How-To: Natural, No-Makeup Makeup
Just when you think your favorite celebrity has the freshest, most glowing face ever, think again. The work behind making it look like she just stepped out of bed looking naturally fabulous could’ve taken hours. It’s challenging enough to play with various shades, color blends and match these with skin tone and skin type, but much more when you’re asked to do a “no makeup” look.
What’s that you say? No makeup? Why not just skip the process altogether and just head out bare-faced? Professional MUAs say “tut, tut.” Pulling off a look that makes you look like you haven’t put on any product on your face at all is probably the most difficult makeup trick ever.
Luckily, as average girls, we can succeed at pulling off a fresh, vibrant look without having to hire a team glam squad to perform this magical act. Here are some tricks to getting that “natural” look…
What You Need: A properly cleansed face, sheer cream blush, neutral or natural-toned lip gloss, skin illuminizer or brightener, powder foundation, eye shadow in earth colors (taupe, nude, pale peach, golds, pale pink), mascara (black/brown). Check out our recommendations throughout this article.
Assuming you’ve already gone through the entire process of cleansing your face (check out our 5-minute Skin Care Routine), getting rid of all previous makeup and exfoliating, the first, most basic and important step to setting the stage for that successful no-makeup look is to moisturize. This way, the makeup just glides over your skin and you’ll have no problem getting chunks of powder or blush at one area.
Use an unscented, natural or organic moisturizer, like this one. Scented ones tend to cause allergic reactions and surely you don’t want those on your face of all places. Pure oil (like coconut oil or Rosehip seed oil) makes for a great moisturizer, but it’s sometimes difficult to add powder directly over it, so save it for nighttime.
Spend the time to search for a foundation that exactly matches to your skin tone.
2. Set the base
We’re not big fans of foundation, and if you treat your skin properly (ie. don’t use foundation, use natural products and oils, and wash your face twice per day), you shouldn’t need foundation.
That said, if you insist on using a foundation, find one that exactly matches the skin tone on your neck and top of your chest, so your face doesn’t end up looking like a mask. To find out which one works best for your color, stay under natural light and test it on your skin. Indoor lighting can lie and isn’t the best judge for your makeup choices. What you can do is dab a little on your face and neck and then check under natural lighting how it looks, or if it blends into your natural skin color. Some cosmetologists say to test the foundation on your decolite (the top of your chest), but to be sure, just try a little on your face as well.
With a sponge or your finger, dab the foundation onto your face blending the powder evenly until it looks like your actual skin. Make sure you don’t forget to dab under your jaw line, otherwise you’ll be creating a funny looking line where the makeup ends and your true skin begins. If you have discolorations under your eye, dab a little foundation and blend gently. Don’t rub.
Use a natural concealer like Ecco Bella (for fair skin) or this thick stick foundation/concealer by W3LL People, and apply sparingly and ONLY on the spot where the problem lies. Don’t overdo the concealer, otherwise you’ll end up looking cakey instead of refreshed. Don’t place concealer around the problem area, but directly onto it. This way, you don’t create a “halo effect” on your pimple and draw more attention to it.
3. Set your eyes
The best tones for natural looking made up eyes are browns, silver, and taupe, depending on your skin color. To make the shadow look like it’s been there since you were born, start with a light and neutral shade (like peach) all over the lid area and then reinforce with a light brown just above the crease. Blend the colors to get that natural look, or you’ll seem cartoonish with too well-defined shadow lines. For a bit more impact, you could use a small angle brush to line the top lashline softly with a darker eyeshadow and then outline your crease lightly for definition.
Shimmery gold or pale pink eyeshadow like this one applied on the inside corner of your eyes will help make them look larger and brighter, as if you’d just woken up from a very good and restful slumber.
For the inner areas of your eyes, use lighter shades. The darker ones should be reserved for the outside areas. For your eyeliner, use pencil instead of liquid to achieve that natural and unadulterated look. Smudge the line with a cotton bud or Q-tip gently so it once again blends naturally with the rest of the makeup on your face.
4. Lash up
Your lashes are important to achieving that no-makeup natural look. A well curled and defined lash will give your face that bright and vibrant look even without the mascara; however, to complete the entire look, you have to finish your lashes off with soft colored (brown or black) mascara to give it volume and definition. We love 100% Pure fruit-pigmented mascara. To add extra impact, use a black or brown eyeliner to line the inside of just your top lid (under your eyelashes, next to your eyeball).
5. Go bronze
Your bronzer will be responsible for giving your face that natural, alive glow. Brush the bronzer lightly all over your face, particularly along the top and sides of your forehead (to contour and give depth), nose and cheekbones, or areas where the sun naturally touches when you’re outdoors.
We love this Organic’s Bronzer for it’s natural-looking glow.
Keep in mind that, if applied incorrectly, the bronzer can make you look like you’re having a blotchy rash, so start light and gradually add more. The application of the bronzer requires practice. While this is optional to achieving that total no-makeup look, having it on your face will without a doubt add that extra glow.
If you’re not too confident with your bronzer skills, you can use a cream blush (like this one by 100% Pure), which is a lot easier to apply. Cream blush is better than powder blush because it gives you a more natural and dewy look. Light colored cream blushes are best. Rub a little on your ring finger, dab onto the apple of your cheeks and blend carefully.
Take note that you’ll only use the cream blush IF you hadn’t used a bronzer. You can’t apply both on your face, as the bronzer will stick to any creamy texture.
6. Pucker up
Neutral lip colors will define the entire no-makeup look, so use lip stains or tinted lip gloss. Avoid those shiny glosses and chalky lipsticks and lip liners if you don’t want to look like a tranny. Choose a shade that’s closest to your natural lip color, or if you’re really pale, a light pink or champagne colored lip tint would generally look nice.
Now that you’ve realized the workout you need to get that natural no-makeup look, the next step is to practice. Indeed, with makeup, it’s very easy to just play around with colors and create a masterpiece on your face; however, what’s doubly hard is to fake a natural look, especially when your actual natural face needs professional MUA intervention.
Before deciding that you need a professional overhaul, try these makeup tips first and see if you can pull it off on your own. After all, being a “natural” beauty is always the best look — or so others will think. *wink*