7 Makeup Products That Help You Look Like You Aren’t Wearing Makeup

In many ways, there is no beauty trend that I would like to see burned to the ground more than the “no makeup” makeup look. You know what I’m talking about, right? This is the dewey, seemingly-effortless look that has been popularized by cool-girl, normcore-adjacent makeup brands like Milk and Glossier that rely more on the assumption that its consumer will adhere to its ideals of conventional beauty than anything else. Besides the fact that they can often take longer than a regular makeup look might, “no makeup” makeup guides and tutorials are often accompanied by words like “natural” and “genuine,” which is fine, I guess, but also seems to imply that anyone who wears noticeable makeup is somehow unnatural or disingenuous because they happen to enjoy glitter eyeshadow and a bold lip. Which, uh, is not true. At all. While winged liner and contouring may not have been given to us naturally, by G-d herself, there are many things that do occur naturally that are not all that great–smallpox, for example.

Still. While there obviously is nothing wrong with wanting to wear a strong, bold RuPaul’s Drag Race-adjacent look, there is also nothing wrong with wanting to have that “I woke up like this” sort of look without, you know, actually even waking up like “this” at all. (In fact, in this respect, no makeup-makeup is the ultimate scam.) So, here are the very best makeup products to get if you want to look like you aren’t wearing makeup at all. Or if you want to look like you’re just wearing a little makeup. Or a lot of makeup, because every one of these products, while capable of producing a “no makeup” makeup aesthetic–and are also great if you’re just starting to experiment with makeup–also have the power to build up to a noticeable degree. Whatever. It’s up to you. Check ’em out!

Tinted Moisturizer

The key to building a no-makeup look starts with a good BB cream or tinted moisturizer. I'm really into this tinted moisturizer from Bare Minerals, personally--I have pretty bad skin, so this offers what seems like a heavy duty foundation-level of coverage without actually looking like there's a ton of product on your face. Plus, it has SPF, which saves you the effort of applying sunscreen separately.

Buy it at Bare Minerals for $29.99


Still worried about blemishes? Just swipe on a little concealer. I like this one from Tarte, which looks natural and stays put throughout the day without creasing.

Buy it at Tarte for $24

Lightweight Mascara

If you want, you can put a coat of mascara on, too--I like CoverGirl LashBlast length, since it builds your lashes outwards without getting clumpy or looking totally spidery.

Buy it at Amazon for $9.99

Brow Gel

If you like your eyebrows to be filled, you can swipe on a light brow gel. Glossier's Boy Brow does a good job of building eyebrow volume naturally while still filling in any gaps your eyebrows might have.

Buy it at Glossier for $18

Gel Blush

Gel or liquid blush is a great way to look just a *little* bit flushed without going for a whole contoured-out look. Swab a little bit on the apples of your cheeks, then blend it in with the rest of your makeup.

Buy it at Target for $5.99

Barely-There Lip Color

You can also give your lips a tiny hint of color. I'm obsessed with Clinique's Almost Lipstick in the Black Honey shade--it looks dark in the picture, but it goes on light, builds color with each application, and looks good on literally everyone.

Buy it at Clinique for $17

Clear Highlighter

To achieve a truly dewy aesthetic, top off the look with by swiping some clear highlighter over your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, and any other focal point you'd like to call attention to. This is especially great if your skin is prone to oiliness anyway, since your natural oil that you'd usually blot away can just mix with your highlighter.

Buy it at Make for $25


How do you feel about no-makeup makeup? Will you try any of these products? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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