There’s no better time than Spring to wear fresh, natural, dewy makeup. Today I’m going to talk through my favourite products for achieving this kind of look, with a few options in each category.
When it comes to the face, I like something radiant and lightweight, however at the same time nothing too greasy or lacking in coverage! As far as primers go, I have 2 options for you: the MAC Strobe Cream in Goldlite | £25 | and the Glossier Priming Moisturiser | $25 | UK shipping.
The MAC Strobe Cream is what I reach for when I want something really hydrating that also highlights my skin in a natural way. The formula is the same as the original in that it’s essentially a moisturising cream (though it's nothing rich or heavy) that’ll take care of any dry patches but also contains a very subtle sheen. I have the shade Goldlite, which is perfect for my skin tone, as it has a slight yellow-gold shift to it (however there are a whole host of colour options). This is also really handy if you have a matte foundation you love but want to give it a healthier look on the skin or if you just need it to feel a bit more hydrating; you can either mix a bit in with the foundation or wear it underneath like a primer.
The Glossier option acts a lot more like an adhesive primer, however is still very moisturising (as it’s a 2-in-1 product). If your main issue is just dryness then the MAC will work really well, however if you also need something that’s going to give your makeup additional wear time then I’d opt for this one and rely on your highlighter to give that surface glow. This has a nice, lightweight texture and can be smoothed onto the skin with ease to provide a soft, moisturised base for makeup. I don't feel too bad having so much Glossier in this post now it's hopefully coming to the UK this year and this is a must-have if you do an order!
In terms of base, you really can’t go wrong with the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser | £30 | review. This is always what I reach for on low-maintenance days because it’s so easy to apply with your fingers, a brush or a damp blending sponge. It gives enough coverage to even out the tone of my skin and hide any redness, giving that perfected, radiant ‘my skin but better’ look. It barely seems like you’re wearing any makeup but your skin just looks amazing! I also like that it’s not overly dewy or greasy (I have combination skin that sometimes gets quite dehydrated) and still has pretty good wear-time.
For concealer, I find myself reaching for Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer | £23 | review. Although it says it's matte, it applies so naturally and seamlessly. It provides enough coverage to hide blemishes and dark circles but looks like skin as opposed to being heavy or caky. A more affordable option would be the Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Eraser Concealer | £7.99 | which has an incredibly lightweight texture that never goes caky. It's medium coverage and the applicator means the product practically blends itself out. This one is definitely more for under the eyes and highlighting than for blemishes, though.
If you have dry skin, you can probably skip this step, however if you’re normal or combination, you might want to set your makeup. To ensure you keep a shine-free glow, I recommend using the MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural | £24.50 | review. This has coverage but gives a radiant look on the skin, removing shine and setting your base without taking away the glow.
For a fresh makeup look, I think it’s all about minimal blusher and adding some extra glow. Cream products are perfect for this because you can blend them out so naturally. When applying a cream blusher, my top tip is to take the beauty sponge you used for your base (as it’ll still have a bit of foundation or concealer on it) and bounce it around the edges of your blusher to ensure a natural, seamless finish. If you’re using a powder product, then take your face powder brush and again blend out the edges for a ‘barely there’ look.
In terms of highlighter, Becca have some amazing options and their cream formulation is so good for giving a dewy look to the skin. I use the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured in Opal | £30 | because the colour gives such a natural look on my complexion. It’s not too warm or too cool; it’s just the perfect pearly-champagne colour. The formula has enough slip to blend out easily but isn’t greasy and doesn’t contain glitter. I also recommend the the Glossier Haloscope in Topaz | $22 | for a very natural but dewy glow. This isn't a intense highlighter at all but the golden-bronze colour gives a sun-kissed look and the formula gives an almost glossy finish to the skin.
When it comes to blusher, I have both cream options and a powder option: the Rosie for Autograph Cream Blush in English Rose Flush | £14 |, the Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk | $18 | and the Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach Blush | £25. I really like the formula of the Rosie blusher because it appear greasy or shiny on the skin and it doesn’t look like it’s sitting on the surface either. It has such a natural finish (which wears surprisingly well) and the matte nude-rose colour is perfection. Dusk has the most seamless finish of pretty much any blusher I've ever tried. It just gives the most natural hint of colour and the finish really does remind me of watercolour paints. The shade is a peach-undertoned nude. Papa Don’t Peach is a warm peach shade with a subtle sheen running through it. I reach for this so much on work days because it just adds a hint of something without ever grabbing too much attention. It goes on so evenly and lasts incredibly well on my skin, plus it works with most warm-toned makeup looks.
On the eyes, when I want a fresh, dewy look, I pretty much always go for a wet-look cream eyeshadow. These formulas can be applied in seconds with a bit of blending using your fingers but always give the impression you made more effort than you did!
Two of my favourites have sadly been discontinued! The Clarins Ombre Iridescent Waterproof Eyeshadow in Copper Brown* | £18 | was from last year’s summer collection. It’s a super-dewy, warm golden-bronze-brown shimmer, however when it sets down it won’t budge. It also dries down to a less metallic, more natural look. My other favourite was part of a limited edition collection that was brought back quite recently (it's still available at the time of writing this), so hopefully they’ll intermittently restock it every so often. I used my ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Sunset Blvd | $5 | so much last summer because it’s the perfect ‘no makeup’ eyeshadow. It’s a warm nude gold-bronze shade with a subtle sheen as opposed to full-on glitter. It’s also incredibly long-wearing, even on my greasy eyelids!
The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Copper | £23 | and Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On & On Bronze | £4.99 | are also two of my most-loved cream eyeshadows. Copper is a stunning warm gold with slightly orange undertones, that has the most incredibly dewy sheen. It doesn’t matte down or crease during the day, instead giving a bright, fresh look. On & On Bronze (which I finally repurchased recently!) is one of those perfect sheeny bronze-brown shades that’s not too warm or too cool. When I don’t know what to wear or want something that’s going to be virtually indestructible then this is what I reach for.
To finish off the eyes I opt for a natural mascara in the form of Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara | £20.50 | and give my brows a quick, low-maintenance groom with the Glossier Boy Brow in Brown | $16. Roller Lash is perfect for giving length and curl without smudging or flaking. It isn’t massively volumising but I personally prefer soft, fluttery lashes, especially when I want to look natural and fresh-faced. Boy Brow is well and truly worth the hype; it has a tiny wand that makes it easy and mess-free to comb the product through your brows. It thickens them out as well as holding things in place but isn’t clumpy or crispy in the slightest.
The finishing touch is of course the lips, and for a natural look I like to go with a little hint of colour. Tinted lip balms and oils are especially great because it means you get hydration and colour all in one quick and easy step.
Two tinted oil products I love are the Lancome Juicy Shaker in Vanilla Pop | £19.50 | and the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry* | £19. Vanilla Pop is a dual-phase product that you shake up and apply. It has a foam applicator and a very lightweight formula, giving a glossy finish without feeling sticky. This has a gorgeous warm reddish-berry colour to it. Red Berry is a slightly thicker formula and is really nourishing, giving the lips a hint of pinky-red and a nice gloss.
Otherwise I opt either for the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments | £20 each | or the Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Leo | $18. The Fresh lip balms have such a nice, nourishing formula that give a surprisingly pigmented wash of colour. Rose is the least pigmented - a vibrant pink, Petal is a warm nude-pink and Honey is a warm, brown-toned nude. Leo is the only matte option in this post but still has a sheer formula, which is pretty unique. It's a warm nude-brown colour that's long-wearing, looks incredibly natural and doesn't feel drying on my lips.