I'm Learning the Art of Effortless Beauty—These 7 Looks Are Serving Inspo

If there's one thing I have learned as a beauty editor, it's that making your hair/makeup/glowing complexion look effortless is easier said than done. And this is something that pains me to admit considering it's the sort of beauty aesthetic I long for. It doesn't help that I am a low-maintenance sort of girl when it comes to my beauty routine. I want thing to look effortless and genuinely be effortless too.

While makeup artistshairstylists and skin experts spend hours on making their celebrity clientele's beauty looks appear as though they have taken no time at all (like it's just their genes or something?!), I have made it my mission to achieve such natural-looking, effortless looks in less than five minutes. It's something I have been trying to find the secret to for many years but haven't had much luck with. However, over the past couple of months, I have been taking my effortless-beauty lessons more seriously and have been scrolling Instagram, saving down the effortless-beauty looks I adore and dissecting them in a bid to find ways to replicate them in record time. And to be honest, I think we might all have something to learn from the queens of effortless beauty. Keep scrolling for the seven effortless-beauty looks that are giving me major inspiration.

1. Matte Flush


(Image credit: @JAIMERIDGE)

Tousled, textured hair that falls flowingly over the shoulders? Check. Untamed, bushy brows? Check. Bare lashes for a soft makeup look? Check. I'll be honest, this whole look has it all. The thing that really brings it together, though, is the hint of flush on the cheeks that matches the blurry lip tint. The key, I think, is making sure you go for a matte product that blurs and becomes one with the skin rather than something glossy and tacky that sits on top. 

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2. Glossy Glow


(Image credit: @DANIELLEJINADU)

While there's no doubt that matte tints are the way to inject some lived-in colour to your cheeks, a clear gloss is also one of the best products you can turn to for effortless-looking glow. When skin isn't playing ball, simply tap some gloss onto lids, lips and the tops of the cheek bones to create the appearance of dewy radiance—no pigment required.

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3. Sun-Kissed Tones


(Image credit: @ALYSSAINTHECITY)

One thing I have learned about effortless makeup is that it's not so much about the makeup products you use but instead the shades you go for. Bright, pigmented shades are typically not effortless and require some blending. Browns, nudes and shades that mimic the appearance of sun-kissed skin are easy winners. My top tip? Swap out your black eyeliner for a softer brown—any smudges look intentional, and it creates a much softer look on the eye.

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4. Fresh Skin


(Image credit: @GRECEGHANEM)

I could probably write a thesis on the art of effortless-looking skin and the skincare routine you need to adopt if you want to achieve it. While I'm happy to admit I'm no whizz with a makeup brush or hair tool, I do know the ins and outs of what makes a cracking glowy-skin routine. The biggest problem? It takes years of dedication, patience and, I'm sad to say, expert help—all of which require money. If you want to fake a lit-from-within glow when you wake up, reach for skin-plumping serums, steer clear of base products, and finish off with a hydrating, tinted balm on your lips.

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5. Melting Creams


(Image credit: @BASMA_K)

Whenever I speak to makeup artists about the best ways to achieve an effortless beauty look, they all tell me the same thing: Reach for creamy products that melt into one another. And this rule goes for everything from blushes and eye shadows to foundations and concealers.

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6. Colourful Liner


(Image credit: @AMAKA.HAMELIJNCK)

Two things that don't scream effortless beauty are colour and eyeliner, and here I am getting inspiration from a colourful liner look. I sat down with a famous makeup artist recently, and she told me the secret to keeping your colourful liner looks effortless is by maintaining a natural look everywhere else—that goes for hair, lashes and skin.

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7. Stains and Tints


(Image credit: @TYLYNNNGUYEN)

We've briefly discussed the benefits of reaching for tints and stains, but this look reaffirms that they really are the way to go. Tying the colour through by applying the same tint to your eyes, lips and cheeks is the ultimate way to nail a five-minute face. Just add a lick of mascara to lashes, scrape hair back into a low bun, and you're good to go.

Get the Look

Next up, I'm a makeup novice, but these nine natural eye shadow looks are easy.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.