More often than not, perfecting that ‘no-makeup’ makeup look can be more challenging than applying a super-intense smoky eye. While dramatic makeup calls attention solely to your eyes or lips, natural looks don't have one specific area of focus, and finding that balance between the perfect "I woke up like this" radiance and a completely naked face can be a tricky one. If you are eager to go for a barely-there effect, read on for our tips.
Opt for bold neutrals: Swap your traditional lineup for a palette of soft, earthy shades that mimic the tones of your own skin. If you must wear eye makeup, stick to matte neutral shadows to contour the shape of your eyes, and trade your traditional black liner for a softer brown tone. You will want to use a light hand when applying the product to your top lash line, then blend it out to diffuse the color so that there isn't an obvious line. Another way to amp up the intensity without going overboard is to use the same brown hue to rim your lower waterline. Frame the overall effect with a defined brow, but choose a color lighter than you normally would so the focus isn't completely on your arches.
Add strategic highlights and washes of color: When you are working with a minimal look, skin often ends up with a too-flat appearance if you are strictly using foundation and concealer. That is why a lightweight foundation or a tinted moisturizer is the best option to show off your natural complexion, and you may want to apply concealer only where you need it. That being said, for the makeup look you may want to lighten up on your contouring technique, and instead, use a warm blush on the apples of your cheeks to give skin some warmth. A sheer highlight blended onto the tops of your cheekbones will enhance the glow you already have going on. Top everything off with a sheer pink stain on your lips.
Don't underestimate the power of mascara: One reason those ‘no-makeup’ looks on the red carpet always seem to pop around the eye area? Though most people may deny it, the answer often lies in a few well-placed individual faux lashes. Applying falsies may seem pretty counterintuitive when it comes to a low-key makeup look, so try mirroring the defined lash look with your favorite mascara and a clean spoolie brush. After a few pumps of the curler, apply a few even coats from root to tip, then brush through with the spoolie to separate and de-clump your lashes.