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I've been really into natural-looking makeup lately—in other words, "no makeup" makeup. Don't worry, purple eyeshadow is still on the menu for me sometimes... but these days I often find myself wanting to enhance my natural beauty rather than transform it, if that makes sense?
Over time I've developed a pretty consistent "no makeup" makeup routine, so today I thought I'd share how I do it, plus a couple quick tips and tricks for adding "oomph" to your look without making you look like you've totally piled on the slap. Even better, the whole look can be achieved with the few super-affordable Maybelline products pictured below!
I suppose I should probably show you a "before" picture prior to starting so you can see the differences—"no makeup" makeup is subtle, but not invisible. This is what my face looks like immediately after taking a shower and moisturizing:
Not as creepy as my passport photo, but probably not my most glamorous look either.
I generally start out my natural makeup routine by applying foundation to even out my skintone and make me look a little more alive. The "no makeup" makeup looks requires me to go easy on the eyeshadow, so there's little risk of fallout, plus I just prefer to start that way. Call me crazy.
I ended up using a mixture of Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation in Porcelain Ivory (10) and Ivory (15). I wrote a full review of this foundation about a year ago and was a big fan—it has a light, liquidy texture that feels weightless on the skin and is really easy to blend, plus the finish is a natural, healthy-looking matte (not super cakey or powdery-looking). I'm kind of in-between the two lightest shades, but they're inexpensive, so why not grab both and mix them? (I did!) After that I sometimes follow up with an under-eye concealer (like Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Eraser).
The next step is to apply a bit of eyeshadow that's about the same color as your skin or a hair lighter. The idea here is to brighten up your eyelids about and camouflage any redness or veins you may have there, not to vamp it up. I used the base color from Maybelline's ExpertWear "Almond Satin" Eyeshadow Trio, which I applied all over my eyelids and right up to my browbone.
Here's where things get slightly more complicated: Tightlining! You may have heard the word "tightlining" to describe one of the following makeup application methods:
- Applying eyeliner to the upper waterline, or
- Using eyeliner (especially gel or liquid) to line the spaces between eyelashes.
I'm not sure which is actually the correct use of the term, but in this case it doesn't matter—I do both! I prefer to use a waterproof pencil (like Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner) or gel pencil for the waterline portion—you don't want something that will smudge off easily when you blink, but it needs to be soft enough to glide across the waterline without feeling like you're ripping your eyes out. ENGAGE EYEBALLCAM!
For the lash portion I like to go at it with a liquid liner with a super fine point—that way you can just dot lightly in between the lashes without having to press down too hard. (I like to be gentle on my eyes, go figure.) Maybelline's Master Precise by Eye Studio liquid liner pen works really well for this purpose because the tip is long and skinny, which makes it easy to dot dot dot without smearing liner all over the rest of your eyelid.
Now, if you've never tightlined before you may be wondering what the point is. Basically, it's a way to get the drama of eyeliner without having a big old fake-looking line on top of your lids. Don't get me wrong, a chunky cat-eye liner is what I wear a lot of the time, but it doesn't exactly look natural, you know? Knowing how to tightline can also be useful if you have small lids that are prone to smudging and transferring color like crazy—the color's all deposited right around your eyelashes, so it's harder for it to get everywhere.
The next step is perhaps the most important: Mascara! Seriously, mascara is one of those few products that can perk up your look all on its own. I used Maybelline's Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara—it's a new volumizing mascara that has special cup-shaped bristles desined to scoop, coat, and lift lashes. To get the most of out of this mascara, brush upwards from the root of your lashes—the bristles lifts the lashes while the creamy formula helps set them in place. The instructions recommend not letting the mascara dry in between coats, because once they set, they stay pretty firmly in place!
Normally I would finish all of my eyeliner before going in with mascara, but I thought it might be useful to skip the tightline on one eye just to show you how much of an effect it has:
Big difference, eh? But it doesn't look like I'm wearing gobs of makeup either (well, at least I don't think so).
Everything after that is a piece of cake—just a few finishing touches to make things look more polished!
My brows are naturally pretty sparse, so I do try to pay a bit of attention to them. My routine is usually pretty simple: Fill in any "bald" areas with a brow pencil, then sculpt and set them into shape with a brow gel. I've really been liking Maybelline's Eye Studio Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara lately because it has a hint of color to it—the "Soft Brown" shade is an excellent match for me, and I feel like that hint of color helps define brows better than clear gel.
Next I apply a bit of blush on the apples of the cheeks—nothing too dramatic, just a sheer flush of color! I used Maybelline's Dream Bouncy Blush in Peach Satin, which looks VERY bright in the pan, but is actually really subtle and lovely.
Last but certainly not least, the lips! I recently rediscovered Maybelline's Color Elixir by Color Sensational liquid lipstick in Rose Redefined when I was shopping my stash for my "Use It Or Lose It" series—I got this in a beauty box a while back and ignored it at the time for whatever reason, but I'm so glad to have reincorporated it into my routine lately because it's a perfect "my lips but better" color for me and it smells really lovely too. And that's what we're going for here—natural beauty, enhanced. (Nice smells aren't mandatory, but always a plus.)
And that's all, folks! Here's the before and after with the final look:
Looks like me, but slightly more refreshed and put together. And sometimes that's more than enough.
If you want to try out Maybelline Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara for yourself, look for it at your local Walmart store—you'll find it in the Maybelline aisle and/or on a special endcap in the beauty section! And of course you always shop Maybelline at Walmart online and check out Maybelline's at Walmart's page for more makeup tips.
What do you think of my "no makeup" makeup routine and tips? Do you have any natural makeup tips and tricks of your own? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.