it off, she spritzes a setting spray over the top of her makeup to "marry everything together at the end", favouring those by Charlotte Tilbury and The Beauty Crop.

Evening Skincare

Uche Natori with skincare on her face © Uche Natori
Uche is not a fan of retinol

Uche avoids retinol, one of the key skincare powerhouse ingredients, because it doesn't agree with her skin. "I learnt that the hard way!"

"I use Topicals' Faded Serum and Hue's Supra-Fade. It's basically a very high-strength hyperpigmentation treatment and for me, it's very exciting because I don't think there's been a product like that on the market. I find it really difficult to find highly effective, non-prescriptive topical products for hyperpigmentation."

Going Out Makeup

Uche Natori wearing full glam makeup © Uche Natori
She loves a bold false lash

While Uche's default daily look is super glam, she differentiates between her day and night makeup by dialling up the drama on the eye. "Eyeshadow is really what takes things from day to night for me," she explains.

The influencer loves a warm, smokey eye, and is evangelical about Sephora's Liquid Liner, "the blackest best liquid liner on the market in my opinion". She loves to switch it up by pairing various eyeshadow looks with different false lash styles. "Sometimes I might want a little half-corner lash if I'm doing a wing, and sometimes I might want something with full intensity and drama."

Quick-Fire Beauty Questions… 

Which beauty trends or techniques are you currently obsessed with? 

"I would say I'm more classic, but trends are fun to experiment with. I think you can sometimes get stuck in a pattern of what you do. Everyone's really into the high pink blush placement, that's really flattering, I love that."

Which makeup mistake did you used to make and how can it be avoided?

 "I think people underestimate how long it takes to get a good base or foundation routine that you're happy with and that goes with your facial features. It probably took me three years to master a good base, and particularly if you're coming as someone who doesn't wear too much makeup, that transition can be quite difficult. Just the little things like blending more between steps, and that knowledge that it's easier to add than take away…"

Are there any beauty hacks or time-saving tips you swear by for busy mornings?

"If I'm having a busy morning, I'm not wearing makeup. I know other people get ready with 10-minute makeup, I just don't. 10 minutes is my eyebrows alone, 10 minutes barely gets me through my morning skincare routine."

Which multitasking makeup products do you find particularly useful?

"I do a lot of multitasking for unity and for a good story on the face. Bronzer on the eye, along the temples and obviously where you'd usually put bronzer. But then I'd do the same with blush on the cheeks and maybe a little on the forehead, nothing too crazy. If you're doing a monochromatic look, you can use a cream blush on your cheeks, eyes and lips."

How do you adjust your makeup routine for different seasons or weather conditions? 

"I already do matte makeup and use a lot of powders, I think that works for the summer. The only thing I would do is I'd probably not wear makeup. If I was going out in the daytime, I'm not that precious about wearing makeup, but if it's in the evening and the sun is a little bit lower, I'd wear makeup. I always get asked about that because my makeup doesn't move, but because it's matte, and I'm not super oily, the only thing that's going to disrupt it is sweat, and even then, a hand fan is going to save your life every time.

Which beauty products are you currently loving?  

"Danessa Myricks Yummy Skin Water Powder Serum. It pumps out a liquid like a serum, when you work it into your skin it dries down to almost a powdery touch. It’s essentially an oil-controlling primer… it really makes your base look absolutely insane. Pores non-existent, lines non-existent, it works really well for me and makes my makeup last a really long time as well."