How to Achieve No Makeup Makeup According to Denise Go-Ochoa

In the age of social media, makeup tips, hacks, tutorials, and reviews are a dime a dozen. You name it, the Internet’s got it. When I start with one YouTube video, for example, I often fall into what I call the “Beauty Guru Rabbit Hole” that I easily lose an hour or two of my day just watching reviews and tutorials. (There are documentaries, too. Hello, The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star!)

The time I accidentally lost going through YouTube videos. 
GIF: Make A GIF/Website

Yes, it’s cool to keep updated with what’s #trending, but I mostly do it just to live vicariously through the people who actually need to keep their faces beat for a living. I’m not required to dress up for work so, nowadays, I show up anywhere bare-faced 90% of the time. Once in a while, though, I still put on a bit of makeup for important meetings, nights out, and special occasions.

I’d like to think I’ve gotten the no makeup makeup look down pat, at least for myself. I actually have three separate makeup kits for three varying no makeup makeup looks, all containing different brands of the basics: foundation/CC cream, concealer, contour, highlighter, setting powder, eyebrow pencil and eyebrow gel, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lipstick, and setting spray. I experiment a lot with tools, so I have full-sized and travel-sized brushes and Beauty Blender sponges depending on the makeup bag I end up carrying.

I’d like to think I learned my techniques from the best, having been fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s top celebrity makeup artists during my time as a magazine editor. I’ve picked up quite a lot of tips and tricks just casually chatting with them during photo shoots and events. There have been occasions that they did my makeup, too! For a time, I also briefly entertained the idea of becoming a makeup artist myself, so I’ve always enjoyed the talks and classes that usually came with the product launches I’ve previously attended.

This is a photo taken at the launch of Make Up For Ever HD Foundation some years ago!
Image: Dookie Ducay for Make Up For Ever Philippines

Now, almost two years after my last event as an editor, I was able to attend a makeup workshop again. This time, it was conducted by celebrity makeup artist Denise Go-Ochoa. 

Last September 11, I joined her Masterclass with Make Up For Ever Philippines where we were able to see first-hand how she created the no makeup makeup look she does so well on her celebrity clients like Lovi Poe, Maja Salvador, and Kathryn Bernardo. I’m a huge fan of how she does makeup for morena beauties so I really couldn’t let  the opportunity pass.

Even if YouTube is accessible to me 24/7, I still quite like being a student in class. (Hello, fellow Capricorn suns!) Moreso, a Denise Go-Ochoa and Make Up For Ever Philippines student! 

Image: Make Up For Ever Philippines/Instagram

I learned a lot of tips and techniques in just a little over an hour; some I already tried applying in my own routine, some I probably won’t be able to. Just in case, I took notes to share below!

Think makeup with a purpose. While tightlining her model’s eyes, Denise says, “Think about what you’re emphasizing and to what extent you’re doing this.” I’ve always been a big believer that God is in the details, and I couldn’t agree more with this tip. There’s a reason why looking effortless takes a lot of effort. With no makeup makeup, or just makeup in general, it’s important to wear the makeup and not let it wear you.

Image: Makeup by Rockmansick/Facebook

Consider applying eyeshadow primer. “I know it’s no makeup makeup, iniisip natin mas konti ang steps, but I actually recommend doing this because the eyelids are one of the oiliest parts of our face,” Denise says. Personally, I don’t put on eyeshadow for my own no makeup makeup look, but that’s just because I can’t blend it to save my life. (I just do a mean cat-eye to compensate.) This makes complete sense to add to your routine, though, if you really normally wear eyeshadow.

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Equalizer Eye & Lip Primer
Image: Dookie Ducay for Make Up For Ever Philippines

Pick a color family for eyeshadow. This is tried-and-tested, even for a no-eyeshadow-girl like me. When I absolutely have to look like I tried, this is the only way you can make me wear eyeshadow. No fancy cut creases or poppin’ colors, just a solid monochromatic ~*lewk*~ and I’d call it a day. Thank u, next.

I personally prefer nude shades, so this new Make Up For Ever Let’s Gold palette is a winner!
Image: Make Up For Ever Philippines/Instagram

Start doing your eyebrows from the tail. A tip I only recently took to heart because...I honestly don’t know. I think having had eyebrow embroidery done four years ago messed with my “technique” and made me prone to shortcuts. Now that my embroidery has faded and has become gapped, I tried this tip again last week and I immediately saw the difference. An additional reminder: use a darker shade for your eyebrows’ arch and tail and a lighter shade for the head. It’s worth carrying around the two shades, I promise.

Image: Make Up For Ever Philippines/Instagram

Apply makeup with light-handed strokes. I’m used to using my fingers or a Beauty Blender to apply foundation/CC cream and concealer so I tend to apply makeup with a heavy hand. Since I spend more time setting my base with powder now, however, this tip has been a real G. “A lot of lightweight makeup products easily move around,” Denise says. If you’re not careful, you may not achieve that ganda lang look.

Photo: Make Up For Ever Philippines/Instagram

Try the “Makeup Sandwich Method.” Basically, layer your products to achieve a flawless base. After foundation/CC cream, blend, set with spray; dab with powder, brush off excess, set with spray. You get the routine. Not only does this ensure your base lasts, it also removes excess products in between steps.

Image: Make Up For Ever Philippines/Instagram

I personally asked Denise how to solve my problem of cake-y concealer. One of my biggest insecurities are my dark undereyes, which I deal with using liquid or cream concealer. Because I don’t get enough sleep, my eye luggage is dry AF and that makes blending much harder. She says products cake because it is excess that the skin can no longer absorb. The “makeup sandwich” would be the best solution. Also, Denise suggested liquid over cream concealer in my case.

GIF: Make Up For Ever Philippines/Instagram

At the end of the day, what I learned is no makeup makeup is definitely as much about the technique as it is about the products. Learning straight from Denise was such a valuable experience, even if I’m neither a beauty editor nor a makeup artist.

I’ve already tried applying these tips to my own routine and I’ve experienced first-hand how effective they are for me. I hope they work for you, too!

  • Share on
More from ClickTheCity

Editor's Picks