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How to Get Natural Looking Makeup

We all know that one woman who can go without a speck of makeup and somehow look fresh and gorgeous. I, however, seem destined to wear that just-woke-up, red-faced, dead-eyes look when I try to go without my favorite products. I spoke to makeup artist Tara Loren—who's worked with celebs such as Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler and Winona Ryder—about how to wear natural-looking makeup to fake a product-free look.
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It’s All in The Prep
“Skin prep is the most important part to a natural makeup look,” says Tara. “I’m big into skincare, so I make sure the skin is 100 percent ready, meaning moisturized and prepped with sunscreen all year round.” If you don’t like the oily feeling of sunscreen, just mix a small dollop in with your regular moisturizer. The SPF in everyday moisturizers or makeup products often isn’t enough for adequate sun protection on their own. Tara’s pick for sunscreen is Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 50.

A Creamy Complexion
The key to natural-looking makeup is starting with a smooth, creamy complexion using a BB cream, tinted moisturizer, or super sheer foundation. “These products are going to give you a nice clean look—nothing overly cakey—while still leaving a little natural dewiness,” says Tara. Her favorites are L’Oreal Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator and Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, a high end foundation can be worth it as well. “I’m obsessed with Chanel products at the moment! Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (Nordstrom, $45) is a water-based foundation that’s one of the sheerest I’ve tried.”

Next you want to add little hints of color using a bronzer where the sun would naturally hit you. Tara uses a fluffy brush for looser application and lightly dusts bronzer around the hairline, cheeks, jawline, and nose. As tempting as it is to go bronzed goddess overboard, use bronzer sparingly for natural color, not contouring. “Sometimes a matte bronzer is a nice choice because you don’t get a sparkly finish. Smashbox Suntan Matte is a great choice.” says Tara.

Finishing Touches
My favorite natural makeup tip from Tara was to pick up on little details. They really make your minimal makeup look polished and fresh. “You wouldn’t think to do it, but well-groomed eyebrows can really bring together a look. Just brush them up a little and fill them in,” says Tara. For just a tint of color, skip any sticky or shiny lip glosses in favor of a Rosebud Salve or Burt’s Bees product for natural-looking color. Finally, finish with a coat of mascara. “A lot of people will tell you brown mascara looks the most natural," says Tara. "This is great if you have fair skin or hair, but if you are olive-toned or have darker hair and lashes you can definitely get away with using black mascara. Just make sure to stick to one coat, not two or three.”

Now you’re ready to go out and be that gorgeous woman without a speck of makeup! We'll never tell.

Tara Loren is currently working as the makeup department head on Comedy Central’s Drunk History. Check out the series starting July 9 at 10 PM.

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