Makeup. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with our makeup routine, right? It seems like even when we painstakingly follow every step in those makeup tutorials, our cat eyes end up looking more like sad clowns and our contours make us feel like a Picasso painting. That's why it's so important to use makeup to enhance your natural beauty!
It can certainly be frustrating for those of us who feel like we have no idea what we’re doing. (And c’mon — isn’t that most of us?) But, as they say, the key to wearing makeup is to look like you’re not wearing it. So how do you achieve that more natural, I-just-woke-up-like-this glow you had as a 16-year-old? Well, here are a few tips that will help you put your best face forward!
Treat your skin right
The expression that “beauty is only skin-deep” can actually be taken literally. Your skin is the canvas for any makeup you’re applying, so you want to make sure it’s fresh, clean, moisturized and ready to go before you do anything else. Even if you plan on applying makeup all over your face, don’t forget to protect it from the elements — particularly the sun. Make sure to apply a moisturizing sunscreen daily (yes, even if you’re staying indoors) and remember that the “magic number” for SPF is 30. (Here’s a simple hack to help you keep that in mind: To have the face of a 30-year-old, apply SPF 30.)
And don’t forget to protect your lips, too! Keep that pucker nice and pouty with an SPF 30 lip balm to hydrate and protect you from those damaging UV rays.
Prime for perfection when you use makeup to enhance your natural beauty
If we’re going to compare your skin to a canvas, it follows that your face needs a little primer before you start “painting,” as it were. The purpose of primer is to help your makeup glide on smoothly and evenly and last beyond your midday lunch date. But be aware that not all primers are created equal. You’ll want to find a primer that fits your skin type — whether you’re dry, oily or have slightly larger pores.
Go easy on the foundation in your daily makeup routine
The goal shouldn’t be to hide your face — it should be to use makeup to enhance your natural beauty that’s already there! So with that in mind, resist the urge to shellac your foundation on your face like a mask. Instead, start minimal. Depending on your skin tone, you’re going to want to pick either a pinkish (for fair skin) or yellow undertone (for darker, olive-tone skin) for foundation and then use a brush or a beauty blender to apply it lightly around your face until it’s evenly distributed.
If you don’t like the idea of wearing foundation every day, you could simply use a tinted moisturizer, BB cream or CC cream to give your face some light coverage.
Wake up your eyes
Sure, you might have only gotten three hours of sleep and you feel like an extra on The Walking Dead, but no one else needs to know that! Give your eyes a bright, wide awake look by putting a few dots of concealer underneath them as well as in the corner by your nose. Aim for a concealer that’s two shades lighter than your regular skin tone. Make sure to blend it lightly with your finger or a brush.
Set yourself up for success when you use makeup to enhance your natural beauty
Okay, so you’ve got your face all moisturized, primed, covered and ready to go. Now it’s time to hold all that base-level work in place with a good setting powder. A mineral setting powder that hides fine lines should do the trick nicely. Again, the key is to go light here so you don’t give off Mrs. Doubtfire vibes or mess up your foundation/base. Use a blending brush and focus on applying the powder on areas of your skin that are more prone to shine. (For many of us, that’s the T-zone.)
Add a little color
Now that you’ve got everything all set to last, here comes the fun part where you get to add in some color! Bronzer can give you that nice I-just-got-back-from-a-vacay-in-Hawaii look provided you apply it in the right spots. Aim for the areas of your face that would typically see the most sun — your hair line, the top of your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and blend, blend, blend!
After that, you can make yourself look even more fresh-faced with a little touch of blush on the apples of your cheeks. Got a round or square-shaped face? Experts say to try applying it in a C shape from your temples to your cheekbones. You can even add a little blush to your temples or the bridge of your nose to create a more defined look.
Go for a subtle contour
While contouring may not be your thing (and it’s perfectly fine if it’s not), you can take things one step further by applying a cheek contour to the hollows of your cheeks, your jawline and the sides of your nose to give yourself a more defined look. The idea is to create shadows that will add angles to your face. And since shadows are the key here, pick a contour that’s a couple shades darker than your foundation. And don’t forget to blend!
Frame your face with your brows
Those of us who over plucked our eyebrows in the early 2000s are probably still trying to catch up to the full-brow look that’s in style today. But even if your eyebrows are on the thinner side, you can still plump and feather them up with a little brow brush or spoolie, filling in with a pencil, powder, gel or liner when needed. The key is to have your brows begin from the inner corner of your eye with the arch roughly two-thirds from the middle of the brow to the tail. Follow your brow’s natural shape as well as the direction of your hair when you’re filling in sparse spots.
Pick a complementary shade of shadow for your eye color
That dramatic smokey eye certainly has its place and can be a knockout for date night, but in your everyday use, try to stick with an eyeshadow that enhances your eye color.
- For blue eyes: Pick browns, golds, roses and neutrals
- For brown eyes: Pick purple, warm rust, bronze and gold
- For green eyes: Pick purples, bronze and silver
- For hazel eyes: Pick pink, copper, purple or green
There are obviously no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to beauty trends, so the No. 1 goal is to choose whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and confident in your own skin.
Draw a fine line
To make your lashes look a little fuller and to give you that coveted doe-eyed look, try adding a small bit of eyeliner as close to your lash line as possible. If you want a natural look, don’t stray beyond your natural eye line.
Curl your lashes before adding mascara
You might think that mascara alone will do the trick in creating those baby doll lashes — but if you’re skipping out on curling them, you’re missing an important step. Curling your lashes will give them that extra boost when you’re going for a bright-eyed look. When you apply mascara, look down so that you can get as close to the root of your lashes as possible without getting those annoying smudges on your eyelid.
Don’t forget your lip color
Lighten up a little
Finally, you can really play up your features by finishing things off with a little highlighter or illuminator. Apply it lightly (ha!) to your cheekbones, cupid’s bow, bridge of your nose or your forehead to achieve that heavenly glow when you use makeup to enhance your natural beauty.
Shop the Brigitte Brianna Cosmetics collection
At SexyModest, we believe in helping women bring out their individual beauty in whatever way helps them feel the most confident and comfortable. To help you look and feel your best is our ultimate goal! That’s why in addition to providing women with cute, affordable modest clothing, we also created a high-quality makeup line that’ll help you create a makeup routine that’s beautiful, easy and affordable. Each product is paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and manufactured in the U.S.
Stop worrying about what you’re putting on your face every day — shop the Brigitte Brianna Cosmetics collection and you’re sure to find a few new favorites!