An Expert Makeup Breakdown
Local pro Sharon Tabb’s advice for the perfect “no-makeup makeup” look
So long, 2020. Let’s greet the new year with a fresh look. Heavy, dramatic makeup holds little appeal these days, and neither does a bare face. What’s enticing is a softer approach that focuses on dewy, luminous cheeks that glow and reflect light. “No-makeup makeup” is how the look is often described. It’s not product-free as one might assume, but it does require less mirror time and can easily be enhanced for those who prefer a bit more definition on the lips or eyes.
Oklahoma City makeup artist Sharon Tabb is a fan of the look, and offered a step-by-step tutorial. She grew up in Oklahoma, works in film, commercial and print, and has put her touch on countless celebrities, including Selena Gomez, Harrison Ford, America Ferrera, Mario Lopez, Laurence Fishburne, Yoko Ono, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kathy Ireland and Russell Crowe.
Any successful makeup look, even a natural one, should begin with skin care or skin prep, Tabb said. That includes lips, too. “I really want to emphasize skin care,” she says. It’s the basis for easy product application and favorable results. The three musts are lip balm, facial moisturizer and eye cream.
Then comes foundation. If the face is blemish-free, consider skipping foundation, she said. If not, just spot-treat blemishes with concealer. For those who insist on using foundation, less is more. Try a BB cream or a sheer, lightweight foundation. “I think skin should look like skin,” Tabb says, and added that she’s tired of all the overly made up looks on Instagram. Heavy, overdone makeup is rarely flattering. For a more natural look, she also suggested mixing a dab of foundation and moisturizer together to give the skin radiance. Those who usually set their makeup with translucent powder should opt for just a soft dusting.
Blush and shimmer come next. A common mistake is putting blush too close to the nose, Tabb said. Keep it about two finger widths away from the nose. She suggests women smile and apply blush on the apples of cheeks. Apply highlighter, either cream or powder formula, just above the blush. She suggests smiling and applying highlighter where you see a lift in the cheeks. It can extend a little closer to the eyes, but the simplest application is to keep it above the cheeks only.
When it comes to highlighter, powder is easier for many to use, but cream is a better option for those with dry skin, she said. Creams tend to give a realistic flush. Practice to get the right look and blend, blend, blend. Glow oils are another alternative.
To bring more emphasis to the eyes, powder highlighter also can be applied under the brow bone for a wide-eyed look and at the inner corner of the eyes to brighten any darkness. Or try a touch in the center of the eyelid to add even more brightness and along the bridge of the nose. Add highlighter almost anyplace on the face for a desired glow.
Eyelids, brows and lashes don’t need a lot of attention. Instead of dark eyeshadows, opt for a swipe of a pretty pastel or soft neutral, then fill in brows lightly with a brow pencil for definition. Tabb prefers a gentle arch rather than a sharp, dramatic one. Mascara is a given for most women; keep it simple with one coat.
And, finally, do not forget the lips. They should already be moisturized with lip balm so finish this softer, less-makeup approach with clear gloss or one with a shiny pink or peach tint that plays into that luminous, radiant all-over look.
Photography: Shevaun Williams
Makeup and hair: Sharon Tabb
Model: Malezhia Bell-Allen, Tabb Agency