Nude and Improved

Makeup shades that fix your flaws & flatter your best features.

Nude and Improved
Pin it Grace Huang

Think about how you look when you wake up from a great night’s sleep or after a hard workout and a long shower. You don’t have an ounce of makeup on and yet—you glow. Here’s a secret: You can look like this all the time—even if you’re sleep-deprived and haven’t exercised in weeks—with a few simple additions to your makeup bag (and the right know-how, of course). “The easiest way to look like a natural beauty is by using a makeup palette of nude hues,” says L’Oréal Paris makeup artist Collier Strong. But before you start reaching for lots of tans and taupes, take note: “It’s hard to find someone who’s going to look their best in only taupe,” he says. “To bring out your natural look, use colors that complement your skin tone—think light pinks and peaches and bronzes. That’s what the ‘nude’ look is about.” Here’s how to look like you—only better—with barely there makeup that makes your best features pop.

When choosing a shade of eye shadow and liner, think sheer, soft colors just one or two shades deeper than your skin tone. If you have oily skin, go with a powder; if your skin is dry, choose a cream shadow (or mix a dollop of eye cream with your powder shadow; it will adhere better to your lid and last longer). To make your eyes look bigger, line the inner rims of the top and bottom lash lines with a light brown or nude pencil. Finish with at least one coat of mascara.
Quick tip: Do your eye makeup first—even before applying moisturizer or foundation—so when shadow inevitably spills onto your cheeks it’s easy to wipe off without wrecking your previous handiwork.

1. Sue Devitt Beauty Eye Intensifier in Tanzania ($22; makes every eye color pop, and the moisturizing formula helps shadow stay put, eliminating crease lines on your lids.
2. Aveda Petal Essence Single Eye Color in Aurora ($12; is talc- and mineral-oil-free, and infused with flower wax. Available in a range of shades, from matte to shimmery.
3. Origins Eye Shadow in Crème Tulle ($14; origins .com) is buildable and blendable so you can create a natural—or naturally glamorous—effect.
4. jane iredale Eye Gloss in Brown Silk and Champagne Silk ($15 each; adds a subtle sparkle around eyes and won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin.
5. L’Oréal Paris Bare Naturale Mineral-Enriched Mascara ($10; feels weightless on lashes and is paraben- and fiber-free.