We love the idea of strolling out of our houses looking absolutely flawless, but also like we don’t have a lick of makeup on. That’s why we can’t get enough of the barely-there beauty look, as seen on Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell and Scandal’s Kerry Washington. It presents the freshest, most naturally-gorgeous version of a girl—and on top of that, it doesn’t take too much work. A swipe of concealer here, a dab of color there, and voilà! Best face forward.
Can’t wait to try your hand at next-to-nil makeup? We’re bringing you the basics, below.
STEP 1: PREP YOUR SKIN.
Healthy, glowing skin is the foundation of barely-there beauty. Before you break out the cosmetics, make sure your face has been cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized to a T. This will give you a smooth canvas to work with and help your makeup adhere seamlessly.
STEP 2: EVEN OUT YOUR COMPLEXION.
The idea is to let the natural texture of your skin shine through instead of spackling over it with product. If your skin is relatively clear, simply dab concealer underneath your eyes and over any discolored spots, then blend. If you prefer more coverage, opt for a BB Cream or CC Cream instead of foundation. These products provide sheer, natural-looking coverage, and they can be layered to the desired effect without appearing too heavy.
STEP 3: WARM UP YOUR CHEEKS.
Apply a warm peach blush to the apples of your cheeks. You’ll end up with a youthful, rosy flush—the way you look when you’ve just washed your face or spent a little time under the sun.
STEP 4: PICK A NATURAL LIP COLOR.
Match your lipstick, gloss, or tinted balm to the natural hue of your lips. It might seem a little redundant, but trust us, this step really pulls the look together. Without drawing too much attention, your neutral pucker will exude effortless pretty.
STEP 5: PUMP UP YOUR LASHES.
Busy girl? Skip the eye shadow, skip the eyeliner, but don’t skip the mascara! Curl your lashes and apply two coats of the stuff to achieve wide-awake peepers. This finishing touch leaves you looking extra fresh, like you’ve gotten your fair share of beauty sleep (even if you haven’t).
Photos: Kerry Washington (ABC), Shay Mitchell (ABC Family)