Getting a natural yet polished look doesn't take a lot of effort or products, just a bit of know-how. These expert tips will help you get the prettiest, most natural look using only minimal makeup.
When it comes to makeup, less is more. It's not just about products, but knowing how to use them correctly -- and more important, sparingly! Not only will you save money, you'll achieve that perfect natural look. On the following slide, find out how to use minimal makeup while still looking put-together.
Here's how to minimize your makeup needs:
"Most of what we put on our skin is absorbed," says Lisa Petty, a holistic wellness consultant and author of "Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous and Live Well."
To make sure what your skin is absorbing is safe, start by reading the ingredient labels on everything in your beauty arsenal. If you can't pronounce half the words, you can probably find a healthier choice.
What to avoid? Petty singles out synthetic fragrances, talc, urea, phthalates, DEA, TEA, MEA, and preservatives like ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben. If you spot a list of botanical ingredients like jojoba oil, calendula extract, and peppermint essential oil, though, you're heading in the right direction.
You've heard it before, but it's worth repeating: Makeup doesn't last forever. And even high-end cosmetics with natural ingredients can harbor bacteria or even break down into carcinogens when they're past their prime.
Many products now use a Period After Opening (PAO) icon, a number that tells you how many months the item should last after you crack the seal. Use this as a guide for when to toss and replace; you may also want to note with a fine-tip permanent pen on the product itself the date when you should discard the product.
How you apply your makeup is just as important as the makeup itself. A high-quality brush of the right size and shape gives you a natural look that lasts, says Maria Verel, a makeup artist in New York City.
Here are a few pointers for picking the right brush for each of your makeup applications:
Wearing a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 every day should be a part of everyone's year-round beauty routine. But if you're missing that sun-kissed look, bronzer is a great go-to fix. Follow these rules to get a natural glow:
Whether you're going for a fresh-faced look or smoky-eyed drama, a few quick squeezes with a lash curler will make your eyes pop. (Some makeup artists swear curling has more impact than any mascara or shadow as it makes your eyes appear wider.)
For maximum effect, start at the base of the lashes and curl several times, inching the curler outward toward the lash ends, suggests New York City hair and makeup artist Eva Scrivo, whose clients include Martha Stewart.
Every time you take a sip -- whether it's water to keep yourself hydrated or a glass of Chardonnay at a cocktail party, you risk leaving traces of lipstick behind -- and ruining your look. If you're going to take the time to perfect your pout, make sure it lasts. To prevent lipstick from disappearing, inconspicuously moisten the rim of the glass with your tongue (or use your fingertip and a bit of water) before drinking. This will create a barrier between your lips and the glass, so you won't leave a telltale smudge.
If there's one multipurpose product that earns its keep in a natural beauty routine, it is petroleum jelly. (And green-living enthusiasts, rest assured: Many eco-experts agree that this single product's safety, cost-effectiveness, and seemingly infinite uses mitigate its nonrenewable mineral-oil and wax ingredients.)
Here are just a few ideas of how to press it into service every day of the year.
Washing your face is the single most important step in your makeup routine and overall skin care -- it preps the canvas for the rest of your healthy-skin regimen, says Erin Gilbert, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist in New York City.
Here's what you need to know to make sure your cleansing routine is right for your skin type:
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