Alleged Minimal Makeup

Published in: Makeup

december minimal makeup

I say “alleged minimal makeup” here because, let’s get real, this is more like maximum makeup, but being an obsessive makeup lover I actually wear more makeup than this on a regular basis with primers and color correctors and blending for days and layering and liner and basically everything and the kitchen sink (I’m sooo not shy when it comes to wearing zeh face paint), so even though this probably isn’t “streamlined” (air quotes) for many makeup lovers, it’s streamlined for me.


Um…I think this might be a little confusing? Because now I’m totally confused, HAHA! What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that this is by no means minimal makeup when you look at the sheer number of products, but it’s minimal makeup for me at the moment, which for me is also maximum makeup at the moment, because I seriously…I cannot handle anything more than this.


I’ve been wearing the products here in some fashion or other pretty much daily for the past two weeks (like, if I’m in a hurry, I’ll skip the highlighter and bronzer) and, depending on how much time I have and what I’m in the mood for, my makeup has been taking me anywhere from 5-15 minutes to do.

For the most part, the other elements of my looks haven’t varied much, with the exception of lip color, which has varied a lot, and when I can’t decide on a lip color, I’ll just throw on a pinkish nude ’cause it’s easy, ya know?


december minimal makeup

What’s up in the mix…

  1. Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm
  2. BECCA Backlight Priming Filter
  3. MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30 in Medium Plus
  4. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Tan
  5. Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Medium Dark Warm
  6. Urban Decay Brow Beater in Neutral Brown
  7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
  8. Chanel Le Volume de Chanel in Black
  9. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in 88 Noir Intense
  10. The new Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Palette (I wear Smarty Pants and Jetsetter on my lids, and Smokeshow as eyeliner on my upper lash lines)
  11. Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Bronze
  12. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light
  13. MAC Sheertone Blush in Gingerly
  14. MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Only You (from the new Ellie Goulding collection)

So that’s been my minimal makeup routine lately. What’s yours? I bet you a plate of TJ’s Dark Chocolate Stars it’s simpler than mine, LOL!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Jane says:

    Your makeup still looks great. You should get used to doing minimal makeup as you’ll probably not have much energy the first month or so. I don’t think I brushed my hair for a month. You’ll be fine.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Jane. I’ve heard that first month is rough and have been trying to mentally prepare myself, but something tells me it’s one of those things that you don’t really understand until you go through it. Thankfully I’ll have some help from my in-laws and my mom and of course El Hub.

      How are things on your end? Good, I hope!

  2. Chelsea says:

    This is pretty much my ideal everyday makeup! I’m not great about keeping lip products on, and I don’t wear powder on my face due to horrendously dry skin, but I get a similar feel. Love it on you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      I feel ya, girl! I only use powder on the oily parts, otherwise the dry bits get so dry (and that’s no fun).

      What face moisturizer do you use for your dry areas, by the way?

      • Chelsea says:

        I’ll preface this by saying that in addition to being terribly dry, I break out extremely easily, especially from oils. The stuff I use is from a small brand I discovered on reddit called True Lipids (, and the product is called Ceramide+ Cream.

        Before, I’d been using a combination of CeraVe PM (which has good ingredients but is way too lightweight for me), TriDerma Facial Redness Repair (a bit richer, has some antioxidants, and helps with redness), and various serums. I was able to cut down to fewer products with this stuff and get better results with regards to redness. It’s a bit expensive and hard to acquire, since you can only get it through the brand’s site, but I’ve gotten really good results with it. If I could use products with oils, it’d probably be way easier to find products, but oils just don’t like my skin.

        I’m also big on using an ointment or Vaseline all over at night to seal everything in, and using a humidifier. Oh, and I do sheet masks a few times a week too!

        • Karen says:

          How interesting! I don’t think I’ve heard of that brand. I’ll have to do some digging. 🙂

          Vaseline is so old school but it works. Sometimes I put it on the cracked areas (usually around my nose) at night and it seems to help a lot.

  3. Rachel says:

    My “erryday” makeup routine (which takes about 5 minutes) includes: Rimmel stay matte primer, revlon photo ready foundation, makeup forever concealer, Milani face powder, Clinique ginger blush, Lancome Defincils mascara, Too Faced brow envy palette, MAC Brave lipstick, and ELF setting spray. My face gets shiny even in the winter so I find the combination of primer/spray really helps with oily skin.
    You look so great Karen! You are positively glowing from that sweet little girl inside you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Oh, I love MAC Brave. Such a great errrday shade! 🙂

      I’ve been meaning to ask you how your trip to Bemidji went. Did you have fun? I thought of you the other day because I started watching this show called Fargo, and that’s the name of one of the towns in the show, I think!

