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If you’re a fan of understated cool, the trend for a slightly worn-in makeup look is likely right up your street. A smudgy, slightly undone vibe shows you’ve made the effort, but also gives perfect model-off-duty insouciance. But trying to look undone without looking messy is a fine line to tread. Here’s how to get “worn in” makeup right.

The first thing you’re going to want is lots of moisturizer. A well hydrated, slightly shiny face will make any base look natural and effortless. I prefer something slightly thicker and oilier for this. The Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream and Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream both sink in beautifully but leave the plump, dewy finish you desire.

On top of this, you’ll want a light, glowy base. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser is a total classic – but if you fancy a hair more coverage, the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation is equally beautiful. To build coverage, use carefully placed concealer. The Glossier Stretch is perfect for adding yet more radiance – but if you have a really stubborn blemish, I point you towards the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher instead.

Eye makeup should be kept simple and smudgy. Sculpted brows will look way too obvious, so instead go for a fibre-based gel. Elf’s Wow Brow is still my fave. Apply the rest of your eye makeup with fingers for that slightly imperfect vibe. The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick, Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick, and Maybelline 24 Hr Colour Tattoo all offer stunningly sheeny washes of color which blend easily but then set and stay put.

A slightly clumpier mascara tends to sit better with this style of makeup. It gives a grungy, party-gal vibe. The Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara is fantastic for building volume, and the Chanel Le Volume is the closest you’ll come to falsies without the effort.

I’d recommend adding yet more dew to the cheekbones using a highlighter. The Ciaté Dewy Stix are ideal for adding genuine gloss, but if you can’t stand the feel of them, the Glossier Niteshine in Pale Pearl looks wet, but actually dries down for a lightweight finish.

A liquid blush is the best way to gives a slightly faded vibe. The Glossier Cloud Paints are ideal for this, as they can be smushed on using fingers for an effortless finish. But for a true classic, the Benefit Benetint is also absolutely beautiful – and seriously lasts.

Lips should look similarly blotted – but this can be done in a variety of ways. A sheer matte tint like the Ohii Lip Smudges looks beautiful. If you favour something more hydrating, though the Laura Mercier Gloss Stick in Plum or the Glossier Balm Dot Com in Berry give stunning “red wine” mouth – but in the most perfect way.

You’ll want to finish this look with lots of facial mist. Not only will it lock everything in, but it does a final little bit of blending to ensure you really do look that perfect level of undone. The Garnier Argan Mist is ideal for drier skin types, but if you want to maximize staying power without compromising on shine, go instead for the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray.

Shop 18 editor picks to perfect the ultimate worn in makeup look

Featured images via Urban Outfitters

PS: Every single item is independently selected by our editors. Depending on the product, if you buy something through our links, The Weekly Cut may earn an affiliate commission.