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The 9 Products I Use for My Newly Updated No-Makeup Makeup Look

Photo: Rio Viera Newton

About a year ago, I wrote a post about my no-makeup makeup routine. Or, in other words, the products I use every day to create a subtle, put-together, and — most importantly — pretty look. Since I wrote that post, there have been several changes in my daily makeup routine: I’ve had a handful of unfortunate eczema flare-ups, which led me to a host of new powerhouse concealers. I’ve also gone from rarely using blush to having it become an everyday staple. Plus, I’ve just tried lots and lots of new products in the last year — and have dropped some old friends in favor of shiny new ones.

That I’m asked regularly by my readers to update my no-makeup makeup routine doesn’t surprise me. While buying glam going-out makeup is fun, spending on everyday products that you can wear to work — or when you just want to look pretty and fresh without it being obvious that you’ve spent an hour on your makeup — feels more like a worthwhile investment. I’m pleased to share with you below my updated list of no-makeup makeup must-haves.

Step One: Conceal

On good skin days when I just want to hide my dark circles or do a little correcting on hyperpigmentation, I use this concealer from Maybelline in the shade Sand Sable. People often ask me what my favorite concealer is, and are always surprised to learn that one of my Holy Grails is this little $8 gem I spontaneously bought one time at a CVS. This concealer is super liquid-y, which makes it really easy to spread and buff into your skin for a natural finish when you just want a touch of coverage here and there. Out of all my concealers, this one does the best job at giving me soft but efficient coverage for when I want to hide spots, but also want to look like I’m wearing nothing on my skin at all.

You guys know I love Tarte’s Shape Tape for concealing unfortunate zits, but sadly the packaging makes the product just too damn messy — it was literally destroying every makeup bag that I put it in. So, I started looking for a new, medium-to-full coverage product that I could rely on for bad skin days. Lately, I’ve subbed in this product from newish beauty brand Flesh. What’s interesting about this stick-form product is that it works as both a foundation and a concealer, meaning it buffs into the skin with a really nice natural, soft, dewy finish when you put it all over your face, but also does a great job at spot-concealing when you want to give coverage to a particular area. When people are concealing, they often first use a tinted moisturizer for a wash of color, and then go in with a concealer to target certain areas. The problem with this method is, the two products aren’t always identical shades — especially if they’re not by the same brand. This product does the job of a tinted moisturizer and a concealer both: I distribute it all over my skin first for nice, natural coverage, and then dip my concealer brush in the product and pinpoint correct any zits or dark spots.

Step Two: Blush

I know everyone is super obsessed with cream blushes. And I get that, cream products can feel far less intimidating to use than powders. I have a lot of both, and I’ve gotta say that this Estée Lauder powder blush that I picked up during my Ulta haul is what I reach for every single day. It is the perfect rosy color and looks completely, perfectly natural. It’s really easy to work with, just a touch of it will give you this flushy glow that I’m obsessed with.

Step Three: Bronze

I’m sorry, but here’s another powder product that I absolutely swear by. There’s a fine line between sun-kissed and orange, and there is no lighting worse for a fake bronze than the fluorescent glow of an office. But this powder never ever makes me look over-the-top, cakey, or like an Oompa Loompa. It’s super light yet buildable, meaning you can give yourself the most subtle bronze or a more sculpted look. I apply this product with a M.A.C Contour Brush, sucking in my cheeks and softly buffing this into the hollows. I wear this out in broad daylight and my faux bronze is undetectable.

Step Four: Highlight

The one product that’s remained the same from the original list is this highlighter from Glossier. The natural, sheen-not-sparkly effect on the skin is a dewy dream. I can’t live without it and never intend to.

Step Five: Reduce Shine

For setting my makeup, I use this glass powder from Ohii. I know a lot of people who love “dewy” skin are super against setting powder, but honestly this powder isn’t too powdery or cakey. Also, I’m a strong believer that in hot and humid months, you’re going to look dewy no matter what, so you might as well get rid of excess shine and make sure your makeup stays in place. It’s perfectly mattifying and velvety without making skin look cakey at all. I just wrote about a bunch of the Ohii products, so if you’re interested in learning more about it, check it out here. Whether I’m wearing just a little concealer or going in with the full Flesh foundation, I use this product to make sure it stays in place all day.

Step Six: Gloss

When I’m doing a minimal or everyday makeup look, I like making my makeup pop with a little bit of gloss on my eyes and lips. This Fenty lip gloss is a staple of mine and something I’ve raved about many a time. The color is a really soft, rosy nude that I swear is universally flattering on just about anyone. And the formula is nourishing, and better yet, not too sticky (a problem I know a lot of you have with lip glosses). This product is a must-try.

Photo: © Four Square Studio Inc. 2012 (212) 216 9100

When I want to add that extra bit of radiance, I pop some of this on top of my Too Faced on my eyelids, which gives them a really beautiful glow. I use just a touch if I want a slight, natural pop of dew on the lids, or a bit more when I want a glassy editorial look.

Step Seven: Brows

For brows, I’ve recently canceled everything other than my trusty old bar of soap. Why use anything else when this gives me the fullest, most natural-looking brow that stays put all day? For those of you who don’t know, soap brows are a technique used by tons of makeup artists. It basically requires that you roll a damp spoolie into clear, all-natural soap like this bar of clear, glycerine soap from Clearly Natural and then brush your eyebrows up with it. I know this sounds weird, but it’s everything. Just trust me.

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The 9 Products I Use for My Updated No-Makeup Makeup Look