Playing with makeup is something most of us have done since we were children. The glitter, glamour, beauty and fun designs are part of what makes us go wild for new palettes and outrageous shades. The possibilities are endless, as seen by more and more intricate designs across Hollywood, YouTube tutorials, and social media. Some show off optical illusions while others teach us how to get the perfect eyeliner wings. Still, others reveal what a difference contouring can do and there are plenty of videos of men and women showing half their face without makeup and the other half creating the illusion of someone completely different with help from plenty of eyeliner, lipstick, blush, foundation, fake eyelashes, highlighter and more.
For all the fun designs you can create with makeup, it's important to also know how to look natural. Sometimes there are occasions where we need to look a little more professional or conservative to be appropriate, so how can we wear enough makeup to cover our flaws but not so much that it's obvious? That's where the experts come in. They know the ins-and-outs of natural-looking makeup and they're ready to help! Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to apply natural-looking makeup, according to the experts:
25 When You Purchase Makeup, Go With Colors That Compliment Your Skin Tone
If you want your makeup to make you look flawless and natural, you need to buy products that actually match your skin tone.
We all know a girl's makeup doesn't match when her jawline and neck are two completely different colors.
The next time you go shopping for some makeup, take your time to test whether your favorite items are an appropriate shade for your skin. If you're not sure, you can always ask the person behind the counter - they might offer you samples or can help you find the right color.
24 Always Start By Washing Your Face
You wouldn't start painting on a filthy canvas, would you? The same goes with your face. Some people have delicate skin and struggle to find a face wash that doesn't leave their skin dry or oily. Buy small bottles of various face washes until you find the perfect wash for you. The best ones are fragrance-free and gentle. If you tend to have dry, flaky skin, go for an oil-based wash. For shiny, oily skin, try an oil-free foaming face wash.
23 Apply A Light Moisturizer As Soon As Your Face Is Clean
After washing sweat, dirt and debris from your face, don't forget to use a light moisturizer. According to Dr. Ellen Marmur M.D., a dermatologist in New York City, you always need to apply moisturizer right after washing your face. Dr. Marmur explains:
"If you wait even a few minutes, the surface cells dehydrate and are actually harder to moisturize."
"Moisturizers provide key nurturing ingredients to your skin, leaving you with a clean and hydrated surface." Of course, too much of a good thing can make it tricky for makeup to stick, so don't go overboard with the application if you're about to apply makeup.
22 Choose An Appropriate, Well-Lit Area To Start
If you think you look great beneath that fluorescent light in your bathroom, you probably do. If you think that look will transfer just as well to an environment with natural light, then you're likely to get a pretty big surprise. If you want to appear as if you aren't wearing any makeup and you know you'll be walking around a shopping center, then try to replicate the environment's lighting so you can appear as flawless as possible. Remember: Lighting really can make all the difference!
21 Dab A Little Foundation With Your Finger Or A Sponge
Grab that foundation you just purchased that perfectly matches your skin tone. Using your fingers or a sponge, apply a few spots of foundation to your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Blend from the spots on the outside of your face toward the center.
The key here is to blend it into your skin evenly.
You don't want to have splotches of makeup that stand out regardless of the lighting - remember you want to appear as natural and flawless as possible, so blend, blend, blend!
20 Concealer Is Key
We all get bags under our eyes from time to time and some nights we just don't get the sleep we need. This leaves us looking tired the next day, so focusing on our eyes is important. Grab some concealer and use a small pointed brush to add a dut beneath the darkest area of your bags. Adding a tiny amount in other areas that the concealer missed is also recommended. Once again, you're going to blend that conceal to give yourself a fresh appearance.
19 Set The Concealer, Moisturizer, And Foundation With A Translucent Powder
By adding a translucent powder after applying the foundation and concealer, you're allowing them to set.
Make sure the brush you use is a powder puff, not a powder brush.
The puff does a better job of keeping the powder in place, while the brush can leave a bit of loose powder behind. The puff may still leave a bit of extra residue, so use the brush to help flick off any extra powder. Remember to blend in a circular motion.
