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How to Do a Soft Makeup Look In Just 7 Simple Steps

Plus, the affordable products you can use to do it.
November 13, 2023

It’s no secret that makeup styles come in and out of popularity based on the time period and ever-evolving social media trends — think full brows, ultra-matte lips, frosty highlighter and more. However, some makeup styles like a soft makeup look, are timeless regardless of beauty expertise.

Whether you’re over full glam makeup looks and need some soft glam inspiration, or you need a subtle look for a specific event, keep reading to discover more soft makeup looks. Also, if you’re not sure where to start with makeup application, you can learn how to create a simple, polished makeup look that’s perfect for any occasion. 

What Is a Soft Makeup Look?

Soft makeup looks and soft glam makeup are all about emphasizing your natural features with a chic vibe for an upscale version of the no-makeup makeup trend. Think of it as the elevated sister to clean makeup or a toned-down full glam look. Soft makeup uses neutral makeup colors that match your complexion (or are a few shades darker) while sticking to matte or semi-shimmery products for a gentle touch of sparkle

It’s all about light makeup application that appears almost airbrushed yet effortless. Soft makeup is the opposite of a dark or heavy makeup look, meaning you’ll want to add makeup in light layers and use light colors. 

How to Make Your Makeup Look Softer

When putting on your makeup, consider the below tips to make any foundation, highlighter and eyeshadow application look softer. 

Reach for Neutral Makeup Colors

Instead of using bright, electric colors for your blush, lipstick, eyeshadow and any other color cosmetics, opt for natural colors like pink, beige, brown, and taupe. These neutral colors will blend better with your natural complexion to make your makeup look softer. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use pigmented products. Think of it like this, instead of blending a bold black smoky eye onto your lids, reach for neutral shades to create a brown smoky eye.

Apply Makeup in Thin Layers

You’ll want to apply your makeup in one to two coats and lightly apply your makeup with a brush or beauty sponge to avoid a cakey makeup look. Regardless of your specific vibe, start your makeup routine with a face primer that will create a smooth base. Try L’Oréal Paris Prime Lab Up to 24H Pore Minimizer, which instantly blurs pores and helps minimize their appearance over time with its infused exfoliants (alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid and lipo hydroxy acid) that gently smooth skin. 

Instead of using heavy makeup products that add thick layers to your skin — like a full-coverage foundation — opt for lightweight, sheer products that will help create a soft makeup look. Try a tinted serum like L’Oréal Paris True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum, which offers sheer coverage with skin care benefits. This makeup skin care hybrid is formulated with hyaluronic acid to give skin a hydrated feel while the luminous pigment gives skin a natural, radiant finish.  

Blend, Blend, Blend

Regardless of the texture of the makeup products you’re using — from cream foundation to gel eyeliners to powder eyeshadows — make sure you’re gently blending and buffing them onto your face. The downfall of soft makeup looks are harsh lines of makeup that look unblended. 

Keep a fluffy blending brush on hand to blend in any harsh lines that look uneven and unnatural. When applying gel eyeliners, use a product like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Liner which includes a small sponge on the bottom of the slim pencil to smudge in the color for a blurred, soft look. 

How to Create a Soft Glam Makeup Look

Here, learn step by step, how to create a soft glam makeup look with affordable and lightweight products from L’Oréal Paris.


1. Even Out Your Complexion With a Lightweight Base Product 

One of the major keys to mastering a soft glam look is ensuring that your skin looks natural. To do this, heed our earlier advice and skip full-coverage foundations for something more lightweight that you can build up based on preference. 

Consider the aforementioned True Match Hyaluronic Tinted Serum for a weightless texture that doesn’t cake on the skin. Apply your foundation using your fingers or a makeup sponge to blend the complexion product into your skin without patchiness.


2. Subtly Brighten Your Under Eye Area

Applying a concealer that’s multiple shades lighter than your complexion under your eyes will create a stark contrast rather than a natural-looking brightness. 

Instead, grab a lightweight, buildable concealer, like L’Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream in a Concealer, 0.5% hyaluronic acid, in one shade lighter than your skin and blend it beneath your under-eye area using your fingertips. This will work to cover dark circles and illuminate the area without it looking overdone. 


3. Give Your Cheeks a Flush 

Flushed cheeks instantly bring your face to life. Apply a soft matte blush formula, like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush, to your cheeks using your fingertips or a blush brush. This weightless blush applies like a powder and blends like a cream. Opt for this blush when you want a bold color on your cheek but with a soft appearance, thanks to its buildable texture. 


