No Makeup Makeup Look
Beauty, MAKEUP  —  post

Top Tips For A No-Makeup Makeup Look

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What is a “No-Makeup Makeup Look”? It’s all about looking natural and enhancing your own features, all the while exuding a feeling of effortlessness. It’s a natural makeup look that is so undetectable, people question whether or not you have any on at all. It may seem easy to achieve this look, but I’ve found that it takes one part restraint, one part quality products, and one part knowing thyself.

(Affiliate links are used in this post. Use code MICHELE15 on for 15% off and MICHELE10 on for 10% off.)

Is Skincare Really That Important?

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YES. A thousand times yes. When I’m going for a no makeup makeup look, I always start with my skin. Taking care of your skin will set the stage for seamless, easy and natural makeup. Always make sure to keep your skin well-moisturized and wear SPF to block out damaging UV rays.

And always cleanse and pamper your skin before going to bed. Your evening skincare routine is just as important as your daytime skincare routine because that’s when your skin (and your body) repairs itself.

What Is Makeup Primer?

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If your skin is well cared for, you may not need too much prep outside of your daytime skincare routine. But making sure your skin is the ideal canvas may require a primer. Before I started using primers, I thought the extra step was excessive. After all of that skincare, why did I need yet another product to apply before makeup? But I am here to tell you that if you find a good primer for your skin, its needs and your preferences, you’ll never look back. 

I have very dry skin, so I usually opt for a moisturizing primer, or I’ll spray my face with a hydrating mist before applying makeup. But a good primer won’t just moisturize my skin. A good primer will smooth out my skin creating an ideal canvas. It may also add a finish to my skin creating a great starting point for base application. (I personally love a glowy finish, but there are primers that can mattify your skin.) And a good primer will also extend the longevity of your makeup. Knowing what concerns you have, and what you’d like to address is important in finding the perfect primer.

How Much Foundation Do I Really Need?

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There are always the days when I wake up with dark circles and puffy eyes. Or a blemish will have appeared out of nowhere overnight. Some things can’t be avoided, and thankfully we’ve got makeup. The no makeup makeup look gives the illusion of no makeup, but that’s just an illusion. And here is where restraint comes in – you can always add, but it’s very difficult to take away. I’m not only referring to quantity, but also to how much coverage or pigmentation a product may provide. It’s important to stick with products that have a light coverage, but are buildable. So if I have some areas that need extra help, I’ll start with a lightweight concealer in a shade just a touch lighter than your natural shade. 

This will help even out your complexion and help you focus on whether or not you even need a lightweight foundation (sometimes that bit of concealer in targeted areas may be enough), how much you may need, and where you should apply it. Using a foundation with light coverage that allows your real skin to come through is important.If you use a damp sponge, you’ll get an even more sheer coverage.

To Powder, Or Not To Powder?

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I’m often asked whether or not powder is necessary and that is up to you. If your skin is oily, or you simply do not prefer a glowy look, you may want to add a little powder to areas you feel get too shiny.


But take a look at your skin first. Where do you need it? You don’t have to powder your whole face if only your t-zone is a little shiny. And, you can always add some later in the day.


After taking care of your skin, it’s time to add some color! To keep a natural everyday makeup look, the colors you choose will depend on the undertones of your skin. If your undertones are warmer, then I’d suggest warmer shades (think oranges and coppers) and similarly if your undertones are cooler, then I’d suggest cooler shades (think pinks and lilacs). Neutral shades can work for most skin tones (think taupes and warmer pinks). And I never like to ignore personal preference and the idea of experimenting and having fun with makeup (you can always wash it off!) So please use these as a loose guideline.


If you follow me on YouTube, you know I’m a huge fan of the “one and done” eyeshadow look. I love to add a wash of color to the lids with a little shimmery taupe, or a matte warm gray to add some definition and accent the shape of my eyes. But that’s it for eyeshadow. I leave the rest up to some eyeliner and mascara, both of which will make yours eyes appear brighter.



