How To Create That No Makeup Look

Makeup palettes contain infinite possibilities -- from no-fuss daytime looks to chic evening looks, to dramatic shapes and colors that transform your face into living art. Whether you like to treat makeup like a costume or, like me, you prefer to use it to enhance what nature gave you, you can do it with a couple of brushes and a little bit of time. Most no makeup looks are more elaborate than they seem but don't worry. It's easy to nail the no-makeup look with a couple of simple steps.


A smooth canvas is a prerequisite for pulling off the no makeup look, so exfoliate and moisturize religiously to keep your skin soft, clear, and dewy. If you have blemishes, dark eye circles, or uneven coloration, some lightly applied color-correcting concealer can help even things out while still letting your natural beauty shine through. The trick is to choose the right colors: green balances out red, yellow balances out purple, and blue balances out orange. If you have dark skin, orange is helpful for a wide variety of discoloration.


While liquid formulas are often easiest to use for a no makeup look, properly applied powders can work just as well if you use a light hand and blend thoroughly. Don't worry if your favorite powders break on you, either -- I use a makeup repair kit to make them good as new and get them right back into rotation. If you do choose powders, pick matte formulas instead of satin, shimmer, or glitter. It will give the "barely there" appearance that's desirable for a natural look.

I prefer to put on foundation after eye makeup to make it easier to correct any smudges or fallout first. Apply a neutral eyeshadow just to the crease of the eye. A matte pinkish beige is my go-to color. (It helps eyes stand out without giving that "Hi, I'm wearing eyeshadow" look.) After eyeshadow, curl eyelashes and apply some brown or brown-black mascara. Curl eyelashes, apply a brown or brown-black mascara, and groom and fill brows.

Skip heavy foundation and opt for a tinted moisturizer or your favorite bb cream. While foundation is helpful for people who need full coverage, it can sometimes err on the side of looking too perfect for a natural look. Since the rest of my makeup is going to be applied with a light hand, I like my base to be too. I also like to make sure that my products offer some SPF to help avoid age spots, redness, and wrinkles caused by sun damage -- if you want to show off your natural beauty, you've got to preserve it!

Cream blush is great for a natural, no-makeup look that avoids the cakey look some powders can give. Apply it just to the apples of cheeks, patting instead of rubbing, and blend out thoroughly. Warm peach shades look good on a variety of skin tones. Lastly, finish with a sheer gloss or matte lip color. I like to stick to colors just one or two shades darker than my natural lip color, just to give my color a little kick while keeping lips smooth and moisturized. Lip stains are helpful here since they offer sheer color without requiring frequent reapplication like a gloss or a lipstick would.

A no makeup look can be deceptively complicated, but starting with well-prepped skin, skipping heavy foundation, and choosing colors that are only slightly darker than your natural coloration makes it easy to pull off. Apply makeup lightly, blend thoroughly, and you'll be on your way to looking naturally and effortlessly beautiful.

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