My Clean Beauty Picks for a Minimalist Makeup Routine

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Even though I’m a self-proclaimed beauty enthusiast, I realize that ultimately, less truly is more. Finding the best minimalist makeup products for your skin type, skin tone, and lifestyle can enhance your natural beauty and transform your morning routine. So, in this post, I’m outlining the best minimalist makeup products to get a fresh-faced look in just a few minutes and how to find the right products for you. The best part is that all of my favorite beauty products have clean ingredients.

What exactly is minimalist makeup?

Now I know what you might be thinking, “Is this another beauty trend?” And the answer is no. In fact, creating a minimalist makeup routine is all about ditching trends and simplicity. It’s a philosophy that celebrates natural beauty. There are brands that have been around for decades promoting this approach to beauty. 

Think: enhancing your features without a surplus of products. The mantra? Quality over quantity.

For me, it really drives home the idea of being more mindful in every aspect of your life, even in something that might feel as frivolous as a makeup routine. Choosing products that are better for people and the planet AND make us feel good is the real definition of living a non- or low-tox lifestyle.

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Even if you love to experiment with a full face of makeup occasionally, a minimalist makeup look is a great way to simplify your everyday routine. Sticking with a few items saves you so much time. You get to accentuate your natural features in a few simple steps.

It’s also important to point out that if you’re looking for a minimalistic look, you should have a good skincare routine that works for your skin type. That’ll help boost your confidence when going for a more natural look, especially if you’re someone who’s used to wearing a lot of makeup.

How to choose clean beauty products.

When choosing products for your minimalist routine, opting for those with ingredients that are kind to your skin and the environment is crucial. Look for products free from harmful chemicals and potential endocrine disruptors and brands that align with your values.

Some ingredients that I always try to avoid are fragrance, parabens, and phthalates. You can find a more in-depth list of ingredients to avoid here.

Unfortunately, the term “clean” isn’t regulated and can have slightly different meanings depending on the company that makes the products or the company that sells the products. For example, as of the time of this post, Target still allows products that have fragrance on the label to have a “Clean at Target” emblem as long as they don’t have the other products on their omission list. 

And since we’re on the subject, I should also point out that some products don’t contain harmful ingredients but aren’t marketed as clean. So, it’s important to check the label before throwing out any of your current products.

I know it can be a bit confusing. The beauty industry still has a long way to go with this. So, it’s important to do your research and look for brands that are transparent.

21 Best Minimalist Makeup Brands

Technically, you can use any product from any brand to achieve a minimal makeup routine. However, there are some beauty brands that really lean into the concept and have created products with the minimalist look in mind. Some of these brands include:

  1. ILIA Beauty: This brand offers clean, multi-purpose makeup products that cater to a minimalist’s routine without compromising on quality.
  2. RMS Beauty: With a commitment to clean ingredients, RMS Beauty provides versatile products suitable for a minimalist approach to makeup.
  3. Kjaer Weis: Known for refillable, high-quality makeup products, Kjaer Weis offers a range that aligns with a minimalist’s desire for simplicity and sustainability.
  4. W3LL PEOPLE: This brand combines minimalist aesthetics with clean formulas, offering a variety of products ideal for a simple makeup routine.
  5. Tower 28 Beauty: Known for its clean, sensitive, skin-friendly formulas, Tower 28 offers minimalist makeup products suitable for everyday wear.
  6. Westman Atelier: This luxury brand offers high-performance, clean makeup products designed to simplify a beauty routine without compromising on elegance.
  7. Milk Makeup: Known for its easy-to-use, multi-purpose products, it caters to those seeking minimalistic, on-the-go beauty solutions.
  8. Hourglass Cosmetics: While offering a luxurious touch, Hourglass emphasizes clean ingredients and sleek, versatile products ideal for a minimalist approach.
  9. Mango People: What better way to embody simplicity than by creating a small collection of multi-use sticks? Mango People multi-sticks can be used anywhere on your face and are made from Ayurvedic-inspired formulas.
  10. Undone Beauty: Undone features products that are super easy to use at comfortable price point.
  11. Axiology: Easy-to-use stick formulas in versatile colors make Axiology perfect for quick routines. Also, the packaging is 100% plastic-free.
  12. Subtl: This brand has a stackable system that fits perfectly in your purse or gym bag. It was created with women on the go in mind.
  13. Saie: The go-to brand for that dewy, fresh look.
  14. Ere Perez: This Australian-owned brand prioritizes using the highest quality ingredients to enhance natural beauty.
  15. Honest Beauty: You’ve probably seen Honest Beauty around already. It’s more easily accessible than some other brands and comes at a more comfortable price.
  16. Jones Road: Created by the OG of the minimalist makeup look, Bobbi Brown, who emphasizes having fewer, better quality products.
  17. Alima Pure: Refillable, magnetic palettes make their products easy to use on the go.
  18. Zao: This brand is deeply committed to the environment, as seen in its packaging and ingredient list.
  19. Beautycounter makes the list for its flawless in five sets that help you curate a simple routine with all staples. And their standard for clean is exceptionally high which gives it high marks in my book.
  20. Iris & Romeo is a promising newcomer that uses hyaluronic acid as a star ingredient to give you a glow.
  21. Caliray Beauty shines when it comes to creating that California sun-kissed beachy look.

