No-makeup makeup. It’s a paradox, right? Unless you’re blessed with a pre-filtered face, you’ll need to work to look like you just #wokeuplikethis. Without an oxblood lip or smoky eye, perfect skin and great brows are key.
Layering is your first lesson. Rather than a foundation that’ll cover redness and bumps while leaving you looking a bit corpse-like, you need a base that offers a bare-skin effect through optical diffusors (usually through the use of finely ground minerals) that bounce light off the skin and create an instant glow. If needed, you can sandwich this between a radiance-boosting primer and some color-correcting trickery, but again, layer lightly. Beyond that, keep your textures sheer and glowing, and blend, blend, blend — then, blend again. Here’s what you’ll need to achieve the look...
Of all the light-boosting primers flooding the market right now, this is one that doesn’t scream disco ball. Layer it under (or mix it into) your foundation or tinted moisturizer to amp up dull skin, create light-catching contours, and make whatever comes next last far longer. Becca Backlight Priming Filter, $38, available at Sephora.
Beware the ultra-skinny brow pencil — so many fail to make an impression. But that's not the case with this best-selling piece of brow brilliance. It’s feathery enough to look completely natural, but packs enough pigment (in genuinely real-life shades) to properly transfer onto the skin and stay there. The Precision Brow Pencil, $26, available at Kevyn Aucoin Sephora.
This whisper-light liquid bronzer holds more technology than you’d believe: a caramel-derived tint to warm the skin, bronze pigments to add dimension, a filter that cuts out unflattering red and yellow tones, and light-refracting polymers to minimize imperfections. The bottom line? Skin looks fresh, real, and golden. Photography Fluid Tan Opacity 8%, $32, available at Niod Niod.
Your aim with eyeshadow is threefold: to even out discoloration across the lids, define the sockets, and keep the natural sheen of bare skin. Cream colors tick those boxes, but tend to travel (especially in the heat), so satiny formulas win out. Style Eye-Con No. 3 Plush Eyeshadow in The Ingenue, $39, available at Marc Jacobs Beauty Marc Jacobs Beauty.
This easy-to-use foundation stick releases just the right amount of product for a natural look. Bonus: the sponge tip blends like a dream, so there are no telltale streaks or lines. Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $39.50, available at Estée Lauder Sephora.
To mimic the flush you get when your skin’s been hit with some sun, try stippling a tawny-pink cream blush (so much more glow-giving than powder) over the tops of your cheeks
and across the bridge of your nose. Try a gentle swipe over eyelids to really pull the look together. Convertible Color Palette in Sunset Serenade, $39, available at Stila Sephora.
It's not new and it's not cheap, but it's genuinely one of the best. This concealer works just as well under the eyes as it does on redness and shadows around the mouth and nose. Plus, it won’t cake or flake — ever. A judicious dab of this here and there might even be enough to skip your usual foundation altogether. Concealing Pen, $52, available at Tom Ford Nordstrom.
Get Less Red, Look Less Tired, and Don’t Be Dull are Smashbox's shade names for these new complexion-correcting pencils — and they’re as genius as they sound. Sketch over offending areas to cancel out red tones and brighten dark circles and shadowy patches. Tell us you don’t want every single one.
Color Correcting Stick in Look Less Tired, $23, available at Smashbox Sephora.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the
Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!