Isn’t it weird that we want to apply makeup . . . that looks like we’re not wearing makeup? Existential beauty crisis aside, the off-duty model, no makeup vibes are here to stay. This look directly goes against the typical “Instagram” beauty looks we see a lot of —bold brows, full coverage foundation, winged liner, you know what I’m talking about. “No makeup” makeup is basically the bare minimum, focusing more on the steps of application than the number of products.
We’ve broken down the best tips and tricks for this natural trend as well as rounded up our favorite products to get you there quick and easy.
1. Skin First
This look is all about glowing, natural skin. The easiest way to get that? Actually have glowy, natural skin. While not everyone has the amazing youthful glow of Amal Clooney or Jennifer Aniston, we know how to how fake it! Before embarking on this no-makeup- makeup journey, indulge in some skin prep. Using a hydrating face mask before applying makeup makes sure the skin is already supple and moisturized.
2. Prime your base
When you’re going for a minimal look, a primer is the easiest way to get a smooth base. “For me, using a primer creates a base that keeps your makeup in place, so it lasts throughout the day instead of sliding around your face,” said celebrity makeup artist Erika La’Pearl. You can cater your product choices to what kind of look you’re going for or your skin type. A pore-filling primer will smooth and fill any pores without clogging them the way a thick foundation might. An illuminating primer will add that “lit from within” glow and make you look extra hydrated.
3. Go light on the coverage
Steer clear of thick, full coverage foundations for this look. Tinted moisturizers, BB and CC creams, and skin tints give your skin some extra hydration and still allow some of your freckles, redness, and imperfections to shine through. La’Pearl swears by liquid foundations in this step because they keep your skin looking radiant, blend easily, and can be built up. One of her favorites is Be a 10’s Beyond Belief Foundation if you want a fuller coverage that doesn’t look cakey. Apply your liquid foundation or skin tint with a buffing foundation brush to cover more, or with a sponge to keep the dewiness and sheer it out—La’Pearl’s ideal method of applying foundation.
4. Use a lightweight concealer for blemishes
If you’re still not used to letting your blemishes or dark circles go uncovered, use a lightweight, hydrating concealer. Blend with your fingers—the warmth of your skin makes the product melt right in!
5. Cream everything
Creams make everything just blend and sink right in, and it tends to look more natural than powders. After applying your foundation and concealer, blend a cream bronzer with a damp sponge. Set lightly with a powder bronzer if you’re worried about everything lasting all day or keep all the glowy goodness by locking in with a setting spray. La’Pearl applies bronzer to her cheekbones and the temples, and even blends it on her eyelids as eyeshadow to create dimension and intensify the look a little bit without going overboard.
6. Dew is your friend
Adding a nice dewiness to the tops of the cheekbones can go a long way in making your face look natural but still glowy. Rather than going for a traditional shimmery highlighter, opt for a cream with a clear base. This basically looks just like sweat (sounds gross, but trust us!) or a natural dew to the skin. The texture of the product will also blend right in with all the other cream products on the face.
7. Fake the flush
There’s something about a natural, blushed look to the skin that is so gorgeous and unpolished. Get that look the easy way by adding a little bit of a cream blush to the apples of the cheeks, up onto the temples, and right on the bridge of the nose.
8. Brush Up Brows
The best part of this look? Bushy, unruly brows are both accepted and encouraged. Enhance the beauty of your natural brows by simply using a brow gel with fibers and brushing them up and into place.
9. Light Mascara or Skip It
The skin is the star of the show with this look, so it’s okay to go light on the lashes. I know I haven’t worn brown mascara since middle school, but unless you have super dark lashes naturally (so jealous!), it just lightly opens your eyes without looking too heavy. Curl your lashes and apply a brown mascara to the top and bottom lashes, or really go for the natural look and skip mascara altogether. La’Pearl suggested applying mascara with a smaller brush to help you apply less, like using an old brow mascara wand or repurposing a spoolie from the end of an eyebrow pen.
10. Popsicle Lips
Ah — popsicles. Now I’m hungry! Anyhow, you know the look after you eat a popsicle, where your lips just have a natural tint? Luckily, there are products that give you that same look without the sticky hands. Hack your way to this look by applying any lipstick and blotting off the excess with a tissue.