      • Kristi says:

        Long time reader, rare commenter, hi!

        Is it weird that I feel slightly honored and special that you know where Fargo is?? Because, helloooooo, I live in Fargo! Some days, like in the middle of January, I wish I could make that up! Haha!

        Talk about erryday makeup! For me, now that’s it’s winter and my skin is becoming normal, I use the MUFE mattifying primer on my t-zone but UD primer on the rest, UD naked, YSL touché éclat or another light foundation, maybelline concealer, too faced brow pot thingy, mascara and mascara primer, Rocketeur blush, Bobbi brown pink glow blush…oh, and whatever neutral eyeshadow palette I grab. Man, that’s a lot and I still feel like I’m missing something!

        But, my relaxing time in the morning is putting on makeup…I watch friends on Netflix, drink coffee and put on my face!

        • Rachel says:

          Hi, Kristi, from Grand Forks!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Kristi,

          What a coincidence! Now I know that I have a friend in Fargo, how cool! From what I’ve seen from the show your neck of the woods looks really cold… If I ever make it out there I’d like to go ice fishing so I can say I did it least once. 🙂 How long have you lived there? Do you like it?

          Oh, and thanks for sharing your list because you just reminded me how wonderful YSL Touche Eclat is. Gotta bust mine out sometime soon. 🙂

          • Kristi says:

            Oh, it’s cold! Cold and windy-but will get worse-more like -10 to -20 in the winter! I’ve lived here my entire life and while I hate it….I’m too lazy to move! Especially that everybody delivers now-like, I just ordered cat litter from Amazon prime! Who needs to go outside?? 🙂

            You definitely need to come ice fishing!! It’s fun-you should see some of the ice houses people have! Some ice houses are just decked out!

            I’m addicted to YSL-their touché éclat foundation just gives me that glow! I love the smell of their lipsticks! but, what’s awesome about winter is my skin normalizes (in the summer I’m an oily girl) and I can use dewy foundations-squee!!!

      • Rachel says:

        It was a fun trip, thanks for asking! We went to A Prairie Home Companion and I guess Garrison Keillor is retiring soon so I am glad I got to see the show. I’ve seen the first season of Fargo and yeah I think I remember some of it taking place in Bemidji, good show!

        • Karen says:

          It’s really good. I’ve never seen the movie (have it on my to-do list) but so far I’m enjoying the show. I love the accents! Looks so cold though and it has confirmed my long-standing belief that I’m NOT meant for snow, LOL!

          So glad you had fun on your trip. If I remember correctly your brother also lives there, right? Did you get to spend some family time with him?

          • Rachel says:

            It is my boyfriends’ brother that lives in Bemidji and yes we got to have a nice dinner with him. I’m from here originally but I lived in California for 6 years and it’s times like these that I really miss the weather in Cali! It’s only snowed twice now but I’m already sick of it!

      • lena says:

        glad to hear good things about mac brave. am still waiting for mine from the guo pei collection to arrive. so excited!
        lena recently posted … Review and Swatches: Colour Pop ‘Too Sexy’ Lippie Stix

  4. Meghan says:

    MAC Gingerly looks so lovely! My minimal makeup routine has been MAC Prep & Prime (sample size – trying before buying!), Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation (trying to use it up because it expires January 2016 and it’s almost finished!!), a blush – one of the million I have/ eep – typically a Burberry (Cameo), Hourglass (Radiant Magenta) or Benefit (Rockateur/ Coralista/ Dallas) one lately. Curl eye lashes, quick liner (I like Tarina Tarantino ones), and mascara, DiorShow (sample size). BTW sample mascaras are the best because they’re only good for a few months anyway & it’s still the perfect amount of product (for me anyway). I usually can’t be bothered with eyeshadow if I’m in a rush. Top off with an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder & a spritz of facial spray (like Tata Harper or Omorovicza, but I’ve heard the Caudalie grape water is good too!)

