3 Steps to a Sheer, Fresh Base (That Looks Effortless)

laura mercier beige ultimae pyt no bs palette
Waiting on spring!

It’s always kinda amusing to me when I watch a tutorial for “skin that looks like skin,” or “effortless foundation,” and it involves, like, 12 steps to get there!

I know, I know! It comes with the territory of doing makeup. But still. 🙄

Admittedly, I’m guilty of over-complicating makeup on occasion (*cough* sorry! *cough*), but sometimes I really do just want easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, and this three-step process to a sheer, fresh base is exactly that.

The goal here? A low-effort base that looks natural and polished, with a few areas of strategically placed slightly dewy (but not shiny) finish peeking through. Please bear in mind that this type of base will not completely cover everything. Yes, we’re purposefully letting lots of actual skin show.

You’ll need…

Three is the magic number here, starting with how much time you’ll need.

About three minutes.

Also, you’ll need the following…

  1. An opalescent, low-shimmer highlighting lotion, ideally one without any bits of glitter in it
  2. A sheer-to-medium-coverage stick or cream foundation that works for your skin type and tone
  3. A synthetic blending brush

The step-by-step

  1. First, dab a few dots of the pearly lotion all over your face, and blend. I like to include a few dots beneath my eyes to lift and brighten that area. After blending all of your dots, wait about a minute for your pearly lotion set.
  2. Apply the foundation you selected wherever you want the highest coverage. Gently press and blend it in with clean fingers (ideally, your fingers should be warm for this, and not freezing cold like my fingers get sometimes). I typically do my cheeks, underneath my nose, around my mouth, and in the center of my forehead. This should take just about another minute.
  3. Gently diffuse the edges of your foundation with the blending brush, seamlessly blending the foundation into your natural skin. The trick is to not lift off and remove too much product here. That is, you do want some coverage, after all, so use a light touch.
  • Optional: dab some concealer under your eyes, and I’d suggest something sheer because a full-coverage concealer will look disjointed alongside such a sheer base.
  • Additional optional step: set your foundation with a sheer powder (I usually skip this step).

Here’s a closeup of the base! As you can see, there are a few freckles on my nose and a few places where a little pigmentation is peeking through above my upper lip and on my cheeks, which I’m totally cool with. Like I said, this is the type of makeup that isn’t meant to fully conceal everything.

laura mercier beige intime pyt no bs palette closeup
Well, hi there!
Fresh skin, olive lids and rosy beige cheeks and lips
See the freckles on my nose?

What to pair this base with

If you want to keep it casual and underdress this base, you could pair it with a combination of brow gel, mascara and eyeliner, but for a little extra polish, you could dress it up like I did here by pairing it with something like a cool-toned olive and taupe on the lids, a matte rosy blush on the cheeks and a light pinkish brown lipstick.

laura mercier beige intime pyt no bs palette swatches
Swatches of the key eye, cheek and lip products
laura mercier beige intime pyt no bs palette products
Featured products I’m wearing on my eyes, cheeks and lips

Product links

What I’m wearing

Additional pearly/low-shimmer highlighting lotion options

Additional stick or cream foundation options:

Synthetic blending brush options:

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. Happy Tuesday! 😄