Yes, we’re wearing less makeup, but the truth is that most of us feel more comfortable with a little bit of something to disguise breakouts, blur pores and look more awake before we click on to video mode or leave home. Thankfully, though, perking up our complexion doesn’t necessarily require heavy, full-coverage formulas. Instead, it’s the beauty products that deliver a light touch and a subtle polish that are on our radar for that quick-and-easy flawless finish.
BEST FOR A VERSATILE GLOW Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops
As the name suggests, these drops inject a hint of glow and warmth to make skin come alive. Think of them as glow-amplifying skincare. Wild rose extract and purslane help to hydrate and refine pores, while the blush-pink color makes skin look more luminous. The drops are versatile, too: pat the formula on to cleansed skin before applying moisturizer, or mix a few drops in with tinted moisturizer to create a sheer base with plenty of glow.
BEST FOR SMOOTHER, BRIGHTER SKIN Victoria Beckham by Augustinus Bader Golden Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer
Technically, this creamy lotion is a primer, helping to even out skin and extend the wear of your foundation or tinted moisturizer – but it looks equally beautiful on freshly cleansed skin, without any other makeup, thanks to its subtle golden tone. Black-tea extract and papaya enzymes provide some antioxidant and exfoliating action, too. Massage a pump or two into clean skin and touch up with concealer if needed.
BEST FOR ENHANCING YOUR SKIN TONE Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
This cult buy might just become the hardest-working base product in your beauty cabinet. Used alone, it amps up your natural coloring, giving skin the appearance of being caught in a shaft of sunlight. Alternatively, mix a little with your moisturizer for a hint of dewy glow, or dapple it over the tops of your cheeks and down your nose for subtle, almost sheer highlights.
BEST FOR A HEALTHY-LOOKING FLUSH Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Minette
When opting to leave your skin bare, adding a cream blush to the apples of your cheeks can bring your complexion to life and detract from imperfections, including breakouts. This stick blush is a favorite because it’s a shade that complements a spectrum of skin tones and requires no skill whatsoever to apply. Use a fingertip to pat the pigment onto the center of your cheeks and blend up and out with your fingers, then do the same across the bridge of your nose for a subtle touch of warmth. The great thing about this blush is that you can also blend it onto your eyelids for a wash of barely perceptible color that makes the whites of your eyes look bright and healthy.
BEST FOR BLURRING IMPERFECTIONS RMS Beauty Master Radiance Base
This product’s creamy texture makes it easy to blend for an understated glow. On ‘no makeup’ makeup days, pat it on the top of your cheekbones and blend out and up towards your temples, then down the bridge of your nose. It adds a subtle sun-kissed glow to skin, while its light-reflecting particles blur the appearance of pores, pigmentation and breakouts. Light to medium skin tones will love the shade Rich, while dark skin tones should opt for Deep.
BEST FOR REDUCING THE APPEARANCE OF DISCOLORATION Perricone MD No Makeup Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF20 in Tan
This concealer is the go-to option to lightly cover any blemishes, dark circles and pigmentation, so you don’t have to apply a heavy foundation. To brighten eyes, dab a little into the inner corners and blend out with your ring finger. To conceal stubborn dark circles and pigmentation, buff a light layer onto the areas you want to brighten with a soft eyeshadow brush, like the Westman Atelier Eye Shadow Brush, allow a minute or two for it to set, then apply another light layer on top. This formula won’t cake or crease, so you can continue layering until you achieve the effect you want.
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown