These Celeb-Inspired Natural Makeup Looks Are Low-Key Perfect for Any Situation

Updated 04/16/19

While we love bold and vivid makeup looks just as much as the next person, sometimes we want something more low-key and subtler. We're talking about no-makeup makeup, which is the term for enhancing your features in an almost undetectable way. It sounds simple. After all, it involves putting on less makeup than usual, right? Surprisingly, though, that's often not the case. One second you're tracing paper-thin lines of eyeliner across both your upper lids, and the next thing you know one's uneven.

So you add a little more, fill in this spot here and that spot there, and suddenly you're back to your normal graphic cat eye.

If you don't possess the deft eye of a makeup artist, it can be hard to know what to apply and what to go without. That's why it helps to have a visual. In this case, 13 celebrity visuals. From Jessica Alba's perfectly pared-down look to Kim Kardashian West's slightly more glamorous take on natural makeup, these celebs are sure to inspire your own creativity.

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We like Emma Watson's neutral lip and slight feline flick on the outside corner of each eye. The eyeliner is kept thin and narrow, which adds definition to her eyes and eyelashes, without being totally conspicuous. We like using Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner ($22), which has a narrow felt pen tip for thin application. It's our go-to everyday eyeliner.

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Kim Kardashian West's interpretation of natural makeup is a little more glamorous than other celebrities' (did you expect anything else, though?). The boldest part of the look has to be her eyes, which are defined with a diffused taupe-brown shadow. 

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Padma Lakshmi's natural makeup looks is all about a nude gloss and peachy-pink blush. To us, her blush looks a lot like Nars cult-favorite Orgasm Blush ($30). It's an old favorite.

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Jessica Alba follows Lakshmi's lead with a shiny nude gloss to match her super-shiny hair (can we talk about that, for a second?). To replicate her shiny lips, we'll use Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss ($34). To replicate her shiny hair, we'll use Sachajuan Shine Serum ($33).

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We're going to go ahead and nominate Meghan Markle for queen of no-makeup makeup. Like Kate Middleton before her, Markle exclusively wears pared-back makeup to all her royal events. We like the think rim of kohl around her eyes. 

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We can't decide what we like more—Jamie Chung's Audrey Hepburn–esque brows or her ever-so-slightly smoky eyeliner. We're calling it a tie.

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Emily Ratajkowski's interpretation of natural makeup is all about bronze. Her orangey-nude lip pairs well with sun-kissed bronzer and soft brown eyeliner. There's something about this makeup that makes us incredibly excited for summer.

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Cameron Diaz wears a subtle gold shimmer shadow across her lids and a bubblegum-pink balm on her lips. We think it brings out her blue eyes well. Try using Becca Light Chaser Highlighter in Pearl Flashes Gold ($17) as eye shadow.

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Lily Collins proves that anyone can go without lip color, bronzer, or pretty much everything else as long as you have fluttery lashes and bold brows. Sometimes it's as simple as brushing up your brows with a spoolie. We keep Tonya Crooks's The BrowGal Eyebrow Brush ($14) in our bags at all times.

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The best part of Yara Shahidi's look, in our humble opinion, has to be her radiant matte skin (other than her voluminous curls, of course). Use BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29) to get a similar finish.

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Gal Gadot shows us how red carpet makeup and natural-looking makeup aren't mutually exclusive terms. We like how she keeps her brows natural and her lips nude, only complementing her bronzed skin with a rim of dark eyeliner.

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We're obsessed with Kelly Rowland's complexion, which is equal parts dewy and radiant. BRB, reaching for our Glossier Moonstone Haloscope Highlighter ($22) to match her glow.

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Lastly, we have Kendall Jenner, who regularly wears this version of no-makeup makeup. It involves a radiant foundation, sheer balm, and a slight flick of eyeliner at the outer corner of each eye. (Catch up on her best hairstyles of all time, like the one she's wearing here at Coachella).

For more no-makeup makeup inspiration, see what natural beauty looks like in different countries across the world.

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