No-makeup makeup tips

Learn how to master a barely-there makeup look with these expert tips. 

No-makeup makeup tips

Learn how to master a barely-there makeup look with these expert tips. 



What is the no-makeup makeup look?

The no-makeup makeup look is all about enhancing your natural beauty with a few discreet makeup tricks. It’s the ultimate fresh-faced, ‘I woke up like this’ look that takes just a few moments each morning, but immediately makes you look more polished and put together. It’s a minimalist makeup look that works with every outfit, for every skin tone and at every age – and it’s a great one to have in your repertoire.


Read on for our expert tips and tricks to help you master a flawless no-makeup makeup look.


How to apply foundation

The most important part of this makeup look? Skincare. A great no-makeup makeup look should be fresh, dewy and glowy – which is why skincare plays such an important role. So, before you start applying foundation, you’ll want to cleanse, exfoliate and layer on your serum, eye cream and moisturiser, to ensure you’re showing your skin in the best possible light.


Though it may seem like an unnecessary step for a minimal makeup look, a skincare-powered primer is a great way to ensure your base is smooth and seamless – and it also helps to lock makeup in place all day long. Depending on your skin type, choose either a radiance-boosting illuminating primer, or a mattifying pore-smoothing primer.


If you’re looking for an authentic no makeup makeup look, steer clear of full coverage foundations and opt instead for a sheer, lightweight foundation or tinted moisturiser. A great tinted moisturiser like Moisture Surge™ Sheertint SPF 25 provides a sheer veil of hydrating coverage, evening out skin tone while still allowing your natural complexion to shine through. Alternatively, just go without and cover any imperfections with concealer.



Correcting dark circles

On that note, a lightweight concealer is great for blurring out any imperfections like dark circles and blemishes. With our Even Better™ All-Over Concealer + Eraser, a little goes a very long way. The formula is lightweight and hydrating yet delivers great coverage – just apply a few dots on any blemishes and under the eyes, then blend with fingertips to help melt the product into the skin. Another tip? Use a concealer shade that matches your foundation or skin tone – a lighter shade will feel too ‘done’ for this look.


Top products for a no-makeup makeup look


• Choose creamy, dewy textures over powder.

A pared-back makeup look doesn’t need to feel one-dimensional, so we like to add some warmth with a cream bronzer. Our Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Contour also doubles up as a creamy bronzer, adding subtle definition while warming up your skin tone. You can blend it with fingertips or a makeup sponge for a subtle, natural sunkissed effect.


• Add a flush of blush.
Cream blush is having a major moment, but Clinique’s Chubby Stick™ Cheek Colour Balm was way ahead of the curve. Our signature silky balm blush melts into the skin creating a healthy, natural-looking flush. They are also so easy to apply; simply dot on the apples of the cheeks, then blend upwards with your fingertips towards the temples. You can then dab the excess cream blush on your nose for a fresh-faced, youthful effect. 


• Brush up your brows
This look calls for a low-maintenance natural brow. Simply apply a little brow gel, like Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse to add some tint, volume and structure, then finish by brushing the brows upwards for a dishevelled bushy brow effect.


• Keep lashes low key.
If you are blessed with long, dark lashes, you can skip this step entirely. If not, one coat of mascara is enough to lengthen and define your natural lashes. We love Lash Power™ Mascara Long-Wearing Formula for an instant smudge-proof boost. Another no-makeup makeup tip? Use a brown mascara instead of black for a subtler effect. 


• A little highlighter goes a long way.
A sparkly, shimmery highlighter may seem at odds with a no-makeup makeup look, however the right highlighter will subtly enhance your dewy, natural glow. We love a good multitasker, and our Even Better™ Light Reflecting Primer (mentioned above) also doubles up as a radiant liquid highlighter. Apply a few drops to the back of your hand, then dab it over makeup on the highpoints of the face for sheer, natural-looking luminosity.


• Your lips but better.
Fuss-free and universally flattering, a sheer lip balm or lip tint is the ideal finishing touch for a no-makeup makeup look. The original lipstick/lip balm/gloss hybrid, Clinique’s Almost Lipstick delivers a sheer slip of colour with a soft-shine finish. It comes in two suits-all shades, Black Honey and Pink Honey, both of which adapt to the natural tone of your lips to create something unique. A single swipe will instantly enhance your lips and bring subtle colour to the face, but you can easily build it up for a more intense colour payoff.


Need more help creating your Clinique makeup look? Book in for a complimentary bespoke Skin School consultation with one of our own beauty experts. Following your initial consultation, we'll also offer you 15% off** your next online order.


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Shop no-makeup makeup essentials: 

Almost Lipstick - Black Honey, Clinique’s cult classic Black Honey Lipstick flatters every face.

Black Honey

Moisture Surge™ Sheertint Hydrator SPF 25, Sheer Coverage - Natural Finish

Universal Shade 2 - Light

Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Contour, Creamy contouring bronzer stick creates the illusion of depth and definition, with a shimmer-free, natural-looking finish.

Curvy Contour