How to finally master the no-makeup makeup look

A step-by-step guide with Christina Sikalias

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / March 23 2022

As far as makeup looks are concerned, we’ve tried it all. 

From Euphoria-inspired glitter makeup to floating liner, we’re not ones to run scared from a challenging makeup trend.

But one makeup look that’s left us stumped since we first started playing with the stuff is no-makeup makeup. 

An undeniably subtle take on beauty, no-makeup makeup requires an expertly light hand when it comes to application and the foresight to know when enough is enough. 

We’ve always struggled with putting down our makeup brushes and stepping away from the mirror in time. That’s why we’re employing the help of a professional – makeup artist Christina Sikalias – to guide us through the process and master the illusive technique once and for all…


“Start with a luminous base”

“Start by prepping your skin with an emollient moisturiser,” advises Sikalias. “This will help even out any dryness, [and] smooth and soften the skin” prior to makeup application.

Follow up with “an illuminating primer that contains subtle pearls in it,” she says. “This will add that ‘lit from within’ glow and make you look extra hydrated.”

As for foundation? Sikalias recommends sticking “to cream or liquid foundation”, and she also has a trick for achieving sheer coverage and a more natural finish.

“Mix a little moisturiser into your foundation,” she says. “It'll dial down the coverage and give skin a dewier, natural finish.” 

Good to know…

We recommend: 

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion PM ($22.99 at Chemist Warehouse); Revlon Skinlights Face Glow Illuminator Sunrise Luster ($12.47 at Chemist Warehouse); and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation ($70 at MECCA).


“Spot conceal any blemishes or redness”

Sikalias prefers a light hand when it comes to coverage, and opts for spot concealing blemishes and redness in lieu of heavier application techniques.  

“If you have dark circles, however, I suggest patting it in with your finger,” says Sikalias. “Then finish off with a light dusting of translucent powder in your T- zone.”

We recommend:

Kosas Revealer Concealer ($42 at MECCA) and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($58 at MECCA).


“Brushing up the brows with a clear brow gel”

“[This] makes the biggest difference for no-makeup makeup looks,” says Sikalias. 

Why? Because it makes “your brows look fuller without needing to fill them in with a pencil,” she explains. 

Eyebrow pencils “can appear heavy when paired with light makeup.”

We recommend:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel in ‘Clear’ ($39 at Adore Beauty).


“Cream blush instead of powder”

Sikalias recommends reaching “for a cream blush instead of powder to get a natural-looking glow” that adds to your no-makeup makeup look. 

Alternatively, if you’re confident with a liquid blush, that can work well too. 

We recommend:

FENTY BEAUTY Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush and ($35 at Sephora) and RARE BEAUTY Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($34 at Sephora).


“Use a darker foundation to contour”

“I like to use a darker foundation to contour rather than a bronzing powder,” Sikalias admits. 

“It'll add definition without too much striping or streaking, so that you can add shadows that look natural and seamless,” she explains. “I suggest using a shade that is two shades darker for contour.”

We recommend:

HOURGLASS Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick ($72 at MECCA).


“A soft natural eye”

“A great shadow for a soft natural eye is just a wash of bronzing powder,” Sikalias admits. 

“Sweep it over the whole lid and then add a little more into the socket,” she advises. “It’s a soft look that adds natural definition.”

We recommend:

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer ($74 at Charlotte Tilbury).


A “finely milled and creamy” highlighter

As far as highlighters go, Sikalias recommends “a finely milled and creamy formula that melts into the skin, [making] it easy to achieve that "glass skin" effect.”

We recommend:

Christina Sikalias Luce Del Sole Illuminating Powder ($58 at Christina Sikalias).


“A subtle glossy lip”

A lip gloss is “the last step to complete your natural-looking makeup look,” according to the makeup artist. 

Why? A lip gloss is key for  keeping “your lips looking and feeling moisturised all day long,” she says. “A subtle glossy lip goes perfectly with a fresh, dewy, hydrated look.” 

We recommend:

Clarins Lip Comfort Oil ($39 at The Iconic).

This isn’t the first time Christina Sikalias has blessed us with her sage makeup advice. She taught us how to nail dewy makeup

Main image credit: @christinasikalias

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).