I’m Learning the Art of Effortless Beauty—These 7 Looks Are Serving Inspo

If there’s one thing I have learned as a beauty editor, it’s that making your hair/makeup/glowing complexion look effortless is easier said than done. And this is something that pains me to admit considering it’s the sort of beauty aesthetic I long for. It doesn’t help that I am a low-maintenance sort of girl when it comes to my beauty routine. I want thing to look effortless and genuinely be effortless too.

While makeup artists, hairstylists and skin experts spend hours on making their celebrity clientele’s beauty looks appear as though they have taken no time at all (like it’s just their genes or something?!), I have made it my mission to achieve such natural-looking, effortless looks in less than five minutes. It’s something I have been trying to find the secret to for many years but haven’t had much luck with. However, over the past couple of months, I have been taking my effortless-beauty lessons more seriously and have been scrolling Instagram, saving down the effortless-beauty looks I adore and dissecting them in a bid to find ways to replicate them in record time. And to be honest, I think we might all have something to learn from the queens of effortless beauty. Keep scrolling for the seven effortless-beauty looks that are giving me major inspiration.

Tousled, textured hair that falls flowingly over the shoulders? Check. Untamed, bushy brows? Check. Bare lashes for a soft makeup look? Check. I’ll be honest, this whole look has it all. The thing that really brings it together, though, is the hint of flush on the cheeks that matches the blurry lip tint. The key, I think, is making sure you go for a matte product that blurs and becomes one with the skin rather than something glossy and tacky that sits on top. 

This cheek colour from Rare Beauty creates an inky stain on the skin that sticks around all day. With a semi-matte, skin-like finish, it’s one of those products that requires very little effort to apply and no upkeep, either.

Texture isn’t something my hair naturally possesses, so when I see people with effortless-looking waves, I do get jealous. This texturising spray, however, is easily the best I have ever used. It adds a grit to the hair that creates a laid-back, just-rolled-out-of-bed look.

While there’s no doubt that matte tints are the way to inject some lived-in colour to your cheeks, a clear gloss is also one of the best products you can turn to for effortless-looking glow. When skin isn’t playing ball, simply tap some gloss onto lids, lips and the tops of the cheek bones to create the appearance of dewy radiance—no pigment required.

This gloss is well-priced and has proved to be one of the most wonderful multi-use products I own. It isn’t as sticky as others I’ve tried but has enough tack that it doesn’t slip straight off the skin.

I’ll admit while glossy cheeks look great, they’re a magnet for hair. This pigment-free highlight gives the cheekbones a healthy-looking sheen without a hint of stickiness.

One thing I have learned about effortless makeup is that it’s not so much about the makeup products you use but instead the shades you go for. Bright, pigmented shades are typically not effortless and require some blending. Browns, nudes and shades that mimic the appearance of sun-kissed skin are easy winners. My top tip? Swap out your black eyeliner for a softer brown—any smudges look intentional, and it creates a much softer look on the eye.

This brown liner is soft and creamy and blends like a dream. Since I’ve owned this, I’ve barely reached for my old favourite black kohl.

Reach for a blusher in a shade that reflects the shade of your skin after a day in the sunshine. This deep pink from Vieve looks excellent when lightly dusted over the cheeks, nose and top of the forehead.

I could probably write a thesis on the art of effortless-looking skin and the skincare routine you need to adopt if you want to achieve it. While I’m happy to admit I’m no whizz with a makeup brush or hair tool, I do know the ins and outs of what makes a cracking glowy-skin routine. The biggest problem? It takes years of dedication, patience and, I’m sad to say, expert help—all of which require money. If you want to fake a lit-from-within glow when you wake up, reach for skin-plumping serums, steer clear of base products, and finish off with a hydrating, tinted balm on your lips.

Whenever I apply this product, someone asks after my skin. It creates glossy glow without leaving skin greasy or oily. Plus, it’s filled with skin-loving ingredients like vitamin C.

This lip balm is potentially one of the best I have come across for everyday use. It contains SPF 50 to protect the delicate skin on our lips from damaging UV rays, delivers a subtle blush tint, and leaves lips feeling comforted and hydrated for hours after you’ve applied it.

Whenever I speak to makeup artists about the best ways to achieve an effortless beauty look, they all tell me the same thing: Reach for creamy products that melt into one another. And this rule goes for everything from blushes and eye shadows to foundations and concealers.

The latest foundation launch from Nars, this stuff gives a skin-like finish that oozes radiance, luminosity and health.

After you’ve applied your foundation, go straight in with a cream blusher. Just swirl your fingers around and dab it into the cheeks—the creaminess of the foundation and blusher together will create a blurred, effortless flush in a matter of seconds.

Two things that don’t scream effortless beauty are colour and eyeliner, and here I am getting inspiration from a colourful liner look. I sat down with a famous makeup artist recently, and she told me the secret to keeping your colourful liner looks effortless is by maintaining a natural look everywhere else—that goes for hair, lashes and skin.

These colourful liners from Glossier are surprisingly easy to use given their impressive pigment. The creamy formula glides over lids with such ease, you’ll be staggered at how quickly your liner goes on.

Whatever your hair texture, this air-dry cream can be worked into wet lengths to ensure your hair air-dries with amplified texture. It helps to define curls, texturise waves and add glossy shine.

We’ve briefly discussed the benefits of reaching for tints and stains, but this look reaffirms that they really are the way to go. Tying the colour through by applying the same tint to your eyes, lips and cheeks is the ultimate way to nail a five-minute face. Just add a lick of mascara to lashes, scrape hair back into a low bun, and you’re good to go.

This lip tint is really impressive. It feels almost invisible on the lips but maintains a blurring sheen that helps you feel pulled together.

I can’t get enough of this product. It’s a little bit sticky, which I quite like at this time of year to give skin some glow. I tap it onto my cheeks and lips, running any excess over my lids for a super-quick makeup look.

Next up, I’m a makeup novice, but these nine natural eye shadow looks are easy.

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