How To Get Great-Looking Skin With Minimal Makeup

A glowing complexion is always in, and the current makeup look – worn both on and off the red carpet by Zendaya, Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway – embraces natural skin, with a strong focus on radiance. Whether you call it ‘fresh-faced’, ‘barefaced-but-better’ or ‘no-makeup makeup’, the finish is the same: dewy, even-toned and healthy. Here, celebrity makeup artist GUCCI WESTMAN tells MALENA HARBERS exactly how to make your foundation look like naturally great skin

Winning makeup looks from actors Zendaya, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Aniston

Prime and plump

While most foundations provide benefits for your skin, it’s still important to have a solid skincare routine in place to start with. “When it comes to moisturizer, I adore anything rich, whether that’s a cream or a nourishing oil,” says makeup artist Gucci Westman, founder of beauty brand Westman Atelier. “A rich, occlusive layer helps to protect, prime and plump the skin to its fullest, allowing your base to glide on smoothly while still getting that underlying glow from your moisturizer.” If you’re prone to an oily complexion, opt for an oil-free, hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer instead. “When our skin produces excess oil, you don’t want to add another layer of oiliness on top. Most importantly, avoid formulas that contain mineral oils, which can often sit on the skin and cause clogging.”

Focus on formula

Westman suggests layering light to medium liquid and cream foundation formulas together to allow your skin’s natural texture to shine through – you want it to look like you’ve put in minimal effort, even if you haven’t. Thankfully, new-gen liquid formulas buff right into skin to mimic your natural texture, but with added polish. “I created my Vital Skincare Complexion Drops because I wanted skincare on a real level, paired with the most beautiful foundation finish, so I incorporated a blend of rich botanicals into the formula for brightening, resurfacing, hydrating and pore-minimizing benefits.” While the drops start off as an oil, once applied to skin, they melt into a cushiony serum. “I have rosacea and all kinds of skin issues, but when I put this on, it gently and effectively diminishes the redness. It still feels and looks like skin, but also gives the right kind of radiant finish,” adds Westman. If you feel like you need a little more coverage, she advises building the same formula, or ‘spot-applying’ a concealer or stick foundation on top to address any spots or pigmentation, rather than opting for blanket coverage with a heavy formulation. “Finish only with a sprinkling of powder to blur where necessary.”

Start from the center

Westman is an advocate of applying foundation to fool others that you’re not wearing much makeup: “Begin in the center of your face and work out, allowing the natural shades at the sides of your face to remain uncovered. If you’re just one color, it looks like you’re wearing too much makeup, so keeping the natural light or dark shades in this area helps your skin look more real as a whole.”

Build coverage with a brush

Redness and texture often occur around the nose, sides of the mouth and chin, which is where you’ll want to add coverage. After applying a single, sheer layer of foundation, Westman suggests building color in these areas with a brush. Focus on areas with texture and blemishes, then build coverage where you need it. Westman also recommends a dense brush head over a fluffy one, so you can get into the corners of your nose and mouth – look for a compact handle for better grip and control. “If you really work the brush over your skin, it will give you that super-refined finish.”

Add dimension with color

Real skin has depth, so Westman stresses that adding it using bronzer and blush is a necessity. “Hit those areas that get naturally sun-kissed – like the top of the forehead and the bridge of the nose – with a bronzer. If I want a little contour, I blend it in a way that suggests there’s more of a cheekbone there, as opposed to having an obvious line.” Add a flush to your cheeks with a hit of blush, too. “It’s all about playing with shadow and light so your skin feels like it’s alive.”


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Gucci Westman favors a minimalist approach when it comes to everyday makeup