5 Steps For Natural, Minimal Makeup For Beginners

Not everyone loves applying makeup but there is no denying that an even complexion, a dash of lip color or eye-opening mascara can give us a little confidence boost.

Whether you are looking to simplify your current makeup routine or are completely new to makeup and want to get started with minimal makeup, this 5 step routine will make it easy to get the look you desire!

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The 5 Step Routine For a Minimal Makeup Look

A minimalist makeup routine focuses on achieving a natural, polished look with a minimal number of products. Here’s a simple five-step routine for beginners:

Apply SPF:

SPF on your face is key to prevent signs of aging and protect your skin from damage from the sun’s rays. I always go in with SPF as a first step.

My personal favorite is the Crunchi Sunlight SPF. It uses non-nano zinc oxide but leaves no white cast behind and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin at all!

Even on days I don’t wear makeup at all, this is part of my minimal makeup routine! Never skip SPF.

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Tinted Moisturizer or BB Cream:

Choose a tinted moisturizer or BB cream that matches your skin tone. These products provide light coverage while also moisturizing the skin. For a minimalist makeup look, most people avoid full coverage foundations.

Apply it evenly across your face using your fingertips, a makeup sponge, or a brush. These days, I’m preferring a brush application but play around with it and see what works best for you.

Liquid foundations, tinted moisturizers or a bb/cc cream are better for a natural makeup look because they look less heavy than powder. You might consider a powder foundation if you have oily skin, however, even oily skin often looks better with liquids given the right skin prep.

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If you want to add a bit of color to your cheeks, choose a cream blush or powder blush in a shade that complements your skin tone. Apply a small amount to the apples of your cheeks and blend it out upwards toward your cheek bones.

I think blush adds the perfect light-from-within glow and gives a more natural look to the skin because it mimics a natural flush.

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Groom your eyebrows using a spoolie brush to shape and tame them.

If needed, fill in any sparse areas using an eyebrow pencil or powder. Follow the natural shape of your brows for a subtle, defined look.

My favorite minimalist brow pencil is the Uni-Brow Universal Shade Eyebrow Pencil from Winky Lux. It gives the perfect fill and shape every time and it’s really easy to use. You can also top them off with some brow gel if you want something a little bit extra!

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Apply a coat or two of mascara to your upper lashes to open up your eyes and add definition. If you prefer, you can also apply a small amount to your lower lashes.

This five step routine should take you just a couple of minutes! It’s easy to conquer in the morning and will give you a perfect minimalist look all day!

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Optional Extras Based on Your Preferences:

While the above is the perfect place to start with your minimalist makeup routine, your preferences might be a little different. For example,.

I usually skin concealer if I am doing a tinted moisturizer or other base and instead opt for a blush. I also usually skip mascara and go for a lip oil instead.

Here are some idea for what to switch out:

Lip Balm or Tint:

If you’d like a touch of color on your lips, choose a tinted lip balm or lip tint for a subtle, natural look. Lip gloss is always a great pick too! I love the Crunchi lip glosses and the Ami Colé gloss. Balms are perfect for makeup beginners!


If you have any blemishes, dark circles, dark spots, or redness, apply a small amount of concealer to these areas. Blend it in gently with your fingertips or a makeup sponge.

Setting Spray:

If you want to help your makeup last longer, you can finish with a light mist of setting spray.


These days I usually save eyeshadow for special occasions these days but a matte shadow is perfect all over the lid for a minimal makeup look.

Remember, the key to a minimalist makeup routine is to focus on enhancing your natural features rather than masking them. Less is often more in this case!

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How To Prep Your Skin For a Minimal Makeup Look

Prepping your skin before applying makeup is crucial for achieving a smooth, long-lasting finish. It’s arguably the most important step in any makeup routine.

Here are the best steps to follow:

Cleanse Your Face:

Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, excess oil, and impurities. This provides a clean canvas for makeup application.

Exfoliate (2-3 times a week):

Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, promoting a smoother texture. Use a mild exfoliator suitable for your skin type. Avoid harsh scrubs, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Apply Toner (Optional):

Toners can help balance your skin’s pH levels and remove any remaining traces of impurities after cleansing. Choose an alcohol-free toner that suits your skin type.