  5. Fancie says:

    I’m loving Gingerly on you! It gives you a nice natural flush. My minimal makeup look still requires a lot of stuff too but it’s not nearly as bad (or lengthy) as my usual routine. I still prime but I’ll skip the CC Cream and just go right for the powder foundation. On my eyes, I’ll add a little liner and falsies. Most times I do minimal makeup it’s because I’m pressed for time so I skip the concealer, highlight and blush. I will add a bit of bronzer to lightly define and add warmth but that’s about it. Then I just throw on whatever lipstick or gloss I’m feeling in my makeup bag that day. Kinda simple lol
    Fancie recently posted … Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator Haul & Swatches

  6. Rachel R. says:

    I’m with you… I have an “alleged” minimal makeup. It’s to be used in emergencies only. And forget the “no makeup makeup look.” I don’t spend so much on makeup to have it go unnoticed. No offense to those who do, it’s just not my thing.

    Mine: 1) Skincare and eos lip balm. 2) Eyeshadow primer — Too Faced Shadow Insurance or UD Primer Potion 3) Nyx Angel Veil face primer 4) BareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15 in Fair 5) BareMinerals Mineral Veil in Translucent 6) Sephora Blush in Tranquil (for light contouring) 7) BareMinerals All Over Face Color in Rose Radiance 9) A shimmery nude shadow over the whole eyelid — usually BareMinerals Eye Color in Nude Beach or Bare Skin, but sometimes I grab one out of a palette. 10) UD 24/7 eyeliner pencil in Roach 11) Black mascara 12) e.l.f. Mist & Set 13) Urban Decay Sheer Rapture (MLBB shade for me).

  7. K says:

    Wow! I think this might actually be more products than I wear when I’m really”doing” my makeup…
    Usually it’s primer, foundation, mascara, dash of blush, & lipstick. Maybe eyeshadow if I’m feeling particularly motivated.
    Eyeliner and contouring is for special occasions only, because both are incredibly difficult for me to do on myself (I’m fine at both on other people though).

  8. I totally get what you mean. My simple routine is my sisters “all-dolled-up”-look. But hey, I own the products, I need to show them some love!
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Taking out the trash III

  9. Same here, I’ve been keeping it minimal a lot lately. No baby responsible for it though, just feeling like it 🙂 I like this look on you, looks very fresh and natural!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Tag | Short + Sweet Tag

  10. Katherine says:

    I’ve been slacking on makeup lately! I just got home from school for winter break (finals killed me) and in true winter tradition I got immediately slammed with a horrible cold.

    For “minimal” makeup, I usually do:

    1.Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer on the face (sometimes if I’m very red, I’ll also use a layer of MUFE redness primer on top) and MAC Painterly Paint Pot on the eyes
    2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid foundation (but I’m in search of another great foundation, since my shade NC15 is just a smidgen too dark! Nothing I’ve tried is as good in formula though) and MAC Studio Finish concealer on blemishes
    3. Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
    4. Rimmel Stay Matte transparent pressed powder under the eyes and over the eye primer and Maybelline Fit Me original powder everywhere else (I only use the Fit Me all over about 50% of the time, depending on how dry I am and how long I need my makeup to last)
    5. Too Faced Endless Summer Bronzer on the cheeks, sides of the nose, and crease of the eye
    6. NARS Alhambra duo (lighter pinker shade all over the lid and the golder shade on the outer third of the lid, I got this on your recommendation and I’m obsessed with it!)
    7. NARS Madly blush in the fall and winter, and MAC Peaches blush in spring and summer
    8. A very light dusting of Becca Opal pressed highligher in a kind of circular motion all over my cheek, so I don’t get the dreaded “Vegas STRIP” effect (haha, I coined that term myself. I love a good pun.)
    9. Anastasia Beverly Hills brow powder duo in Auburn, and ABH tinted brow gel also in Auburn
    10. Mascara, either the travel size UD Perversion I have about a thousand of, or my favorite L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black
    11. Either a tinted lip balm (usually a Fresh Sugar one, I have Honey full size and a few other shades as deluxe samples) or Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

    So, 11 steps for a “minimal” makeup look! I think we’re birds of a feather…

    • Katherine says:

      Oh, I also forgot to say, I’m thinking about buying the Tartlette In Bloom Palette this weekend! It looks gorgeous on you, another nudge towards buying it. I’m sure I have dupes for most shades, but I love that it’s a warm neutral palette with mostly mattes and a few shimmers, and a wide range of light to dark shades.

  11. Fran says:

    Lol, Karen, I can *so* relate, but you’re much quicker at getting it all on your face than I am!

