Why Do I Look Better Without Makeup? (10 Potential Reasons)

Beautiful young woman with clean fresh skin


Do you ever have the feeling that you look better without makeup on?

While heavy makeup has been very popular for the past few years, you might feel inclined to start sporting a more natural look.

Here are ten reasons why you might look better without makeup.


Why Do I Look Better Without Makeup? 10 Potential Reasons


1. Makeup Can Hide Your Natural Beauty

Makeup artist applies lipstick


The best makeup accentuates your natural beauty.

However, poorly done makeup can hide it.

For example, let’s say you have a face covered in freckles.

Freckles can be quite beautiful, especially naturally occurring ones.

If you use foundation and concealer, you might be covering up this part of yourself.

Another example is if you have a beauty mark.

Small moles (also called beauty marks) can be quite stunning.

However, makeup like foundation and concealer can cover them completely or make them appear faded.

You might have a beautiful natural lip color that is impossible to improve with lipstick.

Or you might have a stunning nose that looks odd when contoured.

Solution: If you are blessed with natural beauty, embrace it!

There is no point in fighting your natural features.

If a certain technique requires you to cover up a key feature, eliminate it from your routine.

Just because every beauty guru you watch contours their nose doesn’t mean you have to.

Look for products that let your natural features shine through.

Maybe a thick foundation will make your freckles disappear, but a sheer BB cream won’t.

Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean you need it.

For example, if you have stunning blue eyes, you don’t need to cover them up with colored contacts!

If you want to take it a step further, you could eliminate wearing makeup altogether.

Being blessed with great natural features is a wonderful thing.

You might as well take advantage of it!

Think of everything you could accomplish in the time you save by skipping out on your daily makeup routine—not to mention how happy your skin will be if you let it breathe each day!


2. It Is Caked on Too Thick

Attractive girl applying powder on face


Caking on your makeup can make your face look unattractive.

It causes your skin to look dry and fake.

Remember, the best makeup enhances your natural beauty.

Makeup that is caked on too thick looks highly unnatural.

There are a few things you might be doing that are causing your makeup to look caked on.

Perhaps you are just applying too much product in general.

You also might be using a combination of products that give a heavy look.

For example, if you use a liquid foundation and then set it with a powder, the two products can mix and create a “caked” look.

Solution: Pick a lightweight foundation.

Unless you have intense acne or other skin problems, a BB cream or tinted moisturizer can be used for a more natural look.

Even if you do have lots of acne, you still might want to stay away from high-coverage products.

High-coverage products tend to be thicker and can sometimes hurt the skin.

This can result in you getting trapped in a catch-22.

The more product you use, the worse your skin will become.

At the same time, the worse your skin is, the more product you use!

Another thing you can do is simply use less product.

Not only will this be good for your look, but it’ll also benefit your skin!

In fact, unless you have extreme blemishes, you can forego the foundation altogether.

Using a bit of concealer on more problematic areas is enough for most people.

This will keep your skin healthy and will make you require less makeup in the long run!

Try to not overdo it on the powder.

“Setting” your liquid foundation with powder is a typical practice that many girls learned when they were young.

It helps lock the foundation into place.

However, the use of powder along with liquid is almost always the root cause of a cakey look.

If you really feel your makeup needs the extra help to set, consider using a setting spray instead.


3. Your Technique Is Out of Date



Most millennials who use TikTok will remember the fateful moment when their side parts went out of style.

It seems that one day Gen Z woke up and decided that center parts were in, and side parts were out.

The same thing can happen with makeup.

What was cool yesterday (or last year) might not be in style anymore.

If you feel like your makeup is making you look worse, this could be a sign that you need to update your skillset a bit.

If you are struggling with makeup that is caked on too thick, you are probably a victim of this problem too!

A decade ago, it was very popular to lay the foundation on thick and set it with powder.

Now, dewy and more natural looks are in.

It used to be normal to use tons of bronzer to sculpt the face.

Now, while some people still use bronzer, the typical placement has changed.

People used to cover up their freckles.

Now people without freckles use products to give themselves fake freckles! In the early 2000s, thin eyebrows were all the rage.

Then girls started sporting over-filled, boxy eyebrows.

Now, some brush their eyebrows up using soap, resulting in a wild but popular look!

Solution: Makeup isn’t something you learn how to apply just once!

