Going ‘Au Naturale’: How To Achieve The No Makeup Look…With Makeup!

Every woman craves the fresh-faced no makeup look from time to time; it’s a look that exudes undeniable simplicity and effortless beauty. Unfortunately, however, achieving the no makeup look is not effortless; it requires time, patience and, ironically,makeup!

When it comes to applying makeup, there are of course times you should take it down a few notches – when you’re picking the kids up from school for instance, or when you’re wearing a particularly fancy dress that would look overdone when paired with thick makeup! Luckily, we don’t actually have to go totally makeup free for such occasions (the sheer thought makes me shudder), but we sure can fake it by creating the illusion of a makeup free face through using makeup itself! That’s right ladies: For once, you can have your cake and eat it too by mastering the ‘no makeup look’.

By using cosmetics to subtly enhance your natural beauty and deceive the eye, the no makeup look can make you look positively radiant yet without you seeming to have made much effort at all – even if, in reality, you have spent a long time making yourself look so ‘natural!’

Excited to give it a go? Then read our tips and tricks to get started!

#1 Flawless Skin


Creating the perfect canvas is the key to looking like you have no makeup on, so you’ll need to spend most of your time focusing on your skin!


Be sure to exfoliate and moisturise before you begin applying any makeup! By exfoliating, you avoid applying products onto an uneven surface of dry, flaky skin. Moisturising guarantees you’ll keep the natural dewy look. Keep in mind that natural skin is never matte!


Primer is a wonder product that isn’t used enough in everyday makeup routines! Not only does it fill in fine lines, smooth out wrinkles and help your skin to retain moisture, it makes sure that makeup doesn’t slide off your face, which, let’s face it, would not be very natural looking at all! I suggest investing in Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer for a fabulously silky base or Clinique’s Superprimer for second to none colour correction.


Tinted moisturiser makes for the perfect base because it doesn’t provide thick coverage like foundation but still evens out your skin and gives a little colour. If you’d like a tad more coverage then opt for a BB cream – they’re creamier and will provide that extra coverage without the fake foundation look.

If you simply must apply foundation, I suggest investing in the buildable sheer variety with a product like Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. You still need to see your skin underneath it so only dab and blend it on the areas that have pigmentation and use your fingers to apply it as it will give a much more natural finish.


Work hard at going over all the little red spots or patches with a concealer as this is your last step in creating a flawless base! I also wholeheartedly recommend YSL Touche Eclat for banishing dark circles under the eyes; after all it is famous all over the world for giving that instantly awake and refreshed look!


It’s vitally important to banish any visible lines or differences in colour and texture, so blend till you can blend no more! Foundation lines under your chin or concealer smudges on your forehead are not going to make you look makeup free!

#2 ‘Organic’ Cheeks


When it comes to faking a natural flush, there is one important rule you need to keep in mind: Stick to colours close to your natural skin tone! Think about which shade of pink your cheeks turn when you blush naturally; this is the hue you want to stick to!

Undeniably, cream blush looks more natural than powder blush and ensures you retain that ‘dewiness’ that’s oh so important! Check out Mac’s Cremeblend Blush, which is available in a variety of natural shades. Tinted lip balm is also fantastic for creating that moisturised lightly flushed look and, of course, you can use it on your lips too!

Touch Of Highlighter:

I’m a huge fan of highlighters and not even the ‘no makeup look’ is exempt from the pearly liquid in my book! For a radiant glow, dab a little on your cheekbones, or, for an even subtler effect, you can mix your highlighter with your moisturiser! I’m definitely not suggesting you go as far as to sculpt yourself cheek bones like in my contouring article! There is certainly no shine, gloss or shimmer involved in the no makeup look – you just want to add a touch of luminosity! You really can’t beat Mac Strobe Cream since it’s definitely one of the most subtle highlighters out there!

#3 Minimalist Eyes


Heavy eye makeup is a dead giveaway that you’re wearing makeup so approach your eyes with a light hand!


If you’re blessed with long eyelashes, work with what you have and simply curl them! If mascara is your makeup must-have, then only apply one coat and preferably use brown mascara as opposed to harsh black!

You can also make your eyelashes look thicker with a little eyeliner, but again use brown or grey instead of black.


Adding colour to the eyelids is not exactly natural looking so resist the temptation! You can however sweep a tiny bit of brown eye shadow in the creases of your eyelids to create definition and make your eyes stand out.

Extra tip: if you plan to use eye shadow then it’s even more important that you apply primer to your lids to make sure the makeup looks as natural as possible.

#4 Unfussy Eyebrows

Remember how you don’t want any visible makeup lines on your skin? Well exactly the same applies to your brows! It’s all too easy to get carried away with an eyebrow pencil and create far from natural looking eyebrows! However, your brows still frame your face so they’ll need a little of your time. Simply make sure they’re tweezed and trimmed, and then finally brush them up a little. Resist the urge to fill them in unless you are particularly self-conscious about the thickness of your brows.

#5 Natural Lips


Just as you kept to your natural tones with blush, you’ll want to do the same thing with your lips! Look at your natural lip colour and apply a colour in the same shade to make sure you just enhance what you already have. I personally suggest you skip the lipstick altogether and opt for a lip balm for both hydration and a hint of colour instead! Burt’s Bee’s Tinted Lip Balm and Clinique’s Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm are my favourites!

So get a little sneaky and start practicing your no makeup look! You’ll soon have everyone believing you have some seriously amazing genes; well that or you’ve just had a fabulous night’s sleep! 

About the author

Jane Glover

Jane Glover is a 25 year old yummy mummy with a passion for writing and all things beauty related. A literature lover and fuchsia fanatic, Jane is happiest with a novel in one hand and a deliciously pink cocktail in the other.

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