The so-called "natural" look is always a runway favorite for Summer. It's hot and balmy, so who wants colorful eye makeup melting all over the place? But often this look requires more product and precision than the more dramatic looks like the smoky eye. The runway makeup artists NEVER send a model down the runway with just some moisturizer and chap-stick. People look at these models and think that they must just be naturally perfect, and though they are admittedly gorgeous women, even they need a lot of prep to look "naturally" perfect. Case in point was the Spring 2010 Gucci show. Famed runway makeup artist Pat McGrath did the girls' makeup for the show.
Here's how you can recreate this look at home: Start with a good mattifying foundation primer like one of the ones I suggest in my Prime Time article (Korres, Smashbox, Arbonne, Loreal, and Hourglass all make good ones). Then apply your foundation of choice.
Next, groom and define the eyebrows with a little brow gel. I like the tinted brow gel from Anastasia, but Anastasia also makes a clear brow gel if you prefer. To get the Gucci look shown above, try brushing your brows upward a bit with the gel brush. You want your brows to look full and defined, but natural. So avoid dark brow gels or heavy brow pencils and powders.
For the cheeks, dust a sheer fuchsia (trust me on this one) blush lightly and high on the cheekbones (this is the technique McGrath used at Gucci and it gives a more modern youthful look than applying the blush to the apples). My favorite fuchsia blush from Anna Sui has tragically been discontinued, so I suggest using MAKE UP FOR EVER's blush powder in No. 26, a very sheer bright pinkish fuchsia. You could also use a hot pink/raspberry shade like MAC's Dollymix powder blush. I promise that this will look natural. The key is to use very sparingly by patting your brush just once in the blush and tapping off all excess. Then use a very light hand to apply the blush to the high cheekbones in a slow circular motion. You don't want any defined edges, so if you get too much blush on or find that it's looking striped, use a clean blush brush to blend as much as possible and then use a powder brush to apply loose powder over the blush, blending it. Once you get used to using just a tiny amount of product and a very light hand, this fuchsia blush trick will become a fast favorite.
For the eyes, apply a good eyeshadow base (Benefit's Stay Don't Stray in my favorite) to the entire lid. Then apply a light matte skintone shade to the lid and browbone. I use MAC's Orb personally, which is a pale bone color. You want to use something just one shade lighter than your skin to add some brightness and definition to the eye area. Next, use a dark brown liquid liner like Loreal's Lineur Intense in Earthen Rock Brown. To keep the line very fine, either wipe the excess off the liner brush or better yet, use a separate clean liner brush to apply as little product as possible. The easiest way to get a clean straight line is to take your liquid liner brush and point it directly at the eye and make tiny dots right in between the lashes. Then slowly and precisely connect the dots. Next, sweep a medium matte taupe eyeshadow across the crease and under the lower lashline to add subtle contour. NARS eyeshadow single in Blondie is a great medium taupe shade for this look. Finally, add a coat of a lengthening dark brown mascara like Covergirl's Lashblast Length mascara in Black Brown.
The final touch for this look is a light pink lip balm like Korres's lip butter in Plum, which gives he lips a really sheer moist lavender-berry finish, or the same formula in Jasmine, which is a very sheer natural pink. The shea butter in the Korres lip butters will give your lips a healthy moist look and feel, like that achieved in the pictures of the Gucci show above. You could also line your lips with a very light nude lip pencil for extra definition. Josie Maran makes a good one called Natural. I'm also a fan of the smooth lip pencils from NARS, and NARS makes a nude lip pencil called Morocco.
Those are the steps to the natural look. Once you do it once or twice, it's a breeze to get ready in the morning.