Make It Quick: Everyday Makeup Made Simple

cosmetics, makeup and beauty concept - close up of cosmetic bag with makeup stuff

Key Points

  • Simple makeup for every day includes a less-is-more approach to cosmetics application.

  • Everyday makeup is perfect for a time-crunched lifestyle or a pared-down routine.

  • Simple makeup wakes up the complexion without using too many additional products.

It’s a rushed morning since you decided to hit the snooze bar a few times too many. A full face of makeup probably won’t happen – unless you want to be really late. Which beauty products make the biggest difference in the least amount of time? Simple makeup for every day is achievable; it’s far easier than going all in with additional contouring, highlighters, and other glamorous touches.

Do you have a makeup routine that doesn’t feel overwhelming but delivers the polished appearance you need for your everyday lifestyle? If you do, that’s great! You may learn some new tips today. And if not, you’re in luck, because this article has all the details and products you’ll need to create an effortless morning routine while still looking and feeling your best. 

What is a Simple Makeup Look?

Simple makeup is a foolproof tactic that does the minimum but with maximum output. It achieves a fresh, enlivened appearance that wakes up your face and places a natural wash of color where it belongs.

Without foundation, for example, complexion issues from dullness to hyperpigmentation are brought to attention. The makeup acts to conceal small issues and highlight the beauty of the user. Makeup brings out your best features and complements them.

Simple makeup is also known as everyday makeup for work or an everyday makeup routine. Whatever you call it, it is that out-the-door superhero for those who require a polished yet simple routine.

Woman applies basic foundation

Is There a Simple Makeup Routine for Beginners?

If you are new to makeup, perhaps you’re learning from an older relative or friend. These role models are awesome to watch and take pointers from. YouTube videos of makeup artists or social media influencers are also great to follow. There are tons of cosmetic items used in any given makeup look — it can be intimidating!

With the overwhelming amounts of information out there, where’s the best place to start? In the beginning stages, there is no reason to purchase products that are difficult to use. Some tried and true classics work well in every makeup bag. Check out the products and tips below to learn more about the fun and easy options available.

Tools and Products for a Simple Makeup Routine

First and foremost, don’t forget your regular skincare regimen. Beginning with a clean and refreshed canvas makes the most of your skin and preps it for cosmetics. Skin thrives with proper care. Your regimen should include these essential staples:

  • Cleanser

  • Toner

  • Serum

  • Moisturizer

Cleansers and moisturizers are fairly self-explanatory. Toner should not be sacrificed, as it helps to close open pores and refines skin. Toners have both moisturizing properties and pH-balancing capabilities.

Serums offer major benefits such as additional hydration, vitamins, smoothing, tightening, and firming. Use serums both day and night. If time doesn’t allow for a serum application in the AM, consider wearing a serum to bed to allow those benefits to soak in overnight.

Healthy Skin Makes for Better Makeup Application

Makeup covers and conceals those pesky problem areas, but with a suitable skincare regimen, issues lessen or disappear altogether. There is something about a naturally radiant glow that encourages less makeup or a lighter-handed application.

Beauty begins with the basics after all. Taking care of your skin makes for the best makeup experience possible – especially a more simplified look.

What Brushes Do I Buy for Simple Everyday Makeup?

Tools of the trade are those must-haves in your beauty arsenal. If you’ve seen the makeup brush sets and rolls these days, you know there are a lot of options! Excessive makeup brushes aren’t required for a quick and easy everyday makeup look. If you own a set of makeup brushes, take out a few to bring a simple makeup look to life.

These are the brushes that make doing your makeup a cinch:

  • Foundation brush or foundation blender

  • Blush brush

  • Eyeshadow brush

Read on for more details about all three.

Foundation Brushes

The right foundation brush helps with application and lends an even coverage. The light play and bounce make the foundation seem flattering, but the appearance of evenness is slightly deceptive. With the popularity of LED mirrors for daily makeup applications, having the right tools saves the embarrassment of streaks that show up in natural light.

Woman wearing simple makeup routine

Blenders & Sponges

Makeup blenders and sponges come in handy and are mainstays in today’s beauty routine. These little tools are excellent for small areas like crevices around the nose and mouth as well as all over the face.

Beautyblender is ubiquitous for its makeup sponges. Their well-known sponge is sold in upscale beauty specialty stores and better department stores. It’s small enough to pack in your makeup bag for on-the-go use. There are also many lower-priced options available from brands like Real Techniques.

Blush It Up With A Blush Brush

Blush is more appealing than ever before and the formulas are super friendly to use. Use a blush brush to apply powder blushes and creams. An attractive flush of the cheeks makes any everyday look pop with freshness and youthful energy. One excellent blush brush is the Morphe R46 Cream and Powder Blush Brush.

