How To Fake Your Favorite Instagram Filter

Your selfie needs a little something. Of course, you could slap a filter on it — Rise, Mayfair, or Valencia, perhaps? — but you could also learn how to fake the look of your favorite filter with your own brilliant makeup expertise. We asked NARS makeup stylist and catwalk pro Helena Kastensson how to go #nofilter for real.

Probably the most flattering filter of all, Mayfair floods the frame with soft, pink light, brightening up the center of your face and making skin glow (naturally, Instagram knew about strobing way before you did). "Highlights should look as if they’re coming from within your skin, not sitting on top," says Kastensson. "Start with mixing some glow into your foundation — I like NARS' Illuminator in Copacabana. If you need more, highlight the highest planes of your face only — cheekbones, bridge of your nose, under your brow, and Cupid’s bow."

Try: Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour in Hollywood & Highlight, $29; Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent, $38.
Rise & Valencia
Say hello to health: Rise’s soft, golden tones leave you looking fresh and rested, while Valencia gives a light radiance. A pink-based concealer will rival Rise’s eye-brightening properties. The color helps to correct blue to disguise undereye shadows, says Kastensson. "Put it in the inner corners, where the shadow is darkest, and feather out to nothing," she tells us. "Always wear eye cream underneath; it’ll help you blend."

For instant Valencia, dust bronzer in a semi-circle around each eye from temple to cheekbone, following the perimeter of the face down onto your jawline, and (here’s the kicker) from the crease of your eyelid up to your brow. "It’s a little trick that makes you look more awake," says Kastensson.

Try: Ren Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift, $45; Benefit Cosmetics Erase Paste Brightening Concealer, $26; Marc Jacobs Beauty O! Mega Bronze Perfect Tan, $49.
X-Pro II
If X-Pro II is your go-to, you’ll need a cheat sheet in definition and contour. "Lightening the center of your face pulls your features forward and creates contours without having to do any actual contouring," says Kastensson. "Dot NARS' Radiant Creamy Concealer in a semi-circle around each eye, down the bridge of the nose, around your nostrils, out to the corners of your mouth, over your chin, and blend out." Remember that brows need attention, too. For a dramatic but natural effect, always make the arch darker than the head or the tail, says Kastensson. Finally, lips and lashes look saturated under X-Pro’s warm glaze, so go as bold as you like with both.

Try: Diorshow Fusion Mono in Equinox, $30; L’Oréal Brow Stylist Plumper Brow Gel, $9.99; Bobbi Brown Nourishing Lip Color Oil Infused Shine in Claret, $28; Revlon Dramatic Definition Mascara, $8.99.
Amaro devotees love this faded filter for its ability to wash out blemishes and redness. "No matter what you’re trying to cover up, keep your base as sheer as you can and let your concealer do the hard work," says Kastensson. A touch of color-correction underneath your base will help. Green or yellow undertones will disguise redness around the nose, mouth, and eyes, while some post-foundation handiwork with a yellow-toned concealer will knock blemishes into the background.

Try: Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15, $46; NARS Concealer in Pear, $25; Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Neutralizer in Vert Green, $38; Vichy Dermablend Corrective Stick, $28.

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