4. Create Soft Eyeliner 

One way to ensure your makeup look is elevated while remaining soft is to create eyeliner using eyeshadow. Rather than creating winged eyeliner with a bold liquid liner, use eyeshadow to create a more diffused look. 

Simply prime your eyes with your concealer and dip an angled eyeliner brush into a matte eyeshadow color of your choice. Use a long-lasting eyeshadow like L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow, which applies like a velvet cream in a powder formulation. Press the brush into your upper lash line and gently flick it outwards at your outer corners to create a wing shape.

For your lower lash line use the previously mentioned Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Liner to smudge a touch of color on your waterline for more definition. Use this eyeliner in a light color like Brown Denim, Nude or White, for softer eye makeup.

5. Layer on Mascara

To give your eyes definition, apply a lengthening mascara, like L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara for elongated lashes that look natural, but with added drama. For a toned-down look apply just one coat, and to achieve bolder definition, layer on one to two additional coats. 


6. Apply a Hydrating Lipstick Formula 

One of the defining characteristics of a soft glam makeup look is a natural-looking lip color — this goes for the finish as much as it does for the color. Use the Tik-Tok beloved L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick for its range of neutral, coral and pink shades that hydrate the lips while providing a subtle glow. The best part is that it delivers pigment without drying the lips or becoming flaky or uncomfortable throughout the day.


7. Set the Look In Place 

To make sure your look lasts all day long, be sure to set it in place with a setting spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray. Opting for a setting spray over a powder ensures that you’re not left with a powdery or cakey finish. 

5 Soft Makeup Looks That You’ll Want to Make Your Go-To

Soft Latte Makeup

Taking inspiration from the colors of the beloved coffee, latte makeup is a popular trend and for good reason. This makeup look is easy to do and can be personalized for a more dramatic or softened version that suits various occasions. Try this trend with a soft glow using brown or beige shades close to your complexion for a personalized latte look. Reach for L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer to sculpt your face while adding a subtle bronzed glow without any harsh lines. 


Soft No Makeup Makeup

No-makeup makeup is one of the ultimate soft makeup looks that works for any occasion and only takes a few products. You can apply your makeup similar to a natural glam or try a monochromatic look that embraces your natural complexion. 

When applying your eyeshadow, blush and lipstick, use a neutral shade that matches your undertone. Use the aforementioned Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract for a subtle glossy lip in a pink, purple or coral shade that complements your skin tone. 


Soft Gold Makeup

Keep your makeup simple with a flawless base using a lightweight foundation and satin lipstick to perfect your pout. Let your eye makeup be the center of your look with a touch of gold eyeshadow on your entire eyelid in a metallic color that matches your undertone. 

By choosing makeup that aligns with your warm, cool or neutral undertone your makeup looks more natural, and in turn, appears softer with the right colors. Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Eternal Sunshine is a bronzed gold shade that best pairs with cool and neutral undertones while the same shadow in Endless Pearl is perfect for warm undertones. 

Soft 60’s Glam

Your makeup can look soft and still turn heads and there’s no look that proves that more than 60’s inspired glam makeup. This makeup trend puts your lashes in the spotlight while leaving the rest of your makeup dewy and fresh-looking. Try this look for yourself by coating your upper and lower lashes with Telescopic Instant Lift Washable Mascara. 

Then, exaggerate your lower lashes by drawing a few short lines vertically down your undereye to mimic more lashes. Use a long-lasting liquid liner like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner for a smudge-proof and transfer-resistant application. Complete the look with a touch of pink blush and lipstick.

Soft Berry Makeup

An adorable (and trendy) soft makeup look that everyone should try is the iconic strawberry girl makeup trend. You can quickly embrace this trend by brushing your brows into place with L'Oréal Paris Infallible Volumizing 24H Wear Brow Mascara. This brow gel combs hair with a thickening formula while adding a touch of color for a bold, natural brow. 

Then, sweep a light layer of pink or purple blush onto your cheeks using Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush, making sure you thoroughly blend to eliminate any harsh lines. Match the berry tone that you chose for your cheeks to your lips with a juicy shade from Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick.

Next: How to Master a Glam Makeup Look

Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Thomas Miller, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Kelly Bellevue, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Fausti, Models: Jacky Lee, Anastasia Offutt

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