How to Get the Natural Makeup Look

This entry is part 7 of 15 in the series: The Thing About Beauty
Photo Credit: Little_Li via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Little_Li via Compfight cc


Nude, naked, natural …  The desired look is effortlessly enhanced but not made up. But going nude can get tricky. You want to look fresh and natural, but you’re spreading a mixture of earthy, brown-based shades all over your face. Sounds like the makings of a mud pie.

Here’s how to do it and look … not dead. Plus, a few tricks to make your makeup better, whether you decide to go nude, or not.


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The girls on the runways are wearing a smile and a slew of other products to pull off their seemingly perfect complexions.

Here’s the tricky part: smoky eyes, nude palettes and many other makeup fixes can make you look worse if you put the cart before the horse.  Consider these cosmetic assists before you strip down.


Conceal, even and brighten your complexion. If you need a refresher, read this:

Soft blush on the apples of your cheeks is a must when the rest of your face is nude. These are beautiful, foolproof shades that illuminate and add a touch of color.

nude wear
Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Glowing Nude Powder

Susan Posnick Color Me in Camelia


Nars Blush in Deep Throat


Makeup artists love to use a nude eyeliner pencil on the inside of the bottom lash line. Eyes look bigger and brighter. Instantly. Try these:


Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte

Rimmel Scandal Eyes in Nude


So, what to do with all of these neutral colors? The possibilities are endless but here are some basics to keep in mind:

Choose a medium-toned shade for your lid, a deeper shade to contour the crease and the lightest shades for your brow bone and inner corner of your eyes to highlight.


Urban Decay palette Naked2  is my favorite!


The Nudes by Maybelline


Too Faced Natural Eyes


Sonia Kashuk Eye Shadow Quads



Eye Couture by Sonia Kashuk in shimmer neutral

With all this bareness going on, you’ll need some definition.

Pump up your lash line with this trick:


L’Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner in Espresso has a brush that comes with it. The brush fits perfectly at the base of your upper lashes.

Starting in the outer corner, move the brush along your lash line with short strokes. They’ll connect and give the look of a full set of lashes, without the look of liner.


Barely there lips will complete your look. This selection of lip colors are neutral enough for a range of skin tones.


Color Sensational High Shine gloss in Iced Chocolate


Go Nude by Beauty for Real


Lip Tar in Hush


There’s an English proverb that goes like this …

“Craftiness must have clothes, but truth loves to go naked.”

Well, the truth is that it takes some craftiness to pull off naked makeup. Now you can.


Series Navigation<< Beauty Rules for All Ages: 30s, 40s, 50s and 60sParty Mouth: Are Your Lips Ready for the Holidays? >>
Tonya Riner

Tonya Riner started doing makeup as a teenager in her two-stoplight hometown in Kansas. From there, she declared herself a professional, and has spent the last twenty-five years on fashion shoots and shows, on both coasts, and in Europe. Tonya's work has been featured in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. She was included in Allure Magazine’s Directory as one of the best makeup artists in the United States. Her long list of celebrity clientele includes Heidi Klum, Erin Wasson, Julie Anderson, Rachel Hunter, Chandra North, and Lauren Bush. Backstage, she has worked alongside Frederic Fekkai and Ted Gibson. She was a member of the beauty team for Beyonce’s Blow video. For Tonya, one of the most rewarding parts of her job is spending time, one-on-one, with models and clients. She finds that ordinary barriers fall away within minutes of the start of a makeup session, leaving space for instant intimacy and the shared pursuit of beauty. Connecting with extraordinary people from all walks of life fuels her passion for her work. As a consultant, Tonya works with creative teams to devise strategies for beauty brand product development, most recently for the company, Beauty for Real. She enjoys working with products from both the manufacturing and marketing ends. Moving forward, she would like to be instrumental in the development of the kinds of beauty products she, herself, would want to use.

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