Top Picks for a Minimalist Makeup Routine

Now, on to my top picks to get that lit-from-within glow with minimal effort.

Foundation/BB Cream: 

The base of your minimalist makeup arsenal. Opt for clean formulas that offer coverage while letting your skin breathe.

Beautycounter Skin Twin is by far one of my favorite lightweight foundations. They have a vast range of shades to fit any skin tone for a real skin-like finish, as the name suggests.

If you’re looking for something with sunscreen, a BB cream or tinted moisturizer like, ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint gives you light coverage, moisture and has a mineral sunscreen.


Concealer is optional if you’re trying to use as few products as possible. But if you need to get rid of undereye darkness or dark spots, I can’t recommend Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer with Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid. There’s even a mini size you can keep in your makeup bag on the go.


For that healthy, sun-kissed glow, the right blush or blush/bronzer combo can add dimension without being too overpowering. 

Beauty Counter Cheeky Clean Cream does a superb job at delivering that flushed look, plus the packaging is refillablePixi by Petra On-the-Glow Blush is another more budget-friendly option.


If you’re trying to cut out a step, you can opt for either mascara or eyeliner. But I recommend doing at least one of these to brighten your eyes up. 

My personal favorite mascara for looking bright-eyed is Milk Makeup Kush High Volumizing Mascara. It’s super black and gives me instant lash extension vibes.

Technically, E.L.F. isn’t considered a clean brand, but their eyeliner has a good rating on the EWG Skindeep Database, and it does a really great job of staying on all day. If you’re a little more strict about your requirements try one of these:

Lip color

Whether lipstick, lip gloss, or tinted lip balm is your thing, the key is to choose what works for you and is realistic for your lifestyle. For example, if you’re in an office or interacting with people fairly often, you might want to choose lipstick since it’s likely to be more long-wearing.

The second thing to consider is color. A fairly neutral shade with just a little tint is probably best for a minimal makeup look. Here are some options to complete any look:

Multi-Functional Products for a Minimalist Routine

You can also choose a multi-functional product that works on your lips. Who doesn’t love a product that can do double duty?

Why Adopt a Minimalist Makeup Routine?

Not only does wearing less makeup save you time, but it’s also beneficial in other ways. Having less product means less clutter. You’re also more likely to choose products from brands that are better for people and better for the planet. 

Then there’s the fact that you’ll also save money. Many of the better-quality brands tend to be on the pricey side. However, it’ll be worth it since you’re buying fewer products overall. It’s really part of an overall lifestyle shift.

Tips for Curating Your Minimalist Makeup Collection

Less is more, but it’s essential to choose wisely. Focus on what you truly need and love. Quality products that serve multiple purposes will be your best friends in a minimalist routine. Plus, organizing your collection makes for a stress-free morning routine!

Simplicity meets beauty in the world of minimalist makeup. By choosing clean beauty products that align with your values and streamline your routine, you’re not just enhancing your natural beauty but also taking a step toward a more conscious lifestyle.

Here’s to fewer products, effortless beauty, and a radiant, minimalist you!

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