Sometimes the most stunning statement look is one that gives the impression that you barely put in any effort at all, but just happen to look that amazing. The trouble is, it can be just as tough — if not more work — to pull off. So we went straight to the expert — Sonia Kashuk, famed makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty — to coax her into revealing her secrets for a “naturally” flawless look. Turns out, it depends on a trifecta of tricks. “The key to a no-makeup look is natural shades, translucent textures, and a seamless application of color,” Kashuk agrees. Read on for a step-by-step.
Kashuk starts by priming the complexion with a facial oil. “It gives skin a gorgeous glow while hydrating and prepping it for your makeup application.” Add a few drops to your palm and press gently into your face with the pads of your fingers.
Try: Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil
Camelia oil, Japanese sea kelp and rice bran oil plus a host of other oils including jojoba, olive and lavender help hydrate, protect against free radical damage and boost collagen production. (Sephora, $46)
After you’ve added moisture, even out skin tone with a lightweight foundation. A good rule of thumb? “Stick with products that have great adherence to the skin, like gels and creams,” Kashuk advises. “You want to replicate the natural texture of skin as close as possible. In the same vein, avoid overly powdery formulas or anything with too much coverage, which can look artificial.” If you want sheerer coverage, you can mix your foundation with a drop of moisturizer or spritz of water before applying it.
Try: Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Foundation Stick or L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation
Unlike some foundation sticks, which can be pasty, Kashuk’s contains micro pigments that blend seamlessly into skin. (Target, $11) Or a cushiony sponge from L’Oréal soaked in foundation lets you build the perfect amount of coverage for a flawless look. Plus, it comes in a wide range of shades and is fun to apply. (L’Oréal Paris, $17)
Next, apply an illuminating concealer to any dark circles and a thicker one to blemishes, blending well. Since you’re going for a fresh-faced look, skip powder or, if you’re on the oily side, only apply to areas that get overly shiny like the nose and forehead.
Try: YSL Top Secrets Wake-Up Eye Care and Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette
Think of it as a primer for eyes. The cooling roll-on applicator adds an infusion of arnica, Silver Birch buds extracts combat puffiness while a pink-toned pigment cancels out dark circles. (YSL, $45) Next, two concealers, one neutralizer and one translucent powder can be combined or used alone to hide dark circles, blemishes, sun spots and other flaws. (Target, $11)
4. Add subtle color
Sonia’s foundation reco applies to cheek color as well. A cream or balm formula will blend into the skin for a more natural-looking flush. To keep the look ultra-subtle, choose a product that doubles as a lip tint and swipe it across lips. The effect you’re going for is YLBB — your lips but better.
Try: Dior Cheek & Lip Glow
This double-duty liquid gel gives a sheer, rosy flush to cheeks and lips. Bonus: There’s something sweetly retro and super-fun about the ball applicator and nail polish-like bottle. (Dior, $37)
5. Define eyes
For the eyes, Kashuk recommends keeping it low key. Swipe a neutral shadow across lids, apply a couple coats of mascara and finish with “some well-groomed brows for a simple, no maintenance look.” If you don’t leave the house without liner, you can cheat by dotting a sharpened pencil between lashes on the upper lid so that it gives the effect of a fuller lash line without being obvious.
Try: Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert Brow Kit and Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes Mascara
Four creamy brow shades can be mixed or worn alone to create perfectly sculpted brows. (Target, $10) And this Charlotte Tilbury mascara lives up to its name, boosting volume without clumping for dramatic, bat-worthy fringe.(Charlotte Tilbury, $29)