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The key to daytime makeup? Less is more!

Daytime makeup applied with a heavy hand or looks that feature defined lines and bold colors can—and often do—end up appearing garish, harsh, and unnatural. If your daytime makeup looks are reminiscent of Studio 54, it’s time to abort the mission and embrace soft lines, subdued shades, and a fresh face.

But just because you’re toning things down doesn’t mean the impact can’t still be impressive. In fact, your daytime makeup looks can be worthy of a runway, an afternoon wedding, or a casual photo shoot.

We all know that wearing makeup in broad daylight can be a tricky endeavor, as there’s little room for error. This type of lighting can make imperfections and makeup lines stand out, complexions appear washed out and sallow, and the finished look inappropriate and out of place.

But there’s plenty of ways to use makeup to produce fantastic daytime looks that enhance your clients’ complexions for daytime events.

The Top Rules of Daytime Makeup

You’ll find plenty of makeup artists who swear by a set of daytime makeup rules. Here’s our top rules for daytime makeup:

Nix the dark or glittery eyes: Dark eyes or makeup that glitters should be reserved for evening looks. Rocking a glittery lid simply isn’t appropriate for a daytime event. Matte eyeshadows for daytime looks will always be a better bet.

Go easy on the eyeliner: Eyeliner can look great for daytime looks, provided you perfect the art of subtlety.

Switch up the smokey eye: The smokey eye is a timeless look that has stood the test of time. You don’t need to abandon this popular eye for daytime looks, but it’s smart to switch up the classic black for plums, greys, and browns for a subtler look for daytime events.

Go easy on the contouring: Contouring is a great technique to slim the face and enhance the cheekbones, but heavy contouring tends to look harsh in the natural daytime light.

Choose a lighter lip: Bold lips aren’t necessarily a no-no for a daytime look, but if you want to play it safe, choose a lighter lip with a bit of shimmer.

Daytime Makeup Looks for Every Occasion

Daytime makeup looks should focus on soft shades, soft lines, and little drama. Daytime looks don’t need to be boring, and it certainly doesn’t mean your clients can’t rock a red lip for a daytime event. Here are a few you can try by following a few simple steps:

The Fresh Face

Step 1 – Lightly shape, define, and fill the brows using a pencil. Gently blend for a natural look.

Step 2 – Brighten the eyes and leave the looking refreshed by using earth tones. Use a darker tone to the crease and blend upward toward the brow, highlighting with a lighter color near the brow.

Step 3 – Enhance the eyes with soft brown, purple, green or gray eyeliner.

Step 4 – Finish the look with a couple coats of mascara, choosing brown for clients with lighter hair and black for clients with darker hair.

Step 5 – Apply a sheer lip-gloss to hydrate the lips and add a pop of shine.

The Natural Look

Step 1 – Apply a matte beige shadow from the eyelid to the brow bone.

Step 2 – Blend a soft brown shadow to the crease of the lid for added definition.

Step 3 – Apply a brown pencil to the waterline and to the top lash line.

Step 4 – Add two coats of mascara to the lashes.

Step 5 – Apply a bronzer to the apples of the cheeks and blend toward the hairline.

Step 6 – Apply a light peach lipstick to finish the look.

The Dewy Complexion

Step 1 – Skip the powder blush in favor of a crème blush. Use a peach or pink blush and apply from the apples of the cheeks, blending in an upward fashion, toward the temples.

Step 2 – Add a cheek highlighter above the cream blush to add a soft glow to the face.

Step 3 – Choose a beige or light gold shadow for the lid, applying it from the lash line to the brow bone.

Step 4 – Finish the look with a light peach or pink gloss.

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