Most makeup trends come and go — but soft-glam makeup is here to stay!
Makeup can truly be whatever you want it to be. From bold, shimmery cut creases to natural lashes and brows, the possibilities are endless. One of the most popular looks out there today is the no-makeup makeup look’s big sister — soft glam. With a following of over 20K on Instagram, Charlotte Bird (@makeup_char_ on IG) is popular for her glowy, soft-glam makeup looks. Here are the top tips she has shared for achieving an effortless glow.
Tell me a bit about your experience as a makeup artist.
“I have been a makeup artist now for around 3 years, I am self-taught and found my love for everything beauty from watching YouTube tutorials and trawling through beauty blogs and magazines. I started my Instagram page back in 2016 and also began posting tutorials on YouTube, although I’ve been doing it for 4 years I still love it as much as I did when I started. I really do believe that if you are passionate enough about what you do it will never feel like work. For 3 years I freelanced on the weekends and sometimes evenings whilst working a 9-5 job too. However, I’ve recently taken my passion full time and could not be happier (let’s hope lockdown ends soon so I can get back to what I love)!”
When it comes to soft glam makeup, what are some key best practices?”
Soft Glam is definitely the most sought-after makeup look and often what my clients will ask for! The key practices with this kind of look include.”
Use full coverage products
“Ensure that you cover any blemishes with concealer and use a full coverage foundation to achieve a flawless complexion. If you are worried about looking “cakey” make sure to apply a lighter layer of your foundation and build up slowly, also using a damp sponge can help soak up any excess product and blend seamlessly.”
Bake, Bake, Bake
“Now I’m sure most of you know I’m not talking about baking in the kitchen, but baking with powder. Baking is the term used for using excess amounts of translucent powder in order to set and brighten certain areas of the face (under the eyes, on the chin, center of the forehead). This not only sets and brightens but also leaves these areas looking super soft, matte, and flawless.”
Keep it neutral
“Soft Glam is what I like to call a “snatchural” look, we want it to look more neutral and natural whilst still looking flawless. We want our eyeshadow to blend seamlessly with the rest of our makeup, I stick to neutral brown, beige and tan shades in the crease. If you are going to include shimmer shades in this look stick to soft Gold and Bronze shades.”
Optimize your Mascara
“Using a lash curler is SO important when trying to get the best out of your mascara. Curl the lashes beforehand (a top tip is to warm up the lash curler with a hairdryer), then apply a couple of coats of mascara and wait for that to dry. Once dry curl the lashes once again, and add another layer of mascara if needed. Your lashes will look so long, volumized and stay curled all day. No falsies needed.”
Eyeshadow top tip
“When blending your neutral shadows in a soft glam look, ensure that you blend the eyeshadow into the front portion of the brow. I know.. the brow?! Trust me this gives such a gorgeous soft look and even better when connected down the sides of the nose, it looks as though all the makeup is seamless. If you struggle to blend eyeshadow, hold your brush further down towards the end and it naturally gives you less control and a lighter hand.”
“If you don’t want to be too matte, a great way to illuminate the skin softly is to add a small amount of liquid illuminator to your moisturizer or foundation. Once you’ve finished adding the rest of the products and powders this luminosity will peek through without looking too intense.”
When it comes to soft glam makeup, what are some practices to avoid?
1. Avoid bright highlighters: “The clue is in the name of this look, if you want a glow it needs to be “soft”, we don’t want any glitter in sight. I would recommend using an illuminating primer, a luminous foundation or a muted highlighter like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders.”
2. Avoid harsh contouring: “Rather than using a dark contour shade, when it comes to soft glam it’s best to opt for more of a light bronze. An incredible product for this would be the Cream Bronzers from Fenty Beauty or go in with your favorite powder bronzer. If you do decide to contour do so lightly and ensure it’s well blended, adding some foundation powder over top can help to tone this down.”
3. Avoid bold lip shades: “There are definitely a time and place for bold lipsticks but not in a soft glam look. Stick to nude shades, this will vary depending on your skin tone whether you prefer a neutral, pink or brown nude shade. Whatever you do just make sure you use a slightly darker lip liner and focus the lighter lipstick in the center of the lips, it gives a soft ombre look.”
How do you do soft glam makeup without going overboard? (i.e., too much eyeliner, cakey foundation, over the top eyeshadow, etc.)”
In order to do a soft glam look, it’s really important not to do too much! I start with priming my skin and ensuring it’s hydrated, then I conceal it before I apply foundation. I find this a really important step in avoiding the cakey look, I put concealer under my eyes, around my nose, on the center of my forehead, on my chin and then to cover any breakouts. I then blend this, and when it comes to the foundation we can use less as we already have coverage in areas that we really need it. Use a damp sponge like a Beauty Blender and this helps to blend seamlessly and pick up any excess product on the skin.”
“Bake or set the complexion with a translucent powder, these are more finely milled and give a softer appearance as opposed to a heavier foundation powder. Contouring isn’t a necessary part of a soft glam look, if you aren’t confident with it just stick to a powder bronzer and focus this on the outer perimeter of the face.
When it comes to eyeshadow I prefer to stick to an all matte look, you can use a couple of tan/brown shades and focus these in the crease of the eye and on the outer corner of the lid and take a little under the lower lash line. I love to include a matte beige shade on the lid to tie it all together.
You don’t need eyeliner but if you would prefer add a thin line of liner as close to the lashes as possible and then add your favorite mascara or false lashes.”
“Top this off with a nude lip liner and lipstick to match the rest of the makeup and most importantly use a setting spray. My favorites include Mac Fix+ and the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist, this not only locks the makeup in place but also melts all of the powders into the skin giving a more “natural” appearance.”
If someone is used to full glam looks, how can they transition to more of a soft style?”
The great thing with soft glam is that it can differ on different people, if you are used to super full glam looks with full coverage skin then in order to transition to a softer look – start with switching up the eyeshadow and lip. Soft Glam looks still look beautiful with full coverage skin, I would opt for a more neutral blush shade like an orange or coral rather than pink. When it comes to eyeshadow, avoid any bright colors and cut-crease styles. Instead opt for neutral and brown shades with gold shimmers for the lid, and tone down any eyeliner either in the style of a small wing or straight across the lash line to simply frame the eyes. If you are a false lash lover you can still use them but perhaps opt for a lighter style or cut the lash in half and pop it on the outer portion of the eye for a slight lift. Lastly opt for a lighter, more neutral lip shade rather than a bold or bright color. Use a slightly darker lip liner to give a more pouty appearance to the lips and still keep it glam.”