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6 Step Minimalist Makeup Routine For Everyday Beauty

These six steps are all you need for the perfect minimalist makeup routine for everyday beauty!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have a lot of time to get ready in the morning. Between managing my work, our toddlers, and our household, I need my routines to be as quick and efficient as possible. This is my five minute minimalist makeup routine that helps keep my makeup on my face longer and stays fresh throughout the day.

Here is a quick rundown of my quick six step minimalist makeup routine when you have time to only do the bare minimum.

It’s seriously so easy and so quick and leaves my skin looking flawless for most of the day! The products I use wear beautifully and I have been using them for years at this point. They are tried and true!

I’ll also link my favorite products for you if you want to shop them! Below, you’ll find my tips for quick makeup and keeping your makeup routine seamless.

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What is a minimalist makeup routine?

Minimalist makeup refers to a makeup style that focuses on using a minimal amount of products to achieve a natural finish and understated look. The goal is to enhance one’s features without appearing heavily made-up.

Here are some key characteristics of minimalist makeup:

  1. Subtle and Natural: The emphasis is on achieving a look that enhances your natural beauty rather than drastically altering your appearance.
  2. Light Coverage: Minimalist makeup often involves using light or sheer coverage products, like tinted moisturizers or BB creams, instead of heavy foundations. A light layer is all you need.
  3. Fewer Products: The number of products used is kept to a minimum. This typically includes essentials like concealer, tinted moisturizer or foundation, mascara, blush, and a lip product.
  4. Neutral Tones: Neutral and earthy tones are commonly used to create a soft and harmonious look. This includes shades of beige, brown, peach, and rose. They are a great choice no matter your skin tone.
  5. Subdued Eyeshadow: If eyeshadow is used, it tends to be in neutral or soft shades, often applied sparingly for a subtle effect.
  6. Groomed Brows: Well-groomed and defined eyebrows play a significant role in minimalist makeup. They frame the face and provide structure.
  7. Muted Lips: Lip colors are typically in muted tones, like nude or soft pinks. Lip glosses or balms may be preferred over bold lipsticks.
  8. Effortless Application: The application is often light-handed and aims for a “barely there” effect. It’s about enhancing features rather than creating a dramatic look.
  9. Focus on Skin Care: Good skincare is the foundation of minimalist makeup. A healthy complexion allows for a more natural and radiant look. It’s all in the skin prep. It give a lit-from-within-glow.
  10. Versatility and Multitasking Products: Products that can serve multiple purposes, like a tint that works for both lips and cheeks, are often favored in minimalist makeup routines.
  11. Time Efficiency: Minimalist makeup routines are often quick and easy to apply, making them suitable for busy lifestyles.
  12. Emphasis on Individuality: Minimalist makeup celebrates individual beauty and encourages embracing imperfections rather than covering them up.

Ultimately, minimalist makeup is about achieving a polished and refreshed appearance with a light touch. It’s a versatile approach that allows for a wide range of looks, from a barely-there natural look to a slightly more defined and put-together style.

The Ultimate 6 Step Minimalist Makeup Routine:

Step 1: Put on your SPF!

I never ever skip SPF! I wear it even when I’m not wearing any other makeup for the day. It’s one of the best ways to proect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent aging.

This is the most important step in any makeup look!

Step 2: Foundation or Concealer

For my base makeup – aka my foundation or concealer – I like to go in with either or. Very, very rarely will I actually do both.

For a me, my favorite foundations are the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint (light, everyday coverage), the Ere Perez foundation (medium, natural coverage), and the Crunchi foundation (full coverage – love full coverage foundations for special occasions). In my opinion, all of these last a long time.

All of these foundations have a good range for many a skin tone. Lighter coverage products need less options because they blend out easily. They are great for fine lines and mature skin too.

I’ve also heard good things about these from people with a different skin type (I have normal skin). Even oily skin and dry skin people say they work great!

Step 3: Blush

Blush, in my opinion, pulls a look together. It’s what bring life and dimension back to your face. It’s a staple in a minimalist makeup routine.

I have used hundreds of blushes over the years and my favorites are from Lawless, Saie, Merit, and Han Cosmetics. I have really come to love cream products, especially blush!

Step 4: Brows

Like blush, brows are a defining feature for me and a must in a minimalist makeup routine. I do prefer a brow pencil and for the sake of simplicity, I would say stick with an eyebrow pencil or a light brow gel.

Step 5: Lips

No look is complete without lips! For a minimalist makeup look, I gravitate towards lips oils, glosses, lip balm, and satin lips. They are easy to maintain and look fresh and natural. You will have to touch up throughout the day, but that’s okay! I like to save liquid lipstick for special occasions or a full face of makeup.

My favorite lip products come from Merit, Crunchi, and Ami Cole.

Step 6: Set

Setting your makeup is a key step that shouldn’t be missed! It’s what will give your makeup longevity throughout the day.

You could set your face using either a powder or a spray. I usually do a spray when my skin is more dry and a powder if I’m experiencing a little bit more oil. These are my favorite setting products:

Step 7: Mascara (Optional)

When I’m doing a minimalist makeup look, I skip mascara. I know this may be controversial but I dislike the way it feels on my eyelashes after a few hours.

It’s just not comfortable and often ruins the look for me. I do occasionally put a brown liner across my lash line for a little extra definition and I generally really like this look!

