For the beauty aficionado, cosmetic and makeup stores like Sephora or Ulta raise the bar of what it means to indulge in eye candy. From a diverse range of favorites to new products arriving daily that help accentuate our features, it’s no kidding we feel a lot like Alice falling down the rabbit hole in Wonderland upon every visit.
But as most women who love shopping for beauty products know, it’s incredibly easy to get carried away. And when we get carried away, we end up with things we don’t exactly need in our beauty regimen.
Since natural looks can be the hardest to achieve—because you want to look beautiful without seeming like you’re overreaching—the secret is working with Mother Nature, not against. Whenever you hit the makeup counters, choose products and tools that help you to bring out your natural beauty and features.
START WITH FLAWLESS SKIN
While it might not seem like it, exfoliation can be your best friend. As the perfect way to create a smooth base for your makeup, doctors recommend to exfoliate two to three times a week. It doesn’t matter when you exfoliate during the week, but as long as you’re consistent since dead skin cells build up over time, causing dullness and blemishes.
If you want to kick your skin up a notch and tread Beyoncé’s regimen, try exfoliating every day. It might seem a little harsh at first, but her dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer tells New York Magazine’s, The Cut it’s the key to eliminating dull-skin debris and allowing oxygen to transfer to the lower layers of skin.
When looking for effective exfoliators, look for formulas designed specifically for your skin type. Opt for cleansers with natural ingredients like sugar, salt, or walnut shells, or chemical exfoliants of alpha-hydroxyl, salicylic acids or glycolic.
Toners are not only effective ways to prepare your skin for products, but they can help to reach deep down into pores when cleansers cannot. While not everyone needs toning, it’s highly dependent of your skin type. If you feel you often bounce between normal to oily skin, your skin can benefit from a toner. When looking for an ideal candidate to complement your complexion, avoid products that have alcohol as they can dry out your skin majorly.
For healthy looking skin that is always fresh and hydrated, an efficient moisturizer is a huge part of your beauty routine. To get your skin soft and supple looking, apply a thick, moisturizing formula to help create a healthy look and glow. Products rich in natural ingredients like vitamin E and fruit extracts help protect and refresh skin all day. To make the most of your moisturizer, apply before bedtime. Not only does catching up on sleep help create a glowing complexion, but products applied at bed penetrate your skin more easily at night because they don’t have to deal with the sun, your makeup or sweat.
GO PRIME TIME
We all have blemishes and spots on our face and skin that can leave us feeling a little distressed. But with the aid of concealer, you can fake perfect skin, until you make perfect skin. Apply concealer with a brush to areas that need it the most—like, the bridge of your nose, above the bow of your upper lip, below your lower lip and over any redness that might be cause for concern. When choosing a concealer, look for one with a creamy texture as they are easier to apply and don’t leave as many crease marks.
Powder is a necessity in every woman’s beauty bag, but it’s equally important to know how to apply it as too much will create a cakey look and too little, creates a shine. When you’re using powder, the trick is in the placement! Apply a sweep of powder very lightly over your entire face, with a focus on the T-zone. If done correctly, this will create a flawless, natural appearance, with a clean palate to work with. When choosing what type of powder to buy, consider the two types of powders. Pressed powders leave a matte finish, while loose powders create a more airy, softer feel to your look with a naturalness.
BARELY THERE ACCENTS
To accentuate your lips most naturally, opt for tinted balms or lipsticks, which not only condition and moisturize, but also give you a teensy bit of color. When you’re at the beauty store, look for options that match or are slightly lighter than your natural color. If you’re more comfortable with a lipstick than gloss, apply the shade of your choice with the tip of your finger and follow with a slightly shimmery balm for a nice pop.
The key to creating a natural look for spring is to have it be subtle enough that no one is really sure if you’re wearing makeup or not. Since the eyes are the windows to our soul, draw attention to those baby blues—or greens, or browns, or hazels—by applying a warm beige eyeshadow to the entire eyelid, working up to the crease. If you want to create more definition, use a taupe or sheer brown shadow to help highlight the crease and add some depth. While you’re at it, curl your lashes, color in your eyebrows very lightly—use a stipple brush to feather and soften the intensity, and end it off with an application of brown or black mascara.
Depending on the effect you want to create for your skin type and tone, pick a blush that complements your natural rouge. To help you figure out what your blush shade is, pinch your cheeks first. While cream blushes can look more natural with a dewy, outdoorsy flush than powders, a powder blush can give a more finished look, ideal for contouring. If you use powder blush, sweep a large brush in circles over the blush, tap to remove excess and apply along the cheekbones, down the nose and across the forehead and chin. If more accustomed to cream, use your fingers or a dry sponge, then add the color in outward and downward strokes on the apples of your cheek. Smile if need be to really get that pop, and use your fingers to help smooth and soften the color. Moreover, if neither are of your taste, try a sunnier alternative by opting for a bronzer. It gives both a naturally sun-kissed glow and adds color most subtly.
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What are some of your favorite products to create a natural look for spring? Share with us in the comments below.