The must-have products you need to pull off ‘no makeup’ makeup

How to master 'no makeup' makeup

Get on board the hottest celeb-approved trend

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / June 13 2018

Pared-back makeup is all the rage and we’ve been getting some stunning inspo from all the recent ‘no makeup’ celeb shots floating around (ahem, did you see Ariana Grande’s Vogue cover? And Kylie Jenner’s recent Insta post?).

We think it’s safe to say that the ‘no makeup’ look isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, while we’re all for minimal effort, the ‘no makeup’ look can actually be a whole lot tricker than it sounds. Often you can end up with a full face of makeup when you were intending to achieve the complete opposite. *Sigh*.

In a thread on Reddit’s Makeup Addiction subreddit, user AgentLauren shared a relatable struggle. “Seriously, I've been trying to perfect a natural no makeup look that still looks beautiful, and I just can't do it. Every time I try, something just looks so off - like my makeup is only half done.”

Cue a MAMMOTH thread with every kind of tip/product/story you can ever imagine. And among them, we learned some valuable insights into the key products you need to get it right.

Reddit user pompea started off by bringing it back to basics and explaining that fresh and glowing skin is the ultimate key: “Part of the ‘no-makeup’ makeup look is embracing exactly the features that you don't always think are your best. Ideally you would hide and enhance a couple things, but overall your face should look natural and awake and with a healthy glow.”

She said, “You're not trying to convey that your face is perfect, or distract from the imperfect parts, but rather that you rolled out of bed and can still kick the world's a**hole.” Perfect choice of words, pompea.

Our suggestion for nailing the look pompea described is to seek help from products that enhance your natural beauty without making you look too overdone, such as a pore-minimising primer, a BB cream, a natural-looking mascara and a glossy balm. 

Adding a hint of colour to the cheeks is super important, too, explains pompea. “I'd always probably pat on a tiny bit of a peachy toned bronzer too, not for contour, but around the edges of your face and cheeks to give you a little extra depth that the bb cream may take away. Not a lot, either. Don't go for sun-kissed, just go for not-ghostly. Also, some concealer under the eyes if that's your thing.” 

Another Redditor suggested applying concealer with a beautyblender instead of your brush/fingers for a more natural, even look. We hope you’re taking notes!

Redditor bchmgal wrote, “I came here to say this: SKIP FOUNDATION. Use a little concealer on spots, some brightening concealer under the eye area, and some powder. I use Rimmel Stay Matte and it gives great coverage without looking cakey, especially when used on bare, moisturized skin. I've been doing this for the last few days and it's amazing.”

OG thread-starter AgentLauren went on to explain that her main issue is achieving natural coverage over the veins on her eyelids. “Without a wing and eyeshadow I feel like my eyes look strange, because my eyelids are very transparent. I have one purple vein on my right eyelid, right in the crease, so I usually wear something to cover it up and even things out. I'm struggling to find the right shade, I think.”

Apparently it’s a really common problem because there were tons of comments and suggestions in response. Redditor Kypdb8 suggested, “Try a taupe matte cream shadow. I love the bareMinerals cream shadows for a ‘no makeup’ look.” 

HappyG wrote, “I know how you feel about veins on the lid, a classic issue when you're pale like me haha, but you can counteract that by using concealer or a tinted eyeshadow base (think Urban Decay primer or Too Faced, they both have tinted and shimmer primers), or you could also get a cream eyeshadow or eyeshadow base such as the NYX Jumbo Pencils or Maybelline Color Tattoo. Look for something similar to your own skin tone or with a slight hint of colour.”

“If you don't like neutrals or browns try a soft pink, coral, cream or champagne colour, look for softer or more muted colours and blend well with a blending shade that matches your natural skin tone,” advised HappyG.

Just to recap, you will need a peachy-toned bronzer, concealer, neutralising eyeshadow and something to ever-so-subtly tint or smooth your complexion. And that’s pretty much all.

If you want some more great tips on how to master the ‘no makeup’ makeup look, check out our five secrets to nailing the perfect ‘I woke up like this’ radiance.

Do you struggle to get the ‘no makeup’ makeup look right? Have you tried any of these tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments section below.

Main image credit: @emrata

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.