Around 2016, makeup trends centered around dramatic looks with thick eyeliner, big lashes, and extreme contour. This changed with the arrival of the pandemic and the enforcement of mask mandates — plus, many of us were just tired of ten step routines and complicated product layering.
Suddenly, cut-crease eyeshadow and larger-than-life looks were out, and natural, glowing skin was in. The no-makeup makeup look has stuck around since.
Glass skin, the clean girl aesthetic, the glazed donut look — whatever you'd like to call it — dewy skin, barely-there pops of brightening color, and a healthy base are at the center of it all.
Here are a few tips for mastering each of our handy products.
Start With a Clean Canvas
We'll start with one of the essential makeup tips for any look: Always start with a fresh, clean base.
Caking new makeup on top of yesterday's makeup is a recipe for breakouts, skin irritation, and premature aging. Before you put any makeup products on, wash your face with a proper cleanser.
Makeup wipes or micellar water are okay when you're in a pinch, but try to use an actual cleanser and warm water. Bonus points for double cleansing!
A 15-step skincare routine isn't necessary every morning and evening, but cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreen (at minimum) should be part of your daily routine.
Cakey-looking makeup and creases in your skin can often be attributed to a lack of hydration. Applying skincare products such as toners, serums, moisturizers, creams, oils, and balms will enhance your skin, ensuring it’s ready for smooth and prepped for seamless makeup application. You don’t need all these products, but mixing in one or two might make a big difference in how your makeup applies, especially when you’re going for that glowy natural look.
Once or twice a week, you may also want to add in a mask, peel, acne spot treatment, or similar beauty product to help your skin stay clear, refreshed, and free of inflammation. If you try any retinoids or other acid-based serums, always test out a small quantity on your skin first to check how your skin will react to the product. Also, be aware of any potential side effects from these products (i.e. sensitivity to sun exposure).
With a clean canvas, your skin will feel and look healthier, and you’ll be less likely to grab a full-coverage foundation, leading to an easier and more natural daily look. It doesn't get much more "clean girl" than that!
Lay Your Base Down Right
Applying a great primer first can help lock in your makeup while also providing additional skincare benefits.
When choosing a primer, take a minute to read the ingredients on your primer and your moisturizer and sunscreen. Are they both water-based? Maybe one is silicon-based, and the other is oil-based. Using products with these base ingredients can sometimes cause your makeup to pill, so look for ingredients that will team up well and keep your look in place from dawn till dusk.
While it's not always necessary, a lightweight tinted moisturizer or CC cream applied with a damp beauty sponge is one of the best ways to build a natural and easy look. Many tinted moisturizers and CC creams are infused with vitamins and antioxidants, and contain SPF — ingredients all meant to protect and enhance your skin's natural beauty.
Even if you decide to skip the tinted moisturizer, you’ll likely still want a concealer. Luckily, there are plenty of lightweight, buildable options on the market that won't weigh your skin down. If you’re really going for that natural look, choose a creamy, buildable option that you can layer over any trouble spots (think blemishes, dark circles, and redness), like our Hydrating Cream Concealer.
Want an even better base? Try these easy base layering tips:
1. Less Is More!
Are you applying multiple layers of foundation or other products? The old saying holds true — less is often more, especially when it comes to a natural makeup look. When you apply too much product, it can make your makeup look heavy, cakey, and unnatural. To avoid this, just make sure you choose buildable products with enough coverage to satisfy you.
2. Don't Rush the Process
While some of us want to have our makeup done as quickly as possible, it pays to have some patience and take your time, especially when you’re prepping and priming your face.
Wait a few minutes after you've finished your skincare routine before applying any other products to let everything soak in.
The same principle goes for primer! After applying your primer, let it soak into your skin for about five minutes. You want the primer to be absorbed into your skin; not just lay on top.
3. Skip the Dot and Blend Technique
Whether you opt for a tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or actual foundation, don't dot the product all over your face and then blend. This can lead to uneven patches or the product drying before your makeup sponge even gets to it.
Instead, start with a small amount of product on the back of your hand, dabbing it onto your face in sections as you go. Start in the middle of your face and blend outward.
If you're worried about the appearance of your skin texture, avoid swirling or "painting" motions. Try lightly stamping the makeup instead. To do this, press the product onto your skin with a damp beauty sponge to prevent it from getting caught on dry skin or building up on one side of your pores.
Of course, if you’re choosing to stick with just a concealer for your natural look, you can avoid this step entirely!
Make the Most of Your Concealer
Long gone are the days of smearing concealers with inconsistent coverage across your face. A versatile, hydrating, and creamy concealer like our Creamy Concealer is all you need to achieve a bright, refreshed look.
Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your concealer.
