Italian Makeup: How to Nail the Trending Yet Classic Beauty Look

Italian Makeup: How to Nail the Trending Yet Classic Beauty Look featured image
Mondadori Portfolio / Getty Images
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It’s no secret that as a culture, we Americans are head over heels when it comes to everything and anything Italian. And it’s pretty easy to see why, the country that brought us pasta, pizza, and Prada also gave us countless iconic beauty and makeup styles to dream about and recreate. Italian women have inspired hair and makeup artists around the globe with their sultry and golden-toned features. Many Italian hair and makeup looks are considered timeless, and have been direct influences from classic Italian bombshells like Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, and modern day Italian beauties like Ariana Grande.

From glowing healthy golden skin, glossy locks, and seamlessly lined crimson lips, Italian women have it down pat when it comes to being a beauty authority for all things sultry, all while doing it seemingly effortlessly. Searches for ‘Italian makeup’ are up over 200 percent, so it’s safe to say we’re all looking for our own piece of La Dolce Vita. Read on below for everything you need to know to nail Italian makeup and beauty.

What Is the Italian Makeup Trend?

In a world with so many different beauty trends and “cores” cycling through seemingly every other day, some beauty looks remain timeless. The Italian beauty look centers around sun-kissed skin, golden highlights on the cheeks and lids, sultry and smokey eye makeup, a crimson pout, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, soft nude makeup and a barely there lip that still feels intense and exudes glamour. After a year of quiet luxury fashion and barely there makeup, the complete opposite aesthetic has been trending everywhere, because quite simply, everyone is ready for a maximalist look.

Why Is the Look Trending Now?

As summer approaches, the trending beauty look captivating internet search engines is all about achieving a sun-kissed, golden glow and nobody does it better than Italian women. When an entire country is famous for their year-round summer glow, it’s easy to see why the draw to recreate the look is so popular. 

What You Need to Nail the Italian Makeup Trend

While glowing skin is important no matter what beauty look you’re going after, the beginning of every day for many Italian women begins with an Italian rose water to prep the skin. Italian women love to highlight their olive skin tone with golden highlighter on the cheeks and lids. But if you haven’t had your fair share of time in the Positano sun (same) a buildable tan and facial tanning drops will help fake the look of being in the Positano sun.

After building up a glow on the skin, seductive eyes are one of the key components to any Italian beauty look. Whether you opt for a cat eye or a traditional smokey eye with gold highlights, keep your eyes on the prize and keep a fluffy blending brush handy to keep the eyes from looking muddied. While some Italian beauties now opt for a soft nude lip, the bombshells of the past gravitated towards a true cherry red which still transcends time. Lining lips with a lip one shade deeper adds dimension, but you can’t go wrong lining lips in the same or similar shade of red. 

What are Some Examples of the Italian Makeup Trend?

Few beauty moments compare to the Italian beauty bombshells of the past like Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, and present day Italian icons like Ariana Grande, Chiara Ferragni and Melissa Satta. Ahead, a look at some iconic beauty looks to inspire your Italian Beauty look.

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Sophia Loren

One of Italy’s most celebrated movie stars of all time was lauded for her voluptuous pout and cat eye.

sophia loren
Getty Images / Mondadori Portfolio / Contributor
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Chiara Ferragni

Italian influencer and fashion trailblazer Chiara Ferragni proves that a little golden bronzer goes a long way. A soft nude eye and lip combo adds to the warmth of the bronzer, making her look just as sun-kissed as a day at the beach would.

chiara ferragni
Getty Images / Daniele Venturelli / Contributor
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Bianca Balti

Italian supermodel Bianca Balti pairs a soft nude cheek and lip with a bold cat eye for a distinctively Italian version of “soft” glam.

bianca balti
Getty Images / Stephane Cardinale – Corbis / Contributor
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Melissa Sata

Italian TV personality Melissa Sata proves that a deep red lip and long glossy locks is still one of the most foolproof Italian beauty looks ever.

Melissa Sata
Getty Images / Stefania D’Alessandro / Contributor
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Ariana Grande

Superstar pop icon Ariana Grande can virtually always be seen in a cat eye and glimmering gold highlighter on her cheeks, and it’s easy to see why it’s her go-to; it works no matter what the occasion might be.

ariana grande
Getty Images / Kevin Mazur / Contributor
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Gina Lollobrigida

Gina Lollobrigida is the blueprint for all things Italian and glamorous, seen here with a striking red lip and bold eye combo that would have anyone stopping to ask for beauty secrets. 

Gina Lollobrigida
Getty Images / Silver Screen Collection / Contributor
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Claudia Cardinale

Although we can only wish for this kind of volume, Claudia’s gorgeous sultry eyes still feel as glam today as they did back in the ‘70s when this snap was taken. 

Claudia Cardinale
Getty Images / Silver Screen Collection / Contributor

Products to Nail the Italian Beauty Look

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Acqua alle Rose Roberts Tonico ($20) 

A true Italian staple for most, this rose water tonic won’t leave your skin feeling dried out but rather hydrated, and lightly rose scented.


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Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Natural Glow Face Drops ($29)

Fake a summer spent on the Amalfi coast with these tanning drops. They’re easy to use and will have people asking if you just went on vacation.



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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($58)

If self-tanner isn’t your speed but you still want to look sun-kissed, applying bronzer to the contours of your cheeks and temples will go a long way in bringing warmth to any look, especially if you’re aiming for effortless Italian beauty.


hourglass bronzer
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Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick ($75)

Is there anything more classic than a crimson red pout? This one from Hermès hydrates, and looks just as classic today as it did on Sophia Loren.


hermes red lipstick
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Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick ($39)

If you’re looking for a classic Italian red lip but want more coolness to it, try this one from Pat McGrath for an orange-red that packs a punch.


pat mcgrath red lipstick
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Charlotte Tilbury Feline Flick ($32)

I’ve tried dozens of black eyeliners, but this one from Charlotte Tilbury is utterly foolproof. All you need is one swipe for a true crisp black line.


charlotte tilbury liner
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Byredo Eyeshadow in Dysco ($75)

Get that traditional smokey eyeshadow look using a handy palette like this one that already has a gold shade perfect for sweeping across lids and cheeks.


byredo eyeshadow dysco
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Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara ($27)

You won’t even need falsies with this tubing mascara that dramatically lengthens lashes to create the look of extensions.


Award Photo: Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
Award Photo: Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
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Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia Eau de Toilette ($212)

What could be more Italian than a scent that was made to captivate the scent of Sicilian almond?


acqua di parma

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