The Working Actress’ Guide to Fast ‘No Makeup’ Makeup That Actually Stays Put

The Working Actress’ Guide to Fast ‘No Makeup’ Makeup That Actually Stays Put
Photo: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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Makeup for auditions can get a little tricky. First, you have to consider the character. That might seem obvious, but you really need to dive deep, read the sides and script (if they’re provided), and get as much information as possible. Let’s say you’re going in for a cop role (yesss, let’s get our SVU on!). You probably want the best “no makeup” makeup in lieu of a full beat. After all, this is a badass cop bustin’ down doors to secret drug labs and having contentious debates with lawyers in the courtroom: I OBJECT!!! Sorry…got a little excited. Back to my pointthis cop doesn’t have time to put on three layers of foundation, powder, a cat eye, and a red lip.

To be honest, when do any of us have time for an extensive routine outside of special occasions? We’ve got places to go and people to see, right? For example, here’s how my morning routine usually goes:


Dark. Messy. A 7am alarm goes off.


(Yawns) Is it really already time to get up?! I just went to sleep 5 hours ago.

After another 20 minutes, Danny peels herself off the bed and stumbles out of the bedroom.


Danny opens the fridge and takes a swig of the Trader Joe’s cold brew waiting to jolt her back into existence. She stretches.


After a ridiculously extensive morning skincare routine (cleanser, essence, vitamin C, moisturizer, lots of SPF), she checks her planner and proceeds to freak out about an audition taking place in a couple short hours.

With that being said, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time perfecting an everyday “no makeup” routine that could work in the boardroom, dorm room, or any other room, for that matter. Keep reading for my tried-and-true starting five.

bareminerals powder foundation The Working Actress Guide to Fast No Makeup Makeup That Actually Stays Put


Step 1: All About That Base

The best-looking makeup starts with your skincare. I live in Los Angeles where it’s usually warm and sunny (except for a beautifully cloudy, rainy period we call June Gloom. Oh, how I miss those days.). You want to make sure your skin is hydrated and protected—emphasis on protected because SPF is extremely important. Pack it on. Take it with you. Remember to get the tips of your ears too.

The first step in my makeup routine is a powder foundation and the one I use regularly is the bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Foundation. I prefer powder foundations because they’re easier to reapply throughout the day when I’m in and out of auditions and work. Also, this one has SPF 15 in it. It’s difficult to reapply my sunscreen throughout the day, so this does the trick for me.

glossier cloud paint The Working Actress Guide to Fast No Makeup Makeup That Actually Stays Put


Step 2: I’m Blushing

I’m all about bringing a little color and dimension to the face, regardless of how minimal my routine is. Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk has been my go-to for a couple years now and it never disappoints. It’s a pretty pinkish, brown nude that looks glorious against my skin tone.  I use it as I would a highlighter, tapping it along my cheekbones and apples of my cheeks and gently patting it all in.

Seriously, what was I doing with my life before I discovered this? It always leaves my skin looking healthy and luminous.  And If I feel like I need a little extra pop of color, I’ll layer on a bit of Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Blush on the apples of my cheeks. Just remember that a little goes a long way with this one because it’s very pigmented!

laura mercier mascara The Working Actress Guide to Fast No Makeup Makeup That Actually Stays Put

Laura Mercier.

Step 3: The Eyes Have It

I never wear eyeshadows to auditions, but if you’re a makeup addict and need that swipe of color on your eye to make you feel like the best you, go for it boo! I would just say the more natural, the better. Stick to neutrals. Eyeliner isn’t necessary, but I personally love a nice thin line of black or brown eyeliner to make my eyelashes look a little fuller. Speaking of eyelashes, is anyone else obsessed with Laura Mercier’s Caviar Volume Mascara? It gives my lashes volume and length without making them look clumpy.

abh brow wiz The Working Actress Guide to Fast No Makeup Makeup That Actually Stays Put

Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Step 4: Fill Your Arches

I’ve been blessed with naturally thick brows, so I don’t always feel the need to fill them in; particularly when I’m going to audition for a younger character. The age range I can play is 17-29, so I have to adjust the placement and heavy-handedness of the products I use according to the age of the character I’m going in for. If I do decide to fill in my brows, I go for my good ol’ Anastasia Brow Wiz and fill in any sparse areas, keeping it as natural-looking as possible.

kora noni lip tint The Working Actress Guide to Fast No Makeup Makeup That Actually Stays Put

Kora Organics.

Step 5: Pucker Up

Most of the time I don’t like using glosses for auditions because, well, they’re too glossy and shiny, and I don’t like wearing lipsticks because they can age you. I stick to tinted lip balms. Nowadays, my absolute favorite is the Kora Organics Noni Lip Tint. It’s hydrating, gives your lips a nice bit of sheen, and comes in a beautiful berry shade that works for all skin tones.

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