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6 Easy Ways to Get the Natural Makeup Look, According to Beauty Pros

These expert tips will yield that subtle—and sought-after—"I woke up like this" effect.

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In case you haven't noticed, more is not always better when it comes to makeup. The minimalist, natural makeup look is in, and there are several perks to this approach. For one, it takes a lot less time to achieve. Not only that, but when you strip your makeup routine down, you let your natural beauty shine through.

"Embracing the natural makeup trend is less about what you're applying and more about what you're not," says Laura Pucker, founder and CEO of Pucker Up Beauty. "It is about letting our true selves be seen. So, why do we love this trend so much? Honestly, it feels like a breath of fresh air in our world where everyone uses filters all the time."

Ready to adopt the natural makeup look? Here are some expert tips for getting started.

RELATED: How to Find Your Skin Undertones, According to Beauty Experts.

Achieve a flawless base.

smiling young woman applying moisturizer for skincare routine

When you're going for the "I woke up like this" look, you're obviously not going to be slathering on as much foundation. That means it's crucial to take good care of your skin.

"Great makeup starts with great skin," says Pucker. "Cleanse softly, use a moisturizer every day, and exfoliate one time each week to keep skin smooth. It's like getting a canvas ready before painting—you need a good base first."

Vincent Oquendo, celebrity makeup artist at The Wall Group, specifically recommends the Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Lactic Dewy Deep Cream. "It feels amazing on the skin, and it also provides an excellent base for foundation and powder," he explains.

Once your skincare routine is done, Pucker suggests using a primer. "It helps to smooth fine lines and make pores look smaller, all without feeling heavy on the skin," she tells Best Life.

Prioritize brows.

Closeup of woman using spoolie eyebrow brush
Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB / Shutterstock

If you only have time for one thing in your minimalistic makeup routine, experts agree you should make it eyebrows.

"Try using a tinted brow gel instead of drawing with strong strokes for a subtler look," says Pucker. "It's like giving your brows a nice brush, adding both color and shape while maintaining their full and natural look."

Pilar DeMann, makeup artist and founder of Pilar BLLaC makeup, also loves tinted gels. As an alternative method, she suggests taming your brows with a spoolie or brow brush and then filling them in using a powder or pencil with featherlight strokes.

RELATED: Dermatologists Share the Best Drugstore Skincare Products: "Anything More Is Not Necessary."

Opt for lightweight alternative products.

Young woman applying lip balm or lip gloss
Prostock-Studio / iStock

When crafting your natural makeup routine, always look for lightweight alternatives to your typical products—for example, a BB cream or CC cream instead of full-coverage foundation or a tinted lip balm instead of a matte lipstick.

"A tinted moisturizer or a BB cream gives enough coverage but still lets your natural skin show through," says Pucker. "Just use your fingertips to apply and blend it in." You can also use a damp makeup sponge to apply these kinds of products.

As for your lips, Pucker suggests using a tinted lip balm that's just a shade or two deeper than your natural lip color.

DeMann's go-to is the Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, which is ultra-hydrating, offers the perfect sheer wash of color, and comes in eight universally flattering shades. "I keep one in my desk, my purse, and my car," she says.

Consider cream products.

Cropped shot of unrecognizable female hand matching foundation color on her palm of hand

Particularly for those with dry skin, powders and other matte products can draw attention to imperfections like flakes and lines. Cream products tend to be much more forgiving, and because these formulas spread like a dream, you can use a lot less. "They blend more easily and provide a youthful, glowing appearance," notes Pucker.

When applying blush, smile to find the "apples" of your cheeks.

"I always use two colors: One deeper shade on my upper cheekbones and one lighter shade on my apples," says DeMann. "My favorites are NARS The Multiple in Maui, Saie Dew Blush in Bright Berry and Cool Pink, and e.l.f. Putty Cream Blush in Bora Bora and Caribbean."

Oquendo also says cream eyeshadows can be ideal for a natural makeup effect—not only do they blend easily, but you can just swipe one shade on your lids for a one-and-done look.

"One of my current favorites is Victoria Beckham's Longwear Eyeshadow Sticks," he says. "They have several natural colors, and you can apply and blend with your finger."

RELATED: 12 Best Drugstore Mascaras, According to Makeup Pros.

Don't underestimate the power of an eyelash curler.

Tranquil concentrated African American woman curling her eyelashes with a cosmetic tool before the mirror

Make sure to bust out a good-quality eyelash curler before applying any product to your lashes—this will only amplify the curling effect of your mascara.

"I recommend the Tweezerman ProMaster Eyelash Curler," shares Oquendo. "Start by curling from the base of your lash and softly pumping to get to the tip. Then follow with a volumizing mascara."

DeMann recommends only opting for black mascara—even if you're a blonde or a redhead—in order to maximize the definition of your lashes.

Go easy on the concealer.

Woman in white robe looking in the mirror, using concealer for under eye circles
BLACKDAY / Shutterstock

Concealer can really come in handy when you're trying to brighten those undereye circles or hide a pesky blemish. But when you're going for the natural makeup look, you'll want to be conservative with how much you use.

"A tiny bit of lightweight concealer is all you need," says Pucker. "And remember, the secret is to blend it super well."

One way to minimize how much concealer you use is to apply a tiny bit directly to a makeup sponge rather than your skin. Remember: You can always layer on more if needed, so start with the smallest amount possible for a subtler effect.

Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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