Minimal Makeup with Maximum Impact

Summer is (finally) starting to make an appearance and the change in season often brings with it a shift in the kind of makeup we’re choosing to wear. Dark shades might get swapped for lighter, juicier colours or your full coverage foundation could be ditched in favour of a more breathable summer alternative.

However you choose to switch up your makeup routine for the warmer months, summer is a great time to experiment with new styles or nail your signature look. As things heat up, we’re favouring minimal makeup with maximum impact - a simple concept that places the focus on the skin, paired with a punchy summer makeup look of your choice. Think clean skin and a bold lip or blush-flushed cheeks and nothing else.

This is a style that’s designed to take minimal effort whilst still looking bold and defined - ideal if you want to keep things low maintenance during the summer. We turned to our resident makeup artist Emily Wouters to talk us through how to get this look spot on.

RMS Beauty and Ilia Beauty captured by Phoebe Ede
RMS Beauty and Ilia Beauty captured by Phoebe Ede

“The key to creating a minimal makeup look is to focus on the skin first and foremost” explains Emily, “I recommend a gentle exfoliation at least once a week to improve blood circulation which helps keep skin looking plump. I alternate between an AHA fruit enzyme mask like Evolve’s Miracle Mask and a gentle manual exfoliant.”

With temperatures rising, you may feel tempted to stray away from more hydrating products like oils to avoid the skin appearing overly shiny or greasy, however a little shine helps create an overall fresh, dewy complexion - ideal for this kind of look. Emily recommends that “Once you’ve cleansed and applied your SPF (don’t skip this step), gently press a lightweight facial oil into your skin for a lit-from-within-glow.”

When it comes to your complexion, moderation is key as you want your skin to shine through your makeup, not cover it up. “By layering up light layers of product you’ll be able to achieve a subtle no-makeup look” explains Emily, “Opt for light serum-based foundations or concealers - I love Ilia’s True Skin Serum Concealer at the moment. If you are prone to shine, lightly set your complexion with a translucent powder on the T-zone and under eye area.”

The last step to nail the basics of your look is brows. “I personally favour natural brows that emphasise what you already have - try simply setting them in place with a brow gel to tame any strays” says Emily.

Once you’ve prepped and polished your skin, it’s time to add some oomph with your ‘maximum impact’ element. Emily has three favourite summer variations that are easy to achieve, fun to wear and perfect for balmy nights…

Bold Lipstick
“This summer I’m embracing statement lips - with a twist. Once my base is prepped, I Iike to add a bright lipstick, a subtle highlighter on my cheekbones and nothing else. Keeping mascara free gives the look an effortlessly put-together feel. To keep the look fresh, I like to gently smudge the edges of my lipstick using a small fluffy brush for a soft blurred effect. RMS have a great selection of bright summery shades that are hydrating and long wearing.”

RMS Wild With Desire Lipstick captured by Phoebe Ede
RMS Wild With Desire Lipstick captured by Phoebe Ede

Cheek Pop
“If bright lipstick isn’t your thing but you still want to inject a pop of colour into your summer makeup routine, I’d recommend a statement blusher. Rather than just apply your blusher to the apples of your cheeks, I recommend blending the blusher outwards to mimic a more natural flush. I find a cream blusher is best for this look. Any left over blusher I have on my brush I sweep across my eyelids to tie the look together. I’m obsessed with the new Ilia Color Haze cream blush - a must in my makeup kit!”

Ilia Beauty Color Haze captured by Phoebe Ede
Ilia Beauty Color Haze captured by Phoebe Ede

Bronze + Highlight
“For days where I don’t want bright makeup but I still want to look fresh and glowing, I’ll focus on bronzer and highlighter. I like to apply my bronzer (I’m currently using Ilia’s Multistick in Summertime) under my cheekbone, on the apples of my cheeks and across the bridge of my nose buffing it into my skin for a natural sun-kissed glow. I’ll follow this with a dewy highlighter like RMS Living Luminizer applying it to the top of my cheekbones, the inner corner of my eyes and my cupids bow.”

So, there you have it - minimal makeup, maximum impact. Whether you want golden hour cheekbones or a timeless statement lip, follow our tips for your most effortlessly fresh-faced look to date.

Featured image: Emma Sweeney for Glasshouse Journal.

Words: Emily Wouters

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