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Here's A Tip To Lift The Face Without Looking Like You're Wearing Makeup

Jamie Schneider
July 21, 2023
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
By Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. 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.
woman with glowing skin
Image by iStock
July 21, 2023
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I'll never forget my very first eye shadow palette: Urban Decay's original Naked1 (which is now, sadly, discontinued). As a middle school tween enamored by YouTube beauty tutorials, I was practically itching to get my hands on the array of earth-toned hues so I could sport golden "Half Baked" lids in homeroom. 

My makeup techniques have (thankfully) become more elevated as I have grown older—yet warm, bronzy hues still reign supreme. I mean, just think about the makeup trends that have materialized over the years: "golden hour glam," "sunkissed skin," "summer smoky," and now, "latte makeup." Warm tones are timeless!

But unlike my gilded, glitzy shadow, latte makeup appears totally natural—like you're snatched by the bronze goddess herself. Here's how to nail the warm, milky glow of the moment. 

What is latte makeup? 

Latte makeup is a look inspired by your favorite coffee shop brew. Think "Warm, neutral shades reminiscent of coffee, such as browns, beiges, and soft earthy tones," describes celebrity makeup artist Elizabeth Seropian

Like most beauty trends these days, it spawned from TikTok: Creator Rachel Rigler coined the term after feeling inspired by makeup artist Tanielle Jai's 2018 masterpiece. "It's warm and bronzy, milky and effortless," Rigler declares in the now-viral video. 

If this sounds similar to the aforementioned "golden hour" makeup of seasons past, well, that's because it is practically the same—it's essentially a warm-toned face beat with a gussied-up name. "I feel I've been doing [latte makeup] for a long time because those are my favorite shades," Seropian adds. TikTok didn't exactly reinvent the wheel here. 

But what sets latte makeup apart is the color palette: You'll only see browns, toffees, beiges, and golds here. Instead of swiping on a peachy blush, you'll stick to the copper color family. It creates the perfect, natural-looking lift to your cheekbones without looking like you're wearing too much makeup. Just take a peek below! 

How to nail the look 

Grab your latte-like products of choice and follow Seropian's tutorial below: 

  1. Prep: A must for any makeup look. "Prep your skin by cleansing and moisturizing to create a smooth canvas for makeup application. This step is always key!" says Seropian. 
  2. Prime: A hydrating primer can help your latte makeup last even longer. Find our favorite skin-loving formulas here
  3. Eyeshadow: "Choose neutral shades like browns and oranges to create a warm latte-toned eyeshadow look," says Seropian. "Apply a lighter shade on the lid, a medium shade in the crease, and a darker shade on the outer corner for dimension." As a general rule, darker tones recede an area, while lighter hues bring the attention front and center. Westman Atelier's Les Jours Eye Pods are basically made for this look, IMO.   
  4. Eyeliner & mascara: Both are optional depending on how natural-leaning you want to go, but Seropian is partial to a thin line of brown or black liner along the upper lash line, as well as a few swipes of mascara to enhance those flutters. 
  5. Foundation & concealer: Whether you use a skin tint or a full-coverage foundation, try blending with your fingertips to really help the product melt into your skin. "Use a concealer that matches your skin tone to cover any blemishes, dark circles, or redness," Seropian adds. 
  6. Powder: "Set your foundation and concealer with a translucent or setting powder to prevent creasing and extend the wear of your makeup," she says. Here's a trick to getting powder just right—and prevent the product from sinking into fine lines. 
  7. Contour: Use a matte, cool-toned contour to define your cheekbones, jawline, hairline, and anywhere else you'd like to sculpt. 
  8. Bronzer: Choose a warmer-toned bronzer (like Kjaer Weis' Cream Bronzer), and use it in place of blush, blending it on the apples of your cheeks upward. This is how you achieve that natural-looking, warm glow; because there are no tones of pink (aside from your natural flush), it will look super bronzy and sunkissed. 
  9. Highlighter: "Apply a shimmery highlighter to the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones, brow bone, and the tip of your nose, to add a glowing effect," Seropian says. Saie's Glow Sculpt in the shade "Quartzglow" provides the perfect hit of brightness. Or if you don't care for shimmer, feel free to skip this step! 
  10. Lips: "For the latte-inspired look, opt for a nude or warm-toned lip color," she adds. "You can choose a creamy lipstick or a lip gloss for a glossy finish." CTZN Cosmetics has the best nudes in the game, and Victoria Beckham Beauty makes a dreamy, clear lip gloss to swipe over. 
  11. Set: For a naturally dewy finish, spritz a setting spray all over your face to lock in the masterpiece. Find our favorite picks here if you need a recommendation. 

The takeaway 

Latte makeup essentially refers to warm, bronzy skin with earth-toned hues. It's a staple for summertime glam, and you likely already have the products you need in your arsenal already—my original beloved Naked palette is a relic at this point, but a golden glow isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Jamie Schneider author page.
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. 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 more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.