Get the Look: Subdued Lips & Natural Makeup at the 2013 MTV VMAs

At this year’s 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, I couldn’t help but notice the number of starlets that opted for barely-there makeup looks and natural toned lips. Defined brows and thin eyeliner stood out against flawless complexions and light touches of highlighter. Here’s how to get the look:

1. Perfect your canvas: Make sure to exfoliate your face so that your foundation will apply easily. Follow with moisturizer, then, apply a primer to fill in pores. Using a damp makeup sponge, apply liquid foundation all over your face and blend down to the neck (it may not look like it, but I assure you these gals pictured below have layers upon layers of foundation). If you have naturally gorgeous skin, you can use a bb cream or tinted moisturizer. Then, use a concealer to hide any imperfections.

Katy Perry (August 24, 2013 – Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America)

2. Perfect Your Arches: Fill in sparse areas in your brows and create a natural looking arch by using a pencil or brow powder. I like Anastasia Perfect Brow Powder ($23.00), which comes with two shades, ensuring you get the perfect color. Set your brows with a small amount of brow wax or gel, such as Marc Jacob Beauty’s Brow Tamer Grooming Gel ($24) to keep them in place.

Ariana Grande (August 24, 2013 – Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America)

3. Make eyes pop: Apply a thin liner of black eyeliner to the top eyelid, then heap loads of mascara. For lashes that stand out try Tarte’s Lights, Cameras, Lashes ($19). Choose a champagne or light gold eye shadow such as Stilla’s eye shadow trio: champagne glow.

Erin Wasson (August 24, 2013 – Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America)

4. Get your inner glow on – Apply a highlighter or bronzer and apply to the areas of the face that the light will naturally hit such as the top of the forehead, bridge of the nose, temples, chin and cheekbones. Also use a tiny bit of the highlighter on top of the cupid’s bow on the lip.

Ciara (August 24, 2013 – Source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America)

5. Downplay the lips – At the VMAs, the women who chose a natural makeup look selected lip hues that were brown hued or that closely matched their natural lip tone. For a shade similar to what Katy Perry is wearing, try Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipcolor in Barely Brown #240. For Ariana Grande’s lip look, try Tarte’s LipSurgence™ matte lip tint in Exposed (24.00).

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