Here are some more specific instructions on how to complete a minimalist makeup look:

  1. Start with your eyes if you are using a separate eyeshadow palette. If not, start with your base makeup. I generally skip the eye area for a minimalist look but you can always brush a bronzer or your blush across your lids to keep it simple.
  2. Prime your skin – you can skip this step if you want. A hydrating primer will help keep your skin from drying out. Where a pore-filling primer will help create a smooth base. A sticky/gripping primer will help keep your foundation on your skin longer.
  3. Go in with your foundation and buff it out with a brush.
  4. Use concealer wherever you want more coverage – under your eyes or on blemishes.
  5. Go over everything with a sponge quickly to help everything mesh together.
  6. Set any areas of your face with powder that you want to make last longer. I set under my eyes and along my jawline.
  7. Go in with bronzer and blush. Bronze going from the top of your cheekbones towards the apples of your cheeks. Apply blush from the apple of your cheeks towards the top of your cheek bone.
  8. Spritz your face lightly with setting spray or powder.
  9. Apply highlight to your cheekbones, forehead, and bridge of the nose for a glow. Use a buffing motion with the brush to blend as you go.
  10. Use a spooly brush to brush your brows up and then shape them down. Fill in with your favorite brow product if you want!
  11. Apply your lip product and finish up with mascara!

3 Tips For Quick Makeup:

If you’ve seen my past YouTube Monthly Declutter series, you can see my minimalist makeup collection. I love having fewer products. It makes it easier to get ready and it’s way easier to manage less makeup products.

Here are the tips I’ve learned from my minimal makeup routine:

1. Use Dual Purpose Products When You Can

The more products you can use for multiple purposes the more time you’ll save because you’re reaching for less stuff overall! A little goes a long way.

Some examples include using foundation as concealer, using a face palette instead of separate products, and using the same face palette for eye shadow.

2. Focus on 3 Things You Want To Get Done and Build Your Routine From There

My top 3 things are: sunscreen, an even base, and brows. Your top three things might be brows, lipstick, and concealer. Or they might be something else entirely!

Your minimalist makeup routine isn’t about being perfect, it’s about enhancing what makes you feel more confident.

3. Have Easy Access To Your Products

I like to keep my get-ready-quick products separate because then I know exactly where they are and I don’t have to waste time searching for them when I’m in a hurry.

Keep them in a separate makeup bag or in a special spot in a drawer. It makes the whole process much faster, I promise! It’s one of the best parts of having a minimal makeup collection.

Minimalist Makeup Routine Mistakes To Avoid

In a minimalist makeup look, it’s important to avoid heavy application and overly complicated techniques. The goal is to enhance your natural features while maintaining a fresh and understated appearance. Here are some things to avoid:

  1. Heavy Foundation: Opt for lighter coverage products like tinted moisturizer or BB cream rather than heavy foundations. Avoid using excessive amounts of product, as it can mask your natural skin texture.
  2. Overly Dramatic Eyeliner: Steer clear of thick or bold eyeliner. Instead, consider using a soft pencil or a thin line of eyeshadow for a subtle definition along the lash line.
  3. Intense Contouring: Avoid heavy contouring and opt for a more natural, sculpted look. A light touch of bronzer in the right places can provide gentle definition.
  4. Bright and Bold Colors: While there’s a time and place for vibrant makeup, in a minimalist look, it’s best to stick with neutral and muted tones that complement your natural coloring.
  5. Overly Elaborate Eyeshadow Looks: Keep eyeshadow application simple and subtle. Avoid complex, multi-layered eye looks, and opt for a wash of a single neutral shade or a soft gradient.
  6. False Eyelashes: For a minimalist look, skip false lashes or heavy mascara application. Instead, opt for a natural-looking mascara to enhance your lashes without overwhelming your eyes.
  7. Harsh Lip Lines: Avoid heavily lining your lips. Instead, opt for a lip liner that matches your natural lip color or the shade of your lip product to provide a soft, defined edge.
  8. Excessive Highlighter: While a touch of highlighter can add a subtle glow, avoid using too much or applying it in areas that don’t naturally catch light. Stick to a light application on the high points of your face.
  9. Complicated Techniques: Avoid complex makeup techniques that require a lot of time and precision. Keep it simple and focus on enhancing your natural features.
  10. Neglecting Skincare: Minimalist makeup relies heavily on good skincare. Don’t skip your skincare routine, as a healthy complexion is the foundation of any natural look.
  11. Ignoring Your Individual Features: Everyone’s face is unique. Avoid trying to replicate makeup looks exactly as you’ve seen them on others. Instead, adapt techniques to suit your own features and preferences.

Remember, the goal of minimalist makeup is to enhance your natural beauty, so it’s important to use a light touch and choose products and techniques that complement your individual features.

Final Thoughts on My Minimalist Makeup Routine

Do you have a quick makeup routine? I’d love to know what products you love and use and your best tips!

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About the Author

Nicole Booz is the founder of GenTwenty and GenThirty. She is an entrepreneur, author of The Kidult Handbook, and most importantly, Mama to two beautiful little boys. She loves reading, organizing her home, and living a simple, less toxic lifestyle. You've seen her in The New York Times, TIME, Insider, Inside Edition, New York Post, NextAdvisor, Forbes, Yahoo, HuffPost, and U.S. News & World Report.