Start by exfoliating
Getting your bare skin glowing will make it easier to get gorgeous skin without caking on makeup. Start with an exfoliating treatment to buff off any dead skin. “If you get off the dry skin, you get that smooth surface for when you apply makeup,” says Hannah Baylog, lead makeup artist trainer with Blushington makeup and beauty lounge in Dallas. Don't miss these face-washing mistakes you didn't realize you were making.
“No-makeup makeup is all about the skin, so it’s very important to have very hydrated-looking skin,” says Mariah Jere, market manager, and makeup and hair stylist for WarPaint International Beauty Agency. Start with a toner or rose water, then add a lightweight moisturizer—ones with hyaluronic acid tend are good for all skin types, she says. Don't make these makeup mistakes that make your skin look dry.
Prime your skin
Applying a primer before makeup will help your makeup last longer. “Primers have different purposes depending on the formulation,” says Jere. “The variety of primer depends on the skin type and what you want the end results to be.” Assess your skin type, then decide whether one that’s smoothing, oil-controlling, or color-correcting is best for your needs. Here are more ways to make your makeup last longer.
Swap foundation for tinted moisturizer
Tinted moisturizer gives you lighter coverage than traditional foundation, letting your natural glow shine through. “Light to medium coverage is my best recommendation for that kind of natural look,” says Jere. Here's how to use makeup to fake flawless skin.
Pick the right foundation
If you need more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, go for a water-based foundation, which will give you a barely-there feel while evening your skin tone. “Oil-based ones can sit on the skin and separate more,” says Baylog. “Water-based formulas tend to be more long-lasting while still looking dewy instead of matte and heavy.” Mix your foundation with a bit of moisturizer to look even more fresh-faced, says Jere. Find out how to make your beauty supplies last longer.
Use tools designed to blend
Swap out your usual foundation brush (and don’t use your fingers!) for a beauty blender, which will keep your makeup from looking thick and cakey. “That will give an airbrushed look and apply flawlessly without looking heavy or painted-looking like a brush can,” says Baylog. Avoid these other makeup mistakes that make you look sloppy.
Define with bronzer
A cream-based bronzer just a couple shades darker than your natural skin tone will let you emphasize your natural shadows without creating a heavy contour. Blend it into your jaw, temple, and over your cheekbones to get a natural look. “It gives a little sculpting to the face and warmth,” says Jere. Try these makeup tricks that make you look thinner.
Fake your glow
Sweep highlighter over your cheekbone, brow bone, and the inner corner of your eyes to look like you're glowing from within. “It’s that highlight that makes people say, ‘You look so glowy,’” says Baylog. “It looks like you’re radiating light.” Check out these makeup tricks to look less tired.
Add a natural flush
“Especially if you’re using foundation, you mute the natural color you’d have in your cheeks with a flesh-toned base, so you want to add some of that back in,” says Jere. To return that natural flush, Baylog recommends using a cream blush or cheek stain to get a healthy glow without the powdery look of a traditional blush. Stains look complicated but apply easily with your usual blush brush or beauty blender, she says. If the color is too heavy, press a beauty blender against the pigment to take off the excess while leaving on the light glow you want.
Blend, blend, blend
iStock/Kae Horng Mau
Harsh lines will make it obvious that you’re wearing makeup, so be sure to blend them in. Use a big brush to blend powder or bronzer under your chin and down your neck. “People tend to skip that step,” says Baylog. “Even makeup artists do the face and forget the neck and décolleté.” Here's why you should always wash your makeup tools.