We’re all happy about the advent of the nude look in makeup trends. It highlights the strong points of your face without putting too much focus on them. But even if you like the smoky eye for a night out, there are do’s and don’ts that can spell the difference between a good-looking, natural-like face, and an overdone painting. Here are some tips on how to make your makeup look natural for you to consider.

1. Take care of the canvas

All the best makeup starts with skincare. You can easily see the difference between a face that has been well moisturised, regularly exfoliated and as a whole taken care of properly, and another one, where the purpose of the makeup is not so much to highlight anything, as to conceal a lot of things. Of course, concealer is part of your makeup arsenal but it should not be a regular part. Instead, invest more time in moisturising, making nourishing masks, exfoliating and treating any problems you might have, from blackheads to acne outbreaks. There are so many easy to use, natural – hence gentle on the skin – treatments, that it’s a shame if you’re not using them already. Proper, regular skin care is the best tip on how to make your makeup look natural and on how to look gorgeous, even when you’re not wearing any makeup.

2. Don’t heap it on

This is a universal rule on how to make your makeup look natural actually, but let’s focus on foundation for now. You’ve probably seen advice about the correct order in which to apply first – primer, second – concealer, third – foundation. Do you really need all these layers of makeup on your face? The primer takes care of any small wrinkles, it smoothes the skin, and a dot or two of concealer where you need it would suffice in most cases. Unless, that is, you’re talking about a major celebrity event where it will be packed with cameras. These are the only occasions that merit really heavy makeup, because the cameras are cruel and your face really needs to be flawless. So, bar that, you can skip the foundation altogether or just use a BB cream instead of the other three, if you really insist on an even skin tone. Having said all this, if your skin tends to get oily over time, use some powder, but only if it’s really necessary and modestly. You’re trying for natural look, right?

3. Fresh and sun-kissed

Aiming for a natural look, aside from all else, involves taking into account the fact that our skin sometimes heats up and we get a nice – or sometimes not so nice – flush. To imitate this natural flush, you can use this tip from makeup artists: use a colour close to the colour of your lips. They mean the natural colour, not the colour of the lipstick you’re using, although if you’re going with coral, coral for the cheeks is a good choice. So, if your lips are sort of peachy pink, use a peachy pink hue of blush. The places to put it are not only the apples of your cheeks. Rub a dot into the bridge of your nose, your chin and a little on the forehead. One other thing to bear in mind here is to avoid sparkly blushes. That should be a no-brainer but it’s worth reminding. Sparkle is not part of your natural makeup look.

4. True colours

What’s the best colour eyeshadow for brown eyes? Brown perhaps? And maybe blue for blue eyes, and green for green eyes? Well, that’s not true, actually. Blue and green shades rarely look natural on any colour eyes, so if you’re aiming for a natural look, forget about those. Here’s what’s best for these three main eye colours. Brown eyes can be highlighted with metallic shades – gold, bronze, pinkish hues are all a good choice there. If you’re blue-eyed, you might want to consider warm brown shadows and liners. The brown will bring out the blue and complement it in a delicate, discreet way. For the green-eyed ladies, purple and peach hues are a good choice. And here is another tip on how to make your makeup look natural: the fairer your skin, the lighter the shadow to use in your natural-looking makeup, and vice versa. Of course, you don’t have to highlight your eyes, so you can go for the nude look, opting for eyeshadows in hues that are just this little bit darker than your skin tone. These colours will enhance your eyes subtly, without even looking like eyeshadow.

5. The perfect lips

Natural-looking makeup unfortunately excludes all those deep red shades of lipstick you might love. Sure, you can still use them and put the focus on your lips, but as a rule, the nude look requires that you stick to something closer to your natural lip colour. Some makeup artists suggest the best way to look natural in the mouth area is to use a colour-adjusting gloss. Others recommend opting for a lipstick that’s exactly the same colour as your lips. In this case it won’t so much add colour to them, as it will enhance their own and lend them some additional volume, which is always a good idea.