Some days you want your makeup to look natural and not too “done” – at a low-key work lunch, during morning carpool, or when you’re wearing a really fancy outfit, for example.
But going bare-faced is probably not what you had in mind! With the right products and techniques, you can make the most of your natural beauty without wearing a ton of makeup.
STEP 1: Prep the Palette
Great makeup always starts with fresh skin. To fool them into thinking your luminous skin is nature’s gift, start by washing, toning, and moisturizing your face.
“Also, drink lots of water to plump the skin from the inside,” says Pittsburgh-based makeup artist Patty Bell. Skin cells are made of mostly water, and if you're dehydrated, your skin will look and feel dry, too.
Bonus tip: Don’t skimp on sunscreen just because you’re going for lighter makeup. The best choice is a lightweight, oil-free sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
STEP 2: Step Off Base
Skip the heavy foundation and even out your skin with a healthy dose of sheer color from a tinted moisturizer or BB cream.
“Applying your makeup with your fingers or makeup sponges instead of brushes will also create a more natural look,” says Mary Schook, a New York esthetician and makeup artist. Use freshly washed fingertips! Next, finish by applying translucent powder -- but only where you need it, mostly around the forehead, nose, and chin.
Bonus tip: Use a light-reflecting concealer pen on dark or red areas -- around your nose, under your eyes, on your chin. Light-reflecting concealers hide small-to-moderate imperfections without caking up.
STEP 3: Fake a Natural Flush
Work with the tones in your skin. Find a creamy blush that matches your skin’s natural flush, like after you exercise.
Or you can use your lip tone as a guide. In general, powder pinks work for fair skin tones, peachy pinks work for medium skin, and brownish pinks work for darker skin.
“Blend a dot of the blush into areas where the sun would fall on your face -- apples of your cheeks, chin, forehead, and bridge of nose,” Schook says.
Bonus tip: For the most natural-looking flush, avoid makeup with a lot of shimmer or sparkle, which comes off as overdone. Pat the blush onto your cheeks and other areas, and then blend outward. You could also use the same cream blush on your lips.