It’s not just for Smurfs anymore.
This time of year it also describes my appetite for makeup, as in not wanting to wear a ton of it on my face, and if your makeup cravings are also leaning toward the minimal side, here are five of my current favorite minimalist makeup products.
These are all in active minimalist makeup rotation right now.
1. The marvelous MAC Paints! ($20 each)
These $20 cream shadows dry to a powder finish and come in five natural-looking neutral shades.
If you don’t blend them out perfectly, no worries, because the colors are all pretty low contrast, so you can’t really mess up — or, rather, if you do, you can’t really tell.
Perfect for people who are frequently running behind (she said, raising her hand in the air while saying, “Ooh! Ooh! Like me.”).
All five shades also have a hint of a sheen to ‘em (it’s very subtle and nothing dramatic like a frost), which makes them quite forgiving of fine lines — something I greatly appreciate.
Beyond all of that, they’re also just straight-up easy to use. Creamier and more viscous than many other cream shadows like the MAC Paint Pots, they’re a breeze to spread and blend.
Just squeeze a small amount from the tube, and pat and blend that on your lids with your fingers. You can even skip primer with them if you want. I usually do (saves time).
My favorite color? Golden beige Bamboom.
I also love that name (although Bare Canvas is also pretty cool).
2. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks ($28 each)
No, these sticks do not contain caviar (as far as I can tell). If the MAC Paints are for work, then Laura’s Caviar Sticks are for fun.
These cream shadow sticks come in a wide range of colors and finishes, from mellow mattes to shimmering jewels.
Like the MAC Paints, brushes are totally optional. I usually just swipe one of the shades (Rosegold is my personal fave) directly on my lids, and then blend out the edges with a finger.
Because they glide on the skin and contain oodles of pigment, one layer is usually enough. You can literally be done with your eyeshadow in less than a minute.
These multitasking morsels are kind of expensive, but they are multitasking (wait, I already said that). The Kiss & Blushes beautify both lips and cheeks.
They feel like a mousse…
No, not like Mickey. It’s pronounced moooooose. LOL! They blend quickly and easily on bare skin or atop foundation.
And the icing on the cake? They last a really long time. I get from 6-8 hours from them as a blush on my cheeks, and 4-5 hours from them on my lips.
They come in 12 shades, with my favorite minimal makeup ones being the more neutral colors, like 07 Corail Affranchi, 08 Pink Hedoniste, 09 Rose Epicurien and 12 Mocha Garconne.
And if you get a hankerin’ for something bright, check out bright pink 01 Fuchsia Desinvolte.
Ooh! That one adds a lot of life to lips and cheeks. Apply a couple coats of mascara, and seriously, you’re done.
4. MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara ($16)
Speaking of mascaras, MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash is my favorite mascara in the entire MAC line, and it’s also great for minimal makeup looks.
I love the brush. It’s just so tiny and easy to wield.
Those big Shrek-sized mascara brushes tend to leave a ton of excess product on my lids and lash lines that I end up having to clean, but Gigablack Lash’s little brush doesn’t do that, yet it still grabs every last lash hair, so my lashes look super separated and stretched.
I use this on both my upper and lower lashes, and the formula lasts all day long without flaking or smudging.
Ding-ding-ding! Winner, winner, (veggie) chicken dinner.
These waterproof liners have been saving my butt lately. They excel at thickening lash lines, and they have magical powers…
OK, not really, but they do sort of make your eyes look bigger.
First, they’re twist-ups, so no need to sharpen (YES!), and the skinny tip is really easy to get between your individual lashes (WOOT!).
Second, the long-lasting formula means, again, no primer (if you don’t want to).
Third, my water lines are weirdly sensitive (much like myself, LOL!), especially when it comes to waterproof and long-lasting liners, but this stuff? For whatever reason, I can totally tolerate it.
I like many of the shades, but bronzy Santal is my favorite one. It’s one of those good alternatives to black.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,