18 You Need Four Basic Eyeshadow Shades For Your Eyes
For your eyes, you'll need a highlighter that is a shade lighter than your skin, a matte mid-tone shade, a contour shade that is two-to-three shades darker than your skin and a matte black shade. You'll need these four basic shades to apply and blend for a natural look. Each one is necessary because our eyes have depth - including where our bags usually reside! To help make ourselves appear more alert and natural, make sure to have these four basic colors.
17 Apply The Lightest Shade First
When you get started, you'll need to use a flat brush to apply the lightest shade to the inner corner of your eyes. Always remember this is your starting point. It is the perfect location for blending outwards later and is easy to follow along with the shape of your eye.
When applying this shade, make sure to tap the brush before applying it to remove excess powder.
This will save you some makeup and keep you from applying too much. Once that's done, apply the same color at the arch of your eyebrows.
16 Apply The Mid-Tone Next
For the mid-tone shade, grab your blending brush. You're going to apply this eyeshadow above the crease of your eye, then blend from the outer corner inward. As a little trick to make certain you aren't using the eyeshadow too far, hold your brush at the edge of your nose with the other side angled up against the outer edge of your eye. Everything below that line should be clear of eyeshadow. If you've overdone it, simply wipe it off with some tissue paper and start again.
15 Now For The Contour Shade
When it's time to contour, remember you need to apply it from the outer corner of your eye and you'll need to blend it onto the crease of the outer half of your eye. If you blend too high, the lighter shades will mix and you'll wind up looking like you have deep, sunken-in eyes.
Avoid this and your mid-tone shades will appear higher than the counter shade, which is exactly how it should appear.
Beneath your eye, mix the mid-tone color and contour shade and apply them from the outer corner of our lash line until it meets the highlighter.
14 Blend Baby, Blend!
While looking into the mirror, angle your face from one side to the other, tilt upward, downward and every angle you can get. If your eyes and face aren't picture perfect, now's the time to fix it. Blend that eyeshadow and make certain there are no spots on your skin. While blending your eyeshadow, remember to move from the lighter shade to the darker areas, not vice verse, or you'll wind up looking more like a raccoon than a gorgeous woman.
13 Apply A Matte Black Eye Shadow To Outer Corner Of Eyes
To really make your eyes pop without going overboard, apply the matte black eyeshadow to the outer corner of your eyes and also right up against the bottom lash line.
This will give your eyes a dramatic appearance without going overboard.
Make sure to use a flat brush to keep from smudging, smearing or adding too much produce. Try to get as close to your lash line as possible, this will keep you from adding an extra shadow to your features.
12 Draw Or Paint On A Thin Layer Of Eyeliner
Depending on your preference, draw or paint a thin layer of eyeliner to your lash lines. This color should be either black or brown and applied very carefully. Too much and it's obvious you're wearing makeup, too little and you may as well have stopped after moisturizing your face. While applying the eyeliner, lift your eyelid with one hand and look down into a mirror as you apply with the other hand; this will offer the best angle and easiest method to apply your makeup.
11 Carefully Curl Your Lashes
When curling your lashes, grab your curler and place it at the base of your upper eyelashes. You don't need to squeeze your curler very hard to achieve the appropriate curl.
Simply capture your lashes in the device and press for approximately five seconds per eye.
Even if your eyelashes haven't perfectly curled, you will still be able to achieve the look you want after applying the mascara, which will help set the curve of your lashes and thicken them up as well.
10 Apply Mascara
When applying mascara, don't dip the brush in and out of the container. When going for a natural look, you will only need a single coat, but besides that, pumping the wand will not allow for the extra product to stick to the bristles. Simply pull the brush from the container and apply to the upper and lower lashes while the tip of the brush is angled toward the outer corner of your eye. To appear as natural as possible, you will not have to apply multiple coats. simply pull the brush from the container and apply to the upper and lower lashes while the tip of the brush is angled toward the outer corner of your eye.
9 Practice False Eyelashes If You'd Like
For a natural look, you don't need false eyelashes, but if you prefer to have a modest pair, take some time to practice applying them. According to Cosmo, remember to purchase lashes that compliment your eye shape.
Make sure to follow the instructions that come with your lashes.
Always peel the lashes from the outer edge, never from the inner corner, just in case you bend or break a lash. You may need to cut excess hair from the false lashes to fit your eyes, so remember to always cut from the vein.
