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Everything You Need to Know About "No Makeup Makeup"

One of the biggest trends in beauty right now is the ultra-natural look of “no makeup makeup.”

There are over 606,000 #naturalmakeup photos on Instagram, and there’s an unending and ever growing library of "natural makeup look" tutorials on Youtube and Pinterest.

Many of us are also embracing the #nomakeupmondays movement by forgoing makeup in favor of fresh, natural faces.

figure-1-copyIn a study from the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology male and female participants were shown photographs of 44 women without makeup and then with makeup they’d applied before going out.

The men and women surveyed overwhelmingly preferred the photos of women with 30-40% less makeup.

Celebrities are even joining in releasing deliberately unretouched or non-Photoshopped professional photos and posting No Makeup Challenge pics to social media.

Fashion Week saw its share of barefaced models, like the Spring 2015 show in which Marc Jacobs sent models down the runway wearing nothing more than moisturizer and some concealer.

00120h_1280x1920This new interest in au naturale beauty could be a response to the heavily made up celebutantes that are constantly in the media.

A survey by Datamonitor Consumer found thatstat

And 45% percent want their looks to reflect their age.

How do I create the natural look?

This I’m-not-wearing-makeup effect is easy to pull off when we’re young and we don’t look much different with or without makeup.

But, as we age, our eye circles darken, our complexions can become duller, and you might think it’s harder to rock the no makeup look without using, well, a ton of makeup.

But, I’m here to give you a quick step by step walkthrough to achieve an “I-woke-up-like-this” face that doesn’t require a professional makeup arsenal.

This look is great for everyday and weekends or anytime you don’t want to bust out a full cat eye.

First Things First

The very basis of the no makeup look is to embrace and showcase your natural face, and the foundation of barely-there makeup is glowing, well cared for skin!

  • Start with a gentle cleanser that is formulated for your skin type. Don’t know which one is right for you? Find out here!
  • Exfoliating skin 2-3 times per week will remove excess dirt and debris from skin and buff away dead skin cells. This encourages the growth of healthy, new skin cells so your skin is encouraged to repair blemishes and is left radiant!
  • Follow up your cleanser with a toner to remove any leftover makeup, excess oil, dirt or residue left behind by your cleanser. The first time I used toner, I was shocked to see everything that still came off on the cotton round after I’d cleansed my face! This will also balance your skin’s pH and prep it to absorb moisture.
  • Finally, apply any moisturizers, serums or treatments allowing to absorb into skin before starting your makeup. And don’t forget your daily SPF (which can come in a tinted formula, see below!).

Now that your skin is prepped and ready to go, let’s let your natural beauty shine!



1. Prep skin

Start with clean, exfoliated and moisturized skin. This will give you the ideal canvas so makeup blends easily.

2. Primer

A primer gives you a flawless surface for makeup by smoothing skin and blurring imperfections.

Use a primer before applying liquid makeup, or use a tinted version like this one that provides you with light coverage and SPF 30 protection!primer

3. Tinted Moisturizer or BB Cream

A tinted moisturizer acts like your regular face lotion but includes a bit of tint like liquid makeup to give you light coverage.

As another option, you can even mix a couple drops of liquid foundation with your regular moisturizer.

BB creams offer more coverage than a tinted moisturizer but are less heavy than foundation.

They also usually include other benefits like light SPF protection and anti-aging ingredients.Advanced-Mineral-Makeup-Skincare-by-Alana-10-Reasons-Anti-Aging-Anti-Acne-Mineral-Makeup-Beautiful-Skin

You could skip this step and go completely bare, but evening out your complexion with a light liquid makeup will make it look like you’re wearing none even if you’re wearing some.

Either way, just make sure you keep application light, not heavy.

You want to see your adorable freckles showing through!

Pro tip: Sometimes getting a perfect skin tone match can be tricky, especially with tinted sunscreen. If you’re trying to decide between two shades, when in doubt, go for the lighter shade rather than a darker one for a more natural look.

