A Step-by-Step Guide to "No Makeup" Makeup

October 4th, 2017 at 2:00am

Makeup, we’ve come a long way.

When you’re a rookie, the concept of makeup is anything but finding what works for you; it’s, “What can I experiment with?” Practice is necessary for us all—I mean, I used to wear glitter eyeliner every day in middle school. Throughout the years, makeup trends have all demanded drama—whether it was the brown-lined lips of the ’90s to the brow movement of 2015, there’s always a hot trend that we follow. But this time, makeup is taking a different approach—the minimalistic glow.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

Now that I have a better understanding of makeup, I’ve dialed back on how much I wear. As skincare has geared towards glowing, natural skin, so has makeup—the highlight revolution has taken cheekbones everywhere by storm, and freckles—a feature that I’ve had my whole life—are now being drawn on for those who don’t have them.

The minimalistic makeup look is simple—defined brows, soft skin, and as much (or little) highlighter as you desire. This look is what you make of it, so don’t be afraid to exaggerate one feature over the other! For me, I like to wear a couple of coats of mascara to define my eyes, and a bright lip on days when I crave a little more.

Let’s start with skin. I like to prep with Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer because it makes my skin smooth and dewy. For foundations, stick to one with light coverage, like Maybelline’s Fit Me! Foundation in Dewy & Smooth. I avoid mattifying products because it makes my face look caked.

For luxurious lashes that can stand alone, Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara is a must. This mascara gives lashes volume, length, and just the right amount of curl, all while looking like lash extensions.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

Define brows with a brow gel to keep them in place, like Glossier’s Boy Brow. Rather than shaping brows with a pomade, a brow gel helps to fill in and enhance brows for a more natural look.

For the finishing touch, bring on the highlight! I’ve recently fallen in love with Rihanna’s makeup collection, and you will, too. Try Fenty Beauty’s Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks, for a swipe-on glow that you can build, depending on your desired intensity.

In the world of makeup, there are the looks that are to be forgotten about, and ones to be placed on a pedestal. While we need our moments of failure (blue eyeshadow, anyone?) to learn what looks best for us, we can’t forget what lies beneath the contour: our true selves.

The minimalist glow is my favorite look because it’s as natural as it is beautiful; the “no-makeup” look of makeup. Try it for yourself and share your look with @cfashionista on social media!

Featured photo by Lex Kelly.


  • Mari Hinchley

    Mari Hinchley is a multimedia journalism student at Columbia College Chicago. She'd like you to know that writing bios were never her thing.