My Minimalist Makeup Routine

This summer I’ve been embracing a minimal makeup routine, and it seems wearing less product is worthy of a compliment or two, as a few of my eagle-eyed colleagues have noted and praised my laid back barely-there makeup. For the first time, I gratefully accepted the compliments with confidence, as this routine doesn’t make me feel naked, unattractive or self-conscious. Who’d thought, eh? The girl who once spent all her paper round money of a tube of what was effectively coloured paste at Milton Keynes outdoor market and wouldn’t leave the house without smothering her face in the stuff would love to dabble in little to no makeup at all. 

We all know minimal makeup is tricky to master and besides MAKE UP FOR EVER Water Blend Foundation (£33.00), I’m yet to find another base that perfects your complexion without looking as though you’re wearing any makeup at all. But on occasion, I’ve been skipping foundation altogether and opting for Glossier Stretch Concealer (£15.00)* instead. The potted concealer offers sheer to light coverage and melts into the skin, leaving it fresh, dewy and diffused while allowing my real skin to shine through. If your complexion is on the oiler side and you’re worried about looking a hot mess, either layer a primer underneath or apply a translucent setting powder to help with any unwelcome shine.  

For a minimal makeup look, I like to switch up my powder bronzer and contour in favour of something with a creamy texture, as I find the finish is more natural. Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base (£40.00) is a cream-based bronzer, and although it isn’t handbag friendly, it’s my go-to for faking an impressive summer glow. I apply the bronzer where the sun would hit my face naturally - forehead, nose, cheeks and chin – using a stippling brush, and it blends with ease. The finish is a soft matte with zero shimmer and is almost undetectable. However, this is not a product I can wear when I’m a little pasty, as it has an orangey undertone - so something to bear in mind if you have a pale complexion, as unfortunately, it’s only available in the one shade. 

Unless I’ve had an overzealous plucking session, I’ll simply brush a couple of coats of Glossier Boy Brow (£14.00) through my eyebrows to help tame them and add a little texture. Available in four shades Boy Brow delivers on its claims that it fluffs, thickens, and shapes without getting flaky or crunchy. But when my brows have those occasional sparse areas, I’ll opt for Benefit’s Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil (£20.50), which provides a more soft look than a powder, or pomade. And if I want my brows to look uber-natural (and I can be asked with the additional effort) I’ll opt for not one, but two shades of Goof Proof, taking the lighter shade through the front of the brows and the darker through the arch and tail to lengthen and define. 

Before applying mascara, I like to conceal my veiny eyelids with a neutral matte eyeshadow that’s a tad deeper than my natural skin colour to help disguise any discolouration. Generally, I tend to wear one of the following three; Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Creme Brulee (£4.95), the eighth shade in Huda Beauty’s Warm Brown Obsessions Palette (£25.00), or Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow in Burnt Orange (from £12.00), all of which are great picks for day-to-day. And then I’ll apply mascara which is non-negotiable careless of what look I’m trying to achieve. Glossier Lash Slick (£14.00) is a great everyday mascara that goes on without clumping, and it lifts, lengthens and separates every single lash. It doesn’t add much volume, but it's buildable and it feels as though I’m wearing no mascara at all. In short, it does for your lashes what boy brow does for your brows.

Among the rotation of lip products I’ve been hoarding in the bottom of my handbag is Dior Addict Lip Glow Colour Awakening Lipbalm in 001 Pink (£23.40). The cult balm from Dior doesn’t just lend my lips a boost of hydration; the pH adaptable lip colour glides on almost transparent before developing into a flattering rosy tint. What I particularly like also, is it’s super soft texture and that it’s never, ever glossy or sticky no matter how much you apply. And when my cheeks are looking a little dull, I’ve found that it doubles nicely as a cream blush. I rub the bullet onto the tips of my fingers and gently pat the product onto my cheeks, and it leaves my skin looking brighter, rosier and dewy. 

If I apply Dior Addict Lip Glow to my cheeks, I find the need for highlighter is less. But when I do want a little suminsumin, it will come as no surprise that I reach for something creamy that has little to no shimmer.

For a glow without the glitter Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (£30.00)* does the trick and imparts a beautiful luminous finish, that’s so lovely and natural-looking that it’s hard to resist apply all over. And to top it all off I lightly mist MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ (£19.00) my favourite glow-giving mist over my skin. 

What products do you use to create a minimalist makeup look?


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