Many believe that ‘No Makeup’ makeup means only using a couple of products such as foundation, blush and mascara and so will end up with a face that has lost its clarity and definition. For a truly glowing finish, make sure you address all areas of your face and only use a small amount of every product.
Our free checklist will guide you through the implementation of these steps. Click here to download and print it.
You’re trying to copy nature here, so your foundation must look beautifully dewy and naturally sheer, not matt or powdered. Fresh, healthy skin has an oily sheen by nature and for a believable ‘no makeup’ look, we need to aim to recreate this as accurately as possible. Use a lightweight and sheer foundation and gently pat a small amount of the product onto your primed skin either with your warm fingertips or with a dampened beauty blender.
To set your foundation, use a lightweight and translucent powder with a large headed soft brush, tapping the bristles off several times to ensure you don’t create a ‘caked on’ powdered look. Just concentrate on the areas where the tinted moisturiser is likely to shift e.g. under the eyes (you can use a smaller headed soft brush for setting this delicate area), the middle of the forehead and around the nose.
You can use the ‘empty’ setting brush to blend the powdered and non-powdered areas together to create a smooth, seamless finish. Spot heal any blemishes with your concealer by using a small brush as opposed to your finger tip as the latter will likely lift the product straight back off your skin.
If you don’t know your skin tone colour, read our article on where to have your skin colour scanned.
For your eyes, apply an eyeshadow that’s a shade lighter than your skin tone to help even the skin and open up your eye area. It’s best not to use glittery, shiny or overly matt shadows, because these finishes won’t look au naturel.
To finish off your eyes, apply a swoop of mascara (black for cool tones and brown for skin tones). If you’d like to apply a bit of eyeliner, opt for a shade that’s 2-3 tones darker than your skin tone, but steer clear of very dark or black shades as they won’t look natural.
Brows are often over-done or completely forgotten. Tame your brows with a comb and fill any sparse areas with brow-colour-matched eye pencil or eye shadow. Remember less is more, apply this bit by bit.
Blush is a must, but make sure the colour is harmonious with your skin tone otherwise you could end up looking tired or aged. You want to achieve minimal application on the apples of your cheeks, applying it sparingly to mimic your natural flush areas.
Last but not least let’s remember to treat the lips right. Before lipstick, apply a lip balm or moisturiser on your lips first. Use a small flat brush to apply a tiny amount of lipstick on top and blend well. The key is to not over do it; you want your natural lip colour to shine though, the lipstick is only there to give you a natural boost. Sometimes mixing 2-3 colours will get you the best result so make sure you experiment.
If you don’t mind a bit of tingle, we recommend trying a lip gloss or balm with paprika or gingermint extract like Smashbox’s O’Plump – the intuitive ingredients will react with your skin’s chemistry and boost blood flow to your lips, resulting in your perfectly colour matched natural lip shade.
If you want to use a lip liner to hold the lipstick in place, ensure you find a colour that perfectly matches your skin tone (and not the lipstick).
A note on Contouring
For a truly natural ‘No Makeup’ look, you probably want to avoid contouring and highlighting. However, if you are a skilled makeup user, applying a small amount of contour and highlight to help sculpt your bone structure will do wonder so long you remember to blend really really well.
Likewise, feel free to use a bit of neutral tone eyeshadow to help further define the eye socket area – your contour colour might just do the trick for this too!