Stipple brushes are suggested for coverage without streaking. Streaking is an inconsistency in coverage. That could be blank spots, uneven coverage, or fingerprint marks from finger makeup applications.

The Power of a Great Eyeshadow Brush

The eyes captivate in an alluring way and deserve a great eyeshadow brush. Find eyeshadow brushes at drugstores, department stores, big box retailers like Walmart and Target, and specialty beauty stores.

There are all kinds of brushes out there, so choose wisely. Look for a brush with good bristles, one that feels soft and even, not ragged or abrasive. The delicate eye area has thinner skin than anywhere else on your body. A great brush picks up shadows of any quality and offers a better color payoff than one with spotty results.

Foundation for a Natural Everyday Makeup

After the skin is prepped, protected, and moisturized, it’s time to move to the foundation. Sometimes this product isn’t the easiest to match up with your complexion and undertones.

What is Undertone?

Undertones are shades that lie beneath the skin’s surface layer. These natural hues affect the way foundation matches your skin tone. The main undertones are warm, cool, and neutral.

Foundations have labels that give the wearer an indication of which undertone it matches. Brands usually include a W, C, or N somewhere on the label, usually before or after the product shade number (for example Clinique Even Better Clinical CN 52 for or Estee Lauder Stay-In-Place Foundation 4W1 Honey Bronze a warm golden undertone and medium tan complexion).

How to Match Foundation?

Thankfully, it’s easy to purchase foundations online or in person. Stores like Sephora have foundation-matching software or tools that read your shade and translate that into code. That unique code matches various complementary shades. Other websites like Fenty Beauty use AI tools to match your skin tone by taking real-time selfie scans. Fit your face into the frame perfectly and watch the magic happen.

What Formula is Right for Me?

This depends on your skin type. Typical skin types include dry, combination, normal, and oily. Foundation also includes skin-loving ingredients that do far more than cover, enhance, or even out skin tones.

Some formulas hydrate, plump, or clear up acne. Some have built-in serum (serum foundations). Some mattify oilier skin. Still others are designed for moisture-starved mature skin and glide over lines and wrinkles. Choosing what foundation works depends on what you seek from the finish, an overall effect.

Common formulas on the market are satin, matte, and dewy. Each offers different benefits and has its own drawbacks. 

Foundation for Oily Skin

If you are oily, an oil-free foundation is your move. These usually have ingredients that mattify or reduce the amount of sebum production. One good brand to try is Laura Mercier’s Ultra Flawless Foundation.

Dry Skin No More

If you have dry skin, no worries. Extra hydration and comfortable wear are within your reach. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and serum foundations that blend comfort with coverage.

Basic makeup products

Combination Skin Stays Balanced

Your part flaky or dry patches and oily T-zone need ingredients that address balance. These wonder foundations somehow know where to absorb oil and where moisture needs replenishing. Fenty Beauty Pro-Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation is one example of a good foundation for combination to oily skin.

Anti-Aging Skincare Ingredients

Many makeup wearers have a desire to “turn back the clock.” The newer foundations on the market deliver so much more than the ideal surface for a daily makeup routine. Skincare ingredients offer a double-down on anti-aging and hydration. Anti-aging serums built right into the foundation help reveal youthful radiance and glow.

Eyeshadow for Natural Everyday Makeup

Eyeshadow is about both fashion and function. This makeup must-have comes in every conceivable shade and color of the rainbow but don’t stop there! Make it a color wheel of possibilities.

Simplify the palette you reach for every day by choosing shades that complement both skin tone and eye color.

The New Neutrals

Whoever said that neutrals are boring or old-fashioned? Wearing neutral shadows is fun and they are always in season. The best nudes take a makeup look from daytime and office appropriate to after-work cocktail hour or brunch with the besties in a snap.

Look for shades that flatter your skin tone and have a richness of color payoff. Rich yet understated tones are most effective when deeply pigmented. Pigment refers to the colors that are saturated. Saturated colors show up better and have more vivid true tones.

Nudes: The Naked Palettes

A good basic (but never boring) palette range to take a closer look at is from Urban Decay. This line has been a fan favorite since 1992. A great reason for the excitement is their ultra-wearable Naked line.

Nudes in each palette are impressive without being overly fussy or loud. They also complement a variety of skin tones and eye shades. With a wide range of products in the Naked series, there is a great natural eyeshadow look for anyone.

A few of the palettes show off a fresh look and a sort of facelift since the O.G. debut. Warmer reddish amber tones make up the Naked Heat palette. Honey and golden-tinged hues are part of the Naked Honey palette. There are also mini six-pan eyeshadow groupings such as Naked2 Basics and Naked3 Mini Eyeshadow Palette.

Woman wearing basic makeup

Draw Your Line With Eyeliner

Eyeshadow is only the start of creating a beautiful and alluring eye look. An eyeliner sets eye makeup apart. Achieving the definition of the eye shape is what a liner does best.