If you want to keep up with the trends, set aside some time each year to learn the popular makeup techniques of the moment.

There is a trend that has been circulating around the Internet where makeup artists compare their old techniques to their new ones.

For example, you might see videos titled “How I Did My Makeup in 2012 vs. 2022.”

These videos can be extremely helpful in determining how to update your makeup routine.

It can be super useful to see your past techniques side-by-side with more modern, updated ones.


4. You Are Using the Wrong Products

Decorative cosmetics and makeup brushes on a white background, top view


There are many affordable and great makeup products out there.

However, just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you should be using the cheapest product on the shelf.

Using the wrong product can make you look worse than using nothing at all!

You also need to be sure to update your products as your skin changes.

You might have had oily skin when you were younger, but you may notice your skin is dryer now.

It’s not all in your imagination! Your skin naturally dries out as you get older.

Solution: Use high-quality products.

Remember, high-quality doesn’t have to mean expensive.

Look up product reviews before you make a purchase.

If you are shopping at a store like Sephora or Ulta, make sure to use the workers as a resource to figure out the best options for you.

Your skin can change, so don’t ignore it!

A lot of us put ourselves in a box as a teenager and never reevaluate our skin type.

Just because you had dry skin as a child doesn’t mean you necessarily have dry skin now.

It’s also common for people to experience less acne as they get older.

You might have started using certain beauty products to manage your acne, but now that you are older, they may be unnecessary.

If you are mature, look for products that are specifically made for mature skin.

These are often formulated to be more hydrating.

You want to make sure that you aren’t using products that will settle into your wrinkles and make them more noticeable.

It also might be a good idea to switch out powder products for liquid or cream products if possible.

This will leave your face looking more hydrated and less dried out.


5. Your Makeup Is Expired

Shocked curly woman looking at set of lip gloss


Many people don’t know that makeup can expire.

It is important to make sure that you aren’t using expired makeup.

If you notice you are looking worse after applying makeup, it might be because your products have expired.

Expired liquid and cream products can start to separate.

The oil and pigment won’t be adequately mixed.

The texture of the product can also change.

You also run the risk of irritating your skin if you use expired products.

Obviously, irritated skin is unattractive! So, it only makes sense that your makeup has expired if you looked better before putting the product on.

Solution: If you suspect your makeup might be expired, make sure to check the expiration date on it.

To find the date, you can typically search for an icon that looks like an open jar on your product.

Inside the jar icon will be a number followed by an “M.”

The number indicates the number of months that you can still use the product after opening.

If you find that your makeup is expired, the only thing to do is toss it!

You are going to need to replace it with a new version.

If you have already applied the expired makeup to your skin, make sure to clean your face thoroughly.


6. Using Bad Lighting

Young beautiful girl looks in the mirror


Using bad lighting while applying your makeup can result in an odd final look.

This is why lighting is so important in makeup studios!

Have you noticed how the mirrors that actors and actresses get makeup done in front of often have more than a dozen lightbulbs?

It’s not only the lighting but also the color of the environment.

Doing your makeup in a bright pink room might cause you to mess up your blush, for example.

It also can cause you to mismatch your foundation color.

If you notice a significant difference between how your makeup looks in the mirror and how it looks out of the house, your lighting might be the cause!

Solution: You should make sure you always have enough light to adequately see your face.

The best thing to do is to use natural lighting if it is possible.

If you have a handheld mirror you like to use for your makeup, stand in front of your biggest window to get some natural light.

If you don’t have enough natural light, consider getting a makeup mirror.

You don’t have to invest in dozens of industrial-strength lights like the stars do.

There are many affordable makeup mirrors on the market with bright lights built in.

Try to do your makeup in a room that is a neutral color.

The light in that room will naturally reflect the color of the walls, which can make it hard to see what you are doing if the color is too crazy.


7. Going Too Heavy on The Bronzer or Highlighter

Cosmetics for natural makeup, highlighter


This is a mistake that is easy to make, especially when you are new to makeup.

It can be so fun to discover your ability to sculpt your face using bronzer and highlighter.

However, too much of a good thing can make you look like a clown!

Solution: Try eliminating bronzer or highlighter from your routine completely.

Go look at yourself in the natural light.

See if you like that version of your makeup better.

Then you can add a little bit of bronzer and highlighter at a time until you find the perfect look.


