Embrace Your Beauty, Don't Cover It: Minimal Makeup

by Wendy Rose Gould

Overview

Heavy liner, smokey eyes and a vibrant red pucker all have their place, but natural-looking makeup is an easy go-to look for almost any occasion. "Minimal makeup is about enhancing your features in a more subtle way," explains LeAura Luciano, celebrity makeup artist to stars such as Amanda Seyfried and Zoe Saldana. Because it "allows you to present a polished version of yourself without any distractions," minimal makeup is ideal for the office, weekend errands and everything in between.

Moisturize

Before you apply any makeup, apply a hydrating facial moisturizer or primer with an SPF of 15 or higher. "If you have great skin, look for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream to save time," advises Luciano.

Foundation/Concealer

The biggest key to minimal makeup is making it look like you have perfect skin. "Your skin should be flawless, matte and smooth," says Luciano. Apply foundation all over and blend well with a brush or sponge. Next, dab on concealer to gray or red areas and blend. Finish with a powder to set your makeup.

Natural Blush

Think about the color your cheeks turn when you're naturally flushed or have been in the sun. It's likely a natural pink or berry shade. Match that color as best as you can with a blush you apply to the apples of your cheeks.

Eye Shadow

Eye shadow is optional for minimal makeup, so you can skip this step if you want to. If you do want to wear shadow, select a subtle shimmer or matte in a fleshy tone like brown or peach. "Sweep the shadow from your lash lines to your creases," advises Luciano.

Eyeliner

Again, eyeliner is optional for minimal makeup, but you can apply it in a way that makes it subtly enhance your eyes. Luciano suggests a black, brown or gray eyeliner along the length up your upper lash line. For additional eye definition, she says to "use a matte, taupe shadow as a liner" on the bottom lash line.

Lash Curler

Your eyelashes frame your eyes, so don't neglect them. Use an eyelash curler either in place of mascara or before you apply it. A heated eyelash curler may prove more effective.

Mascara

"Apply one coat of mascara to the top and bottom lashes," says Luciano. Choose either black-brown, brown or onyx mascara for the most natural look. Alternatively, skip the colored mascara and apply a coat of clear mascara. This will make lashes glossy and thick without additional darkness.

Lips

A sheer lipstick or tinted lip balm is the perfect choice for natural looking makeup. "A soft pink lip color applied with precision adds a feminine touch," notes Luciano. "Find a color that is close to your natural lip color, but with a little more color to brighten your face."

About the Author

Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to "Glamour" magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the "Indianapolis Business Journal," "Kiwanis International" and "NUVO Newsweekly," she earned BA degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in lifestyle topics.