A Definitive Guide to Achieving the No-Makeup Makeup Look in 5 Minutes

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No-makeup makeup look

I’ve always been a big believer in thinking that you don’t need a ton of makeup to look put together. A hint of color on the lips, a bit of blush, and a good mascara go a long way in creating that effortless look, especially when you have no time to spare.

Yet, achieving the no-makeup makeup look is widely opinionated. So much has been said about it that it can get a bit exhausting sifting through the content. Though, the takeaway should be clear: to achieve such a look does not (and should not) require 20-steps or copious amounts of time spent in the mirror. The look is here to enhance your features, to look undone if you will.

The key lies in your product selection. What you use determines the outcome.

As long as you remember to opt for products that are of high-quality, formulated to let your skin look and feel like skin– you’ll be good to go.

Here are 5 of the best tips (and ones I always turn to) to achieve the no-makeup makeup look:

Start With the Right Base

The base sets the stage for the rest of your makeup, so it’s critical you start on the right foot. Prep your skin with hydration – it can be cream, oil, or gel-based. By adding a dose of moisture, your skin is less likely to get irritated or dry throughout the day. Plus, any product you add will sit more comfortably on your skin and make blending a breeze.  

Next, if you haven’t already incorporated sunscreen into your routine, now is the time to do so. UV rays are harmful to your skin, leading to premature aging and skin cancer. Don’t skip out on this step – your skin will thank you later!

Optional Step: If you’re looking for a bit more coverage other than a concealer, you can add foundation to your base routine. But proceed with caution. Select a foundation that is light-weight, breathable, and lets your skin shine through. A tried and true favorite at PRÉIM HQ is TFO by Kosas.

Conceal Sparingly

Conceal areas that need extra coverage but do so judiciously. Best practice would be to work in layers, starting with a tiny amount of product, blend, and view the results. Then repeat. By working in layers, you’ll have more control over the amount of product applied to your skin.

Choosing the right concealer to use can be a tricky thing. Stretch, Revealer, or True Skin are all solid choices. But if you typically use one with a thicker texture, which provides fuller coverage, try blending a small amount of concealer with moisturizer onto the back of your hand or mixing plate and apply it onto your skin. This method will dilute the full effects of the concealer to give a more natural finish.

Enhance Your Lashes and Brows

Length and a bit of definition go a long way. Swipe on mascara that avoids clumps and prevents flaking. The ultimate winner to achieve this has to go Ilia’s Limitless Lash Mascara. The length is significant, yet the result looks so natural you might second-guess yourself and think your lashes always look this good.

For your brows, keep the grooming to only the essentials. Use a spoolie to brush your hairs up and outwards to create a fuller look. For thicker, unruly eyebrows, you’ll want to opt for a shaping wax to define and hold those hairs in place.

Add Color and Highlight

Forgo the use of tools here. Use your hands to apply a cream blush to the apples of your cheeks. One swipe should be sufficient. What’s superb about cream-based formulas is that they blend so easily while adding a subtle flush of color, making this a staple for no-makeup looks.

Highlighter, also in cream form, should only be added to the high points of your face (think cheekbones and bridge of the nose) and used with minimal force. Again, using your fingers, lightly dab the product onto your skin and blend.

Opt for a Neutral Lip

Stick to nude colors for the lip to complete the look. Find your perfect shade by selecting a color based on your skin’s undertone. If you’re unsure what it is, here’s a quick tip: a glance at the veins on your wrist will tell if they are blue or green. If they’re blue, your undertone is cool. Look for cool pink tones to complement your skin. If your veins are green, you guessed it: warm undertones are for you. Stick to peachy-nudes or warm brown tones.     

And there you have it, folks—a super easy, useful guide to getting the no-makeup makeup look down pat.