    The absolute minimum for me is combo tinted base/mineral sunscreen (IT Cosmetics CC Cream — three parts Light mixed with one part Fair), concealer (IT Bye Bye Undereye, works elsewhere as well), glowy powder (Houglass Ambient Lighting in Dim or Diffused), tinted brow gel, mascara, and something tinted on my lips.

    But I almost never leave the apartment without also at least tightlining my eyes and putting at least a little bronzer, contour, or blush on my cheeks to avoid the one-color-all-over-face look. And as long as I’m painting my cheeks, why not use the highlighter, contour powder, and blush? It only takes a minute or two longer. And I almost always use primers (face, eyelid, undereye) because they make everything go on nicer and look great all day. And I just love eyeshadow and hate to go without it. Although that’s the step that really takes a lot of time to get it right (blending my cheeks is easier because I apply so little product there, whereas I love to go bright and bold on my eyes.) And I like to use a setting spray. So the products start adding up really fast. But it’s fun, and hard to restrain myself!

  12. Ashleigh says:

    Beautiful and radiant! Also that lip color is really pretty on you!

  13. MonicaP says:

    I thing minimal these days means lack of color – not necessarily lack of products. However, if you have all these pretty cosmetics .. I say use ’em all 🙂

    MonicaP recently posted … Lost in the closet – A beaded sweatshirt and jeans from INC.

  14. Colleen says:

    Karen, I know a lot of bloggers have said they now prefer the Urban Decay Naked Concealer over Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Do you have a new Holy Grail? 😮

  15. Bree says:

    Here’s what I would reach for and do for everyday makeup:
    1) lorac eye primer
    2) Nyx brow polmade in taupe
    3) I grab a palette…lorac pro 1 use bronze and darker bronze shade…matte cream to highlight brow bone & inner corner
    4) liquid eyeliner typically I would use my lorac front of the line pro when I use a lorac palette but it just ran out. So I draw some wings with kat Von D trooper.
    5) Lumene Vitamin C BB cream…this stuff is amazing if you like radiant skin! It’s got decent coverage too.
    6) maybelline fit me concealer under the eyes
    7) Bare Minerals foundation powder to even out my skin more
    8) Hourglass Dim(?) Light to set my undereyes
    9)it cosmetics cc+ radiance bronzer & highlight
    10) cover girl clump crusher mascara
    11) if I have time Anastasia brow gel in granite
    12) buxom lipgloss in White Russian…holy cow I’ve almost used the entire tube of this stuff! Mad I didn’t buy a backup during the sale.

  16. kellly says:

    I’ve streamlined lately. I first do my moisturizers and oils. Then Onomie concealer. Next, Maybelline Bouncy blush in the red color on my cheeks and Becca opal liquid on my cheekbones. Eyeshadow primer and a SHINY eye shadow, either a bronzer or I have a new Palladio metallic shadow. Nars Callisto in the inner corners, tons of black mascara. Red lipstick. Done.
    No more foundation or powder that I have to touch up during the day. Easy. Takes me maybe 10 minutes, mostly spent on the layers of mascara.

  17. Tatiana says:

    That is such a fresh faced look on you. It make you look like a young twenty-something. I’m looking at your skin and you have absolutely no lines on your forehead. My skin hasn’t looked that good since I was in my 20’s. My minimal makeup is skincare, skincare and more skincare, because I’ve spent years neglecting my skin and now I’m paying for it. Then Armani Luminessence CC Moisturizer SPF35. Either one of the lighter colors from Tom Ford Nude Dip or one of the light Eye Tints from Armani on the lids. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes liner in 22L or Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Hustle or Bourbon. Estee Lauder Little Black Primer on lashes. Bobbi Brown brow gel in Slate. If I’m looking slick Rouge Bunny Rouge Impalpable Finishing Powder where needed. And whatever pinky neutral lippie I happen to pick up first.
    I hope the remainder of your pregnancy goes smoothly and quickly. I just remember, for the last two weeks of pregnancy with my daughter, feeling like I needed to pee, constantly. I swear she was using my bladder as a trampoline.

  18. Love your picks, you are glowing (and I am sure not only because of makeup 😉 ). I think I need that BECCA primer and tatrte palette in my life. It looks better on your photo than on the promo.
    Marina (Makeup4all) recently posted … Book Review: Gary Cockerill Simply Glamorous

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