Sometimes, you aren’t in the mood to cake on a bunch of products and craft the perfect cat eye. That is where the no-makeup makeup look comes in handy. Meant to enhance your natural features, you’ll cut down your prep time and convince everyone that you woke up like this. #flawless
Image credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images
What You’ll Need
- Foundation (cream or powder, as close to your natural skin tone as possible)
- Setting Powder
- Applicators (sponges, brushes, or what ever you prefer to apply your face products)
- Blush (light, pale pink tones)
- Bronzer (light, one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone)
- Eye Brow Pencil
- Eye Shadow Primer
- Two Eye Shadows
- Very Light (ideally a cream shade or foundation-matching shade, meant for brow bone and eyelids)
- Medium (similar to the bronzer shade, meant for defining the crease)
- Eye Shadow Brush
- Brown Eyeliner Pencil
- Nude or Natural Pink Lip Gloss & Lip Stain
Step 1: Primer, Foundation, and Concealer
Start by applying primer all over your face and neck. This will make sure that your foundation stays in place all day long and creates a clean canvas for applying the rest of your face. We recommend using a damp blending sponge for this step, because it helps to prevent using excess product.
Then, use the same sponge to apply a thin layer of foundation all over your face and neck (make sure to reach slightly lower than your shirt collar, so that your chest and neck aren’t two different colors). Don’t worry about any redness, acne, or other problem areas that you want covered. The foundation is only meant to even out your skin tone, and any outstanding marks can be covered by concealer.
Using a concealer brush or the tip of your sponge, dab concealer under your eyes and on any marks that need extra coverage. To reduce the appearance of puffy eyes or dark circles, draw a triangle under each eye with the widest part directly under your lower lashes and the tip hitting your cheekbones, then blend from the widest part of the triangle downward. This will draw natural light up when it hits your face and create a subtle highlight for under the eyes.
photo credit: Primped & Polished
Step 2: Blush, Bronzer, and Setting Powder
Before applying any blush or bronzer, regardless of whether you are using a cream or a powder formula, make sure that you foundation and concealer are dry. Applying on top of a wet base will not only dirty up your applicators, but runs the risk of taking some of the foundation and concealer off.
Once dried, apply a light amount of pale pink blush to the apples of your cheeks. This will help you to look more awake. Make sure to stretch the blush towards your hairline, so that your blush looks more natural and less light two blotches on either side of your face.
The amount of bronzer you apply to your face is completely up to you. Some people prefer to apply the natural look with minimal bronzer, to match their natural face. In this case, you would apply lightly under your blush, along the cheekbones, stretching up to the hairline and making sure to blend. If you are someone who prefer your natural look to be more sculpted, you can apply along your forehead on the hairline blending into your hair, along your nose, and along your jawline slightly under your chin to help create natural looking shadows on your face for a subtle contour.
After choosing your bronzing style, apply setting powder to the parts of your face that tend to get oily throughout the day. If you don’t usually have oily skin, you can skip this step, but most people prefer to apply to their T-zone, the tops of their cheeks, and on the chin to stay matte all day.
Step 3: Eye Brows, Eye Shadow, and Eyeliner
Defining the brows is an important part of the natural look. Not only will a defined brow make you look more awake, but it also helps to draw attention to the center of your face and enhance any minimal eye makeup you apply. Fill in your brows with a brow pencil or powder and pluck any straggling hairs from outside of your natural arch.
Eye shadow is another part of the process that depends completely on what you want your natural look to be. If you are looking for as close to your natural state as possible, apply foundation with your finger or the tip of your applicator sponge all over your eyelids, making sure to blend in with the foundation on your face for a seamless look. If you want a little something extra, apply eye shadow primer on your lids, followed by a light cream shade along your brow line to help define your brows and on your eyelids. Use your bronzer or a slightly darker shadow to blend into your crease and create dimension. Then, use a brown eyeliner pencil to draw a thin line along your upper lashes.
Step 4: Mascara
The ideal mascara formula for a no makeup look is something that will add volume the lashes. We love Benefit They’re Real Mascara because it doesn’t clump and has a perfect rounded wand for getting those hard to reach lashes. First and foremost, curl your lashes! Curling your lashes will instantly make your eyes appear bigger and more defined. Next, apply mascara to the base of your upper lashes and slowly work your way up to the tip of your lashes, moving your wand lightly from left to right to keep your lashes from clumping. Remember to get your outer and inner lashes, and avoid applying to your lower lashes unless you also plan on putting eyeliner on your waterline or lower lash line.
Step 5: Lips
Lip stains are the best for getting that natural, youthful lip. Apply a stain like Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in shade, Sweetheart, and dab any excess off with a napkin. This will leave your lips naturally rosy. Next, apply a small bit of gloss on the middle of your lips. This is the easiest step of the no-makeup makeup look and will make your lips look perfectly plump and natural.