Look your best—with way less!
More is less when it comes to the latest trend in cosmetics with the rise of the #nomakeupselfie on Instagram and celebs like Beyoncé tweeting pics of themselves fresh-faced. Surprisingly, going light-handed with cosmetics may actually make you appear better looking: Both sexes rated women wearing a natural makeup look as more attractive as compared to a "going out" look, according to The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Not quite ready to embrace the no makeup movement and go completely bare-faced? Here, expert tips to play up your natural beauty without looking like you tried too hard.
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Your complexion can appear dry if you’re not buffing it once a week to remove dead skin cells, says Amy Holdsworth, manager of AWAY Spa at the W Retreat on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. She suggests mixing up this easy exfoliating cleanser once a week: Combine 3 tablespoons each of ground coffee (caffeine contains age-fighting antioxidants and diminishes under-eye circles), shredded coconut (which is gentler than harsher ingredients such as gritty almond seeds), and coconut oil (its super hydrating). Apply with circular motions for two to three minutes, rinse with warm water, and follow with your favorite moisturizer. Or try Kanshi’s Coconut Facial Exfoliator. The scrub uses sugar and coconut shell powder so it’s gentle enough to use a few times a week, and it smells delicious.
Minimize the need for heavy foundation and bring out your natural glow by feeding your skin with antioxidants, which protect against skin-damaging free radicals. “Vitamins C and E are the most commonly used, and the most time-tested,” says Ildi Pekar, owner of Ildi Pekar Skin Care in New York City. She suggests applying rose hip oil to speed up skin cell growth, as well as essential fatty acids that support skin elasticity and boost collagen.
Creating a flawless-but-natural look will set the foundation for the rest of your look. “To minimize the number of products you use, go for a multitasking tinted moisturizer with SPF so you’ll get coverage, hydration, and protection all in one,” says Pekar. We love Hourglass’s Illusion Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15 because it evens out skin tone without looking cakey and has moisturizing hyaluronic acid.
Use a base color that goes over your entire lid—a shade like sandstone, for example—to brighten your eyes and even out redness for a flawless look, says Erica Abdo, a makeup artist who works at Fashion Week in New York City. [Tweet this tip!]
A tinted lip balm in a natural peachy shade adds sexy shine and color while softening your lips, says Holdsworth. Or just rub some powder or liquid blush over your lip balm for a moisturizing stain.
Your eyebrows affect your face more than any other feature, so keeping them well groomed will help you look polished without needing a lot of makeup. Abdo says she sees many women who pluck their brows too thin for their features, so she recommends that every woman see an eyebrow specialist who can create the most flattering shape for their face. Try using a brow pencil to create a higher arch and fill in bald areas for the illusion of thicker brows.
If your skin appears flawless, your eyebrows neatly shaped, and your lips look soft and pink, the only other thing you really need to define your features is mascara, says Holdsworth. Try a waterproof kind to help prevent raccoon eyes, or if you have naturally dark lashes, use clear mascara for subtle definition.