No-makeup makeup: beauty’s biggest paradox to date, but also one of my current favorites. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Alicia Keys are trading in bold makeup looks for an understated and luminous glow.
Men simply don’t understand the amount of effort that goes into looking like us girls #wokeuplikethis. And unless you’re blessed with a pre-filtered face, every girl can relate to how much time and money looking this good can take.
But luckily we live in a time when concealers, BB creams, radiance-boosting primers, and contouring powders are so effective at enhancing our natural state, it looks like we were born with flawless skin. We don’t need face-altering makeup to feel beautiful – with a no-makeup makeup look, you are allowing your natural beauty to shine through.
So what’s the problem? *cue the irony*
Until mastered, creating this look can require time and commitment. Which is why I’ve put together an easy 7-step tutorial of my no-makeup makeup routine! Follow these tips and you’ll be boasting effortlessly radiant skin all day.
Vanity Diaries: No-Makeup Makeup
Step 1: Sheer Base Foundation
Treat your face like a blank canvas waiting to become a masterpiece. Always make sure to start with freshly clean and moisturized skin! Since most foundations and BB creams also duel as moisturizers, you can skip the moisturizing step and go straight into the base.
Apply a light layer of foundation with clean fingertips. The key is to make sure the serum gives you a kiss of color and smooths out uneven skin tone. Remember – this is only the first step! Your foundation should be sheer to let your skin breathe.
My go-to: Burberry ‘Fresh Glow’ Luminous Fluid Base | nordstrom.com
Step 2: Highlighting Powder
A highlighting powder or cream is the best way to subtly accentuate your features. Personally I use a powder because I find it’s easier to apply, but as long as it’s in a universal champagne tone, you’re golden.
Simply dust the illuminating powder over your cheek bones — or any other areas you want to highlight (pun intended) — for an instant pearlescent glow. Some people prefer to apply a highlighter later on in their makeup routine. However, this product is meant to leave you with a ‘glow from within’ look. The bronzer will lightly subdue the shimmer offering a more natural look.
My go-to: Rodial Instaglam Deluxe Illuminating Powder | chemistrycosmetics.com
Step 3: Bronzer
Bronzer – a blessing and a curse. A good bronzer that leaves you with a golden glow can perk up just about anyone’s face. But if abused and overused, you could end up looking like an Oompa Loompa. A bronzing powder is meant to liven up your face, not darken your skin tone by 5 shades.
The trick to mastering bronzer is establishing a relationship with the Kabuki brush. Evenly blend a thin layer over the whole of your face – including the neck. It wouldn’t be a no-makeup makeup look if you can see the shade difference from your face to your decollnegtge! From there, add more as needed.
My go-to: Laura Geller ‘Baked Mediterranean’ Matte Bronzer | ulta.com
Step 4: Blush
A faint pinch of pink on your cheeks can really go along way for your look. While colder weather leaves our cheeks flushed and rosy, we don’t naturally have flushed cheeks 24/7. Sorry boys, you aren’t always making us blush! However, until the temperature drops below 50 degrees, we’ll have to rely on some good ol’ rouge.
Blush colors vary in all shades of pink, red, and even orange. But for our no-makeup makeup look, I suggest finding a shade that compliments the undertones in your skin. You can use a compact or cream blush, but my skin responds better to a powder. I like to apply a generous amount of blush and then take my Kabuki brush to blend it in. This smooths the blush lines so that it is a gradual transition into the pink.
My go-to: NARS ‘NARSissist’ Cheek Studio Palette | sephora.com
Step 5: Eyeshadow
If you aren’t a fan of eyeshadow, feel free to move on to the next step!
In my last Vanity Diaries session, I posted a step-by-step tutorial to the Korean Cat Eye! As I discussed there, I am always finding ways to enhance my eyes. But for the no-makeup makeup look I wanted something a little more subtle. So this time I opted out of the eyeliner and only used eyeshadow + mascara (see next step).
Lately, I’ve found myself favoring dusty bronze and champagne shades for my eyelids. Since these are rather neutral, I decided to swoop a little on! Lightly dusting the powder over my lids, I added a VERY thin layer of NARS eyeshadow in Telesto. Since this has more metallic undertones, I then used a looser eyeshadow brush to blend it in for just a hint of glimmer.
My go-to: NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Telesto | nordstrom.com
Step 6: Mascara
Voluminous eyelashes are everything. As someone with tiny lashes, I am always finding excuses to wear fake ones! But since this is a no-makeup makeup look, I suggest finding a mascara that plumps them up without getting too clumpy.
So this step is simple – lightly apply your favorite mascara and avoid creating clumps. Your eyelashes should look just full enough to highlight those pretty eyes.
My go-to: L’Oréal Voluminous Feline Noir Mascara | ulta.com
Step 7: Lipstick
Last but not least, lipstick. Growing up I never understood the importance of a colored lip. Our pouts naturally have a pink tint to them and when you use a lip plumper, like this one from Leah Chavie Skincare, it helps to fill out your puckers with a touch of color.
But if you don’t have a lip plumper, just adding the tiniest bit of lipstick will accentuate your pout. Stay away from deeper colors and look for more pink + nude tones.
My go-to: NARS Lipstick in Rosecliff | saksfifthavenue.com
Happy makeup-ing, my loves! Xo