Natural, no-makeup makeup can sometimes be the hardest makeup to do. I love doing really fun and crazy makeup looks, but I find that those are often the easiest to achieve. I think it’s harder to make your blush look like a natural flush than create a dramatic winged liner because it’s not obvious. The trick is to make your makeup look invisible. You have to deceive the eye.
Here are my tips + tricks on how to apply your makeup so that you truly look like a better version of yourself. This is very natural, your-skin-but-better makeup.
***NOTE: Before trying any of these tips, I would recommend sitting in front of a mirror without any makeup on and studying your face. Look at where your cheeks naturally flush, where the light hits your face and “shines,” where your cheek bones are and the overall shape of your face. For the most natural makeup, you need to know what you naturally look like and think of the makeup as merely accentuating what you already have.
Beauty Oil + Foundation
This is by far my favorite trick that I have discovered. I love incorporating skin care into my makeup routine and customizing my makeup to fit my skin. Adding a beauty oil to your foundation is going to:
- Change the texture of the foundation: the foundation is going to blend into the skin a lot more smoothly and the oil will help reduce cakey-ness
- Create a more dewy/luminous look to the skin: your skin is going to look healthy and have a natural highlight where the oil shines on the skin
- Add hydration: the oil is going to add extra hydration to your skin, which will make it appear more healthy
- Give a more natural coverage: the oil will sheer out the coverage and give a more natural appearance
- Add more beneficial ingredients: depending on what oil you choose, your skin is going to soak up the vitamins and in turn, look more healthy and nourished.
I like to take my Bio Oil or Rose Hip Oil and add a few drops to my foundation, mix the little cocktail on the back of my hand, and apply to my skin like normal (if I’m in a hurry, I like to apply with my fingertips). I would not recommend this for people who have super oily skin, but if you just have oily areas, I would set those areas with a powder. You can mix any facial oil that you prefer and works best for your skin. ***Do not use a water-based spray on your brush (i.e. Mac Fix +) because water and oil do not mix. The foundation will separate on your skin.
Blush + Bronzer + Highlight Underneath Foundation
This is a great way to create definition without having any harsh edges. This is going to make your bronzer, blush and highlight look like they are a part of your natural complexion as if they are coming from within your skin.
- Apply daily moisturizer, primer, etc.
- Apply cream bronzer to the areas that you want to define. I like to apply to the areas where the sun naturally hits my face (cheek bones, sides of the forehead, bridge of the nose, and jaw line)
- Apply cream blush to the areas that naturally flush. Everyone is different so this is going to be specific to your face.
- Apply cream highlight to the areas that you want to bring forth. I look at myself in the mirror and find the areas that naturally “shine” in the light. (tops of the cheeks, tip of the nose, middle of forehead, chin, brow bone, and cupid’s bow)
- Using a beauty sponge (Beauty Blender, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge), PRESS/TAP your foundation (I would suggest a sheer coverage foundation), tinted moisturizer, BB cream, etc. into the skin (rubbing or wiping will mix the products together and make your face look muddy–this is why I recommend a sponge rather than a brush).
- Apply a light layer of translucent powder to lock all of the products into place. ( I recommend a translucent or no color powder because they will not conceal any of the products you just applied)
- I also like to apply a setting spray so my face doesn’t look powdery (I would recommend any kind of facial mist with glycerin, aloe, or Vitamin E in it)
This technique is going to give your skin the most natural, healthy, this-is-my-skin-but-better appearance. This is the perfect no-makeup makeup look because your skin is going to look seamless. Everything is coming from underneath rather than on top of the skin.
One of the key elements to a fresh face is creating a bright, awake, fresh looking eye area. This doesn’t mean heavily highlighting or concealing. This just means diminishing the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.
- Avoid cream foundation under the eyes: Typically you will apply your foundation first and then conceal under the eyes. When applying foundation, don’t apply any product under the eyes where you are going to conceal. The more cream products you layer on top of fine lines, the more creasing you are going to experience.
- Always apply an eye cream: The area under eyes can get very dry (very little oil production) so it is key to keep this area hydrated. It doesn’t matter what kind of eye cream you use (as long as it doesn’t contain retinol/retin-a, which will cause more dryness). I prefer a super hydrating one that contains ingredients like coconut water/oil, Vitamin E, glycerin, argan oil, etc. This will provide a good base for any makeup products you apply on top.
- Corrector: If you don’t want to fuss with applying concealer, apply a peach toned corrector (peach/salmon tones will cancel out blue tones under the eyes) in the areas needed (after eye cream and before foundation) and then apply your foundation on top when you apply it to the rest of your face.
Finding your Natural Flush
Avoid smiling when applying your blush. This is something that comes natural to most of us because it makes sense to smile and then apply blush to the areas that we think blush needs to go. BUT, smiling while applying blush is going to:
- Create fine lines that your blush will then settle into and create creasing and uneven application.
- Deceive the eye. When you smile, the apples of your cheeks change position, therefore, when you apply your blush, you are likely to be applying it in an unintended area. Apply your blush looking straight ahead with a straight face. Look at the areas of your face that naturally flush and apply to those areas. Everyone flushes in different areas so this is going to be specific to you, which will make it look the most natural.
Another great way to create a more natural appearance is to use the same tones throughout your makeup look. I like this trick as well because it also cuts down on time. Here are some ways to do this:
- Use your bronzer as an eye crease shade. Just like using a bronzer to define your face shape, use the same bronzer to define your eye shape. I like to run my bronzer through the crease to create subtle definition. This is going to create a shadow to help separate your eyelid from your brow bone. ***Tip: find your foundation in a few shades deeper and use this as a bronzer (cream or powder). I find a lot of bronzers are too orange or red toned so finding my foundation that I already like in a darker shade is going to look the most natural. If you are using cream/liquid, you can mix your beauty oil in as well.
- Use the same highlight all over. Pick one highlighter (cream or powder) and apply it to your cheeks, on your eyelids, on your brow bone, inner corner of your eyes, cupid’s bow, and on the center of your lips. The uniformity is going to pull your entire look together and make your highlight seem more natural. When your bare face is shiny from the natural oils in your skin, there is no difference in the color from one area to the next so this should be the same with your highlight shade.
- Use a cream blush as a lip color. Apply a cream blush to your cheeks and the tip of your nose and then apply to your lips. Finish your lips with a gloss and you are good to go!
- Use clear mascara on your eyelashes and through your brows. This will give your brows some shape and enhance your already beautiful lashes. PLUS, this is a major time saver.
I hope these tips were helpful. Again, the key to natural, fresh, your-skin-but-better makeup is to customize everything to YOU. There are days when I want to go full on drama and cover all of my freckles and redness and moles, and any other “imperfections,” but on a daily basis, I think it’s great to show these off.
I hope these tips inspire you to embrace your natural beauty. This is less about covering up and more about showing everything off!