The Natural Look Is In—Here's How to Achieve It
A recent survey found that more and more women are fans of natural-looking makeup.
Sure, nailing the perfect smoky eye or dramatic red lip before a big event feels pretty great. But according to a new survey from CoverGirl (to complement its relaunched Simply Ageless collection), that’s not what makes women feel truly beautiful.
The brands polled 1,000 American women ages 45 and up to assess their feelings about makeup and found that for the majority of them, feeling gorgeous has nothing to do with glamour. In fact, 59 percent of the women polled said they felt most beautiful when they look natural, nearly triple the number (22 percent) who said they feel most beautiful they’re made up for a special occasion.
There’s just one problem. While a natural look makes women feel better, 49 percent of survey respondents said aging has made it difficult to achieve the look. With that in mind, we asked makeup artist Allie Smith to share her best advice on achieving a gorgeous natural look.
1 Skip Full-Coverage Foundation
Opt for a tinted moisturizer instead, and put it on like this: “First, apply face moisturizer, then blot your skin with a tissue—this helps the makeup adhere to your skin better so it lasts longer,” Smith says. “Dot a pin head’s worth of tinted moisturizer to the center of your face, and blend it outward with your fingers, adding more if needed.” Real Simple Beauty Director recommends: Olay Total Effects 7 in One Pore Minimizing CC Cream ($19, drugstore.com). If you need a bit more coverage, try a lightweight foundation, like CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation ($17, drugstore.com) and a primer, like CoverGirl + Olay Simply Ageless Anti-Aging Primer ($15, drugstore.com).
2 Make Your Skin Glow
“Add a drop of liquid illuminator to your tinted moisturizer for a natural, dewy radiance,” Smith says. If you want to highlight certain areas, try a stick version, like CoverGirl Smoothers Concealer, Illuminator-N ($8, drugstore.com).
3 Ditch the Blush
“If your skin is naturally flushed, you don’t need blush,” she says. “If it’s not, dab a cream blush onto the apples of your cheeks, two fingers away from your nose.” To find your perfect shade, think hot pink for darker skin tones, coral for skin with yellow undertones, light pink for fair skin tones, and rosy-gold for medium skin tones.
4 Groom Your Brows
When you’re in a hurry, concentrate on this step because it really makes a difference. “Using a tinted brow gel, brush up and over your brow hairs,” Smith advises. “If your brows are sparse, fill them in with a brow marker or pencil, working from the tail to the front and cleaning up any mistakes with cotton swabs.”
5 Curl Your Lashes
They’ll make your eyes pop. “After you curl them, apply black mascara on top and brown mascara on the bottom,” she says. “Your lashes will look defined without being too dramatic.” Real Simple Beauty Director Heather Muir recommends CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara by LashBlast in black and brown ($7 each, drugstore.com).
6 Go Subtle With Your Lips
You don’t need lipstick or gloss for an understated look. “Apply lip balm, then layer a peach or rose lip crayon on top,” Smith advises. “The balm will make the color sheer, giving you a natural finish. Pass on the products that are super glossy or opaque, and skip the lip liner, as harsh lines tend to age you.”