Top Tips for a Natural Makeup Look

When it comes to makeup, most people want to look like themselves with a bit of “pop” - not as if they have on gobs of makeup. Sometimes you may want drama, but on most days, if you’re like most people, you probably want to look pretty natural. Here are some of my top tips for your bringing out the natural you.

Face

If your skin is normal-to-dry or dry: 

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Use a sheer moisturizing tint such as Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 to even out skin without looking like you have anything on. I recently did makeup for someone who almost never wears any cosmetics. Because I didn’t want to scare her I used this product, assuring her that she would not look like a “painted lady".  And because she actually liked it, I gave her a tube so she can use it every day for moisturizing benefits, and, more importantly, sun protection. As I keep saying, never leave the house without sunscreen. If you don’t want to use a tint, still use something that has a sunscreen. I am currently moisturizing with LaPrairie Crème Biologie Marine Avancee Jour SPF 20 under my foundation - I always make sure my moisturizer and foundation have sunscreen in case I missed applying somewhere.

If your skin is oily:

Clean and Clear
Clean and Clear

For especially oily skin, try an oil-absorbing powder in place of a foundation. And carry oil-blotting papers with you so you don’t have to keep reapplying – if you continually reapply, the powder might start to cake up and not look natural at all. On shoots I’ve been using Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets – they are very affordable and great for every day too. Just press them right where you need to blot excess oil.

Cheeks

Bare Minerals Warm Radiance
Bare Minerals Warm Radiance

For the natural look image above I used a soft red-ish bronzer. If you’ve read my other articles, I don’t mean to bore you by recommending some of the same things over again – but I do love the tried and true and will only share the things I really like. This is Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Warm Radiance – the shade is so versatile I use it on almost all skin tones. It’s a loose powder so you have to be careful or it can make a mess - dip the brush in lightly and then tap off excess before application. I believe Bare Escentuals recommends just dipping the brush into the top cap to avoid getting too much product on the brush. It’s a definitely good tip.

Eyes

For a natural softness, use shades that blend into skin and hair tone. This is generally more earthy shades, such as soft beiges, creams and browns. Be sure to blend well.

Eye Shadow

  • A soft beige eye shadow with a touch of shimmer from lash to brow
  • A soft rust shade in the outer corners (a little rust shadow accent complements her natural hair color)

Eye Liner

Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara
Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara

I lightly applied brown eyeliner on top lash line. To keep it subtle, always apply right on lash line, not outside or inside of it. If you stay on the lash line it just makes lashes look fuller.

Lashes

Try brown or black/brown mascara on top lashes only. I am still a big fan of Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara. It never clumps and always looks natural. I am also allergic to most mascaras but I can wear this one!

Brows

Clinique Brow Shaper is super-easy to use as far as brow shaping goes. The shades are subtle and it comes with a stiff brush that helps you shape without looking “drawn on”. Apply lightly and then step away from the mirror to make sure you’re using just enough product to lightly define brows.

Lips

On this model I used a sheer gloss with a bit of lip color. I like the non-sticky lightness of Clinique Almost Lipstick (one of their best-sellers and my favorite is a shade called Black Honey).

The shades listed here work for most skin tones. If you have a deeper skin tone you can use the same shades, just with deeper pigment. For example, instead of brown use a black eye liner and mascara. In addition, use brands that have more pigment-rich colors in general, such as MAC, Stila or NARSViva au naturale!

MODEL IMAGE BY:

Photography, Chris Eckert

Model, Melinda Lennox

Hair, Kristan Serafino

Makeup, Robyn Tamura

Get the J.Lo Glow!

One woman who wears makeup right is Jennifer Lopez. She is always glowing. Next time you're watching TV, look at people's makeup and compare the difference. For example, sometimes newscasters look orange or greyish or too pale (I know sometimes they have to do their own makeup so we can cut them slack, but take a look). Below are some things you can do to try on the glowy look as shown here. When J.Lo goes red-carpet-y and glamorous, she does it just right. The Look Basics

Blend well.  Makeup looks soft, with edges fading away. Here and elsewhere, her makeup is almost always well blended.

Skin looks natural. Her foundation is used to smooth and even her skin, and the shade gives her a slightly warmer look.  Again, the makeup is so blended and smooth it gives her a non-makeup-y glow.

Focus on eyes. The makeup draws attention to her eyes. Everything else is muted.

Face

Bronze. After foundation, apply bronzer at hairline, on forehead and down the sides of face. Bare Minerals Warm Radiance works on many skin tones for both men and women. It gives a touch of warmth without looking unnatural or orange-ish.

Brighten. Choose an under eye concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone; blend under eyes to the tops of your cheekbones. This is what gives her that bright-eyed look. I like YSL Touche Éclat for this because it's so lightweight it doesn't look like you added a lot of makeup.

Flush. Use a soft pink cheek color, concentrating color on the apples of cheeks and up cheekbones. Blend so it fades away.

Eyes

Start with a pink base. Use a pink eye shadow all over eyelid, blend up to (but not on) brow bone. Make sure the pink is not too bright. It’s not a garish pink, it’s soft, slightly pink shade.

Use a plum shadow in crease. Apply a dark plum eye shadow at the base of lashes, in crease and blend up, fading into the pink.

Apply black eyeliner. Use a black kohl eye pencil on the inside and on lash line. Meaning, right next to the whites on the inner part of eyeline is lined black, as well as on the lash line.

Blend brown eye shadow slightly underneath the lash line. Blend a golden brown shade under the bottom lash line. Use a thin brush to smudge and blend.

Lashes. Her top lashes are long, even and perfectly separated—if you’re why wondering they’re so perfect, it’s because they’re falsies. If you’re feeling adventuresome, try falsies on your top lash line. If not, try Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara in black.

Brows. Use a brow powder, such as Clinique Brow Shaper, to lightly fill in brow shape. It's easier to use a powder than a brow pencil. I always recommend filling in your natural brow shape…unless your brow shape is all over the place. If so, pluck the stray hairs around your brows first and then fill in.

Lips

Nude. Line and fill in lips with a light pink-beige pencil. Then use a matte lipstick of a slightly lighter shade, concentrating color on the middle of the lip. Look closely and you can see that the lipstick is slightly lighter and then blends out to a slightly darker lip line. You can also use a light, nude gloss on top for extra shine.

Voila. The J.Lo glow!