Makeup needn't be complicated, and sometimes, it's the simple makeup looks that work the hardest. Streamlining your makeup look not only saves time as you're rushing out the door but also can help it look more refined and understated. It’s the equivalent of removing an accessory when your outfit is looking a little OTT, right?
Having badgered makeup artists backstage at a number of fashion weeks and photo shoots, I've noticed they'll often highlight one feature on the face and keep everything else pared-back. It might be immaculately groomed eyebrows, a French-girl red lip with minimal eye makeup or perfectly glowing skin that takes centre stage (i.e., some no-makeup makeup trickery at work). These are the principles that keep your makeup looking modern and fresh.
With summer on the horizon, now is the perfect time to refresh your makeup. I caught up with expert makeup artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis on simple makeup looks that won't make you late in the morning.
A statement red lip looks effortless when done the French way, explains Nguyen-Grealis. "A good French lip can be achieved by pouting your lip and adding lipstick to the centre of the mouth, then blending by tapping gently outwards," she says. This look is less about creating a perfect lip and more so about diffusing the colour for a nonchalant look. Nguyen-Grealis recommends keeping the rest of your makeup simple for a modern look.
Brows can really frame the face, and filling in your eyebrows is a simple way to elevate your makeup look. Use an eyebrow spoolie to brush hairs upwards and outwards to open up your eyes. Then, use a brow pencil to fill in any sparse areas and set with an eyebrow gel to seal the deal.
Make like Hailey Bieber and opt for a smoked brown wing. Unlike black liquid eyeliner, this is much easier to do and more low-maintenance in comparison. Take an angled eye shadow brush and draw outwards from your outer corner, following your upper lash line. Add mascara and a neutral lip, and bam—you've got a polished look.
Blusher is one of the easiest ways to update your makeup look. "A good blush should brighten up the skin," explains Nguyen-Grealis. "Choosing the colour is easy. Pinch your skin slightly to get the blood to the surface, and match your blush to this colour for the most natural look. Bright colours can work well for tanned skin, deep red tones can work on dark skin, and cold blue tones can work on pale skin," she says.
When in doubt, a dewy makeup look will always be a winner. "Dewy skin starts with a good prep," says Nguyen-Grealis. "Mix moisturizer with a bit of highlighter for dewy skin. A balmy highlighter is great for the higher part of the cheekbones. Apply a little across the temples and centre of the nose, and finish with a spritz of face mist on top to give a fresh, dewy look."
An easy way to look pulled together is with a muted pink lipstick. Matte lipstick looks modern and is long-wearing for busy days when you want to look polished. We love this pairing with winged eyeliner, too. It's one of our favourite pretty makeup looks.