When fashion designers eschewed thick, heavy makeup in favour of the natural makeup look on the runway a few years ago, many of us celebrated its long overdue debut and also its wearability.

After all, which one of us have the time to sit in front of the vanity and pile on layers of foundation or highlight and contour to get cheekbones for days à la celebrities and fashion models? Not to mention, we also have to worry about our makeup staying put in the humid Malaysia weather which is a mega challenge of its own.

If you’re looking to pull off a natural makeup look in Malaysia but aren’t sure what exactly you need to do or how to even start, you’ve come to the right place. We’re laying down everything you need to know about pulling off natural makeup, including useful tips and recommended products to make it work.

What is a natural makeup look?

Wondering why this bare-faced trend is so hot? The answer is really simple: the less-is-more makeup style totally doable even for beginners and it makes you look like a better, healthier version of yourself.

In fact, an in-app survey conducted in major Malaysian cities by social app weTouch, 70% female users actually enjoy wearing only light to medium makeup – this sentiment is echoed by the app’s male users whereby 85% of them prefer connecting with women who sport a more natural makeup look.

We’re no beauty historians but with their signature effortless, je ne sais quoi vibe, it won’t be wrong to say that French women were the pioneers of the natural makeup look.

The secret to their Parisian chic elegance: minimal makeup (they place extra emphasis on skincare instead of makeup, only covering and neutralising troubled areas) with natural nudes on the eyes and maybe a dash of red to spice up their otherwise subtle makeup – no 10 layers of foundation or heavy contouring necessary.

natural-makeup-look-gianna-jun-stonehenge-ad

Korean stars always take the less-is-more approach to makeup and prefer their skin to take centrestage, as seen on actress Gianna Jun here in an ad campaign for jewellery brand Stonehenge

It’s also worth noting that many Asian celebrities and personalities, particularly the trendsetting K-pop starlets with their K-beauty routine, are always spotted with a natural makeup look, save for full, well-groomed brows or a bold coloured lip to elevate the entire look.

Having said that, don’t be fooled into thinking that a natural makeup look is using little to no products at all. In reality, achieving a natural makeup look requires more effort than a full-blown glam because let’s face it, any makeup look requires at least four products (even if it’s a natural look you’re after).

However, trust us when we say that it’s not as complicated as you may think. With the right foundation (no pun intended) and enough practice, you can easily get the natural makeup look done and dusted in less than 10 minutes.

Before you pick up the brush and start painting your canvas, here are the basics you need to know about what a natural makeup look entails for the face, eyes, and lips.

How natural makeup looks like for the face

 

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To achieve a natural makeup look, many makeup artists start by priming the skin with the correct skincare – that’s toning and moisturising with serum and either a lightweight moisturiser or facial oil.

When the skin is prepped and moisturised well, you need lesser foundation (which is the key here) to achieve a flawless base and let your natural glow show. For a sheer coverage, you can skip the heavy liquid foundation and reach for a BB or CC cream, or even a two-in-one tinted moisturiser.

Go easy on the blush as well, you don’t want to be too heavy-handed that you risk going out with clown cheeks. A natural-looking makeup has just a slight rosy flush to it, as if you just finished a 45-minute spin class.

A powder blush usually does the job well, but if you prefer a multi-tasking makeup product, just get a tinted lip balm or lip oil, dab a few dots on the apples of your cheeks, and blend it out for a tinge of colour.

DV recommends: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector (RM197), Laneige Neo Cushion Glow (RM160), and Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 (RM103).

How natural makeup looks for the eyes and brows

Since your base isn’t heavy to begin with, there’s no need to go crazy on the eyeshadow colours. Instead, look effortlessly fresh and bright-eyed by just concealing your dark circles before dressing up your peepers with a mascara to enhance those fluttery lashes.

If you’re a fan of winged liner, you can don a simple cat-eye for your natural makeup look too – it’s perfect especially if you want to take your look from day to night. Click the video to watch how songstress and cat-eye lover Selena Gomez does hers!

 

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Don’t forget the eyebrows too, as a pair of groomed arches will give your eyes an instant lifting effect. Just ensure that your goal is to keep your brows naturally full and only fill in any sparse areas where necessary.

If you have only a mascara on hand, you can also lightly comb your eyebrows with it as well. Not only does this time-saving trick helps thicken the brows, it also sets them in place and leaves behind a subtle tint.

DV recommends: Marc Jacobs Beauty At Lash’d Lifting & Volumizing Mascara (RM122), Hourglass Arch Sculpting Brow Pencil (RM165), and Benefit Cosmetics 24-Hr Brow Setter Invisible Brow Gel (RM72 for 3.5ml; RM131 for 7ml).

How natural makeup looks like for the lips

 

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When it comes to your pout, you can forgo the bold lip shades during the day and just pick a lighter hue that enhances your natural lip colour and makes you look livelier. For a soft, blurred effect, apply your lippie at the centre of your lips and gently blend it outwards to the corners.

Got a dinner appointment with friends or a date? Simply tweak your natural makeup look a little and slick on a fiery red lipstick (or whatever bright colours you fancy, really) to jazz it up!

If your lips look like they need a little help to look smooth, luscious, and oh-so-kissable, take a leaf out of our book and try the Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss’R Lip-Loving Scrubstick (RM78), a fuss-free lip scrub that gently exfoliates and can be easily wiped off without creating a mess.

DV recommends: M.A.C Prep + Prime Lip (RM84), Dear Dahlia Paradise Dream Velvet Lip Mousse Lip Tint (RM137), and Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipstick (RM94).

5 tips to pull off a natural makeup look in humid Malaysia weather

Primer is your skin’s BFF

 

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A good primer can go a long way as the product not only blurs out fine lines and blemishes, it also provides a smooth canvas for your BB cream or foundation to last around the clock.

Pick one that suits your skin type: normal skin can go for an illuminating formula for a dewy finish, oily to combination skin can benefit from a pore-minimising makeup primer to achieve a silky matte finish, while dry skin (oh, this is a trickier one among all skin types) will do well with a formula that has a creamy yet light texture to keep the skin hydrated.

Hydration is key

In case you haven’t got the memo, skincare should always be a priority before makeup when it comes to a natural makeup look, so make sure you’re washing your face properly, keeping dryness at bay (and sebum production in check) with serums and moisturisers, and exfoliating once or twice a week to maintain smooth skin texture.

If your skin is particularly dry or thirsty, it would help to apply a face oil prior to your makeup primer and foundation to moisturise your skin. Once you manage to nail your skincare steps, achieving a natural makeup look will be a breeze.

Use your fingers

Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against using a makeup brush or a makeup sponge, but a seamless finish is what you’re after, the best way to get it is to go in with your fingers.

That’s because the heat from your finger pads will warm the product as you apply and blend, which gives you the most natural texture out of all the other makeup application methods out there.

Focus on problem areas only

 

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Don’t get caught up with getting your face looking absolutely perfect. The natural no-makeup makeup look is not about covering the entire circumference of your face with product to hide every single blemish you have, it’s about the French girl approach: keep it natural and keep your concealing to a minimum.

Want to cover dark circles? Concentrate the product in the inner corners of your eyes, and blend outwards. Same rule applies if you have an angry zit to camouflage? They key is to keep the radius of coverage small.

Set your makeup – always

Don’t let all your effort go to waste, always remember to finish your look off with a light dusting of loose setting powder – this step is a great way to ensure nothing moves (not even your concealer) in the humidity while keeping the shine away. We like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Loose Setting Powder (RM170).

For midday touch-ups, carry a compact version in your makeup bag so that you can blot and powder whenever necessary. A compact setting powder basically does the same thing as a loose setting powder, except that it’s spill-proof.

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