Blush is a must for me. It helps me appear healthier and more awake. And cream blushes are my favorite for a natural flush. Use your fingers, a sponge or your favorite brush and pounce away! I love seeing the color of a cream blush melt onto my skin. The natural dew from a cream product also aids in helping me appear healthier. My favorite pro tip for applying cream blush is to apply it over powder. Apply it by dabbing or pouncing over the powder – don’t swipe as it may get muddy with the powder. The powder gives the cream something to adhere to and helps with longevity.


Groomed eyebrows can make a huge difference in framing your face and making you look more put together. I love a good brow gel, preferably with fibers. When I use a brow gel I feel like I’m enhancing my existing brow and not drawing on too much of a heavy, dark brow. But if you feel like you have sparse areas or you’d like to make your brows more bold, use a brow pencil with light strokes to create “hairs” or powder to fill in any sparse areas. Remember to keep it natural and avoid using a shade that is too dark. A spooly is your best friend as running a clean one through your brows after applying makeup will soften and blend it in.


A natural, pinkish lip color is perfect for a no-makeup makeup look. Choose a shade that is close to your natural lip color and apply a sheer, moisturizing lipstick or lip balm. I love blurring out the edges with either a lip brush, or an eyeshadow brush. It gives the lips a softer appearance.

Are Expensive Makeup Brushes Worth It?

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I think using good quality tools is always important and can make or break an experience. I’ve had bad makeup days because I used bad brushes, or sponges that fell apart. And before I had the confidence to understand whether it was me, or the makeup, or the tools, I would end up blaming myself and it would be frustrating. Once I started using higher-quality brushes and tools, I realized what a staggering difference it made. I really love working with brushes and over the years I’ve developed quite a few favorites. 

It’s important for you to try and test different tools and see what works best for you. Some love applying and blending out foundation and concealer with a sponge. Some love using their fingers to apply and blend. So it really depends on what you’re comfortable with and how you like to work. But if you’re new to makeup, and not quite sure where to start, to the left are some of my favorite makeup brush sets that I can recommend with total confidence. The rephr set uses natural hair, the Sonia G sets have a mixture and the BK Beauty sets use synthetic hairs.

Knowing your preferences and what features you want to accentuate will help you focus and hone your process. Personally, I love blush and sometimes I go a little overboard. But that’s ok because I keep it light on the eyes and use a similar tone on my lips to help keep some balance. And on occasion, I want to do a little smokier of an eye and I’ll dial it back on the cheeks and lips. Use products that enhance your natural features without masking them. With these tips, you can achieve a radiant and effortless no-makeup makeup look that is perfect for any occasion.

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  • Claudia De La Brena

    Hi dear Michele!! I love your favorites palette eyeshadows! I used the eye quard cream shadows from Tom Ford and I love them!! Definitely I want to get the Cle de Peau quard eye shadows! The colors are so nice and I saw your video on YouTube about them and you look so pretty!! Thank you for the article!! I really enjoy reading and watching your blog posts and videos on YouTube! You inspire me in many ways! Gracias!! ❣️ Best greetings from Austria 🇦🇹🇲🇽

    • admin

      Thank you so much Claudia!

  • Molly Baker

    Love to hear what Fall palettes you’ve been loving, Michele! I’ve recently subscribed to your blog posts and am really enjoying them :). I agree with you about the Natasha Denona I Need A Nude palette. It’s perfect for daily use or for going out at night!! Really quick ? I have regarding makeup is if you had to choose between Prada foundation & the new Shiseido one, which are you choosing & why?! Xoxo

    • admin

      I haven’t tried the Prada one yet!

  • Maria

    Wow! Your 49th year on this earth was amazing. Congratulations on turning 50. Hope you’re blessed with many, many more healthy years.

    • admin

      Thank you so much Maria!

  • Liz Lyons

    Fifty is a milestone. I saw it as my entry into true adulthood and it was a bit scary. But, I am on the other side of it now and, like you, my goal is to keep fit, stay optimistic, and be a joy to my friends and family. Happy Birthday, Michele. Thank you for being, well, you!

    • admin

      Thank you Liz! xoxo

  • Janna M Matsuoka

    “I want to live a life with no regrets. That’s both a simple and lofty goal, but one worth pursuing.” This is so well said. I enjoyed reading your birthday blog. So many things restarted with me. Thank you.

    • admin

      Thanks so much Janna!

