When it comes to makeup, there are two types of praise. The first goes something like: “Wow, that highlighter/eyeshadow/lipstick looks amazing on you!” The second type is more: “Wow, you look great today!” Compliments are always welcome, but the ones that are about you rather than your makeup tend to feel better.
On the quest to get that perfect glowy, everyday look bound to get the best kind of praise, we sent branded content editor Katie O’Donnell for a lesson with makeup artist Marc Reagan, the director of global artistry at the cruelty-free beauty brand Hourglass Cosmetics. Reagan offered up easy-to-follow tips for applying foundation without looking like you’re wearing foundation (Hourglass’ aesthetic is all about a great canvas), and playing with shimmer and light to look like you’re glowing without trying too hard. Watch the full tutorial video to get Reagan’s technique, and shop the list below to recreate the look yourself.
For Your Prep
After applying your favorite moisturizer, smooth on about a pump of primer with your fingertips, concentrating on areas where you see any redness or uneven texture. Bonus: Hourglass’ primer has broad-spectrum SPF 15.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
For Your Complexion
Foundation is a situation where less really can be more. People often apply too much of it, according to Reagan, and the result can be a makeup-sitting-on-your-face effect. He likes Hourglass’ foundation stick (which feels more like a cream than an old-school, heavy concealer stick) stamped on in thin lines where you need color correction or coverage, then gently blended in with a brush. The result: skin that looks even, not cakey.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush
After foundation, it’s time to set the complexion. Hourglass offers a silky, translucent setting powder — featuring, yes, diamond powder — that helps hold makeup in place without looking dull. You can apply it with the brand’s ultra-soft, double-ended powder brush: The larger, fluffier end works best on the forehead, cheeks, and chin to help prevent shine, and the smaller end can sweep into tighter spots (like the sides of the nose or undereye contour) to avoid overapplication there.
Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Hourglass Veil Powder Brush
For a quick way to get a little glow without looking over-highlighted, Reagan recommends the brand’s Ambient Lighting Palette: a mix of three complementary finishing powders that are suited for all skin tones, and designed to recreate the effect of incredible lighting. (As Hourglass puts it: “not unlike having a personal lighting technician at your disposal.”) Just swipe a brush through all three shades, apply them to the areas you want to illuminate (like the upper cheekbones), and you’re good. “You kind of look like you’re perfectly lit from within, but no one knows why,” explains Reagan.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush
For Your Eyes
For a day-to-day look, some quick touches to your brows can make your look instantly more put-together. Reagan likes to fill in brows with a few strokes of pencil — in a shade slightly warmer than you’d think — mirroring the natural direction of hair growth. To add more volume, he sets the brows with Hourglass’ volumizing fiber gel, which you can also use solo, without brow pencil, on days when you’re crunched for time.
Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel
An easy eyeshadow look is a little like elegant finger-painting. You can skip brushes for this step, dipping your ring finger into a pot of Hourglass’ cream shadow. (O’Donnell wore the champagne shade Reflect for her look.) The formula feels weightless, and shimmery but not glittery, giving you just a wash of light. Plus, the creamy texture helps avoid dreaded undereye product fallout. For more definition, Reagan says a cat-eye is a perfect option: Just stroke a thin line onto the upper lashline, starting to flick liner upward where your lid starts to arch downward.
Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow
Hourglass Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner
For Your Finishing Touches
For the final details, all it takes is a little blush and lip oil. To avoid “I’m wearing blush” vibes, just brush a little color high on the cheek, then blend downward and outward to enhance the cheek’s natural shape. (Here, Reagan used Hourglass’ domed blush brush to apply Diffused Heat, a bright poppy color.) For lips, the brand’s cult-favorite lip treatment oil, which comes in a 24-karat-gold tipped applicator, makes the perfect finishing touch for tint and shine. (O’Donnell wore Bare, a peachy neutral.) And that’s it! You’re off, ready to receive any and all compliments that may come your way. By the way: you look great today.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
Hourglass Ambient Lighting N° 2 Blush Brush
Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil in Bare
This is paid content produced for an advertiser by New York Stories. The editorial staff of The Cut did not play a role in its creation.