3 easy makeup looks for Valentine’s Day

Minimalist tutorials to bring out your natural glow, featuring Sarah Novio.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas
Feb 12, 2021 · 5 min read

We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Valentine’s Day: the holiday that’s all about love (or the holiday you love to hate). Whether you’re all booed up or flying solo this year, it’s a good excuse to bust out your favorite lipstick and take some sultry selfies. So I consulted with none other than the queen of simple-yet-smoldering looks, Sarah Novio.

I’ve followed Sarah’s Instagram for years — it’s a goldmine for simple tips that focus on the artistry of makeup: bold colors, shimmery textures, and glowing skin that look effortless. Even though the techniques Sarah uses are simple enough for every day, these aren’t your everyday natural makeup looks — it is Valentine’s Day, after all!

1. The classic red lip

Kiss marks printed in rose-colored lipstick is an iconic symbol for romance. This deceptively minimalist makeup tutorial has only 3 essential steps but delivers all of the impact of high glam.

  • Step 1: Lip liner. Trace the outermost edges of your lips with a lip liner that matches your red lipstick.

  • Step 2: Fill in. Continue using your lip liner to fill in the rest of your lips — this will help you achieve that extra-bold matte look.

  • Step 3: Lipstick. Now, you’re ready to top it off with a red lipstick of choice. Sarah uses a classic bullet lipstick with a velvet matte finish.

  • Bonus: Eyes. Sarah Novio pairs her red lip with some minimal eye makeup (just a little brow gel, matte brown eyeshadow, and mascara).

Steal this look

  1. Brow gel, like NYX The Brow Glue Instant Brow Styler.

  2. Bronzer, like MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze.

  3. Mascara, like Bite Beauty Upswing Full-Volume Mascara.

  4. Red lip pencil, like Bodyography Lip Pencil in Crimson.

  5. Red lipstick, like Peripera Ink Airy Velvet Lipstick in Warmy Red.

2. Fantasy date night

A shimmery eye and a glossy lip set in pink and purple tones adds a holographic vibe to your natural glow. Sarah adds a nouvelle flair to this look with fox-style eye liner, but feel free to skip it if wings aren’t your thing!

  • Step 1: Eyeshadow. You’ll want to lay a transition shade (like a neutral matte brown) all across your lid, blending into your brow bone. Next, add a matte pink shadow to your upper and lower lids.

  • Step 2: Wing it out. Wing the outer and inner corners of your eyes — Sarah Novio uses a liquid liner to swoop out her “bat wings,” then a black eye pencil to fill in the outermost corners of her lower waterline. Be sure to pop on a little mascara, too!

  • Step 3: Cheeks. Dip a fluffy brush into the same pink eyeshadow from earlier and swoop up from the apples of your cheeks. Then apply highlighter with a clean brush, beginning with the highpoints of your cheek bones, blending upward toward your hairline.

  • Step 4: Lips. Line your lips with a pink lip pencil (no need to fill them in this time), then apply a matching lipstick on top. Top it off with a pink gloss, and you’re ready to rock and roll!

Steal this look

  1. Eyeshadow quad, like Pat McGrath Divine Rose Luxe Quad in Eternal Eden.

  2. Liquid eyeliner, like Makeup Revolution Super Flick Eyeliner.

  3. Black eye pencil, like Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black.

  4. Mascara, like Milk Makeup KUSH High Volumizing Mascara.

  5. Highlighter, like Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Ultra Glow Highlighter.

  6. Pink lip pencil, like Pat McGrath PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff.

  7. Pink lipstick, like Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick in Divine Rose.

  8. Pink lipgloss, like Maybelline Lifter Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid in Brass.

3. The e-girl next door

If dramatic yet down-to-earth is your style, this look with both a bold lip and shimmery eye is the way to go. Sarah Novio uses an illuminating primer and non-comedogenic foundation to achieve an ethereal glow.

  • Step 1: Brows. Simply use a transparent gel to brush upward, lifting your brows.

  • Step 2: Prime. Sarah preps her skin with an illuminating liquid primer to create a lightly hydrating base — be sure to allow time for it to set! You can move on to the next step while you wait.

  • Step 3: Lips. For this dark lip look, line your lips with a lighter brown pencil, then fill them in with a darker brown lip crayon.

  • Step 4: Foundation and concealer. After your primer is set (about 10 minutes), apply your foundation with a damp beauty sponge. Use a full-coverage concealer to diminish the appearance of dark under-eye circles.

  • Step 5: Contour. Apply a contour across your cheeks — be sure to use a light hand, since we’ll be going in with more products on top. Sarah dips her brush into her contour stick before blending it into her cheek to imitate a natural shadow beneath her cheekbones.

  • Step 6: Eyeshadow. Dip your ring finger into a shimmery pink shade and then draw the pigment across your lids. Pro-tip: this will give your sparkly shadows the most color pay-off!

  • Step 7: Blush and highlight. To get the signature e-girl vibe, you’ll want to place your blush high on your cheeks and blend it upward into your hairline. Then, add a layer of highlight on top of your blush, using the same up-bound technique.

  • Step 8: Mascara. Of course, no look could be complete without giving your lashes a visible lift.

  • Bonus: Hair. Sarah Novio slicks back her hair with a little hair oil, then sprays some firm hold hairspray to keep that wind-blown look in place.

Steal this look

  1. Brow gel, like ColourPop Clear Brow Boss Gel.

  2. Hydrating primer, like Auric Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer.

  3. Brown lip pencil, like Makeup Forever Artist Color Pencil in Limitless Brown.

  4. Brown lip crayon, like Bite Beauty Power Move Lip Crayon in Midnight Rye.

  5. Semi-matte foundation, like Exa Beauty High Fidelity Semi-Satin Foundation.

  6. Concealer, like Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Concealer.

  7. Contour stick, like Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour.

  8. Pink blush, like BareMinerals Bounce & Blur Blush in Poppy Pink.

  9. Highlighter, like Milani Hypnotic Lights Holographic Powder.

  10. Mascara, like Essence Super Curl Volume Eye-opening Mascara.

So that’s what I’ve learned, as Curology’s resident beauty geek. Be sure to follow Sarah Novio on Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok for more makeup tutorials.

You can also show your skin some love when you start a free trial of Curology. Your first box is just $4.95 (+ tax) to cover the cost of shipping/handling, and that includes a custom formula prescribed just for your skin plus any product from our ever-growing skincare line.

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas

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