8. Your Appearance Changed

Young woman in white undershirt looking in mirror


Maybe you got a spray tan.

Or perhaps you dyed your hair brown when normally you are blonde.

Changes to your appearance might require you to change the way you get ready.

If you haven’t updated your makeup routine after changing some major part of your appearance, this could easily be the source of your problem.

You are going to need to update your makeup look ASAP!

Solution: Head to the makeup store and get some advice on how to adjust your makeup for your new look.

You aren’t necessarily going to have to buy all new makeup, but one or two new items can make a huge difference.

If you tend to tan well, a good solution might be to get two different colors of foundation: a dark one and a light one.

You can then mix the foundation to get your ideal color.

This will ensure you don’t have to head to the store after every spray tan or have different foundations for different seasons.

If you love to change your hair dramatically, you might benefit from slightly changing your makeup when you redo your hair.

If you have a lot of makeup already, you don’t need all new products.

You can just focus on using different color palettes while you are sporting different looks.


9. You Need to Work on Your Skills

Young woman looks at mirror and doing makeup


If you just started wearing makeup but don’t like the way it looks, you might just need a little bit more practice.

After all, applying makeup is a skill just like any other.

Sometimes unskilled makeup application can look worse than not wearing any at all.

It can be hard to hear that you are bad at makeup.

After all, the goal when we do our makeup is to look better than we do without it.

Solution: Invest time into learning more about how to properly do your makeup.

There are so many great resources available.

The best part is that most of them are free!

YouTube is a wonderful resource for learning how to improve your makeup.

You can find endless tutorials for all types of makeup looks.

Our advice is to start with the basics and go from there.

Learning how to do a couple of simple looks can provide you with the skills needed to look your best daily.

Once you have mastered that, then consider branching out and trying more things.

If you have friends who are good at makeup and have good fashion sense, it might be wise to ask for their help.

Encourage them to be honest with you about what works and what doesn’t work.

For example, you might be trying to pair a dark smokey eye with a bright red lip.

That can be too much for one look! Your friends can help you identify if you are making mistakes like this.

Another strategy you can use to improve your makeup is to search for tutorials that explain the most common makeup mistakes.

If you are still learning how to do your makeup, you are probably making the same type of mistakes that everyone makes while they are learning something new!

Lastly, you might just need to tone it down a bit.

Usually, you can’t go wrong with a natural look.

Most of the time, if your face looks unusual, it is because of too much makeup.

Natural looks are always the safest bet!


10. It Might Be Your Features

Pretty woman with bare shoulders


Some facial features are harder to cover with makeup than others.

For example, hooded or monolid eyes can present a challenge for people who like to do dramatic eye makeup.

Light-colored eyelashes can present a problem too.

Some people are born with short lashes or a large nose.

You should apply makeup that enhances your features, whether it’s in style or not.

The same can be said of girls who have darker complexions.

Until the last decade, there were almost no foundation and concealer options for dark-skinned girls.

If your features don’t align with typical beauty standards, you might find it hard to do your makeup.

It can be more difficult to find information on how to adapt looks for your unique features.

Solution: The wonderful thing about this modern day and age is that there is something for everyone.

The resources are endless when it comes to learning about beauty techniques and products.

So why is it still so hard to find beauty routines that enhance your unique facial features?

Doing your research is the first step to makeup success.

If you want to find instructional videos that help you do your makeup in a way that is suited for you, the best thing to do is to learn the proper vocabulary that describes your features.

For example, if you don’t have any visible eyelids when your eyes are open, that is called a monolid.

Most of the “mainstream” beauty tutorials probably won’t work too well for your eyes.

However, you can find many different tutorials specifically for monolids.

You just have to use the term “monolid” when searching!

The more you learn about your face, the easier it will be to find makeup routines that work perfectly.

For example, if you have hooded eyelids, applying winged mascara might be quite the challenge for you.

This is because the hood of your lid covers up the wing when your eye is open.

This makes the wing look curved.

There are a few different tricks you can do to get the look you want! All you have to do is search “eyeliner for hooded eyes.”

If you have a dark complexion and have a hard time finding products, using specific search terms can help you out too.

There are many brands made by women with darker complexions.

Many of the companies trying to solve the inequity problem in the makeup industry are smaller.

They might not have the budget to become household names, so you will have to find them by doing your research.

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