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My Go-To No Makeup Makeup Look as a Model

By: Alyssa Burns

As models in the industry, we are always filming self-tapes, updating digitals, attending open calls, and having our faces/bodies be the center of attention. Some may believe that in order to be a model you always need to look glammed up and ready for an event. The truth is, we’re encouraged to wear very minimal makeup, if any at all, to all of our auditions. This gives photographers, makeup artists, and designers an opportunity to see us as a canvas they can build their artistry on.

On a day-to-day basis, whether I’m modeling or not, I tend to apply the same “no-makeup makeup look” to go about my day and . In today’s society especially, it’s so important to embrace our features and highlight what makes us each unique. Instead of feeling the NEED to apply a full face of makeup everyday, apply makeup that accentuates your facial features without masking who you are. You’re beautiful just as you are, so allow that to shine through!

As both a model and personal trainer, I stick to very minimal makeup for work and running errands. Below I’ll guide you to choose the best products for you, how to apply them, and my favorite ways to wear this look that gives my skin some life, glow, and dew.

Types of Products to Look For

The hardest part about walking into a Sephora is not getting distracted by at least three dozen products on your way to what you actually walked in for. Trust me, my VIB Rouge Status since middle school knows that detour all too well. In an attempt to save you some time–and spare your bank account–I’ve broken down the basics on what products to look and ask for when shopping for this no makeup look.

Three words. Skincare Based Products. Yes, skincare itself is CRUCIAL for a glowy, effortless look. However, there are makeup products specifically formulated with skincare ingredients to help your skin look and feel nourished, hydrated, and flawless. A lot of new makeup lines use this skincare technology in blushes, foundations, concealers, and even their mascara formulas.

One of my favorite ingredients right now is Squalane oil, so I tend to lean towards products that feature this “superfood for the face.” Two brands I love right now for these products are Biossance and Rose Inc.

There are TONS of makeup lines worth looking into to find what works best for your skin type and skin concerns. Look for clean beauty brands, test products out before purchasing, and have fun finding your new “no makeup” makeup staples you’ll repurchase over and over. There’s nothing more satisfying than loving a product so much you finish the entire thing down to the last drop.

Skin Comes First

Okay yes, I know this is a makeup blog, but I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t over-emphasize the importance of a healthy BASE. No makeup, no matter the quality, will look good if you don’t take care of your skin first. This starts from the inside out. Sure, there are holy-grail skincare lines that truly do lead to proven results; however, the clearest and most radiant skin comes from taking care of YOU. Hydrate properly and often, eat foods packed with vitamins and minerals, sleep enough (and really do), and REST. Stress causes fine lines and wrinkles early… let's do our best to avoid that.

You may already have a skincare routine you love. If that’s the case, AMAZING. Stick to it! If you haven’t developed one yet, do some experimenting. Go see a skincare specialist for recommendations or get sample kits until you find what makes your skin look and feel its best. Remember, simple is better. You don’t need a ton of acids, toners, exfoliants, or masks to have clear and healthy skin. Just be sure you have a makeup remover, cleanser, toner, moisturizer, serum, and under eye cream. These six products cover all the bases for a balanced wash, tone, and hydrate regimen.

Prime and Prep

After completing your now perfected skincare routine, it’s time to–you guessed it–prep the skin even MORE. I know, it seems excessive. However, a really good primer can make or break the longevity and finish of a makeup look. It’s best to prime the skin with a clean, skin smoothing primer that basically acts as an Instagram filter for your face. You know that “enhance” mode on Tik Tok? This is the physical manifestation. Magical, I agree.

The best primers are ones that blur your pores, hydrate your skin, and add a bit of a sheen or glow. Again, do your own research if you’re inspired to find products to target your specific skin care needs. Also, just as a PSA, always wear some sort of SPF if your primer doesn’t have it listed. If you’re a fairer complexion girly like me, try adding self-tanner drops to your moisturizer at night a few times a week for an extra glow.


The eyes are the window to the soul, or in other words, accentuating your eyes is a MUST. You don’t need a smokey eye or five layers of black mascara to make your eyes pop. In fact, I actually love a super minimalistic eye look with a bold

lip color, even on my no-makeup days.

