How to makeup like Salma Hayek

Beauty icons are an inspiring group unto themselves — they come in all shapes and sizes, from Kate Moss to Oprah Winfrey.

And then there’s Salma Hayek. The Mexican actress/model/director has such effortless style, it’s hard not to want to channel it yourself when you’re putting together an outfit or trying out new cosmetics. Her iconic red carpet moments have taught us everything we need to know about how to dress up any ensemble, but even more importantly, she teaches us how to make our faces look as great as hers does. Here are seven ways to recreate Salma’s signature facial features so you can achieve that same perfect glow.

1) Use highlighter

Highlighting comes first in Salma’s makeup routine because it’s what makes her famously luminous complexion pop. Highlight areas naturally wear down over time, leaving dulled tones underneath. To keep this effect at bay, apply a translucent powder highlighter shade just above the lip line to define brows, cheeks, and other key jawline points while evening out skin texture. A good one to try? Urban Decay’s Gold Beam Powder Brush ($20), which works seamlessly between powders, liquids, cream shadows, and pencils. You’ll be able to build intensity gradually without adding too much product overall. If you don’t use liquid products, give L’Oreal True Match Liquid Color In Light Reflect ($23) a go instead. It goes on sheerly enough to create subtle highlights, yet builds up nicely for maximum impact. For extra color, add a touch of shimmery shadow on top.

2) Choose foundation that matches skin tone

When you think “foundation,” chances are you picture someone who hasn’t had their morning coffee yet applying thick layers of white paint across their entire face. That person probably doesn’t exist, though, since most foundations these days come in shades designed specifically for people of different skin types. With that being said, there are still definitely darker foundations worth using if you happen to fall into the category of fair skinned women. I’d recommend something matte, oil free, and slightly yellow toned to avoid looking washed out, especially if you tend towards pale coloring.

As far as choosing specific brands go, I love Neutrogena Skin360 Perfect Fit Foundation Stick ($19.99, available online and at Sephora) because it creates a natural finish that blends easily without appearing cakey, and it also wears well throughout the day thanks to its light formula. Another benefit to stick foundations is that you get better control over coverage by mixing multiple colors together than you do with creams and lotions.

If you prefer cream formulas, consider Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Oil Free Matte Foundation ($27, available online and at Ulta stores). This lightweight formulation provides full coverage with hydration benefits to ensure smoothness and longevity. And speaking of long lasting results…

3) Apply concealer under eyes

The trick to having perfectly defined eyelashes isn’t necessarily getting them plucked off altogether, it’s making sure they aren’t visible at all times. When you wake up each morning, concealer may seem like a last ditch attempt to cover up dark circles, blemishes, and anything else that might mar your otherwise fresh faced appearance. But once you see how easy it is to blend your favorite brand’s products, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start doing it sooner.

Start by selecting a creamy base, preferably one with sunscreen protection, followed by a lighter layer of color to highlight rather than mask imperfections. Then take a small brush and gently dab the area around your eye, blending upward toward lashes. Next, dust lightly with loose setting powder until blended completely. While finishing touches are always up to individual preference, my personal favorites include Benefit Cosmetics Pore Eraser ($21, available online and at Sephora) and Make Up For Ever Pro Longwear SPF 15 Lipstick ($24, available online and at Sephora). These two items both combine silky textures and rich pigments to create dewy finishes that will stay true through hours upon hours of wear.

4) Try contour with bronzer or cheek stain

Contouring is another way to enhance key parts of your face while minimizing others. As opposed to highlighting, contouring draws attention to lowlights by emphasizing the bone structure surrounding them. It takes practice to find a combination that works for you, but here are three tools that help me get started:

Luxury Bronzing Face Powder & Cheek Stain Set ($28, available online and at Sephora): Contouring should never feel heavy or overdone, so choose a set of compact bronzers and blushes that contain less pigment and glide smoothly onto skin. Luxurious formulations work wonders on oily complexioned girls, plus they’re highly adaptable in terms of application.

MakeUp Store Fenty Beauty Bronze Palette III ($41, available online and at Sephora): My absolute favorite thing about this palette is the versatility offered within its warm neutrals alone. Like I mentioned before, contours should never feel heavy or overdone, so pick a neutral shade that suits your undertone and play around with levels of warmth and shine.

Urban Decay 24 Hour Tanning Spray ($31, available online and at Sephora): An instant tanner won’t provide consistent results for everyone, but if you really want to experiment with contouring, spray on some of Urban Decay’s popular Tangerine Glow versions to model your preferred level of bronzeiness. Just beware of streaks and messes.

Once you’ve got the basics nailed down, remember that whatever you decide to do next is going to depend largely on your lifestyle. Being comfortable in your skin means wearing clothes that fit properly, eating foods that taste delicious, and sleeping soundly every night. Once those things become second nature, focus on building your wardrobe, cooking skills, and mindfulness practices. After all, the goal is to develop habits that let you live life fully, not spend endless nights stressing over how to fix all the little flaws you already accept as part of the package.

You deserve nothing less.

To learn more about dressing like Salma Hayek, visit salmahayekshowdressinguapodcast.com. 

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