4. Concealer

Using a light touch, apply concealer to cover any imperfections such as blemishes or dark eye circles.

This foundation is a fave of mine! It does double duty by flawlessly evening out your complexion while providing coverage to target trouble spots.

Don’t forget to blend edges of concealer by patting with your finger or a sponge for perfect coverage!

powder5. Powder

If you have normal to dry skin, you can probably skip the powder step.

However, if your skin is on the oily side, apply a dusting of a loose or packed powder to your T zone or oily areas of your face.

Use a large, fluffy brush in a circular motion to apply and blend powder to reduce shine without looking too matte.


Swirl a little powder blush onto apples of cheeks and blend with a fluffy brush so it looks soft.

Cream blush is also a great option.

Dab onto apples of cheeks and blend up and out.

Keep it light to achieve a natural rosy glow and avoid looking like stage makeup.


Bronzer is also an ideal way to achieve a natural glow.

Apply a light layer of bronzer anywhere sun would naturally hit your face, such as your forehead, top of your cheeks, and your jawbone.

Don’t forget the bridge of your nose and your chin for a natural, sun-kissed look!

Optional: Create fresh, dewy skin by following up with a highlighter or illuminator. Dab on tops of cheekbones, bridge of your nose, brow bones, chin and cupid’s bow (that space just above the middle of your top lip) for “I just walked out of an enchanted forest” skin. I like to highlight the browbone and corner of the eyes to really lift and brighten eyes.where-to-apply-illuminator


1. Eyebrows

Full or filled in brows add a youthful touch to your overall look.

Chances are, you had fuller eyebrows when you were a teenager.

Unless you were a victim of the thin-brow trend in the 90’s (thanks, Drew Barrymore).

Plus, our brows tend to thin out as we get older.

Use a brow powder or pencil one shade lighter than your natural brows to fill in bare spots, then comb with a brow or spooly brush.

To stay on the natural side, make sure they’re not overdrawn, just filled.

If you’re fairer, you can use just a light brow gel to shade brows and set them in place.


2. Eyeshadow

This step is optional, but if you choose to go with eyeshadow, use a soft, natural shade.

You really just want to highlight your eyes and bring a little definition to your crease.

Avoid any hard edges or dark shades.

I love these quad colors! The pigments are rich and the mineral formula is long lasting and smudgeproof. Plus, each little palette gives you a few colors and combos to discover your best look!

If your eyes still need a little pop factor, use a soft shade of eyeliner pencil (think grey or brown) to dot between your top lashes.IMG_0030_pp

3. Mascara

Mascara is the quickest and easiest way to brighten eyes and showcase their natural sparkle.

Start by curling lashes, then add a single or double coat of mascara to top lashes.

Either skip bottom lashes or apply a very light coat to avoid heavy or spidery lashes.

mascaraThis is my everyday mascara, and I love it! It’s formulated to create little “tubes” around each lash rather than just coating them. There’s no flaking, smudging or running, and no clumping so your lashes look full and natural. And, it comes off easily with gentle washing, so there’s no need for harsh makeup removers!


1. Nude Lip Color

When it comes to natural lips, you have a few options:

  • Choose a shade of lipstick that is close to your natural lip color or one shade brighter.
  • You can also use a lip pencil in a nude shade to outline lips. Blend color inward, and finish up with a lip balm for long-lasting color.
  • Finally, you can go super natural by using a tinted lip balm for max moisture with just a touch of color. This is a great option during dry seasons when chapped lips make lipstick a challenge.lipstick-1137534_960_720

No matter which way you choose to go, stay close to your natural lip color to highlight your perfect pout!

Final Thoughts

The whole point of no makeup makeup is to let your natural radiance shine through.

It’s all about rockin’ what you’ve got and subtly accentuating your already beautiful features.

Highlight your glowing skin, show off your sparkling eyes, embrace your cute freckles, and enjoy the effortlessness of this look.

After all, you’ve already got a gorgeous mug.

Show off your best bare faced look!

Do you have more tips and tricks for no makeup makeup? Share them with us in the comments section!

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