There are just as many shades of liners as eyeshadow colors these days. Some are pastel watercolors, while others are vivid glow-in-the-dark. Intensify your eyes with liner and exude understated glamor (minus the time-intensive makeup routine, of course).

A Variety of Liner Formulas

A wide variety of eyeliner formulas are available, perfect for enhancing your peepers. Go for high-end or drugstore mass-market options.

There is no wrong choice in selecting from the limitless colors and brands of this versatile product. The most popular varieties of liners are liquid and pencil. There are also hybrid products that blend the best features of each eyeliner formula.

Liquid Versus Pencil Liner

If you have a steady hand and a perfect flick-of-the-wrist technique, a liquid liner is a superb makeup product. Sometimes liquids are messy and require some level of skill. The amount of disappointment in achieving the perfect liquid liner look is a bit overwhelming for a beginner to endure.

Starting with a pencil liner is ideal and far more simple. It is the best way to learn how to line the eyes. Play around with both formulas to achieve your desired look. If a liquid is not your thing, but the crisp finish of one is of high importance, try a liner like NYX Cosmetics Epic Wear Eyeliner Sticks in shade Pitch Black, a true inky onyx.

Finding your best eyeliner look takes trial and error. Whether it is cat eyes or puppy liner, finding your technique is of high importance. Learning what looks best for your eye shape and color determines what look and shade of liner are best suited.

Woman wearing basic makeup

Blushing: Why Blush is Part of a Natural Makeup Look

Blush is one of the most helpful tricks for your look. You might wonder if wearing blush is too much for daytime or if blush instantly step into glam or full-face makeup territory. A healthy naturally flushed appearance is always in style.

Blush is regarded as an essential piece of any makeup routine. A hint of rosy pinched cheeks is natural and subtle. Adjust your application and tools to use blush more effectively, so that it does not overpower the face.

Adding blush to your makeup routine creates a feminine allure that has become a staple of celebrities and makeup artists for generations.

Blush Formulas for Everyday Makeup Looks

Blush is available in a variety of formulas, each one achieving the same goal of a refreshed complexion.

Cream, powder, and liquid blushes add a pop of color to any face and are suitable for a daily makeup look. Which one you select is completely based on the desired effect, shade selection, and brand.

Not every brand offers each formula. Shades vary as well – from rosy pinks and mauves to deep plums and rich red tones.

Which Blush Shade Is Right For Simple Makeup Looks

Depending on your complexion or skin tone, blush has a different impact.

Intense shades like burgundy, aubergines, or chocolate browns seem more natural or neutral in deeper tones.

Lighter pinks and mauves create just the right sheer wash of color for porcelain or lighter skin tones.

Medium to olive skin tones is enhanced perfectly by deeply pigmented pinks, pinky nudes, and roses. Warmer shades enhanced with brown or golden flecks.

Lipstick Choices for Simple Everyday Makeup Looks

Lips need a little help to look their best. Whether that consists of a clear lip gloss or nude lipstick, a simplified makeup regimen always includes a lip look.

Make the most of your lips with a coordinating shade that works with your eyeshadow selection or a nude hint of color that’s close to your lip and skin tone.

Basic makeup products

Nude Lip Shades: When Less Is More

Nude lips are not boring. The 2020s trend toward less intense colors and easy-does-it shades is apparent in the vast selection on the market. Many brands have an exclusively nude lipstick category. Nude colors are the perfect pairing to an everyday makeup look, offering a less-is-more color payoff.

Select from lip glosses and lipsticks in various textures to enhance your pout. Clear gloss is often worn on top of a nude lip for a three-dimensional look. Shimmering glosses with a hint of opalescence or warm bronzy shades are ideal for your everyday go-to lip.

Find lipstick in shades ranging from matte opaques to sheers. Creamy satins offer moisturization and extra hydration for smooth and supple lips.

Nude Lips Are Everywhere

Nudes are the new red lip. Skin tone lips are equally as popular as brights and just as impactful. Luxury brands have embraced the trend and expanded their product ranges to include perfectly muted colors. Your eye look and healthy skin stand out more against a nude lip that doesn’t steal the show but coordinates instead.

Ready, Set, Go!

Natural makeup is far from mundane. It’s a smart way to shave time off a makeup routine. Quick but efficient, anyone can achieve a simple and beautiful makeup look in a matter of minutes when under time constraints.

Simple makeup looks for everyday transitions easily from the office into an evening look for events with small modifications, such as a stronger lip or more intense eyeshadow. Easy-to-use makeup is less intimidating and makes getting ready something to look forward to.

Achieve your enhanced look with a more-is-less philosophy. Using a simplified makeup regimen with fewer products or elements makes a difference in your look, wellness, and self-esteem.

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