A bold makeup look is great, and we’ve given quite a few options to go that route this week, (see black lips and spider lashes) but there’s also a time and place for minimal makeup. Not be be confused with ‘no makeup’ makeup, minimal in this case means picking products that work smarter so that you don’t have to work harder. The finished product a middle ground between undone and overdone that’s perfect for the tail end of summer, somewhat inspired by that magical time before sunset- the Golden Hour- where everything is soft focused and everyone looks inexplicably better. Here’s how it’s achieved:

Since it’s a hot mess outside pretty much every day, staying power is important, but you don’t want to feel like your skin is suffocating. Ideally, you want to eschew the full-matte route with formulas (mannequin-like complexions don’t play well with this aesthetic), so start with something breathable, like Hourglass Mineral Veil or Giorgio Armani’s Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer, which smooth over skin to keep everything else you’re going to apply after this in place, but don’t sit on top of it.

Most people would instinctively reach for the tinted moisturizers and B.B. creams here, but instead, try a thicker, water-based foundation (our model Brea is wearing Armani Luminous Silk, a dermatologist favorite), which provides better coverage in less layers and never looks heavy. Apply starting at the center of your face, working the product outward from your nose where most people have the most redness; the foundation should be the sheerest at the edges of your face.

If you need more coverage, concealer is where to bring out the big guns. Be very selective with placement- only where you really, really need it- and be sure to apply after foundation to minimize the amount you need to use. The choice of concealer depends on what needs concealing: for under eyes, go for something that will move with skin without creasing, like Glossier’s Stretch Concealer or Make Up For Ever Waterproof Concealer, but for zits, you need something hardcore that won’t budge, like MAC Studio Finish Concealer. Apply under eye concealer with your fingers to warm the product up and help it settle in, but use a small concealer brush for pimples and be sure to blend out so it matches your foundation.

Brea’s cheekbones are c/o Anastasia Sun Dipped Glow Kit in Bronzed dusted across the cheeks, temples, nose and chin, then topped off with a mixture of the brands’ Illuminator in So Hollywood [ed. note: currently unavailable] and Peach Nectar on the tops of her cheeks. The combination is almost like a lazy girl’s contour (level of effort-wise) and it catches the light beautifully.

Instead of a classic smokey eye, choose a one-color wash that compliments the rest of the warmth you’ve now got going on in your complexion. RMS’ Master Mixer is an amazing rose gold cream that goes on with one swipe, looks good on every complexion and only gets better throughout the day. Since you can’t just be all bright all over, this color adds back some necessary dimension, without feeling heavy. If you’re so inclined, a swipe of your favorite mascara and brow product can tie it all together, but that comes down to personal preference, but stick to powder-based when dealing with brows to keep the look soft.

For the lips, no pencils or sticky glosses; this is all about enhancing the natural color without completely overpowering it. Brea is wearing Tarte LipSurgence lip tint in Grateful, a pinky-nude hybrid between a stain and a balm. There’s not a lot of definition, but it reads more polished than leaving them bare.

This look works morning, noon and night, but for best results, wear during Golden Hour, because everything looks better in the right light, no?


Aris Jerome
Crystal Liz
Toni Burns
Zoe Zhou
Brea Peck