There are three main products to buy for your eyes: eyelash curler, neutral cream shadow, and mascara primer. The eyelash curler gives your lashes a natural lift; the shadow helps catch the light; and a primer builds off of what you have without being too bold. I personally go for a brown-tinted mascara primer instead of the white ones, since those are meant specifically for underneath a darker mascara to enhance the pigment. Again, the cleaner the products, the better. Our eyes are sensitive, so it’s important we take care of them. It’s worth every penny.

Photographer: Alex Callejo

I love a simple makeup look because it so beautifully accentuates anyone’s natural features.


Nothing can take you from the walking dead to the rosy-cheeked girl next door quite like a perfect blush. Even if I wear no other makeup, I always put some sort of blush on my face to make me look, well, ALIVE. Especially in the winter, my skin needs some kind of “sun-kissed” look (no one needs to know there’s days I don’t step foot out of my apartment…).

For the “clean girl” no-makeup makeup look a cream blush is the way to go. Not only does it blend seamlessly into the skin from the warmth of your fingers, it adds a natural flush instead of a powder that sits on top of your skin. It’s always best to apply cream blushes directly after your skincare and prep so your skin is still hydrated and can blend the product in without pulling at your skin. Especially in the winter, trying to apply a cream blush after being outside in the cold can be difficult and not look or feel as good on the skin.


Now you’ve got the color, let’s get the GLOW. Even on the coldest days, golden hour can still hit. A subtle, yet noticeable highlighter can take this no-makeup, makeup look from pretty to pretty flawless. If there’s any one product that would work just as well whether it is powder or cream-based is a highlight. Since it’s only used on the high points on your face, it’s nothing that will pull at your skin or that needs perfect blending. You can put highlighter literally anywhere you want an extra shimmer. While your turtleneck may cover a cute collar bone highlight moment, it’s still cute to have when lounging in your cozy pjs next to your boo.


When I tell you to take PRISTINE care of your lips… just do it. The only thing worse than dry flaky skin is dry flaky lips. Yeah, it’s not cute OR fun when you’re licking your lips 100 times a day just to keep them from feeling as dry as the Sahara Desert. Most important is to always have something handy to keep your lips hydrated. Exfoliate them in the morning and at night before applying a layer of lip balm. Allow this balm to absorb while completing the rest of your makeup then top with a lip color of your choice. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in a lip mask to wear at night for extra plump and hydration. I take my lip care routine as seriously as my skin, and believe me when I tell you, it’s worth it.


Now that your skin is refreshed, glowing, and ready to take on the day, it’s time to set her in PLACE. The worst feeling is perfectly applying makeup only for it to smear, melt, or crack just a couple hours after leaving the house.

In order to keep your makeup in place, you need to apply some kind of setting spray. I highly recommend a clean and hydrating setting spray. Yes, I know some makeup gurus out there SWEAR by using hairspray as a setting spray… Not only is that terrifying, but the chemicals are a BIG no if you want to keep your skin healthy and clear. I also don’t recommend a powder, at least for the entire face, as it can dry and cake up in the cold wind. If you want to use a translucent setting powder, try to do so only on places that get oily, such as the forehead or chin.

Pro tip: carry a travel sized spray in your purse for a midday pick me up if your skin is feeling parched and needing a little boost.

The Perfect Everyday No Makeup Makeup

I love a simple makeup look because it so beautifully accentuates anyone’s natural features. With the products I’ve listed above, not only will your skin LOOK flawless, but you’re giving it some extra TLC with each product formulated with the skin’s wellbeing in mind. Model or not, this makeup look is for everybody. I literally apply it at 5am, half asleep most days before heading to work. It’s fool-proof. What’s even better is that it’s buildable! You can use this method as a base for any makeup look that inspires you. Try this with a shimmer lid, cat-eye, or bright bold lip. The possibilities are ENDLESS. You’re gorgeous with and without makeup, but if you want a quick, go-to routine to feel just a tad more put together (even just to work from home!), this is the look for you. Go glow, girl!

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