8 Use A Soft Blush To Slightly Color Your Cheeks
Now that you're finished applying your eye makeup, it's time to move on to faster, simpler things. To fake a natural flush, you'll need a blush that matches your natural look. To get a feel for the right shade, go for a quick jog. When you get home, rush straight to the bathroom and you'll find your natural flush. Your natural lip tone is also a great guide for your flush. Once you get your shade right, you'll pat the blush onto your cheeks, and add a barely perceptible amount on your chin, forehead and the bridge of your nose. As with most other steps, make sure to blend the blush evenly in those areas.
7 You Can Use Lipstick Or Lip Gloss - Or Both!
If you prefer to use lipstick, remember to use a shade just brighter than your natural lips. If you prefer a gloss, follow the same instructions by using one shade brighter than your natural color.
Of course, no one said you only have to choose between one or the other!
Go ahead and use lipstick then add a little extra shine with a layer of gloss. New York makeup artist Denise Del Russo also recommends using a color-adjusting lip gloss that helps change the shade of your lips to better suit your personal skin tone.
6 Practice Staining Your Lips For A Long-Lasting Natural Look
There are many ways to create a lip stain, which many people swear by simply because you don't need to worry about reapplying product throughout the day. It also creates an effortless look that doesn't shine or smudge. One simple way is to mix a dab of Vaseline with a darker lipstick. The blend of the two will result in a natural-looking lip stain that lasts hours. Another great method is simply applying lipstick, then using a tissue to cover your lips. While still covered, apply translucent powder with a lip brush over the tissue. Once you remove the paper from your lips, you'll reveal a gorgeous matte stain that lasts all day long.
5 Fill In Your Eyebrows
You've got your base, eyes, and lips all dolled up. Now all you've got to do is focus on your eyebrows! As we get older, our eyebrows tend to thin. If you over-pluck, the spots where the hair doesn't quite fill becomes more obvious and you've got to take care of it without looking like you've got a ton of product.
All you need is an eyebrow pencil.
You don't want to just draw them on, you want to use short, dash-like strokes to gently fill in any problem areas. Of course, you'll need to use a pencil that matches the color of your hair.
4 Brush Brows With Spoolie
If you're having trouble and aren't sure what shape your brows should be, try grabbing a spoolie brush. When you brush your brows up with this handy dandy tool, it reveals the shape of your natural eyebrows. This is also a great trick to use when you're plucking to keep yourself on track. As you brush upwards, you'll find the areas that can use the most help with your pencil. It can also help make the light application of eyebrow coloring appear more natural.
3 Use Bronzer Wisely
You've got a flawless, natural look now but you've got some bronzer that you'd love to use.
When choosing your color, go with a shade that is only one shade darker than your natural skin tone.
Using a wide, fluffy powder brush with a rounded tip, gently apply a small amount of bronzer to your forehead and follow the shape of your hairline then down to your cheek, then back to your jaw and along the jawline to your chin. Apply a small amount to your cheekbones while making the duck face and sweep upward toward your hairline. Add a touch more over your chin, nose, and neck. Focus on areas the sun would normally hit, like the bridge of your nose and tip of your chin. Using a new brush, blend the bronzer to keep everything even.
2 Contour The Easy Way
Try out a powder contour that is only one or two shades darker than your skin. Find the hollow space right beneath your cheekbones. This is where you'll gently apply the powder. Using a small, fluffy brush with rounded edges, swirl the brush into the powder, blow off excess product and apply it directly onto the hallows of your cheeks. You can also add a light dusting across your forehead, just below your hairline, to add a little extra dimension.
1 Invest In A Weightless Makeup-Setting Spray
Now that your gorgeous look is complete, you want to make sure it stays that way. Hunt around for a bit for the best long-lasting makeup setting spray for your lifestyle. There are sprays that cater to your type of skin as well as those who have sensitive skin.
Once you've found the right kind of spray for you, shake the bottle.
It's important to get all those ingredients nice and mixed before you spray it on your face. Hold the bottle 6-8 inches from your face then spray in giant X then giant T shapes across your face to get your eyebrows, nose, lips, cheeks, and forehead. Be careful not to get any in your eyes and you're all set (pun intended)!