Makeup for the Minimalist

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Judy’s friend Jenny, who looks naturally beautiful with minimal products.

I may fall into the 5% of the female population who wears makeup less than 50% of the time. I don’t like wearing makeup. I worry that it’ll clog my pores and it won’t look natural. Plus, it takes time, costs money and requires some level of skill. But I must admit that I look better and feel more confident when my face is “made-up” (I don’t even know if that’s the right terminology!).

Since I don’t often buy makeup and I’m not willing to experiment by purchasing multiple products, I’m pretty picky about my purchases. I only want one mascara, one eyeliner, one blush, one etc. I spent a lot of time reading user reviews and asking my friends (well, really just Judy) about what I should use and in the end landed on several products I’m very happy with and plan to repurchase in the future.

minimalist makeup (via Instagram)

My one moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel  I like the gel more than the lotion version. A little bit goes a long way and my skin feels soft and smooth afterwards.

My one foundation: Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Nude (SPF 20) – Technically it’s a tinted moisturizer, but I use it as a foundation and then follow it with Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder. This gives me a matte look that lasts throughout the day. I also don’t believe in spending money on foundation primer and find that the Clinique moisturizer works just fine as a substitute.

My one compact: Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder in Natural Beige (SPF 15) – If I feel like using something other than foundation, I’ll use this powder. I don’t use both because I’ll feel like I’m smothering my pores. Although the powder is more convenient, I still prefer my combo of tinted moisturizer + setting powder since it makes my face look naturally flawless (at least at a safe distance) and there’s no need to blot halfway through the day.

My one blush/bronzer: Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc in Peach Mosaic – Before using this product, I had some traumatic experiences with blush (a la Lindsey Lohan in court). I thought I would never again put anything on my cheeks. Then came this sheer bronzer that highlighted my cheekbones (appropriately) and gave my face an overall glow.

My sub for all of the above: Origins Vitazing (SPF 15) – When I want to use none of the above items, I smooth on a dab of Vitazing. It evens out my skin tone and gives me a nice glow. The only problem is I can’t use it on the days I’ll be outside in the heat and sweating a lot because it can get sticky and shiny.

My one brow powder: Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Medium Brown  Love this item! It’s very easy to apply and doesn’t create brows that take over my face. Plus, you don’t see the unattractive drawn-in lines that eyebrow pencils create.

My one eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Zero – I’ve had a hard time finding eyeliner that wouldn’t smudge as soon as I would smile. Then Judy introduced this to me when we were in Vegas for my bachelorette party. This eyeliner is fantastic! It goes on smooth and stays put even after a long night of laughing, drinking and dancing.

My one mascara: Clinique’s Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula in Black Onyx – Although there are other products that have given my lashes more volume and/or length, this mascara is the only one that doesn’t clump and stays put all day. I figure no one will notice an additional 0.00324mm in lash length if I have smudges under my eye.

And that’s my 8-piece makeup collection. I do own some random lip colors and eye shadows, but those were gifts or “gift with purchase” items. Even with those options, I still lean towards my one lip product: Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1.

Are you a makeup minimalist? What are your “one” products?


  1. Yessie

    This is an awesome post. I don’t fall into this at all, but it would be my dream one day to! I have zero willpower and even going into Walgreens or CVS is dangerous! I love the LM tinted moisturizer as well and am anxious to try the origins vitazing:)

      • Yessie

        Thanks Judy! I was reading this and feeling pretty bad! I’ve gotten a lot better and really read and look at reviews before buying but, minimalist is something I may never be, but it’s something to strive for. Maybe:)

  2. Judy

    Don’t feel bad! We all have different levels of comfort and interest levels in trying products – we just happen to have a higher level of comfort with multiple products! 🙂

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