Minimalist Make-Up

Everything you see in the picture above is the make-up I wear each day (on the days when I wear make-up at all). It is the only make-up I own besides a few other things I will share further down.

Once you begin to make minimalism a part of your life, it makes sense to tackle your make-up collection for a couple of reasons. For one, it is definitely an area that is prone to clutter. Before my first make-up purge I could honestly say I had only really gone through my make-up a few times since I first started wearing it! So I had been collecting more and more of it since the age of thirteen, and very rarely ever throwing any of it out. I had two cosmetic cases and a plastic bag full of make-up. Some of it was so old I am certain it was from my teens. Some of my make-up storage was dirty from things that had broken and spilled. It grossed me out to think I was keeping something I use on a daily basis in such poor storage conditions.

Second, a minimalist make-up collection saves us time. We spend less time digging for the things we need in a sea of things we don’t. We know exactly what we’re using and how we’re using it. The routine of it saves us time getting ready each day. Finally, I think any area of your house that is minimal and simple and clean just gives you peace of mind any time you have to interact with it. What better spaces to get that feeling from than the ones you spend time at first thing in the morning?

I wasn’t using most of  my make-up. I quickly realized I was actually only using the same products over and over every day. Much like my closet, the only times I wore something different was because I felt guilty for having so many unused products. So I’d take a chance with something different and end up hating the way it looked or feeling uncomfortable with no time to change it. I’d be stuck that way all day.

Another similarity between my closet and my make-up collection was that it took several rounds of throwing things out before I finally reached this final amount. Once you do it a few times, it gets easier and easier to be honest about you’re really going to use. It also gets easier to let the rest of it go.

But if you can’t let go of make-up altogether, most sources online will say that you only need about 8 items: concealer, foundation, eye liner, mascara, lipstick or gloss, blush, and a couple of shades of eye shadow. I only use 5 on a daily basis, but keep about 5 more items for occasional use. Those items are kept in a drawer, but the daily 5 are in a more accessible spot on top of my vanity. Of course the most minimal make-up collection you can have is none at all. And since we’re all beautiful naturally – I think that’s a great way to go too. 🙂

And for those of you who can’t cut down your make-up collection because you love it all too much (and you’re actually using all of it regularly) that’s fine too! You do you! I think we’re all perfect in whatever amount of make-up we’re comfortable in.

These are the products I use. Obviously everyone has different needs, but I hope this inspires some of you to cut down on your stock of make-up. These are also my old brand recommendations for most of these items. However, I have not worked on making my make-up collection organic and cruelty-free. To save waste and money, I am waiting for these to run out before I begin researching new ethical brands. I will post more about that when the time comes. If any of you have recommendations though I’d love to hear them! Also, on the note of waste, some of my favorite beauty products have been old things given to me from friends or my mom. Before you throw things out, always be sure to check and see if close friends or family may want them.

My make-up routine begins with my eyes. I start by applying some powder to my eye brows because they are patchy looking otherwise. Right now I just have a brow palette I got on clearance from Claire’s. I use a neutral cream eye shadow on my entire eye lid. I use this shade of Maybelline’s 24 hour tattoo shadow because it stays put pretty well, and this color goes with anything. I also use it as a blush! It gives my cheeks a very subtle pale glow. I have been using this Maybelline eye liner for years. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t smear but is easy to remove, and I love the way it goes on. It is also very dark, but I am still able to pull off a pretty natural look with it every day. And no sharpening! It works great for a daily look, but can also be applied very thick and dramatic for a smoky eye.


The lashblast volume mascara works great. I have both this and my eye liner in shades of brown right now because I have been in a more natural mood lately, but I have used them both in black previously and loved them. I use this Revlon Kiss lip balm in peach throughout the day to moisturize and give a hint of subtle color and shine.


These are the products I keep but don’t use as often. I have different shades of eye shadow for different occasions and moods. That’s another shade of lip gloss (given to me by my mom) for when I want something brighter than my every day lip balm. There’s also a concealer stick – just the cheapest one from NYC – that I sometimes use under my eyes or to cover blemishes.


This is one of my favorite shades of lipstick. I ordered it from It is one of the most expensive shades of lipstick I have ever bought at $15. It’s one of my favorite special occasion products. It’s called ‘Medusa,’ and it’s a very dark shade of red.


Tons of make-up or none at all – our focus should be on feeling good about ourselves. That looks different for everyone. The important thing is that you’re comfortable and feel confident. If make-up is a hobby you enjoy or a way you express yourself, that is perfectly okay. In minimalism we are never asked to give up anything we love. However, don’t feel like you need it if you’d rather spend your time, money, and energy somewhere else.

Smile, you’re beautiful! ~Mai




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