The Minimalist's Guide To Makeup

When navigating the online beauty universe, you tend to stumble across two types of enthusiasts. On one end of the spectrum, you have people who adore makeup, and will spend an hour applying their foundation, contour, and false lashes. On the other end, you have people who stay away from cosmetics and focus solely on skin care. But there are plenty of folks who are somewhere in the middle. I like to call them makeup minimalists.

The makeup minimalist is someone who enjoys makeup and the way it makes her or him feel. But they never wear "too much." (Which is obviously an objective term.) These are the people you see popping on face oil, concealer, mascara, and lipstick — and they tend to do it all in 10 minutes. They're the girls who will sketch on a cat-eye, but leave the rest of their face fairly bare. They're the middle ground of makeup consumers.

And now, more than ever, it seems that brands are starting to listen to their needs. Companies such as Glossier and Milk Makeup have reported for duty to give these makeup-wearers what they've been asking for — gorgeous, high-impact makeup and skin care with absolutely zero fuss. "I think the word that permeates everything right now is authenticity," says Georgie Greville, cofounder and creative director of Milk Makeup. "Even if you do wear makeup, it comes down to what your skin looks like and who you are."

What sets brands like Milk and Glossier apart is their seamless meshing of skin care and makeup. In fact, Glossier started out with just skin care, eventually expanding its line with a brow product, concealer, and lipstick. Its tagline — "Skin first. Makeup second. Smile always." — speaks directly to this idea.

Milk's ethos is similar. "People are more health-conscious these days, and those decisions show up in your skin," says Dianna Ruth, cofounder and product developer at the company. "Some women don't want to hide that skin under a lot of makeup, but they still want to play around with color. I love makeup, and I love that it can elevate your mood and be a quick add-on to brighten up an outfit." These minimalist brands either offer skin care, or offer ingredients in their makeup that are skin-healthy. We definitely approve.

"We've put the work into the products, so that they can be added on in a nonchalant way that simplifies your life," Greville says. We love that easygoing factor. Ahead, find our favorite brands that are making basic beauty look anything but.
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Milk Makeup
Milk Makeup's claim to fame is its on-the-go solutions to makeup and skin care. Its most travel-friendly product is likely the Cooling Water, a solid stick that firms, hydrates, and soothes just like a mist.

Milk Makeup Cooling Water, $24, available at Sephora.
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Cheeks and lips in one, easy-to-use package.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek, $24, available at Milk Makeup.
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Good-for-you oils — such as grape-seed, avocado, and lemon peel — mingle to create a gorgeous glow. Tap this stuff on, and your skin will be instantly refreshed.

Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil, $38, available at Urban Outfitters.
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Lilah B.
Looking for a minimalist brand that still has some major luxury behind it? Lilah B. is for you. The company is focused on health-conscious formulations that are multipurpose and gorgeous, like this lip-and-cheek duo.

Lilah B. Divine Duo, $46, available at Lilah B.
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Conceal and prime your eyes in one simple step.

Lilah B. Virtuous Veil Concealer & Eye Primer, $44, available at Lilah B.
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Even the minimalist girl loves a dramatic smoky eye from time to time.

Lilah B. Palette Perfection Eye Quad, $58, available at Lilah B.
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Glossier
Glossier has won over the internet with its back-to-basics, easy-to-use skin-care and makeup products. The brand's brow pomade was an instant best seller.

Glossier Boy Brow, $16, available at Glossier.
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Not only does Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser remove your makeup easily, it gently cleans and hydrates the skin.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, $18, available at Glossier.
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This lipstick can convert even the staunchest of lip-color critics.

Glossier Generation G Lipstick, $18, available at Glossier.
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RMS Beauty
Arguably one of the first minimalist beauty lines — at least in the luxury, organic space — RMS was started by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift and focuses on natural ingredients that work with, not against, your skin. This luminizer's a best seller, and for good reason.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $38, available at RMS Beauty.
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The perfect first step to your makeup routine, this beauty oil helps balance and refresh the skin.

RMS Beauty Beauty Oil, $78, available at RMS Beauty.
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"Un" Cover-Up hides blemishes without masking the skin, allowing your face to appear even and flawless.

RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up, $36, available at RMS Beauty.
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