Less is more. It’s not just the phrase you tell yourself when trying to keep yourself from buying every single shade of lipstick in the beauty aisle, but also the mantra for minimal makeup looks that turn heads without even trying. While minimal makeup has always been a “thing,” it’s become especially popular in 2020.
It’s been a year where we’ve barely left our homes, social events take place over Zoom, and you really aren’t even required to put on pants if you don’t want to, let alone a full face of makeup. But even in the era of virtual history class and yoga, you still want at least a few beauty products to appear fresh and put together, as even a bit of brow gel or lip color can boost your appearance and confidence level to an extreme. That’s where minimal makeup looks come in.
This trend focuses on using just a few products to enhance your natural beauty, achieving a fresh and radiant appearance in under 10 minutes that brings out your best features. Reminder: you’re already gorgeous, and don’t need a ton of makeup… but these minimal makeup looks and tips will help you look and feel more beautiful than ever.
Nobody does minimal makeup looks quite like the French girls, and their (mostly) bare-faced aesthetic is a major inspiration for achieving your most glowing skin - sans foundation. Or even tinted moisturizer! Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love tinted moisturizer for a boost of hydration and subtle coverage… but you can always get more creative with your minimal makeup routine. Now is the time to try a new type of makeup and skincare hybrid, like the Strobe Cream by MAC! Part moisturizer, part highlighter, and part foundation, this beauty product provides your most glowing skin and healthy radiance, thanks to a blend of powerful vitamins and antioxidants. Like green tea, which is a key skin care ingredient for reducing acne and oil, anti-aging, and soothing the skin, among other things. You’ll always be good to glow while wearing Strobe Cream, which hydrates your skin while enhancing skin tone and natural radiance.
Minimal makeup isn’t just a look, it’s a feeling. You want to know that you’re owning the “subtle yet stunning” vibe with lightweight and luxurious beauty products, without the sensation of heavy foundation or eyeshadow that often comes with glam makeup looks. And in the case of blush, you want a natural flush of color on your cheeks that looks like you just got back from hot yoga, not a powdered or streaky mess that becomes even worse in the moody fall weather. Not cute. But you can fix that and achieve your minimal makeup goals with the right cream blush. Unlike powder, a cream texture is buildable, easy to apply, and won’t leave your face looking streaky or overdone. Because as any beauty enthusiast knows, once you apply too much blush on your skin… there’s really no going back. Cloud Paint by Glossier is an innovative gel-cream blush that blends easily into your skin and creates a radiant glow, and MIRA BEAUTY guests believe that it’s the beauty product of minimal makeup dreams. 98% say that Cloud Paint feels lightweight, sheer, and long lasting, while 95% love how creamy and blendable this blush is.
You’ve tried lipstick, lip balm, and lip gloss, and probably have your preference as to what looks and feels right on your pout. But when going for a minimal makeup look, why not try a hybrid of the three? Berry or wine-stained lips look incredibly artsy, but not over the top, especially when used in the form of a tint like the Extra Lip Tint by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. This lightweight, hydrating balm is infused with Olive, Avocado and Jojoba Oils to moisturize, smooth fine lines, and make lips look instantly healthy… all while delivering a sheer wash of color that looks like you just took a sip of the finest wine or berry juice ever. Bare Blackberry is the shade of Extra Lip Tint that you need in your minimal makeup routine, working with the natural color of your lips to create a beautiful and barely-there lip effect.
Bronze is a truly underrated color. It’s both sweet and sexy, looks gorgeous on all skin tones, and works for all seasons. We’re talking about a sunkissed glow in the summer, neutral glam in the fall, or year-round minimal makeup looks… the last of which is one of our favorite beauty effects, ever. A bronze shade looks earthy and elegant on your eyes, giving them a hint of neutral glam that brings in all the compliments, while still looking extremely subtle. And when you add a nude, bronzed shade on your lips that matches your eyes, that’s when the real minimal makeup magic begins. This hue brings warmth to your skin and provides that “lit from within” glow, making you look beautifully bronzed 24/7. There are plenty of bronze eyeshadow palettes to incorporate this shade, like The City Mini Eyeshadow Palette - Rooftop Bronzers by Maybelline, which is only $10 and has top MIRA ratings for blendability and pigmentation. And when it comes to lipstick? Try the Color Statement Lipstick in Bronze Beauty by Milani, which is only $6 and looks pigmented on your lips as it lasts for hours.
