In a season where #wokeuplikethis, no-makeup makeup looks have reached cool-girl status, the infamous balance between looking good and looking like you’re not trying weighs heavily on our minds. For most of us, if we were to literally roll out of bed and go out into the world, we might be mistaken for the first wave of the zombie apocalypse. But, a full face of makeup and perfectly done hair doesn’t feel right for the times, either.
Our ideal situation: chicness that can be achieved with truly minimal effort — not just the illusion of effortlessness. In short, we’re searching for a way to look artfully disheveled.
To help strike that balance, we called in two of our favorite artists for creating pretty looks that are just a little bit rough around the edges — hairstylist Michael Dueñas and makeup artist James Vincent. Click through to see what they came up with, and to learn how to get the looks. They’re almost as easy as not doing anything at all, and twice as gorgeous.
Part-Free and Glowing
A no-part part adds volume, hides greasiness, and lends itself to an instantly tousled effect. Paired with dewy, glowing makeup, this look manages to feel both fresh and slightly grungy.
“To keep a disheveled look feeling intentional, it’s important to start by perfecting your complexion,” Vincent tells us. He used a sheer-coverage foundation for that purpose. Then, using an eyeshadow palette made up of shimmery nude hues, he used a light vanilla-colored eyeshadow in the inner corner of the eyes and a slightly darker, warm taupe hue smudged out on the top lid.
Vincent also used a lip-and-cheek stain on the model’s pout and the apples of her cheeks. For that barely there lipstick look, he suggests patting the color into your lips with your finger and then pressing your lips together.
Feeling lazy? Turns out, all you need is a bright lip and a messy bun to look like you’ve got it together — and some attitude, of course.
Three Custom Color Specialists Light Brights Lipstick in Area, $21.50, available at Three Custom Color Specialists.
When picking out a bold lipstick shade, we believe in just following your heart — that’s how we landed on this stunning orange hue. “Apply it with your finger so that you get a more of a popsicle stain,” Vincent suggests. “You want your natural lip texture to show through the pigment.”
For the final touch, he used a touch of the lipstick on the apples of the cheeks. “This makes the bright color more flattering,” he explains.
This bun is way less complicated than it looks. If you can do a double knot, you can do this. Start by pulling your hair into a high ponytail and finger combing it into place (rather than making it super sleek). Then, split the ponytail in two, and create two twists. Tie the twists into a knot, and then another knot. You’ll then have a double knot — pin it into place. “This gives the illusion of a braided texture but is much quicker,” he explains.
The Day After
Whether you need to clean up a second-day look or just want to create the appearance of one, faded eyeliner and messy hair can be incredibly cool.
“For an unexpected way to do a cat-eye, try using a black eyeshadow with a shimmery finish,” suggests Vincent. Using a small, angled brush, he traced the lashline, and then began the cat-eye’s wing slightly before the end of the eyelid. This creates that lived-in feel — and as long as the eyes are even, it’ll look like you meant to do it.
To complement the punk-inspired eye, Vincent used a rosy blush. “The soft, romantic feel of the cheek is great to balance out the roughness of the eye,” he explains.
Love Shack Fancy Lace Circle Skirt, $350, available at Love Shack Fancy.
To create this loose bun, start by making a low ponytail, but don’t complete it. Instead, pull your hair halfway through the elastic in a U-shape, with some hair sticking out. Take a piece of the hair that’s sticking out, and wrap it around the elastic to hide it, pinning it in place. Leave the ends free for a deconstructed look.
By combining glowy, metallic makeup with messy, texturized hair, this is perfect if you want to dress up your beauty look while looking like you may or may not have just woken up from an afternoon nap.
To recreate this low, messy bun situation, simply create a middle part, and then pull your hair back into a low ballerina bun, leaving pieces loose in the front. If your hair is naturally wavy, that’s all you need to do. If it’s straight, here’s a trick Dueñas did that changed our lives: Take the loose pieces in the front and tie them into loose knots where ever you want a wave to be. Clamp a hair straightener over the knot for a few seconds. When you untie the knot, you’ll have the undone, deconstructed waves shown here. Told you — life-changing.
Moody metallic makeup is a huge trend this fall, and this is a great way to subtly work it in. “This is a simple wash of color using a single eyeshadow,” Vincent says. He used a rose-gold color and and applied it with a soft brush from crease to lash.
For the rest of the look, he used a lip-and-cheek stain to create a monochromatic wash of color, tying the whole face together.
Pretty In Punk
Lucky for makeup lovers, you don’t have to appear barefaced to get in on this trend. Smudgy black eyeliner and a half-up do is a great nighttime look — whereas a precisely lined eye could look cheesy, a smudgy one has a much more laid-back vibe.
L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black, $8.49, available at Drugstore.com; Smith’sRosebud Salve, $5.59, available at Drugstore.com; Ardency Inn Punker Original Smoky Shadow Pencil, $19, available at Ardency Inn; Smashbox Bronze Lights Bronzer, $30, available at Sephora.
“This look is all about the eye,” Vincent says, smudging a black liner on the top and bottom water lines. He then piled on a ton of mascara, saturating it at the roots and then used the tip of the mascara brush to create intentional lash clumps.
This hairdo is so easy, we don’t know why we haven’t been doing it every day, forever. Simply pull the top half of your hair back and twist it, then pin it into a tiny bun. It’s great on dirty hair, and even greater when you need to look effortlessly amazing in a pinch — a.k.a. always.