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For The Dewiest Natural Glow, Try The "Reverse Makeup" Hack — Here's How To Do It

Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Close Up Beauty Shot of a Woman with Glowing Skin and Rosy Cheeks
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If you've got a penchant for natural-looking makeup, perhaps you're familiar with some of the more popular tips for a barely there application: sheer out a foundation with a face oil; cream blush is your friend; shimmer, less so. The list goes on

Allow us to add one more to your bank of beauty tips: Ever heard of the "reverse makeup" hack? The technique has been floating among the beauty stratosphere for quite some time, but it's seen a resurgence of late as folks search for understated ways to emphasize the dew. 

Here's exactly how this beauty hack works, for a look that says, Yes, I just so happened to wake up like this

What is the "reverse makeup" hack?

It's actually been a hot tip among makeup artists for years, yet it recently resurfaced this summer over social media. "Change your whole routine, and try this instead," says this TikTok user (the video currently has 4.6 million views and counting). With an immaculate, yet subtle, face of makeup, she goes on to explain her reverse-order process: First, a sweep of powder, followed by setting spray. After waiting a few minutes for it to dry, she then goes in with primer and foundation for a soft, cushiony look. 

If the thought of applying powder before your liquid products has you raising a brow, you're not alone. While it seems to work for a select few, powder does have the ability to crease or pill when it's living under liquid makeup. That's why makeup artist Alexandra Compton, product development manager at clean beauty retailer Credo, says to ditch the powder altogether: She is a fan of the "reverse makeup" hack for a natural-looking sheen, but she tells mbg a specific way to do it for dewy skin, sans pilling.

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How to do the "reverse makeup" hack for a natural glow.

"Use concealer, contour, and blush first," Compton says. (If you'd like to throw a highlighter into the mix, by all means.) "Then overlay a sheer tinted moisturizer or foundation on top for a soft, seamless finish." According to Compton, the technique gives you that "no-makeup look" in a snap.

The goal here, as with any barely there makeup, is remaining dewy and subtle; that overlay of foundation can blur out the pigments to resemble a more natural-looking flush. The idea is that the colors underneath peek through, resembling a flush that truly comes from within. That said, a tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or sheer foundation perhaps works best (it allows your other products to shine through underneath), but "if you only have a full-coverage foundation in your arsenal, mix a few drops with your favorite face oil or moisturizer," Compton adds. 

The takeaway.

The "reverse makeup" hack can give you that oh-so-subtle finish you may be searching for with natural makeup. Best part? You can use the products you already have on hand; this hack is solely about technique, so feel free to play around with your cosmetic bag to find which confections look best under a wash of foundation.

Of course, by no means do you have to blur your blushes and highlighters (show off your products as you please!). But if minimal makeup is more your jam, this subtle trick may leave you with a satin-finish and just the right amount of glow.

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