How to do a Natural No-Makeup Makeup Look

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I really should have titled this post “how I’ve worn makeup for the past 4 years” because this new phenomenon of the no-makeup makeup look is a routine I’ve been using since day one.  I hardly ever have time to do a full face, and by a full face I mean: foundation, filled in eyebrows, contouring…the whole bit. Over time, I’ve found a way to minimize my routine into something simple and natural!

Clean slate

First up is HYDRATE! Whether you choose to be cake face or natural, hydration is the main ingredient in every makeup routine. Since I have dry skin I have to combat the issue of my makeup becoming flaky and scaling off (trust me it sounds as gross as it looks). When I need a little extra moisture I use Smashbox Hydrating Primer but recently I’ve been using good ole water. Yup…water! I started working out recently so I’ve been drinking a lot more water than usual (I try to crank out 40 ounces a day). I have noticed a huge difference in my skin; it’s more even toned, and I hardly get my “time of the month” acne anymore.

Use concealer without foundation

Now that my skin has cleared I rarely reach for my Nars Luminous Foundation anymore. I typically start my routine with two types of concealer. I use my Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer to brighten and my Maybelline fit me (shade is darker than Nars) to conceal. The colors together blend really well and then I use my Laura Mercier Translucent powder to set it. If you need to use a foundation I suggest using a tinted moisturizer or bb cream and then use a beauty blender to blend for a sheer look.

Use powder instead of cream

I’m the girl that never leaves the house without a contour. Over the years, I’ve developed this insecurity about my nose, and my face looks really round if I don’t add any definition to it. Since I have dry skin I normally stick to creams and liquids but when I’m going for a no-makeup makeup look I like to use bronzers and powders. Sometimes I will use a cream contouring shade (loving my ABH one) and then set it with a powdered bronzer. I’m sure you’re probably thinking “there is nothing natural about contouring” but you would be amazed at the difference that shade and formulation will make. If I use a powdered contour color that is a shade darker or maybe even the same shade as my concealer as a contour I can still get some natural definition in my face. The trick is to not carve out too many lines on your face and to use a light hand when applying. Once you put blush on it will all look very natural. Which brings me to my next point…

Load on the blush

I say “load” because it’s currently 95 degrees in the bay and my face feels like its melting! On a regular day, I would say don’t go crazy with the blush. You want to look flushed..not burnt!. Rule number one is don’t apply directly on your cheeks. Apply upwards just above your contour. It will not only help blend your contour, but it will also look more natural. I typically choose my blush based on the weather. If it’s a hot day out I like to go with a deep mauve color with a reddish tint (my mac raizen blush is perfect) because it blends with my skin tone effortlessly and I can apply a lot of it since I know the heat will probably cause me to sweat most of it off. If it’s winter I usually will go with a brighter color or a pretty coral because the pigmentation will last on my skin longer. I know this may seem backyards; considering we wear deeper tones in winter and brighter colors in summer but unfortunately for me the weather calls the shots. Since the goal is to go for a very minimal and natural effect I like to wear whatever color will set into my skin nicely.

Final Touches

I always end my routine with a quick brush of my eyebrows, some mascara and a lipstick to match my outfit. The eyebrows thing is a new trend for me. I have naturally thin and shaped eyebrows so I never bothered to do anything with them. Then I went to a makeup party and we all had to challenge each other to try something new so I decided to play with my brows. I attempted to fill them in (but I looked like I had caterpillars on my face), so I decided to just shape them up with a spoolie. The effect was amazing! I arched them so that you can see them over my large glasses, and I haven’t looked back ever since. Mascara is always a must simply because….its mascara. Next up is my favorite…LIPSTICK! I never leave the house without it. My lipstick choice depends on my mood or outfit for the day but since this is a no-makeup makeup tutorial I would suggest a nude or gloss. I personally love “styled in sepia” with a brown liner or mac lip glass in spite. Both are neutral sheer tones on me. If I want something to accentuate my lips I will reach for my mac in velvet teddy (it’s more cooled toned and pink than styled in sepia).

Be sure to leave your no-makeup makeup routine below. I would love to read them!

kierra again



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