How To Nail "No-Makeup" Makeup — According To Alicia Keys' Artist

There are makeup artists known for unapologetically bright lips, over-the-top contouring, and bold geometric liners. And then there's Dotti, who is better known for creating makeup looks in which the makeup itself is impossible to detect. An industry vet, Dotti has worked with Emma Watson, Cate Blanchett, and Alicia Keys — not that you'd ever know it.

So how exactly does the queen of no-makeup makeup accomplish that natural afterglow effect? First, by extending her job title beyond just "makeup" artist. The majority of Dotti's work is actually in skin prep. She starts by tapping on serums (Eminence Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum), massaging in face oils (MV Organic Skincare), and spritzing on face mists (Avène and La Roche Posay), all in an effort to increase circulation and give skin a natural radiance.


Then, she chooses products that work with the skin, not against it. "I look for products I can break down with my serums and oils, so they become a part of the skin instead of sitting above it," she tells Refinery29. After sweeping on her final touches of makeup, the pro relies on a jade roller and mists of thermal water to melt it all together — all while simultaneously stimulating the skin to maximize that flush.

See precisely which cosmetics make up her tightly-edited makeup bag — and the complexions of seemingly bare-faced celebrities — ahead. Then get ready to mist, tap, and roll your way to your most natural makeup look yet.

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It doesn't seem fair that we have to brave stinging cold temps to get a natural, rosy flush. Dotti echoes the effect in sunny LA and under studio lights with sheer lip and cheek tints. "If I decide to do a cheek, it’s all very see-through, transparent, and as close to the yellows and pinks that our skin naturally produce," the makeup pro says.
Lilah B. Divine Duo™ Lip & Cheek$46.00 Buy
There's foundation, and there's faux-ndation, which makes skin look as if makeup weren't even a factor (even though it was). "If I want to warm the skin up, I think about how am I going to do it so it doesn’t look like it has anything on it, yet it looks finessed and polished," she says.

Formulas with sparkle are a definite no-no, as are those that don't mesh well with skin care products like serums, oils and moisturizers. This unique formula (and editor favorite) is right in step with her methodology. "These tinted oils are amazing. They do refine the skin and it does cover, but it doesn't weigh the skin down and you don’t see it on the skin," she says. "It has a semi-satin finish and it comes in beautiful shades. It does set quickly, so you've got to work with it really fast."
Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation$42.00 Buy
"When you’re trying to make your lips like you’ve been making out? I call them passion lips," Dotti says. And who wouldn't want that? "If I decide I want a tint on the lip without really doing a lipstick, I use something that has a lip balm quality. I love the beautiful, organic formula of this lip tint."
Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Dream State$49.00 Buy
Ever notice how "no-makeup" makeup often means a dewy AF, bordering-on-greasy complexion? Not for Dotti's clients. "This is called a powder, but it doesn’t feel like a heavy powder on the skin. It has more of a rubbery, silicone feel. I pat it in with my BeautyBlender," she says. "It’s great for taking the shine off and for sensitive skin. It doesn't clog, make you look dry, or capture creases — it just molds and moves as you move, which I love."
Rae Morris Invisible Mattifier Face Powder$80.00 Buy
Dotti's unwavering advice when gunning for a natural-looking complexion? Invest in good brushes. "Makeup looks best when it's seeped into the skin and a brush will speed that process up and give it more of a natural finish," she says. "This one has a nice egg shape and a little bounce in it so you can buff product into the skin."
Artis Elite Oval 8$70.00 Buy
Ultra-natural lashes look like they haven't even been touched by a wand of mascara or an 2-hour extension appointment. But some of Dotti's most bare-faced clients indeed wear mascara — it's just cleverly applied so no one can tell. "If I use a mascara, it’s not a heavy one," Dotti says. "It's enough just to apply this conditioning mascara to the roots of the lashes in order to define the eye."
Serge Lutens Serge Lutens Beauté Mascara$65.00 Buy
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