  • Julie Swann

    Happiest belated bday, Michele! I certainly second both the method and intentions of celebration. I so enjoy hearing from you here and on YouTube. And I was moved by your discussion there about how relationships, big and small, are what matters. Thank you!

    • admin

      Thank you so much Julie!

  • Charli

    Great review! If it was in my budget I would grab it. It’s a gorgeous bag with personality. ~ Charli

    • admin

      Thanks Charli!

  • Frances

    This bag went to the top of my wish list as soon as I got the email from Loewe. It’s definitely a new classic. I am of the quiet luxury type. My row bags get the most use and my summer Loewe bag. Squeeze is just what I’ve been looking for.

    • admin

      <3 <3 <3

  • Louise Sharpy

    I love how you show cases the basic or pieces that can be really worn with anything. I miss FALL COLORS , dressing with warm jackets and boots. Living in Az , well if goes from desert, to barely green. It really gets cold at night. But the back north east ? girl in me gets excited for fall (Michigan) love xo Louise

    • admin

      Thanks Louise!!

  • Susan Petty Moneyhon

    I’ve worn the same perfume since college —Guerlain, L’Heure Bleue. Nothing else smells like me.

    • admin

      How wonderful! Thank you Susan <3

  • Brenda

    Catching a whiff of a perfume can send me deep into my memory banks. I love perfume and my collection has grown exponentially over the past 3 or 4 years. At last count I was pushing 80. My latest is Tutu by Gritti which is much more floral than what I normally gravitate towards. It reminds me of Amazing Grace which I wore many many years ago except Tutu is much more sophisticated. I’m a sucker for a gourmand fragrance. Amber and vanilla anything will call my name. Some of my favorite perfumes to wear of late are Coffee Addict by Theodoros Kalotinis, Vicious Cacao by Maison Tahite, Bake by Akro, Nuit et Confidences by Goutal, Apple Brandy and Love Don’t be Shy Eau Fraiche by Killian and L’Interdit Rouge by Givenchy. As I look at this list, I’m sitting here thinking about so many more that I love. Hard to choose favorites! This is a wonderful topic. Thank you.

    • admin

      Thank you so much for all these fragrances I have to check out now! Amazing Brenda! xoxo

  • Liz Lyons

    What a lovely and welcome topic. I too have a perfume “wardrobe”, but not 75! Mine is closer to 40. For years I wore Houbigant’s Chantilly. My dad was a perfumer, so we had blotters with all kinds of scents all over our house. My mother wore Joy and left me a few bottles that I now treasure. I love Bal a Versailles and Charles Blair of Paris, but I am a Guerlain girl and own a dozen of those that I rotate now. I still wear Chantilly from time to time. I am intrigued by that Sicilian Leather and would like to try it. I am also going to try Izia la Nuit, just love the name. Thanks for this, Michele. I think you are closer to genius than madness, LOL.

    • admin

      Thanks Liz! Wow, that’s amazing that your dad was a perfumer. You must have a very sophisticated scent palette! I definitely have to dabble more into Guerlain.

  • Gaynor Witts

    I absolutely enjoy different fragrances in different seasons. Each winter i look forward to Grand Soir by MFK, it’s so spicy and tobacco, just perfect for cold weather, my knitwear smells of it! It’s too much in summer when i’m living in white flower fragrances or my beautiful Another 13 from Le Labo. I love having many different ones to choose from and always feel like it’s finishing my outfit and matching a mood for my day ❤️

    • admin

      Oh I just got a sample of Grand Soir and I LOVE IT!! It’s so warm and made me think of winter too!And I’ll have to try Another 13. Thank you for the recommendations!

  • Louise Sharpy

    It’s funny, from someone that can never buy anything ..this is more , to me, do I buy it because I want everyone to think I have money ? Or would I buy this if I could ..I don’t see this fitting in really to either. If I were to buy, it would only be for the LOVE of the product. Now since I don’t own a lot of designer brands , would I be in any of these categories? Interesting tho for sure. I do love the way they categorize the two tho. If I were to be able to afford luxury , it’s not to say “hey i bought this so I’m fancy” or “ i can afford it “ it’s for the love of how it’s made, how it feels on, or if it’s something I love to see Quiet luxury isn’t like a label for me. Interesting read tho. Would these be for cars we drive as well? ? I see the difference tho for sure Great read for sure. Thank you

    • admin

      Thank you always for your thoughtful comments, Louise! xoxo

  • Mona Khan

    Loved this article! I can’t agree with you more. 😘🩷

    • admin

      Thanks Mona!!