1. Use Your Concealer To Cover Small Imperfections
Take your (clean) ring finger and swirl the top of your Subtl Beauty Creamy Concealer. Look for any blemishes, red patches, or other imperfections you may want to cover up, and gently pat concealer over the top. Blend the product over the imperfection until it evenly covers the skin.
Using your ring finger for targeted application keeps you from applying too much pressure to your face, which could cause the product to spread away from the area you’re trying to conceal or even lead to premature wrinkling.
Concealer is useful for covering stubborn dark cirlces as well. Place your concealer in your problem areas and dab on just enough to cover any lingering darkness. Take extra care in this area, too, because the skin around your eyes is super delicate. For an added brightening effect, we suggest using a lighter shade of concealer.
2. Use Your Concealer for Covering Larger Areas
Our Cream Concealer is also ideal for covering larger areas of your face, especially around the forehead and cheeks, if you’re looking to even out your skin tone a bit more. The concealer is creamy enough that it can be directly applied to your skin easily and smoothly with just your fingers or our Stack Brush BFF (which comes free with any order).
For fuller coverage, let the concealer sit for a few minutes and use our Shine Control Pressed Powder as a setting powder. You can apply the powder all over your face in a gentle patting motion to help keep your skin looking bright and fresh all day long.
4. Use Your Concealer To Highlight Your Bone Structure
You can achieve a subtle yet lifted look by applying concealer in an upward and outward motion from the outer corner of your eye toward your temples. This technique will create the illusion of naturally sculpted, supermodel-worthy bone structure.
Cheek to Chic
At Subtl Beauty, our products offer multiple ways to sculpt, define, and light up your cheeks. With a few simple pats or sweeps of a brush, a colorless, washed-out face can blossom into life.
1. Use a Bronzer
Start off with our Bronzer, a lightweight powder available in six shades that’s designed to sculpt cheekbones and provide a touch of sun-kissed color without the need to expose your face to those harmful UV rays.
Swirl a fluffy brush, like our Stack Brush BFF, in the compact and sweep the bronzer into the hollows of your cheeks and along the jawline in an upward and outward motion to achieve a slimming effect. For a more sun-kissed look, swirl the powder along the high points of the face where the sun would naturally hit, and blend to attain a natural glow.
Try to avoid dragging the pigment back and forth with too much pressure. This can cause whatever base you have underneath to shift and move, leading to a patchy, muddy-looking bronzer.
To avoid harsh, unnatural lines, bronze with a fluffier brush and build up color slowly.For more defined contouring, like on the nose and to accentuate the lower lip, use a smaller precision brush.
2. Use a Touch of Blush
Adding a hint of blush never fails to add a bright warmth to any skin type or skin tone. To achieve that warm, natural glow, choose your products wisely.
Our Powder Blush offers a gentle pop of color with its special pigment-rich formula. Each of its three universally flattering shades provides a natural finish with a lifted, youthful effect.
If you prefer to use a cream blush, you can try our creamy, buildable Lip and Cheek. You can do a light application for a subtle look or use a bit more for a vibrant, bold look. Not only will this product add a long-lasting boost of color to your face, but it’s non-greasy and has powerful natural ingredients like vitamin E and Jojoba Oil for ultra-hydration.
No matter what type of blush you choose, a natural look requires good product placement. You can totally change your look with your blush. Here's a quick makeup tutorial on blush, so you can know the best placement for you.
- If you have a long face, applying blush on the apples of your cheeks can create a shortened effect.
- If you want your face to seem fuller, try applying blush slightly below the apples of the cheeks.
- Suppose you want to enhance your cheekbones, layer some blush in the hollows of your cheeks, where bronzer would typically go. If you place the blush a bit higher on top of the cheekbones, you can lift your face upward. Sweep your blush up and out to maximize this effect.
- Dabbing blush across the bridge of your nose can you give a natural sun-kissed look. Just remember the "less is more" rule.
3. Use Highlighter
The last product you can use to add some color to your cheeks is a highlighter. By adding a layer of our Highlighter to the high points of your face (like your cheekbones, brow bone, and the tip of the nose), you can achieve a dewy, radiant, lit from within glow.
Our Subtl Beauty Highlighter can be applied with your fingertips or our Stack Brush BFF. And if your brush is dirty from using it with your blush or bronzer? You can clean it in seconds with our Dry Brush Cleaner. It removes the excess product from your brush, so you don't have to worry about smudging your colors or having a lot of extra brushes on hand.
For a more dramatic glow, use a denser brush to pat the product into place. Need more? Try misting your brush with setting spray or rose water before sweeping on your highlighter for an extra touch of glass skin glam.
Our Highlighter comes in Champagne, a flattering golden hue, and Rosé, a reflective yet natural pink shade.
