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I Perfected My No-Makeup Makeup Routine (and I’m Going to Show You How To Do It, Too!)

I think it’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic and the beauty industry are not friends. Everything from wearing a mask to avoiding social gatherings has caused wannabe makeup gurus to stop “beating” their faces. I’d know because I too fell into this predicament — I genuinely can’t remember the last time I dipped an eyeshadow brush into a color that wasn’t a neutral shade. Makeup companies quickly sensed the dying demand for bold shadows, bold lipsticks…bold anything!


If masks are going to cover up your face most of the time, why try and make a statement with your makeup? This philosophy reintroduced the trend of “no-makeup makeup” to beauty lovers everywhere. Rather than spending over an hour on a makeup look that no one will see while you’re out in public, why not do an easy application of makeup that gets the point across that you managed to get ready for the day? This new demand is being addressed by makeup companies now. Beauty retailers including Sephora, Ulta, and Morphe are now promoting products that are dewy, lightweight, and have natural finishes. If you need a concrete example of this, look at the Morphe 2 collection that Morphe released in July 2020.


With the pandemic barely letting me go out in public I figured it made sense for me to finally perfect my no-makeup makeup look. Before COVID-19, I either left my place with a bare face or with two pounds of makeup on, so you can imagine how incomplete I felt when I first revisited my no-makeup makeup routine. However, now that I finally figured out what I like, I happily apply the look to myself, feeling so put together once it’s done. Here’s how you can do it, too! Feel free to alter any part of this routine with your own preferences.  



If there’s one step of my makeup routine I’ll never skip, it’s my brows. I take my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil in the shade “Soft Brown” and get those suckers nice and cleaned up.  I always carve my brows out with concealer regardless of how glam my look is going to be, but you don’t have to do this step if you prefer a natural brow. I follow this by applying a coat of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel to keep them staying in place all day.



I live in Texas. It can get so hot here during spring and summer that my makeup will melt like ice cream if I don’t use a primer. The Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer is incredibly tacky but in the best way possible. This is my go-to primer for a makeup look that needs to look fresh during a busy day at school, especially when I’m walking in the heat between classes. Just rub it into your skin with your fingers and let it sit for a minute before applying your foundation.



I was blessed with good skin from my (now divorced) parents, so I guess that explains why I don’t know how to react when an occasional pimple pops up on my face. I now have several acne scars that I’m stuck with. I personally don’t feel too confident with them, so I still choose to wear foundation for an easy makeup look. If you’re feeling luxurious, you can’t go wrong with the Fenty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation for dewy, glass-like skin (I use the shade 150). However, in the photo below, I used a more natural-finish dupe of this foundation called the Maybelline Dream Urban Coverage Foundation in the shade “Natural Ivory.” It’s over half the price and even has SPF 50. I apply these two the exact same way: dotting the foundation on my face and blending with a damp beauty sponge.



For $6, the e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer is an absolute steal. I use the shade “Light Ivory,” and it’s a perfect match for my shades in both the Fenty and Maybelline foundations mentioned above. A little goes a long way –especially for a no-makeup makeup look — so use sparingly! You can blend with your beauty sponge or even just with your fingers.


Blush + Highlight

I can kill two birds with one stone by pulling out my Milani Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette in the shade “Rose Glow.” With a blush brush, I apply the blush shade to the higher points of my cheeks as well as around my forehead to replace bronzer. With my highlighter brush, I dip into both the white and gold shades of the highlighter to my cheekbones, nose and Cupid’s bow. If you need a little more glam, it makes a great eyeshadow. The formula of this palette is incredibly blinding, so get ready to glow!



After curling my lashes, I skip my typical coat of lash primer and apply one coat of the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in the shade “Blackest Black.” This is my new favorite mascara, and that’s coming from someone who used to only swear by the Roller Lash Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics.


Setting Spray

To lock everything into place, as well as reassuring a natural, dewy look, I spritz my whole face with the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray. I like to fan my face to dry it since this spray can make your face feel really wet. 


OPTIONAL: Depending on whether or not you’re wearing a mask, add a coat of clear or light lip gloss. If you need a recommendation, I would lay my life down for the iconic Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb. My favorite shades are Glass Slipper (shown below) and Fenty Glow.


Below are before and after photos of my makeup routine. Try it out and see if you like it!

girl with no makeup
Original photo by Alex Colig

girl with makeup
Original photo by Alex Colig

Alex is a current undergraduate at TCU, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising with a minor in Writing. She is the current Marketing and PR Director of TCU's chapter of Her Campus. Outside of school, you can find Alex shopping, baking, watching a true-crime docuseries, or listening to Beyonce! IG: alex.colig || alexcolig.com || [email protected]
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