How-to Tuesday: No-Makeup Makeup

While the makeup industry today is brimming with liquid lipsticks, contour kits, bold shadows and more, we all have those days when we want our makeup to look as fresh and natural as possible — say, when rushing to an 8:00am on Monday morning. Although many feel comfortable baring a makeup-free face everyday, this look is for those who want to celebrate their natural beauty without being completely au naturel. Because, let’s face it: makeup is fun, and adding some new products to your routine can really boost your confidence. If you want to know how to achieve this “no makeup” makeup look, read on!

The first step to completing any makeup look is skincare, especially with a “no makeup” makeup look where your natural complexion should show through. Glossier is a brand worth checking out for a range of skincare products that serve as a perfect base for your makeup, like their Milk Jelly Cleanser ($18) and Priming Moisturizer ($25).

Once your skin is prepped, it’s time to move onto foundation. Light to medium coverage will work best for this look; your complexion will appear more flawless without the risk of looking cakey. To keep things looking extra natural, try a tinted moisturizer like Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($44). It gives just the right amount of coverage, and you’ll still be able to see your freckles. Plus, it has SPF 30 as an added benefit. For a budget-friendly alternative, the drugstore offers a wide range of BB creams and tinted moisturizers for all skin types, like Physicians Formula’s Super BB #InstaReady BB Cream ($14.95), a lightweight formula that moisturizes the skin while evening out your complexion.

Once your skin has a nice base, it’s time to move onto concealer. Concealer is every makeup guru’s secret weapon; it can be used to highlight the face, cover dark under-eye circles and of course, conceal blemishes. To brighten, use a shade lighter for under the eyes, but stick to your true skin tone to cover other imperfections. Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29) blends flawlessly and never creases, making it a cult favorite product. For a drugstore dupe, try Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer ($6.49).

After applying foundation and concealer, your skin should look even but still natural. If you’re happy with how your skin looks, you can move onto eyes. However, if applied correctly, a little blush and bronzer can add some color back into your complexion. For bronzer, it’s a good idea to stick with a matte formula, because we want to enhance the natural shadows of the face. Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer ($29) and NYC’s Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder ($4) are both great options for an all-over bronze. The goal is to lightly define your features and add some warmth to the face without creating a harsh contour. Using a big fluffy brush, lightly apply bronzer to the sides of the forehead, beneath the cheekbones and along the jawline.

For blush, cream formulas are great because they blend into your skin flawlessly, resembling the natural flush of your cheeks. Milk Makeup, a great brand to check out for “no makeup” makeup products, makes an excellent Lip + Cheek stain ($24)  that can be applied directly to the cheeks.

For eyes, it’s best to keep things pretty basic when creating a “no makeup” makeup look. A coat of black mascara is more than enough to top off the look. Try a mascara that is lengthening and volumizing, such as Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara ($24), or L’Oréal’s Voluminous Butterfly Mascara ($8.99). If you find yourself with some extra time, lining your waterline with a nude eyeliner brightens up the eyes, and can complete the look. Try Rimmel’s Exaggerate Eye Definer in “In the Nude” ($4.49).

Last but not least, swipe on a tinted lip balm and you’re good to go!

Halle Gold is a contributing writer. Email her at

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