  • Grey

    I do definitely tend toward quiet luxury — although I will still occasionally make the “concert t-shirt” type of purchase, something that blatantly yells, “I was there!” I would say that I take quiet luxury one step further, though. I tend to prefer luxury that will last. I’ll spend money on a pair of shoes that will last for years, rather than fresh flowers. When I buy luxury makeup, it’s almost always in classic colors (mostly neutrals) and applications.

    • admin

      Thank you for sharing your insights!

  • Dianelys (SimplyDee Beauty)

    My style is gravitating more towards quiet luxury. Not necessarily luxury bags or shoes (although I do own a couple) but enjoying the expensive hand soap and candles, those little luxuries that only I know. I want to enjoy them for me, not just for others to see. xoxo

    • admin

      Thanks Dee – I love choosing and selecting special little luxuries to spoil ourselves!

  • Molly Baker

    I tried your method of application and it worked wonderfully! I have dark under eye circles etc so was pleasantly surprised when I tried the Peau de Rose shade on my fair skin! Love it.

  • Thelma Hill

    These products look wonderful on you. The colors and tones are a perfect match to your complexion.

  • Linda

    My skin is so much more textured (read: large pores) than yours appears in the closeup top of page, I’ve forever been leery of all highlighters, as they exaggerate the pores without fail. But this looks lovely on your already-beautiful skin, Michele!

  • Liz Lyons

    I ordered the Peau de Rose and am looking forward to it. Your trip to Italy was lovely and I am now considering adding at least Milan and Venice to my trip to France next year. I like the variety in your YT vlogs, Michele. And the fact that you cover luxury items that most people do not. While I can’t buy every luxury item I want, I do purchase some strategically on a regular basis and appreciate seeing them on a real person.

    • admin

      Thank you so much Liz!

  • Dianelys (SimplyDee Beauty)

    I’m also loving the WA Liquid Loaded, mine in the shade Peau de Peche. I did a comparison with the new Chanel Skin Enhancer. Also lovely but I find the WA does a better job of highlighting and natural look appearance. Its such a lovely product.

    • admin

      Thanks Dee!

  • Nancy

    Would like to receive your newsletter

    • admin

      Hi Nancy, at the bottom of the homepage, you can enter in your email address to subscribe to the newsletter. Thank you!

  • Dianelys

    Great suggestions! I used to dislike the rose scent when I was younger but as I mature, I’ve started to appreciate it more and more. I’m down for it!


    • admin

      Thank you Dee!

  • Julie Swann

    Enjoyed this so much, along with the brand trip to NYC.

    • admin

      Thanks so much Julie!

  • Irene

    Michele, your blog has helped me so much. Thank you. I am going through a traumatic experience right now, and your suggestions are resonating with me in a comforting way. I am enjoying your blog posts and hope to hear more life content. Again, thank you! One step at a time!

  • Ioana Androne

    Thank you for the article. It is very inspirational.

  • Charli

    I don’t know what to journal. I literally live such a boring life due to my chronic illness and chronic pain that I don’t know what to journal about. I don’t want to journal about my chronic conditions because that’s depressing to me. I literally just stopped writing here and looked up How To Journal lol. It actually was helpful, there are journal prompts. I do have goals, it’s just hard because of how I feel changes day to day and I can’t count on myself to feel physically well enough to do something each day that I get frustrated and depressed. It’s a lot for me to just do the dishes, take a shower, etc much less do something extra like start a YouTube channel or post more on ig. I’m lucky though, my husband is very supportive and he said just try to post once a week. And that’s what I’m going to try to do.
    Thank you for listening <3 xo Charli

  • Julia

    Wow Michele! I feel inspired now to start exercising. I used to always take exercise in school. When I moved to the US I took Physical Ed and realized most girls didn’t. I was kind of shocked. I don’t smoke anymore either! But I don’t like running on Rt.66. This Covid made me gain way too much. Moreover, I love to read. Thus the weight gain. Am not sure where to begin. If I had my way I’d have a private instructor. Hah! Any suggestions are always welcome. Thanks Michele.

