How To Do ‘No Makeup’ Makeup

Effortless glow. Minimal product. The ultimate daily routine.

By Jessica Schiffer


Effortless glow. Minimal product. The ultimate daily routine.

By Jessica Schiffer

Nothing is more coveted right now than healthy, glowing skin. It’s an obsession fuelled by our uncertain times, Instagram filters, and, well, the rise of Glossier. Just like the badge of honour associated with a toned body or farm-to-table diet, “perfect” skin has become today’s ultimate luxury – one that is echoed in our fascination with seemingly poreless celebrities like Meghan Markle and Emily Ratajkowski.

This elite cohort has the help of makeup (and top makeup artists) of course, but you’d hardly know it looking at their natural-leaning looks, which appear light and fresh even under the glare of brutal spotlights. “To look like a lightly spruced-up version of yourself, and not look like you’re a person wearing makeup, is so compelling—and always gorgeous,” says Megan O’Neill, the senior beauty editor at Goop (whose founder Gwyneth Paltrow certainly falls into this category).

Luckily for us commoners, however, replicating this “faux-natural” glow doesn’t require a full glam team. Just a few killer products that work overtime (while saving you time). Below, O’Neill weighs in on the non-negotiables.


Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

To really pull off the no-makeup makeup look without overdoing it, a healthy canvas is crucial. According to O’Neil, this serum — a supercharged blend of nourishing essential oils including rose, carrot seed, and sea buckthorn — will get you there. “The glow this stuff gives you is better than any foundation, even if you’ve got some spots and bumps,” she says. “I can’t not use it.”


ILIA Cucumber Water Stick

Next up, O’Neill opts for this solid toner stick from Ilia, which blends cucumber pulp, aloe extract and chicory root to help prep the skin and reduce any puffiness. “I trace it under my eyes and over my cheeks,” she explains. “It’s cooling, super hydrating, and energizes my skin instantly.”


Balmyard Beauty Baby Love Balm Lip + Cheek Tint

Once the skin is prepped, it’s time for a little colour to liven things up. For that, O’Neill keeps this moisturizing coconut oil-infused balm from Balmyard Beauty in her bag at all times (whether at the office or a wedding). “The blackberry-tint looks intense in the pot,” she explains, “but it gives cheeks, lips, and even eyelids the perfect warm flush.” Melting easily into the skin, the result is what she calls “feminine yet breezy.”


Rituel de Fille Ash and Ember Eye Soot

For those wanting to go the extra — but not too extra — mile, spicing up the eyes is a good final step. O’Neill is partial to Ritual de Fille’s inky eye pigment in “Love Spell” — a great replacement for the more laborious application of mascara or eyeliner. “It glides on like a dream and smudges spectacularly,” she says, arguing it looks best when lived-in and slightly mussed up.

Main image credit: Nicole Mason / Stocksy United