One benefit of 18 months of on/off lockdowns is our skin has never been better. There’s been more time to really take the reins of our skincare regime, we’ve swapped meals out for masking and the WFH situation has meant less makeup day to day. 

In turn, it’s spurred a trend for fresher, more subtle and lightweight makeup and in all honesty we are here for it, downsizing our makeup bags and freeing up more time in the morning. Defined block brows have been overtaken by bushier, more natural hair strokes, full coverage foundations outshined by skin tints, and cakey powders have given way to liquids and creams. Plus, this more low-key approach to makeup is ideal for the warmer months, leaving you look fresh and in place all day long.

Scroll on for the must-have products that will create a fresh, glowy, barely-there makeup look, from pinched pink cheeks to fluffy brows and dewy summer skin.

Swap foundation for skin tint

Made to enhance rather than conceal, skin tints are big news in the beauty world right now, and pretty much every major brand is doing one from Fenty to L’Oreal. 

With buildable coverage and an assured glow, the application is super easy whether you apply with a brush, sponge or just your fingertips.

Favourites include Huda Beauty’s new GlowWish Multidew Skin Tint. The former queen of contouring has lent her hand to something more natural, blurring the lines between makeup and skincare. The result? A second skin-esque base with plenty of glow power and a subtle soft focus finish.

Choose blush over bronze

Bronzers and contour products have taken over blush in recent years, but used right and a blush can give you an instant pep up, gorgeously flushed and youthful look. Ditch classic powders and opt for sumptuous creams or watery liquids that will blend in to your base or give a gentle wash over clean skin. 

Cult favourite, Glossier’s Cloud Paint blends beautifully and can be built up depending on how strong you want the finished look. Plus, it comes in eight shades, from orange to mulberry and pink, making it ideal for all skin tones. Whilst Anastasia’s Stick Blush comes with a handy brush at one end so you can touch up your look on the go.

ChantecailleCheek Gelée

Price: £40

Made By MitchelBlursh Liquid Blusher

Price: £14

Anastasia Beverly HillsStick Blush

Price: £30

Makeup RevolutionSuperdewy Liquid Blush

Price: £5

GlossierCloud Paint

Price: £15

Add a dewy shine with highlighter

Ditch the face that looks like a glazed donut look and use highlighter sparingly for a natural look.

There are plenty of ways to use; firstly, and for a subtle look, apply it under your foundation (it will also work a little like a primer and keep your makeup in tact for longer) or mix it in to give an allover glow. 

Also, if you want to forego foundation all together, simply cover any blemishes, dark spots or redness with a lightweight concealer, add a lick of mascara and then dot and blend highlighter on your cheekbones, outer upper corner of the brow, Cupid’s bow and in the inner corner of the eye for a bright but barely there look.

Charlotte TilburyHollywood Flawless Filter

Price: £34

Beauty PieTriple Beauty Luminizing Wand


Stick to one eyeshadow shade

Forget using three shades as a base, crease and highlight and opt for one very simple wash of colour.There are plenty of stick-like eyeshadow formulas on the market right now that can be easily painted on and blended out with a brush or your fingers. Add a lick of mascara and you’re good to go.

Favourites include Danessa Myricks’ Colourfix – a multipurpose product that can be used on the eyes, cheeks and lips for a monochromatic look; and Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Colour for classic, subtle shades, effortless application and long-lasting wear.


Price: £15


Price: £15

Danessa MyricksBeauty Colorfix 24 Hour Cream Colour - Matte

Price: £18Bonus: this is a multipurpose product for cheeks and lips!

Laura MercierCaviar Stick Eye Colour

Price: £25

Embrace the full brow

From blade-thin pencils to tamers that keep every unruly hair in place, there are so many brow products on the market right now it can be a bit of a minefield. For natural looking brows, whether you’re blessed with a Cara-esque duo or have previously overplucked, use the two-step rule: fill in and hold in place.

We love NYX’s Lift And Snatch Brow Tint Pen for filling in gaps and creating a subtle arch to frame and lift the face; followed by HD Brows’s Brow Glue that will hold every hair in place all day.

For filling in:

For keeping in place:

NYX Professional MakeupBrow Glue Instant Brow Styler

Price: £6,50

Anastasia Beverly HillsBrow Freeze

Price: £24

HD BrowsBrow Glue

Price: £16

Pare back your lip colour

For that barely-there no-makeup makeup look, strip your lip colour right back. Stay as close to your natural lip colour as possible or go just a tad darker (never lighter) to pep up lips and give a just-kissed, plumpy look. Ditch the lipsticks altogether and look to oils, stains and crayons for a wash of natural looking colour.

Tower 28’s iconic Lip Jelly is perfect for sensitive lips that tend to dry out with usual lipstick, using a dew-delivering formula of five nourishing oils and a jelly like texture. While Beauty Pie’s Shine Up™ Lip Colour Balm Stick is the perfect chuck-in-the-bag lip stain for on-the-go thanks to its foolproof crayon nib.


Price: £25

Charlotte TilburySuperstar Lips

Price: £25

Beauty PieWondergloss™ Collagen Lip Oil +


PeriPeraAiry Velvet Tint

Price: £10,80

Beauty PieShine Up™ Lip Colour Balm Stick


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