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 never wear "too much." (Which is obviously objective.) These are the people you see popping on face oil, concealer, mascara, and lipstick — and do it all in 10 minutes. They're the ones who sketch on a cat-eye, but leave the rest of their face bare. They're the middle ground of makeup consumers.
And now, more than ever, brands are listening to their needs. Companies like Glossier and Milk Makeup are giving 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 these apart is the seamless combination 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.
These minimalist brands either offer skin care, or offer ingredients in their makeup that are skin-healthy. "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.
Ahead, find some our favorite brands that make basic beauty look anything but.