Apply a lightweight, hydrating a hydrating facial moisturizer to replenish your skin’s moisture levels. This step is essential for preventing dry patches and ensuring smooth makeup application whether you’re using powder products or cream products.

Use a Primer (Optional):

Primer creates a smooth surface for makeup, helps it adhere better, and can extend its longevity. Choose a primer that addresses your specific concerns (e.g., pore-filling, hydrating, mattifying).

Apply Sunscreen (Morning Routine):

If you’re applying makeup in the morning, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This protects your skin from UV damage. If your moisturizer contains SPF, you can skip this step.

Use an Eye Cream (Optional):

If you have specific concerns like puffiness, dark circles, or fine lines around your eyes, applying an eye cream can help address these issues.

Apply a Lip Balm (Optional):

If your lips are dry or chapped, apply a hydrating lip balm to create a smooth canvas for lip products.

Wait for Products to Absorb:

Give your skincare products a few minutes to absorb into your skin before applying makeup. This ensures they have time to work effectively.

Remember, tailoring your skincare routine to your specific skin type and concerns is essential. Also, it’s a good practice to remove your makeup thoroughly at the end of the day to allow your skin to breathe and regenerate overnight.

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10 Tips for Starting Your Minimalist Makeup Routine

Transitioning to a minimalist makeup routine is an excellent way to simplify your daily beauty regimen. Here are some practical tips to help you make the shift to an efficient minimalist routine:

1. Declutter your makeup collection

Start by decluttering your makeup collection. Go through your cosmetics and assess what you truly use and love. Be ruthless in discarding products that are expired, seldom used, or don’t align with your minimalist makeup goals. Decluttering helps you streamline your collection to essentials that genuinely serve you.

2. Choose versatile products

Opt for makeup products that serve multiple purposes. Look for versatile items like lip and cheek tints, multi-use sticks, and neutral eyeshadow palettes. These products not only save space but also simplify your routine by reducing the number of items you need to apply.

3. Create a simplified routine

Craft a minimalist makeup routine that aligns with your lifestyle and preferences. Consider focusing on a few key steps that make the most significant impact. For instance, you might choose to go for a routine that emphasizes skin health by using a tinted moisturizer, concealer, and mascara for a fresh, natural look.

4. Master the basics

Learn to master the basics of makeup application. Understanding how to create a flawless base, define your brows, and enhance your natural features with minimal product can go a long way. Invest time in practicing techniques that allow you to achieve a polished look effortlessly.

5. Invest in high-quality tools

While you may use fewer products in a minimalist routine, investing in high-quality makeup brushes and tools is essential. Good tools can make application more precise and efficient. Clean your brushes regularly to maintain their performance and extend their lifespan.

6. Read labels and ingredients

Pay attention to product labels and ingredients. Choose makeup items with clean and skin-friendly formulations, especially if you have sensitive skin. Opt for products that align with your values, such as cruelty-free, vegan, or eco-friendly options.

7. Test and adapt

Don’t be afraid to experiment and adapt your routine to suit your changing needs. As you become more comfortable with minimalism, you may discover new techniques or products that enhance your routine further.

8. Transition gradually

If you’re accustomed to a more extensive makeup routine, transitioning to minimalist makeup can be gradual. Start by simplifying one aspect of your routine at a time. For example, begin with a simplified base routine and then gradually reduce the complexity of your eye or lip makeup.

9. Keep it time-efficient

One of the advantages of minimalist makeup is its time-saving nature. Embrace this by creating a routine that takes only a few minutes to complete. This not only simplifies your mornings but also encourages consistency.

10. Confidence is key

Minimalist makeup is about enhancing your natural beauty and feeling confident in your own skin. Embrace imperfections and let your unique features shine through. Confidence is the best accessory for any minimalist makeup look.

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Final Thoughts

I hope these simple steps help you feel more confident in your minimal makeup routine! It doesn’t take much makeup to achieve a natural look. But more than anything, I hope you feel confident in yourself and who you are because you are beautiful with or without makeup!

About the Author

Nicole BoozNicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com