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How to Create Your Perfect Minimalist Makeup Collection

If you are hoping to streamline your beauty routine, creating a minimalist makeup collection is your best bet. You will save yourself a ton of time and money by decluttering your makeup bag and only keeping the essentials.

Minimalist Makeup

The Benefits of a Minimalist Makeup Routine

In a perfect world our minimalist makeup bags would be empty.

We could all wake up fresh-faced and ready to go.

Actually, I know many simple-living women who gave up makeup years ago.

I am not one of them.

My skin tone is uneven and pale. As I have aged, by lashes and brows have thinned to almost transparent. Without makeup, I am often asked if I am tired….don’t you just love that?

Since I am not going to give up makeup altogether, I figured that I would create a “capsule makeup collection” just like I created a capsule wardrobe for my clothes.

I much prefer my minimalist makeup routine, to my former cluttered cosmetics drawer and I think you will too.

Here’s why:

Let’s your natural beauty shine through

Honestly, I love makeup and what it can do for women. When used correctly it can:

-Boost Confidence
-Hide Imperfections
-Give you a more pulled together and professional look

Personally, I am all for anything that makes us feel better about ourselves. So if that means putting on a little makeup each day – then let’s do it!

Also, having a daughter I hope to set a good example for her when it comes to makeup.

I know that she will want to wear makeup someday, and she has already commented about how natural my makeup looks compared to other women and girls on social media.

My hope is that this helps her to emphasize her natural beauty with makeup instead of spending hours watching makeup tutorials on YouTube and doing a full contoured face just to go to school.

Saves Time

No more mornings spent trying to decide which shade of eyeshadow to wear – or desperately searching through your cluttered makeup drawer for your favorite lipstick.

When you choose a makeup palette that is classic and timeless you realize you don’t need trendy cosmetics to create your best look.

With your streamlined makeup routine you will find that it takes just minutes to get ready in the morning – which gives you time for all the other stuff you have to do.

You will also spend less time shopping for makeup.

I have realized that all of my minimalist makeup essentials are available on Amazon so it takes just minutes to re-order.

SO MUCH EASIER than trying to go to Sephora with my kids!

Saves Money

This is a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning.

I have girlfriends who have gone into serious debt over makeup.

Like, thousands of dollars.

According to money.com the average woman will spend $43 when purchasing makeup.

Just a few trips a year and that’s hundreds of dollars.

When you declutter and streamline your makeup bag you save money by reducing the number of products you use.

And we all know that most of them end up wasted or never used anyway.

Minimalist Makeup Essentials

My top picks for creating a minimalist makeup collection.

Our culture has a serious obsession with beauty – and cosmetics companies take full advantage of that.

Everywhere you look there is an ad for a product telling you that it will improve your appearance.

It’s easy to be enticed by clever marketers into purchasing anything targeted to cover up your insecurities.

Over the years, I have been persuaded to try hundreds of products from inexpensive drugstore brands to high-end products sold by my dermatologist with the promise that they would work.

The truth: few of them live up to their claims.

Eventually, I decided to toss the dozens of cosmetics and skin-care products that were cluttering up my bathroom cabinets and create a minimalist makeup collection instead.

Over time I was able to find products that are foolproof, affordable and do the job.

While creating your minimalist makeup collection be sure to look for:

-Dual purpose products (takes the place of 2 products you currently use)
-High quality products that work don’t run or smudge
-Companies that use natural ingredients that are beneficial for your skin

Here is what I think are the essentials to have in your minimalist makeup bag:

Foundation or BB Cream with Sunscreen

If you have flawless skin you can skip this part, but I don’t think many of us are in that boat.

(If you are…I am totally jealous and happy for you at the same time.

This step is just to create an even skin tone and protect your skin from sun damage.

I love that so many products contain sunscreen now, so products do double-duty.

What I use: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

Eye Shadow

Be sure to choose a neutral hue with just a hint of shimmer.

This will allow you to build up the color as needed to take your look from daytime to evening, or for a special event.

I tend to prefer cream based shadows because they go on quickly and evenly and don’t make a powdery mess. They can also do double duty as eyeliner.

What I use: Revlon ColorStay Crème Eye Shadow


Because I have thin lashes, I use eyeliner everyday. However, it’s also a great essential to have on hand to create a more dramatic look for evening or a special event.

I love eyeliners that are smooth or even liquid that go on easily without tugging or pulling.

What I use: Rimmel Soft Kohl Eyeliner


Ok, if I had to choose just one minimalist makeup essential, mascara would take first place.

Just a few coats of this stuff makes you look awake and draws more attention to your eyes.

Even on the weekends, when I might not do a full face of makeup I still use mascara because it’s so quick and easy and really makes a difference.

What I use: L’Oreal Paris Makeup Voluminous Mascara


Blush, or rouge as my grandma always called it, is my next favorite right after mascara.

You want to choose a light color that brings warmth to your face. Try to avoid too much shimmer, or unnatural tones.

