A woman putting on mascara

“Enhance Your Natural Beauty” is a Darling series focused on highlighting women’s natural beauty and providing tips to enhance what we may deem “flawed” or “imperfect.” We offer beauty tips to encourage women to have fun with makeup and, hopefully, learn to love themselves more in the process.

Do you deal with PMS? Us too. Your skin may feel dry, oily or dull during that time of month. You also might be dealing with breakouts or patches of uneven skin. We want to help you feel your best, even when your skin may not.

Makeup isn’t the only way to feel confident, but it can help enhance your skin and give you an added boost to walk out of the house feeling confident. Here are makeup tips to help your skin look and feel more awake during that time of the month from our go-to makeup artist Caitlin Burton, aka Makeup by Cait!

Step 1: Skin Prep

When it’s that time of the month and we feel dull and tired, it may be tempting to pile on makeup to cover everything up. The key is to make sure your skin is prepped really well and taken care before you start applying makeup.

Whether your skin is dry, oily or a combination, it’s important to cleanse your face. A cooling cleanser is great to start the day. Next, apply a cold wet rag to your skin (from the refrigerator). This will wake both you and your skin up!

Step 2: Moisturize Skin

Next up, you’ll want to moisturize your face. Skin Smoothing Balancing Act Lotion by Saturday Skin has a light feel and makes your skin feel soft and moisturized. Apply that with a hydrating serum like the Hyaluronic Acid Serum from Good Molecules for extra moisture. Add a drop of the serum into your moisturizer and massage it into your skin. (You can also apply a bronzing lotion to help wake up your skin like Loving Tan Bronze Shimmer Luminous Cream.)

For the skin beneath your eyes, apply YEOUTH Retinol 2.5% Eye Cream to revitalize the skin. For your lips, moisturize with a lip balm like Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm. Chapsticks tend to dry out your lips even more throughout the day. (Insider’s tip: You can also use simple Vaseline to moisturize your lips too.) Lastly, to seal all that moisture in, try a rose water spray like this one from Mario Badescu. It will keep your skin hydrated and refresh it throughout the day. 

Step 3: Makeup 


Apply your normal foundation. You can use whatever foundation you prefer! In this video, we are using L’Oreal True Match Natural Buff with the Ultimate Blending Brush from e.l.f. Rotate between packing on the foundation and blending. For coverage, only overapply where needed.


Next is concealer. You can overapply under your under eyes (and the inner corner of your eyes) and wherever you get breakups.  Here we use NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Apply with your fingertip around areas of darkness, dryness or redness, around your eyes and nose. Pop it on breakout areas. (Don’t pick at your skin!)


Next, apply a powder wherever there is concealer. Here we use the RCMA No Color Powder. Apply a light layer to set your foundation. Use a brush to pack on the concealer.


Next up, we have contour. Contour helps create dimensions on your face. While highlighter makes areas of your face pop, contour creates a feel of “sucking in,” defining or minimizing. This helps if your skin feels puffy and filled with fluid (aka that time of month.) 

In this video, we use a Perfecting Foundation Stick by Kristofer Buckle in the shade of “deep.” Blend in your contour so there are no visible lines. To warm up your face even more, you can then apply bronzer to areas of your face wherever there is sun exposure (i.e. the top of your cheeks and your forehead).


When your skin feels tired, blush is a great staple to have to freshen and liven up your skin. RCMA Cream Blush Palette is easy to use. Apply the cream blush to your cheekbones.


Apply highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones and down onto the apples of your cheeks.This video uses Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up Cream to Powder Highlighter.


1. Shadow: Apply shadow wherever there is puffiness to recede it. Here we use Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette.

2. Eyeliner: Smudge a little eyeliner on the corner of your outer eye. Featured here is Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer Rich Brown.  

3. Nude Pencil: Place the pencil right on the waterline, which will make your eyes appear bigger and more awake. Featured here is Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Pencil.

4. Eyelash Curler: Give your eyelashes a quick lift and brighten up your eyes!

5. Lips: Use a color/brand that you gravitate toward and makes you feel good. Featured here is Perricone No Makeup Lipstick that gives you a nice sheen. 

Top it all off with a little rose water spray to keep your makeup fresh and help liven up your skin for the rest of the day!

To help walk you through these steps, check out this tutorial by Makeup by Cait:

What are some of your go-to beauty products? What techniques do you use to brighten yourself up on days when you’re tired?

Image via Lenka Ulrichova, Darling Issue No. 17

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