One of the hardest parts about nailing the sought-after “no-makeup makeup” look is mimicking that natural, sun-kissed flush. Finding the right shade of blush and bronzer for your skin tone is a great start, but applying it correctly is certainly another matter.
How to underpaint your makeup.
The hack: underpainting. This technique isn’t necessarily new, according to Hughes, but it’s definitely something worth trying out if you haven’t already. What is underpainting, you ask? “It means putting your blush and your contour and all of the other things under your foundation…sort of,” she explains.
First, you’ll want to use cream base products and start with bronzer, contouring your face as you normally would. This approach will help mimic an authentic suntan, without the sun damage. “When you do have a little bit of color on your face from the sun, it’s normally on your bare-naked skin,” Hughes says. Thus, why applying your bronzer under your foundation totally makes sense.
Next, apply your blush. If you want to look like you just got back from a tropical vacation, dab a bit of blush on the bridge of your nose to give it the faux sunburn look. Not sure where to place your blush? Here’s a quick guide to help you pick the blush placement to complement your face shape.
After you place your products, blend them in with a brush, sponge, or with your fingers. “It might look a little interesting until you’re complete, but trust the process,” Hughes says. If you are using a brush, remember to keep your blush and bronzer brushes separate to avoid trailing one product over the other.
Next, put a few dots of concealer in all of the places the other products did not go—under the eyes, below your bronzer, in the middle of the forehead, etc. Opting for a concealer rather than full-coverage foundation will play into the “no-makeup makeup,” look.
So while you’re not actually putting foundation over your blush and bronzer, this technique will seamlessly blend together all of your products while only keeping one layer of makeup on the skin. And if you want to look extra dewy, pop some highlighter on the cheekbones, under the middle of your eyebrow arch, and on the tip of your nose.
Underpainting simply means putting your blush and bronzer on before your foundation or concealer for a more natural look. In order to nail this technique, you’ll want to apply your blush and bronzer and blend them in before layering on your chosen complexion product. If you want an added glow, highlighter will be the cherry on top. This is just one method of creating a subtle glow—here are a few more tips if you’re curious.