To create a natural look the best advice I ever saw was to exercise, then look in the mirror to see what color your cheeks are and try to find a blush that matches.

What I use: NARS Blush


Lipstick has always felt too thick and cakey for me for daytime use.

I much prefer a hydrating lip gloss with buildable color.

What I use: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Shine

So those are what I consider to be my absolute must-haves for a minimalist makeup bag.

Notice, that I only use one product for each area of my face.

In the past, I used to:

-Layer three different eyeshadows
-Use two blushes for contouring
-Kept a handful of lipgloss on hand because I was a sucker and bought them all the time.

Switching to one product for each area has really helped to cut down on the number of cosmetics products I use, and I feel that my overall look is still very similar.

The Extras

I do have a few more products that I keep in my makeup drawer that I use from time to time depending on my schedule or the events I am attending.


To minimize shine and build natural looking coverage.

What I use: bareMinerals Powder Foundation

Eyebrow Filler

Thick brows are all the rage these days, but a filler is also helpful as your brows begin to thin. This is the best and most natural filler that I have found over the years.

What I use: Benefit BrowZing


Perfect to cover the occasional blemish or brighten the under eye area. I also love to use concealer as an eyeshadow base or primer. It just seems to make it stay on longer.

What I use: Benefit Boing Brightening Concealer

To Review: Create your own Capsule Makeup Collection

Choose neutral colors to create a natural look

I promise you won’t regret skipping out on the latest makeup trend. Just look at your pictures from high school if you need to be sure.

Find Dual Purpose Products

Foundation with sunscreen, cream blush that can be lipstick too, eyeliner you can use to fill in your brows. All of these products will help you cut down on the clutter in your makeup bag.

Keep one (go-to) product for each area

Ditch the duplicates and simplify your makeup routine with one eyeshadow, one blush, one lip gloss etc.

Avoid Makeup Palettes

They are SO tempting and adorable, but they are expensive and you never end up using all the colors.

Choose a small yet functional makeup bag

Instead of tossing your products in a drawer, keep them nice and tidy in a makeup bag.

Choose one that is small enough to store everything you need, but still helps you to limit what you can fit inside.

How to Create a Minimalist Makeup Collection with image of makeup brushes.

There you have it mama!

My favorite tips to help you create your perfect minimalist makeup collection.


    1. Hi Bridget! I completely agree with you about the minimalist makeup bag being perfect for travel. I used to spend so much time going through my makeup to choose what to pack with me on a trip. And it never failed that I would forget something. Now I just grab my bag and I know I have everything and it doesn’t take up too much space.

  1. I used to have A LOT of makeup! Most of it I never used, it was wasted money and taking up space. I’m down to a little makeup bag of just the essentials and only buy makeup when I run out of something. It’s a great feeling to only have what I’ll actually use! Thanks for sharing these great tips!!

    1. I am right there with you girl. I am pretty sure I could have taken a weekend trip to Napa with all the money I spent on makeup. I don’t blog about finances buy minimalism is a huge part of how we became debt free. Saving money on wasted beauty products definitely played a role.

  2. Yes! We just decluttered most of our home, again. And funny enough I decluttered my make up bag with it. I had make up from over 3 years ago in there! Yuck! Thanks for the great minimalist ideas for refilling my make up bag! X

    1. Holly that is such a good point you bring up. Often, our makeup bags are full of old or expired products. The shelf life of most makeup is under 6 months and I know that most people keep products around much longer than that, which means risking infection. Creating a capsule makeup bag helps to make sure that you use the products you have before they expire.

  3. Great tips! I’ve been on a kick to finish products before I buy anything new and majorly purging my makeup vanity! And I agree with you on the double duty products…my fav product is probably a good bronzer. I use it as bronzer, contour and eye shadow!

  4. Thanks so much for putting together these great tips to help create a minimalist makeup routine! I’ve been putting a lots of time and thought into minimizing my routine and making it more natural and healthy and this was a great help!

  5. i have never really been a makeup junkie, but there were a few times where YouTube convinced me to buy something…. only for it to sit in my drawer for months. i knew i needed to declutter when i was sifting through dozens of lipsticks just to find a simple chapstick…. which i liked wearing more than lipstick anyways. i think a lot of people are also starting to get very disenchanted with the beauty industry. every beauty guru has their own palette that looks exactly the same yet somehow costs more than the last one…. yawn. who needs all that?

    1. I agree with you! The cosmetics industry really tries to get us to buy more and more! Just this week I went to purchase a replacement for my eye shadow and realized that you almost cannot find a single eye shadow anymore – it’s all palettes and they are always full of colors that you would never use, right next to the one you really want!

  6. I love the idea of simplifying your makeup. On the other hand, I also love some colorfull eyeshadow to play around with. I mostly use Jane Iredale powder products in my makeup routine. These products perfom fantastic and the powders do not expire because they are pure pigments. As a girl who does not wear makeup every day, this helps to get the chance to use something completely.

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