Mastering No-Makeup Makeup

Sometimes it’s hard to put effort into my appearance on a day-to-day basis. After waking up each day at 8 AM, all I’m concerned about is getting my two morning cups of coffee consumed so that I am able to function like a normal person.

As much as I would like to think otherwise, when I wake up, applying a little makeup in the morning really isn’t hard at all. And when it’s done right, people won’t even think you have makeup on. It’s just a matter of the products you use, and how and where you apply them.

The goal of my no-makeup routine is to create a fresh and awakened look without trying too hard. After priming and moisturizing (reference my previous article on dry skin to see which products I use), I go straight to the holy grail… concealer. I change up the concealer I use pretty frequently, but my go-to favorites are the Nars Radient Creamy Concealer and RMS Beauty Un-Cover Up (btw… they’re coming out with a new life changing product, the Master Mixer… which is a rose gold highlighter that you can mix with any product. Check it out here).

The Nars concealer is great because it is extremely buildable, so you can apply a couple dots, or a few swipes and still notice an almost flawless finish. The RMS beauty Un-Cover Up has been favored by beauty magazines and makeup artists all over. It goes on so smoothly and looks so natural. Once I blend it in, it looks like my natural skin. Plus, this brand uses all natural and organic ingredients, which makes me feel good about using it.

I also stumbled upon the NYX Cosmetics Wonder Pencil the other day, and I’ve been dying to try it out. It’s a brightening concealer pencil, so it gives you the opportunity to be able to apply the makeup precisely, and it will also cover and brighten those larger areas.

When I use concealer on a daily basis, I apply it under my eyes in a triangle shape, between and on top of my eyebrows, the bottom outside corners of my nose, and a little on my chin. A little goes a long way with concealer, so apply a little at a time and blend before deciding if you need more (I will usually apply more under my eyes). The makeup should be blended enough so that almost all parts of the face are covered (even if it’s just a super thin layer!).

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After the concealing, I will go on to blush. I will typically choose a peach or coral to brighten my face. Cream blushes are great for natural looks and giving you a natural wash of color. I recommend the Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle or the Josie Maran Watercolor Cheek Gelee. Both of these products are moisturizing, and will provide you with a subtle yet definitely there tinted glow. I like stick cream blushes too, like the Laqa and Co Cheeky Lip. This is a great product because it doubles as a lip gloss and a cheek tint.

To apply cream blush, put a dab on the apples of you cheeks and blend outwards towards the hairline. It’s easy to be intimidated by cream blush, but once you get blending, you should have no worries. Lately I have been using powder blushes for my everyday looks solely because of the colors I have. I switch between the Nars Angelika Blush (cotton candy pink with a touch of shimmer), and the limited edition Dior My Lady Blush (mix between corals and pinks) but unfortunately it’s no longer available. Using these bright colors definitely contributes to creating a more awake, refreshed, and glowing complexion.

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I skip the contour for daily makeup… I potentially could use some bronzer depending on my paleness level (which has been at an all time high lately). I make sure to use finishing powder regardless. I think about setting powder as a nail polish top coat
of the makeup world. It is a good way to set and blend in the small amount of makeup and most importantly, make the little amount used last all day. Any setting powder will do, but I use (you guessed it) the Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder.


I have shown two setting powders I use, and like I said it doesn’t really matter which one you use. Some are better than others, but for me the Nars is my go-to.

I won’t really fill in my brows on a daily basis, unless I have a bare spot that just needs filled in. I will, however, be sure to use my brow gel. I currently have been using the Anastasia Brow Gel, but really any type of gel will do (maybe try out the NYX one for a cheaper option). Having well tamed brows, regardless of filling them in, will definitely make a difference in your overall look.

To finalize my look, I perfect my lashes. Curling is a MUST…unless you are born with curly eyelashes, and in that case you are extremely lucky. Recently I’ve started to only apply mascara to my top lashes for a daytime look. It accentuates the length and volume of my top lashes, brightens up my under eyes, and will not leave a residue under my lashes. This time of year, snow or rain is inevitable, and it will almost always contribute to my mascara smearing. By not putting any on my bottom lashes, I have noticed my mascara won’t bleed under my eyes nearly as much.

As far as the lips go… definitely a natural color would be ideal. Using a lip plumper is a great way to make it seem like you have naturally luscious lips. Many of us have heard about the Glam Glow mask and skincare obsession. They also have a highly rated lip plumper that is at the top of my list of things to buy. It comes in a matte or a gloss which is pretty cool, and personally I have to try out this matte formula.

So next time you’re getting ready in the morning for class, just remember that a little goes a long way when creating a daily makeup look, and it’s easier than you’d think to make people believe that you just woke up looking that #flawless.

Stay beautiful,

Alex B. 

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