Inside the Bag of a Makeup Minimalist

If you enjoy watching Kim Kardashian’s contouring videos, this post may not be for you. To be honest, I’m not quite sure that anyone should be taking makeup advice from me. I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to makeup. The entirety of my makeup collections sits in a tiny corner on my bathroom countertop. I have very sensitive skin and had a bad allergic reaction to a drugstore makeup in middle school which means I have to be fairly picky about what I put on my face. For references, I would say that I have fair, combination skin. I don’t mind spending a little extra for quality (even though I always search for the best deal) because I know that I won’t be buying a ton of products. Over the years I’ve found some great options that I think would work other makeup minimalists out there, too. 


My 5 minute makeup routine starts with Clinique’s Line Smoothing Concealer. In addition to having sensitive skin, I have bad allergies that have left my eyelids looking very red. This concealer is perfect for cutting out the redness, lighting those dark under-eye circles, and minimizing any other random blemishes. I’ve been using this concealer for at least a decade and it hasn’t let me down yet!

Step 2 is one of my very favorite products. Coola Mineral Face Matte Tint Moisturizer SPF 30. I don’t wear foundation because I prefer a much lighter coverage, and this stuff is perfection. It feels almost like a whipped texture instead of a thicker, creamier foundation. It has just enough tint to even out my skin tone and hide any discoloration. I love that it goes on with a matte finish and has SPF. Hint: Make sure to shake it up before each use as it has a tendency to separate.  

One of the newest additions to my makeup bag is NARS Blush in Orgasm. I’m not typically too picky about blush as long as it’s pink. When the saleslady at Sephora promised me I would love this blush she was right! It’s a peachy pink with some shimmer, and just a tiny bit does the trick to give my cheeks just enough color. 

This next item is not something I put on daily as part of my routine, but it’s a staple in my purse for when I’m out and need a touchup. MAC’s Prep + Prime Transparent Pressed Finishing Powder is perfect for zapping oil when you’re out and about. It’s thin and colorless, and it won’t add any weight to your makeup. It’s just enough to take off the shine, and I don’t leave home without it. 


Most days I wear just a quick swish of neutral eyeshadow (again to cover up the redness of my eyelids). I love the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette because it has a little something for every occasion. If I want just a daily neutral, I can use the peachy Thirteen. Want to add a bit of shimmer? A quick brush of High does the trick. If I’m going out for date night or Girls Night Out, I have plenty of options to fancy it up. I love the flexibility and quality of the Urban Decay palettes and the color choices in the Smoky palette cover any eyeshadow needs I might have. 

Despite considering myself pretty minimalist when it comes to makeup, I admit that I almost always wear eye liner. There’s something about the way it makes me look just a little more awake that keeps me coming back. I’m just a little bit obsessed with Eyeko’s Fat Liquid Eyeliner. This eyeliner is essentially a felt tip marker. I appreciate that it’s super easy to apply unlike traditional liquid eyeliner. It’s also very versatile. If you use just the fine tip of the “marker”, you get a very fine, subtle line. Or you can use more of the side of the felt tip for a thicker, bolder line. It stays on well, though it’s not waterproof, and washes off well with soap and water. 

I’m convinced that a good mascara is worth it’s weight in gold. If I wear no other makeup, I’ll almost always still wear mascara. It gives my deeply set eyes just the right amount of pop. I’ve tried several mascaras, but I keep coming back to Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. It adds thickness and length without being clumpy or heavy. The wand is a great shape that makes application easy. It’s also vegan if that’s important to you. 


If there is one item that it is in my Christmas stocking every year, it’s New Orleans Lip & Soap Company’s Artisan Lip Balm. This stuff is just awesome. I can’t live without the Frozen Margarita flavor, but my husband recently surprised me with the Summer Fruit set and I’ve been loving the Washington Parish Watermelon. This is the smoothest, most delicious lip balm I’ve ever tried. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s made by a local Louisiana business!

Every once in a great while, I go somewhere and want my lips to have a little color. Traditional lipstick always dries out my lips so I mostly avoid it. Beautycounter’s Sheer Lipstick has solved that problem. I like the Plum shade personally. It goes on very smoothly and isn’t drying. I admit that it isn’t super long-lasting, but it’s just enough for what I need. One layer is just a sheer pop of color or you can add additional layers for more dramatic color. 

As a busy mom who works full time, I love makeup that’s simple, versatile and easy to use. Hopefully a few of these items can become your everyday favorites just like they have for me! 

Ashley S
Ashley grew up in Joplin, Missouri and attended the University of Arkansas where she earned a degree in Finance and Insurance. She met her husband, Jason, in Fayetteville and they have one daughter, Etta Mae. They moved to Baton Rouge in 2013 for Jason's job with the LSU Tigers. Ashley is an extroverted introvert who loves Ted Talks, following politics on Twitter, and figuring out how to get the best deals on everything without paying shipping. If it were up to her, she would get paid to read books and take every college class so that she could learn everything about everything, but instead she pays the bills by working in recruiting for a multinational tech company. Ashley is blessed to have a daughter who is at least as stubborn as she is and a husband who is laid back enough to put up with both of them.


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