Fresh is fierce, but not wearing much makeup can be nerve-wracking.
In the pop-culture mosaic of smokey eyes, contour stripes, matte skin, and even matte-er lips (can you say saran wrap?), a clean, dewy look is far more likely to grab attention. The best part? You can achieve it with products already in your makeup drawer (and even double-down with a few) to get a summer-fresh look while appearing like you’re wearing nothing at all! Here are seven steps to this season’s hottest no-makeup makeup routine:
1. Go ahead, treat yo’ self to an extra pump of moisturizer.
The first step to that pretty, J-Lo glow is to prime the canvas. Get your skin to its supplest state with a little extra care, creating a smooth, moisturized surface that’s glowing before you even reach for the highlighter. Worried about foundation slippage? Don’t. With this sheer, light makeup look, we play to your natural beauty, so there’s no mask to melt.
2. Sponges are your friend.
Foundation dictates the makeup look, but there are plenty of ways to use your full-coverage friend without taking a turn for the Kardashian. Don’t feel pressured to buy a separate product for your light makeup days. In fact, BB creams and tinted moisturizers can be more work than they’re worth. Wet a soft makeup sponge and stipple a small amount of your favorite base onto moisturized skin. The damp sponge will automatically sheer out the coverage, and the pressing motion will give you give the appearance of not wearing much makeup. Layer any additional product on problem areas, but don’t worry about covering everything. Give your skin a little breathing room; it will thank you.
3. Create a dimension with your “vacation” shade.
We all have that Bahamas foundation lying around–the one that only matched for a fleeting moment after a week in paradise. Here’s your chance to have at it again. Using the same sponge from Step Two, dunk into a shade 2-3 shades darker than your initial base. Stipple the tiniest amount just under the cheekbones, around the temples and hairline, and along the jawline. If you’re looking to bronze up a bit, add a little color where the sun would naturally hit you. This will be far more subtle than heavy powders, while also adding a bit more coverage. Want to get fancy? Blend a little into the crease of the eye (where your brush naturally sinks in on the eyelid behind the roundest part of the eyeball) to add a little depth.
4. Who said lipstick was just for the lips?
Convince others you’re not wearing much makeup by using predominantly cream products, which are historically more lively and natural-looking. Create an illuminated, cohesive look by double-dipping with your favorite lip shade. Using the damp sponge, blend a little color onto the apples of your cheeks. Then, take your finger and dab on your lips. Do NOT swipe, like, ever. The goal is to have translucent, sheer pops of a pretty flush, not harsh, opaque swipes of color. Give the people what they want; let them see you.
5. Two words: Clear. Mascara.
Tame your brows with a quick swipe of clear mascara, while giving your lashes a lengthened, wet, and doll-like appearance. This isn’t the time for the spidery halo of ultra-black fringe. For our blonde gals, go with a sheer lash tint if you must. The key here is no clumps, and, even better, no purple tears at your fifteenth summer viewing of The Notebook.
6. Lock it in.
Seal your look with your favorite setting spray. If you’re an oily or combo-skin girl, swipe a little loose, translucent powder over the entire face with a fluffy brush. The feathery bristles will deposit color while making you appear like you’re not wearing much makeup. With such few products, this added protection is sure to keep your look in place.
7. Optional (but like, do it) glow:
If you’re feeling a little more like a goddess, add some glow. You can do this with your favorite highlighter or even household Aquaphor/petroleum jelly for a more subtle gleam. Tap a little on the top of your cheekbones, the middle of the eyelid, the center of the lip, and on the cupid’s bow for the freshest face around. All the body glitter in the world will have nothing on your natural radiance.