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The Art of Less: Minimalist Makeup Tips for Busy People

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

You’ve heard the saying ‘less is more,’ but did you know it also applies to makeup? Working in the makeup industry, I’ve seen firsthand how a lot of people tend to pile on product after product to achieve a “faster” look. But most times, a little product makes a quicker application AND a more complete look.

Enter: minimalist makeup. This makeup trend is about simplification; adjusting your routine to just a few multi-purpose products to achieve a polished, natural look. And today, we’re getting the lowdown on getting a flawless — yet simple — face. With tips, tricks, and benefits to going perfectly low-key.

Daily Nude Makeup Minimalist In Mirror

So, What is Minimalist Makeup?

At its most basic, minimalist makeup is all about using just a few products to create a natural, effortless look. So, instead of spending hours layering loads of makeup or blowing your whole year’s beauty budget in one month, it’s less effort and money.

Better still? Minimalist makeup is the best way to embrace your natural beauty, with just a few minor enhancements. Saviours like a tinted moisturizer, lip balm or gloss, a blush cream, and some mascara are usually all you need to pull off a minimalist makeup routine (and still look a-ma-zing).

The Benefits of Wearing Minimal Makeup

  1. Better skin health. When you’re wearing fewer products on your skin, you’re giving your skin a chance to breathe and recover. Heavy, thick-coverage makeup layers can clog pores and lead to breakouts and irritation. Opting for lightweight, breathable, skincare based products with thin layers applied to the skin, can help improve your face’s health and prevent future skin problems.
  2. It saves time and money. Real talk: makeup can be expensive and take a lot of time to apply. You can save heaps of money by simplifying your routine and using just a few essential products. Plus, your makeup routine can be cut in half, saving you plenty of precious minutes in the morning
  3. A confidence boost. Truthfully, wearing minimal makeup can feel pretty darn good. And for many, it’s more empowering than wearing a full face of makeup. In addition, by enhancing your natural beauty — not hiding it away —you’re sending a message to the world (and yourself) that you’re comfortable in your own skin.
  4. Comfy factor. Real talk: wearing loads of makeup is usually uncomfortable and cakey, especially for long periods of time. Opting for lightweight, breathable products, gives you a more comfortable wear throughout the day. Bonus: no worries about makeup melting or smudging in the heat, because it’s hardly there.
  5. Better for the planet. The planet might not be at the forefront of your mind when you apply makeup, but it should be. From using fewer products, you’re reducing your environmental impact. By embracing the less-is-more minimal makeup look, you’ll waste fewer products and packaging, reducing your carbon footprint!

Natural Minimalistic Makeup with Face Massager

Tips and Tricks for a Minimalist Makeup Routine

Ready to start embracing your natural beauty with a minimalist makeup routine? Before you start throwing away all your fave products, check out these tips and tricks for how to make it all work.

  1. Start with a good base. The key to any stellar makeup look is a good base and for minimalist makeup, this is as easy as applying a tinted moisturizer or lightweight foundation. The goal? Evening out your skin tone without that cakey or heavy look that sometimes happens. Look for a product with your favorite coverage level and a natural, dewy finish. Our favorite? BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. As an added bonus, it also offers SPF30 protection. Your skin will say thanks!
  2. The creamier, the better. Cream products are a must for achieving a natural, minimalist look. Their creamy texture blends effortlessly into the skin and gives a subtle, sheer wash of colour. Blushes, bronzers, and highlighters all come in cream options that are ideal for the no makeup makeup look. Pro tip: Apply them with your ring finger then blend with a damp beauty sponge for a seamless finish.
  3. Keep it simple. The key to minimalist makeup is simplicity. A few key products are all you need to enhance your natural features. Skip the eyeshadow and go for a simple fluffy brow instead, or use a tinted lip balm instead of full-coverage lipstick. Remember our goal: less is more.
  4. Multi-purpose products are great for achieving a minimalist makeup look. They cut down on the number of products you use and make for a simpler routine. Switching to a lip and cheek tint combo, like the creamy, vibrant, Tarte cheek stain, is your most brilliant move.

Happy Smiling Minimalist Makeup

Minimalist Makeup Problems (And Quick fixes)

With the right products under your belt and a bit of know-how on applying simplified makeup, you’re almost ready. But first, check out these common problems you might come up against and simple fixes for getting your face back on track.

  • Cakey foundation. Nothing says ‘wearing a lot of makeup’ like being able to see foundation caked on your face. It’s one of the biggest problems you can encounter with wearing quicker makeup. Take time to prep the skin with your makeup friendly skincare, apply your products first on the back of the hand to control how much goes onto the initial application, then blend with a slightly damp makeup sponge to reduce the chance it’ll cake.
  • Going too far with the blush. On your quest for natural makeup, getting carried away is still easy. And although it’s the best way to get a natural flush of colour, it’s also one of the biggest offenders in looking too made up. We recommend starting with less blush than you usually would and building up slowly. Blend it out well with a well-made blush brush so it looks seamless and natural, rather than heavily-applied makeup.
  • Smudged mascara. Mascara is a great way to define your lashes and make your eyes pop, but it’s a nightmare when it smudges. For a natural look, try using a soft, loose powder over the T-Zone and under eye, or if you’re feeling different try using a clear mascara on the eyelashes! It gives your lashes the definition and volume you need, but without any chance of smudging. Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow is a top coat mascara that works just as well on its own for a natural but enhanced look.
  • Uneven lip colour. Lip stains are ideal for a minimalist makeup look, but they can also appear dry, flaky, and uneven. If you’ve applied yours and it looks less than perfect, wipe it off and start again. But this time, perform a gentle exfoliation to get rid of dead skin first. Next, apply a thin layer of balm to moisturize your lips before adding the stain or gloss.

Low-key and lovely

In 2023, we’re all about embracing natural beauty and enhancing our natural features. And what better way to do that than with the minimalist makeup? This natural style saves money and time, and is a treat for your skin, so try out the low-key look and see what it can do for you.

Red Hat Minimalistic Makeup


How do you look prettier with minimal makeup?

To look prettier with minimal makeup, focus on your favorite natural features you want to enhance. Start with a good primer, use cream products, and avoid heavy eyeshadows and full coverage lips to embrace your natural beauty.

How to do minimalist makeup?

With prepped, moisturized, and healthy skin, minimalist makeup is easier to achieve. Choose a few essential products, like a tinted moisturizer, cream blush, mascara, and lip balm for a minimal coverage look.

Is less makeup more attractive?

Depending on your taste, some people prefer to wear less makeup compared to a full-face makeup look. Those wanting to embrace their natural beauty, save money and effort, and enhance their features with a few simple products might prefer the minimalist look.

What makeup do I need for a natural look?

For a natural makeup look, you only need a few simple products like a tinted moisturizer, lip tint or balm, and cream blush. The goal is to create a natural but enhanced look without the full coverage of regular makeup.