We’re back on the topic of French girls, and their talent for minimal makeup looks. The key to French beauty is focusing on one specific feature and playing it up with makeup, whether it’s the eyes, lips, or cheeks. Notice how many French women tend to wear red lips with a bare face? Well, this minimal makeup look is the opposite of that, but it’s just as stunning and simplistic. Believe it or not, you can wear bold eyeshadow colors while trying to stick to your minimal makeup routine. As long as the rest of your makeup is relatively subtle, and the color is efficiently blended. Use one single shade of blue, green, orange, or purple, and diffuse all over your lid for a wash of color that makes a statement. But you need to blend it out correctly, or the look just won’t work. Grab the Everyday Essentials Brush Set by Real Techniques and a single shade of bold eyeshadow, like the Single Eyeshadow in Outremer by NARS, and create a minimal makeup look that has a bit of edge.
False lashes are our favorite when doing glam makeup, but it’s a whole different game when adding to your minimal makeup routine. You want a mascara that gives your lashes enough volume and definition to enhance one of your best features, while ensuring that you still look like yourself. Think “your lashes, but better.” And who knows the value of enhancing your natural beauty better than Glossier? The beauty brand is the epitome of minimal makeup and wellness, and your lashes will get all the love they deserve with Lash Slick by Glossier. This simple black mascara won’t clump, smudge, or fade away, and coats your lashes from root to tip for long and voluminous lashes that still look 100% natural. Add just one coat for a subtle look that’s more like a lash tint, or keep building until you reach the definition you deserve for your minimal makeup looks.
Brown eyeliner? That’s a thing? It certainly is, and it’s surprisingly refreshing to swap out the intense black liner for a brown hue that brings out the color of your eyes. Don’t get us wrong, a black eyeliner will always have a place in your beauty collection, but brown is the ideal shade for your minimal makeup routine. It looks natural and gives a softer appearance, while defining your lash line and making eyes look bigger and more beautiful. Brown eyeliner is also surprisingly diverse. While a black eyeliner is just that, there are many different shades of brown liner that you can choose for your eye color and shape, personalizing your minimal makeup looks. Espresso, taupe, cocoa, latte, brick… all of your favorite shade names for brown eyeshadow come to life in the form of eyeliner, making you appear as pretty and put-together as possible. Top off your minimal makeup routine with one of our favorite brown eyeliners, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Whiskey!
If there are two things you’ve likely learned from reaching the end of this list, it’s that A) brown is a top color for minimal makeup looks, and B) cream beauty products are everything. Both statements are 100% accurate, and the reason why you need the Matte Bronzer by Milk Makeup in your minimal makeup routine. Just like a cream blush, a bronzer with this texture will blend out more easily on your skin, creating a subtle and natural beauty effect that fits with all your looks. Especially the bronzed eyeshadow and lip look we mentioned earlier! Matte Bronzer has a vegan formula that includes mango butter and avocado oil, nourishing your skin while providing a healthy glow wherever you go. MIRA reviews on this Milk Makeup favorite say it the best, with 98% of guests reporting that it’s long lasting and 93% who love the smooth and sheer texture.
“I absolutely love this product, it’s just the right amount of color to help add fullness without being too heavy on the brows! It also helps your brows stay in place all day! I love that this adds volume as well, such a great product!” Oh you know, just a super nice MIRA review about the Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel by Hourglass Cosmetics, and it’s totally accurate. 98% of guests say that this microfiber-infused formula is volumizing and long lasting, and the ideal addition to your minimal makeup routine. There’s no denying the importance of brows, as countless studies have shown that they’re one of the most important features on your face. Even if you’re not wearing any foundation or lipstick, a good brow gel can make all the difference in shaping your arches and making you look that much more put-together. Complete your minimal makeup look with a unique formula that instantly builds color and volume without the fear of flaking. You deserve the best brows, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel.
If you’ve ever watched any makeup tutorial on YouTube, ever, you probably know the triangle method of applying your favorite concealer. It’s basically what it sounds like, as you place the product in a triangle shape under the eyes and down to your cheeks, instead of swiping or dotting it. The technique really does matter, as this will brighten up your entire face and bring attention to your eyes… making it the ideal minimal makeup method. Concealer is the holy grail for hiding tired eyes and adding radiance, two of the most important aspects of any minimal makeup routine, and it’s easy to achieve with the right concealer and beauty sponge. Try the Power Play Concealer by Cover FX for a hydrating and non-creasing concealer that brings your under eye area back to life.
Look your best in just a few minutes with all the best minimal makeup essentials on MIRA.