How to Connect the Dots for Pretty, Natural Makeup

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A handful of dots in all the right places is all it takes to achieve a flawless glow. Here's how you can master the technique with products you already have at home.

Even Out Skin

Using small, strategic dots of foundation makes it easier to blend. And concealer becomes invisible when you apply it in upside-down triangles.

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All About That Base

The beauty of dotting on makeup with your fingers: You have more control, and blending is a cinch since your body heat naturally melts the product into skin. Using a liquid or cream foundation (powders won't work here), "create dotted lines up your forehead and across your cheeks and chin, with two to three dots each," says Japonesque national makeup artist Shawn Fisher. Blend outward to smooth over pores and other imperfections.

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No-Crease Coverage

Rule of thumb: Always pat on concealer after you've applied your foundation so it doesn't get smeared, suggests Fisher. Create an upside-down triangle under each eye with three dots beneath the lash line, two dots below those, and one final dot that hits at the top of your cheek — it camouflages and brightens the entire area.

Eye creams fight crow's feet, and they also make great concealer primers, says Fisher. Apply one first to prevent cracking.

Glow All Over

This method is genius for creamy bronzer and highlighter. There's no easier way to a lovely, natural-looking radiance.

Beachy Bronze

To mimic the color you'd get from an afternoon out in the sun (but without the UV damage), bronzer should hug your hairline. Dot it on the sides of your face in the shape of a 3, starting at the top of your forehead and swooping down the temples to just under the cheekbones and along the jawline. Use your fingertips to blend backward toward the perimeter of your face.

"This creates a blurred effect that makes you look naturally sun-kissed," says New York-based makeup artist Stephanie Flor.

Beam Cream

Since it reflects the light around you, highlighter can help pretty features stand out; use it to gleam up cheekbones, for example. To do: Dab three dots along the highest point of your cheekbones and two more dots going upward along your temples to form a right angle, and blend.

Can't find a bronzer you love? A foundation that's two shades darker than your natural skin tone will do the trick too.

Now, Add Color

Blush and eye shadow are the finishing touches here, waking up your look with a flick of the wrist. They're also easy to overdo. The dot method keeps things subtle.

A Fresh Flush

So what's the secret to blush that looks like healthy, natural color?

"Think of a rounded check-mark shape: Starting at the apple, tap the product up the cheek at an angle, finishing opposite the middle of your ear," says Fisher. "It should take only five to six dots — you don't want to go overboard."

Use your index and middle fingers to blend up the line in a circular motion.

Easy on the Eyes

Press a creamy eye shadow into the center of the lids and use a windshield wiper motion to blend it in, suggests Fisher. (Your pinkie is made for this job.) When it comes to color, metallic shades are always a flattering bet; they help your eyes stand out with just a subtle shimmer.

Cream blush can double as lipstick; just layer lip balm over it to keep winter dryness at bay. (You want to see flakes outside, not in the mirror.)

This story originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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