Confusingly, there exists a quantum leap between one’s natural face and what’s considered “natural-looking” or no-makeup makeup. It doesn’t mean it involves less makeup, or that you should look exactly as you do naturally—rather, natural-looking makeup is your face dressed up, but wearing lingerie rather than a red silk dress. It uses only the fundamentals, but those fundamentals are super important for pulling the look off correctly. We consider these tips the three secrets behind scoring the perfect natural-looking face.
Use a damp sponge.
We don’t blame you if you’re under the impression that a no-makeup makeup look should require as few tools and brushes as possible, but the truth hurts—and the truth is that this look requires no less effort than any other makeup you’d wear. Rather than wield tons of brushes, your best bet is to apply your base using a damp sponge, like the Beauty Blender. It’s not a regular sponge, it’s a cool sponge… and it’s one of the most efficient ways to apply makeup. Dampen the sponge, then use it to dab and blend makeup into your face. You can use the tip to attack hard-to-reach areas and layer coverage with concealer, too.
Opt for cream and liquid formulas.
Just as crucial as the application method is the types of products you choose. Unfortunately, powdery formulas aren’t known for looking natural—they tend to have a chalky finish that’s a bit too matte, and a tendency to settle into fine lines, too. Even oily skin types can find a suitable cream or liquid formula, so long as it’s lightweight and contains ingredients that help to regulate oil production. If your skin is in good enough shape to get away with the sheer coverage of a tinted moisturizer, then by all means, go ahead. As for the rest of us, we love Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, because it has the feel of a tinted moisturizer or BB cream with a bit more coverage.
Using color products within the same shade family is ideal, but using the same product on lips and cheeks is even better—it keeps the entire look cohesive, which is the way the face naturally flushes. A dual-use product like the beloved Stila Convertible Color is perfect for blending into both lips and cheeks for a subtle, monochromatic flush that’s believable.
Read more from Daily Makeover: 6 Rules for Mastering the “No Makeup” Makeup Look