Nine. That’s the number of makeup products that I use on a daily basis, and sometimes that number is two. Sure, I’m all about the normal reasons such as saving money, energy, time (time is a biggie for me). But I also like looking as natural as possible.
It’s not to say that I don’t use more than nine makeup products ever, but I understand the appeal of using less product. And maybe you’ve been looking for a way to shave some time off your morning routine, find a way to look less “done”, or just wanting to fit everything in a smaller make-up bag. Let’s go over some of the bare essentials for when it comes to makeup for the minimalist.
I’m going to risk sounding like a broken record here, but a good skin care routine makes or breaks the ability to effortlessly execute makeup minimalism. So make sure that you are taking good care of your skin first.
Do I really need this?
When trimming down your makeup bag, you either find permanent solutions so you can ditch a product all together (hello, eyelash extensions), or you ask yourself the question, “do I really need this?” Which you’ll find the answers might be different for you than they are for me (and that’s perfectly OK).
But here’s my approach to minimal makeup that saves me time, makes me look alive, and also looks very natural.
Disclaimer: The product links are affiliate links. However, I only recommend products that I love and use (or would use).
If you have a pretty good complexion you don’t need foundation. Even if you get dark circles under your eyes or end up with a blemish or two you can hide those with a little bit of concealer. But if you do need it, opt for lighter coverage. This will blend easier, and takes less work to make it look like natural skin — because it already does.
If you’re one of those lucky people without dark circles or blemishes then you don’t need this. Don’t buy it just because it’s always listed as a step in makeup application. But if you do need to get a concealer, I find creams to be the most versatile and natural-looking. Remember to use green-based concealers on red spots, and pink-based concealers on dark spots — both should match the level of your skin.
Contouring Powder or Bronzer
I personally love to use a contour powder to add a tiny bit of dimension back into my face, since I use foundation — I think that you should too when using a foundation because it tends to make your face too even. However, a bronzer can be used to warm up the skin when you don’t wear any foundation and don’t want to look like a vampire, in which case, the contour powder isn’t needed. If you're naturally sun kissed (so jealous), skip it altogether!
Stating the obvious here, but if you have naturally rosie cheeks, yes skip. Otherwise, blush will make you look more youthful and alive so I personally love to use it! I use it on bare skin and when I use foundation.
Love this. I use it pretty much all the time. With a good highlighter you can kiss dull looking skin good-bye. Very little product goes a long way. You might be tempted to ditch this but like I mentioned above, you want to look alive, vibrant, and energized -- highlighter does that for you. This is a keeper in my book.
Eyebrow Gel or Eyebrow Powder
I use both, but you can skip the colored powder if you have naturally full brows, and are able to tame them with a little gel. Alternatively, you can use a tinted brow gel that may kill two birds with one stone. For my eyebrow powder, I just use an angled brush with eyeshadow. That way I am using product I already have.
Skip. You can use the same contouring powder (or bronzer) and the highlighter you use on your face to make your eyes look nice.
I think that it’s important to use mascara since it opens the eye area and keeps you from looking tired. But if you have naturally dark thick lashes, an eyelash curler may be all you need.
Those are the 8-9 products that I use on a daily basis. Sometimes I only use a few of them, but they are the basics that work well for me. What products do you love that save you space, time, and keep things natural-looking?
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I am a professional makeup artist and licensed cosmetologist. I absolutely enjoy sharing hair and makeup tips to help others enhance their natural beauty. (Trust me, you're gorgeous.)