All About the Eyes
With your face looking dewy and fresh, you'll want your eye makeup look to match. No need to go for a heavy smokey eye effect to make the eyes stand out. All you really need are two shades of eyeshadow for a stunning look, and our Eyeshadow Duos give you just that.
These palettes are available in seven pairing options. Each compact comes with a velvety matte shade and a complimentary shimmery counterpart with a finish that would make a pro makeup artist proud.
Our seven carefully curated options are flattering for all skin tones and eye colors, and they’re great for any time of day or night. The eyeshadows can be built up for dramatic and dazzling evening looks or left soft and subtle for office meetings and daytime outings.
If you’re really going for a natural, neutral look, we reccomed the Jelly, Crush, or Dune palettes.
How To Apply a Natural Eye Look
The best tool for creating the perfect natural eye look is our Dual-End Eyeshadow Brush. Use it to sweep the matte shade onto your lid and up toward your crease. To blend out any harsh lines, simply use the other end.
Then, use your fingertip to go in with the shimmery shade and tap it across your eyelid. The heat from your fingertip will really help pack the pigment onto your skin, creating a more vibrant look than a brush would be able to.
If you do want to use a brush for the shimmer shade, use a dense, short packing brush. Just like with the highlighter, misting the brush with setting spray or rose water before tapping it into the product will brighten up metallic shades even more, making them look silky and wet. Add a little mascara to your upper and lower lashes, and you're done.
Our Eyeshadow Duos are made with hyaluronic acid for all-day wear without any flakes or creasing. Chamomile extract helps reduce inflammation, a lifesaver on early mornings after a big night out. Antioxidant-rich vitamin E repairs skin and corrects visible imperfections, making this one a mighty little compact.
Let Your Lips Do the Talking
What is a natural makeup look without a healthy, hydrated lip? A simple, glossy lip balm is one of the most overlooked but essential staples everyone needs in their makeup routine.
Dryness and flakiness messing with your lip color? After coating your lips with some balm, pat some sugar on top to create a gentle yet effective lip scrub with lingering moisture. This will allow your lip color to look silky smooth and last longer.
Our Lip Balm formula is perfect on its own or layed with other products, thanks to the presence of vitamin E, shea butter, and coconut oil. It makes a great, naturally glossy top coat, or it can stand alone to highlight your natural lip color.
Other Ways To Use Lip Balm
Running low on brow gel? Scoop out a small amount of balm with the top of your fingernail (scoop away from you to keep it from getting stuck underneath your nails.) Wipe the lip balm onto the back of your hand, then rub a spoolie across it. Comb the spoolie through your brows for a simple, groomed look.
A little balm on the high points of your cheeks and brow bone creates a different type of highlight and brings new meaning to the concept of dewy skin. The same goes for the eyes — mix a pat of lip balm with the shimmering shade from the Eyeshadow Duo for a glassy, galactic glow.
Easy Touch-Ups On-the-Go
Whether you've layered on a base of tinted moisturizer, concealer, or nothing at all, a light dusting of translucent powder is a simple way to refine and clean up any look. The right translucent powder is lightweight and will absorb excess oil.
Our Shine Control Pressed Powder is lightweight enough that it won't become cakey, clog your pores, or cause breakouts. In addition to eliminating excess shine and oil, this super-powered powder also can help protect your skin from harmful blue light, the type of ray emitted from electronic objects and screens.
Over time, these deep penetrating rays can damage your skin's essential proteins, resulting in wrinkles and a less firm skin texture. While each Subtl Beauty purchase includes a Stack Brush BFF, every translucent pressed powder also includes an applicator, making touch-ups throughout the day a breeze.
Build Your Own Look and Take It With You
Want us to do the work of building your look for you? The Starter Stak is an easy way to put together a fresh face in three minutes. This convenient trio includes a Cream Concealer, Bronzer, and Lip and Cheek. Pick your closest concealer match from one of our 19 diverse shades, and we will put together a Bronzer and Lip and Cheek duo that will complement your skin's natural hue.
Or maybe you want to fully customize your Stack. You can add one of every product or choose multiple color options in a few of your favorites. The sky is the limit. Purchase as many components as you’d like or as few as you need, because there’s no minimum purchase amount.
Whichever items you choose, you can rest easy knowing they'll be with you for a while. Each item contains enough product to last for 60 applications.
Keep it Natural
Don't get caught up in a lengthy, unnecessary routine. Natural-looking makeup should be just that — natural. At Subtl Beauty, we've created multi-use essentials, all centered around you looking great on the go.
Whether it's the morning after a late night, lunch hour, or road trip time, a Subtl Beauty Makeup Stack is the easiest way to make sure you look great wherever life takes you. Choose from one of our Starter Stacks, or take our quiz to build one from scratch and create your own natural aesthetic today.