Basics Baby: How to Achieve a Natural Sunkissed Makeup

So the other day I was browsing through my Instagram account and came across this photo of a gorgeous model, made up by makeup artist, James Molloy, in a to-die-for natural, glowing makeup so perfect for summer. And I thought I could do a basic tutorial on how to achieve a radiant, sun-kissed makeup look. But first, let’s feast our eyes on this splendor…


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A brief on the look before we get down to business. As you can see, the look is really focusing on natural glow and radiance, with colors that are skin-like and nothing extravagant going on anywhere. Of course the model is already perfect to begin with, so that minuscule amount of makeup on her only enhances her perfection. For normal ladies out there like myself, we can customize things like coverage and color placement or depth of color but not veer away from the whole natural, sun-kissed finish. So, allow me to just share what has worked for me in achieving such minimalist looks.

The Skin

One way to prolong the longevity of your minimal makeup is to apply an appropriate primer for your skin needs. In this warmer climate, my combination skin tends to lean more towards the oily side so I wanted to reduce the chances of my minimal makeup from sliding or fading due to the sebum and oil production. Hence, I chose to apply a mattifying, pore-minimizing primer (BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector).

For base, I wanted to do away with foundation as the look doesn’t appear to include that. Furthermore, putting on foundation in the hot, sunny weather may cause a bit of a situation. Therefore, I decided to concoct my own mix of products that will give me a glowy skin, yet not emphasizing my imperfections. I used a dime-sized amount of MAC Strobe Cream as the base in which the rest of the products will be blended with. The reason I chose this product is because it is a moisturizer with a luminescent finish. To give the cream a skin-colored tint, I added two drops of my Cover FX Custom Cover Drops. Since this is a pure pigment product, it adds color to the cream without altering its finish (i.e. the luminescence will not be compromised). In addition, the drops also help to add a bit of coverage, and this is where you can customize it to suit your needs. If you need more coverage, you can go three or even up to four drops, or if you don’t need much coverage then one drop will provide you with a sheer one. I went for two as I feel my spots and blemishes could do with a medium coverage. But, because we’re mixing the drops with a moisturizer instead of a foundation, the finish on the skin will still look very natural. In fact, the product becomes traceless and disappears into my skin, yet still doing its job of perfecting the skin a little. The third and final product I added into the mixture are two drops of the Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Highlighter. Being an illuminator with a translucent formula, what this product adds is more radiance and luminosity to the base.

So after mixing the three products on  the back of my hand, I applied it to my face using a damp beauty blender. And that’s really it for the base of the skin. No concealer, nothing.

The Contour/Highlight

Since this is a natural makeup look and the model does look like she has her features defined, I opted for cream contour and highlight. Using my trusted Kevyn Aucoin Contour Book Vol. 2, I picked up the Sculpting Cream and contoured lightly around the parameters of my face as well as my nose. The good thing about using a cream contour when doing natural makeup looks is that they blend a lot more seamlessly into the skin and truly looks like natural shadows on your face rather than sharp contour lines. If you wish to, you could also go with a cream/liquid bronzer instead. I am happy with just the contour cream as once blended out the color looks like a bronzer on my face.

Using the same palette, I dipped into Candlelight Cream, the cream highlighter shade and placed it on the high points of my face where light would naturally hit. To make the highlighter look more like a glow from within, I used my damp beauty blender to mesh it into my skin.

Now that I have completed my creams and  liquid base, I went in with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Dim Light) for a more flawless finish. In fact, this finishing powder is an illuminator that contains light-refracting particles, and still able to blur imperfections at the same time. So this is really the perfect powder for the sun-kissed look we’re going for.

The Brows

This is the simplest thing I have done for my brows ever, using just one product – the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel – to brush my brow hairs and thicken them. For a natural look, the brows have to look natural too, not overly defined and the brow hairs have to be the star of the show, not your brow pencil or pomade etc.

The Eyes

For the eyes I decided to go with rosy peach-toned colors instead of browns or taupes as the former appear more like my skin than the rest. For the base, I used the shade Strapless from my Too Faced Natural Matte Eyeshadow palette all over my crease and lids. Then, I gave the eyes a pop of glow by dabbing the NYX Lid Lingerie Eye Tint in the color Sweet Cloud on the center of the lids. Being a cream product helps make the center of your lid shine a healthy glow.

To make my small eyes wider and more awake, I applied a generous amount of mascara (Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara) and combed through to minimize clumps. You can definitely customize how much mascara you need. The model doesn’t appear to have much on but she already has big, beautiful eyes so she doesn’t need much help in this area.

The Lips

For lips, I wanted something juicy yet not too far off from my original lip color. So first, I lined my lips with my Dior Contour Lipliner Pencil in shade 213 Natural Beige. This shade matches my lip color perfectly so I love using it when doing nude lips. I then used the color Liar from Urban Decay Revolution High-Color Lipgloss all over, and topped the center of the lips with Smashbox Be Legendary Lipgloss in the shade Pout, pretty apt name for what I intended it to do.

And that’s really it for the whole look, here’s the result:

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I know this is nothing compared to the model above but I feel super comfortable in this minimal makeup. It lasted from about 4pm to around 11pm when I removed it. The base concoction I did made my skin exude a healthy glow, the eyes are looking natural yet lit, and the lips look effortless. I’m definitely going to do more of this cream/liquid base looks in the future. Till the next one!