  • Dianelys (SimplyDee Beauty)

    It’s been in my wishlist for the past few weeks. It’s so unique and practical at the same time. I like how it doesn’t have the brand showing up everywhere, it’s more subtle. So beautiful ♥️

    • admin

      ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

  • Dianelys (SimplyDee Beauty)

    I love the highlighter. Its smooth and soft, not chalky or glittery. Looks natural too. Just lovely! My favorite is Moonlit (it’s the only one I’ve tried lol); I think it’s the best for my skin tone. Thank you for your review and comparisons. ♥️

    • admin

      Thanks so much Dee!

  • Ellen

    I went to the outdoor market at Bryant Park while I was in NY during November. I found a store that sold the most amazing candle. Twelve Nights by Fifth&Madison has become my favorite holiday candle. My new addiction for holidays.

    • admin

      Sounds wonderful – thank you for sharing Ellen!

  • Lisa Murcer

    Wow, I want to be at your house for Christmas. Just to meet you, and family.

    Along, with the sensory overload! 😊😊❣️

  • Dianelys (SimplyDee Beauty)

    I love candles too! I prefer fresher scents rather than holiday ones (some scents give me a migraine). Regardless, candles do change your mood, and the room’s atmosphere. Thank you for sharing your favorites for this season 🙂

    • admin

      Thanks Dee! -Michele

  • Emily

    I’m glad you had a wonderful trip, Michele. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. I am also really enjoying your new website. I feel like we get to see another facet of you through your written posts. You’re the cool older sister I wish I had. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  • Mary

    The trip looks and sounds fabulous. Did you go with a tour? Any suggestions or contacts for booking?
    You look great and like you are having a wonderful time! Thanks so much for sharing.


    I am so behind on your videos but I cannot wait to get caught up on Morocco! What an amazing trip and I really appreciate hearing what brings you comfort and joy upon returning home. There is nothing like home. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your mom, husband, and Miss Butters! I cannot wait to check out your spreadsheet!

  • Louise Sharpy

    Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures. And your words of travel ! I’m excited you have come back. A comfort to me, and I know we haven’t met , but still getting excited for your posts, tik toks, etc. HAPPY THSNKSGIVING to you all. My Miss MONA (beagle) gives her best to Miss FUZZY BUTTERS. I also spend time with my 93 old mom , my daughter, my man and some some family. I have 10 other brothers and sisters. 🤨🤨😜they all live around. They are 4 here in Az looking forward to your posts ! Thanks Michele

  • Christina

    What a lovely meditation on the joys of travel and of home. Thank you Michele for all you share with us. And thanks for the spreadsheet and the amazing discount!

  • Julie Swann

    I’m grateful for YOU, Michele, along with my other blessings. I think it’s so valuable that you remind us of that practice and part of what draws me to your vlog, in particular, is your honesty. May we all experience good health, passion and thankfulness!

  • Annette

    So good to see you Michele! You look great on a camel!! Thanks so much for sharing your adventure(s) and thanks for the great spreadsheet. You always go the extra mile. Now I am off to look at your store sale! Love, Annette (Armonk, NY)

  • Julie Swann

    So enjoyed this post and also your candid vlog posts (been watching old ones)! Thanks

  • Kerri

    Quick note: link broken….when you click on the tom ford eyeshadow quad, the chanel lipstick link pops up.

    • admin

      Thank you so much!!

  • Christina

    What a truly gorgeous site – such perfect design and calm look mixed with content that has your unique voice.

  • LaShae'

    LOVING your new blog. Congratulations!!

  • Charli

    Fabulous! Such a beautiful blog! Congratulations Michele! x Charli

  • Louise Sharpy

    I am so very excited for you ! I love the new logo , and I’m so excited for this sweatshirt. It’s so you ! Congratulations. Love you and I am so proud of you. Xo long time follower xo

  • Keyna

    This is just like you beautiful, sophisticated and fun.
    Best wishes

  • Tammy

    Hi. Where can I see more photos of the shirt would love to purchase one
    Thank you