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12 Minimal Makeup Looks That Are Anything but Boring

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Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The way we do our makeup reflects our mood, the time, what we’re wearing, and so much more. There are moments we go bold with dramatic winged eyeliner, smoky eyeshadows, and lots of shimmer. And other times, the last thing we want is an elaborate, 13-step makeup routine. If we’re in the latter mindset, there are tons of minimalist makeup ideas that help us feel gorgeous in minutes. But first, it’s important to note that minimal makeup doesn’t have to mean boring. From bold lips to accents like graphic wings, you can add instant fun and flair to your looks while letting your natural beauty shine through. No matter your skin type, there’s a natural makeup look that’s right for you.

Keep reading for 12 minimal beauty looks, plus the tips, tutorials, and beauty products to help you create them.

Minimal Makeup Looks That Are Anything But Boring

1. Simple and Sweet Minimal Makeup

Close-up look of Laura Harrier rocking a minimal makeup look, low ponytail, wearing black and white striped top
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Graphic wings are the perfect way to get playful with your makeup looks. If you think you need a super steady hand and two hours to perfect them, check out this simple design on Laura Harrier. Extending the upper line of the wing into your eye crease gives it a three-dimensional effect that’s a little mod and a lot of fun. Top it all off with a hint of cream blush and keep your lip color soft and light.

Our pick: While the look pictured is black, we love implementing a colored liner for an instant, easy pop. A graphic blue is the ultimate statement, and we’re big fans of the TRESLÚCE BEAUTY Intenso Liner.

2. Au Naturel Makeup Look

Close-up look of Jessica Biel wearing minimal face makeup look accentuated by sheer lip gloss, all while donning a chic light blue jumpsuit
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

If we could crown a queen of no-makeup makeup looks, it would be Jessica Biel. To bring out your natural beauty like the star, start with moisturizer and a dewy-finish foundation or tinted moisturizer/skin tint to let your natural skin show. We suggest straying from a full-coverage foundation unless you need to cover up dark circles or scars from blemishes. We also recommend adding a faint swipe of blush, plus lip balm or lipstick in a shade close to your natural skin tone. Finish with mascara for an eye-opening effect, and you’ll look and feel ready for your natural look to take on the day. 

Our pick: For the perfect no-makeup makeup look, a good base is key. You’ll find it in BAREMINERALS Complexion Rescue® Natural Matte Tinted Moisturizer, which keeps skin looking flawless while delivering a dose of healthy hydration.

3. Pretty in Pink Minimal Makeup Look

Close-up look of  Selena Gomez wearing a minimal makeup look sporting a sleek half up, half down hairdo, with her silver droplet dangle earrings
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

A subtle pink flush and a pretty pink lip are super versatile, and when it comes to pink lipsticks, there’s a shade for every skin tone. Pick your favorite and swipe it on for an instant hit of color a la Selena Gomez pictured above. Then, take your blush and blend it onto your cheeks and eyelids for a cohesive look in (literally) minutes. 

Our pick: For a pretty pink flush, we opt for our PIXI BEAUTY Fresh Face Blush—it’s super blendable, long-lasting, and infused with vitamin E to keep skin soft, smooth, and hydrated. 

4. A Glimmer of Shimmer Minimal Makeup

Close-up look of Olivia Wilde sporting a subtle makeup look, her blonde locks framing her face, and accessorizing with drop earrings, all while rocking a stunning white gown
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

From the statement earrings to the outfit, Olivia Wilde isn’t quite representing minimalism in this red carpet-ready ensemble. The makeup, however, offers toned-down specks of eye sparkle and a nude lip to perfectly complement the presentation without outshining it. Her natural features are on full display, and we love to see it.

Our pick: The FENTY BEAUTY Fairy Bomb Shimmer Powder is designed for the eyes, face, and body, so it’s perfect for glimmery touch-ups all night long. It’s also easy to apply, so keep this on-the-go, and grab as needed.

5. Light Latte Minimal Makeup

Close-up look of Hailey Bieber rocking a subtle makeup style, paired with her chic blunt mini bob hairstyle with Crystal Clip Earrings in a stylish tear-drop design
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

If there’s one thing Hailey Bieber did in 2023, it’s keep us on our toes with her ever-evolving viral makeup trends. She keeps things soft yet striking here, opting for what we’ll call a light version of her latte-inspired glam. She sports a nude eye with soft lining, and a soft-brown glossy lip combo. Since launching her RHODE skincare brand, she’s opted for more minimal makeup altogether. Often sporting just a few dabs of concealer, she lets her lit-from-within glow take center stage. 

Our pick: We’re huge fans of the skin-loving BOBBI BROWN COSMETICS Mini Lip Gloss. Not only is the mauve-y brown product compact and ready for travel, but it offers a high-shine sultry sheen, thanks to infusion of jojoba and avocado oils, and vitamins C and E. 

6. Coral Flush Minimal Makeup Look

Close-up look of  Zoe Kravitz flaunting a minimal makeup look while rocking her chic micro braids wearing multicolor rhinestone water drop earrings
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Deep coral complements Zoe Kravitz’s skin tone so well that the minimal look pictured has the illusion of appearing as a full face of makeup. While we can’t say for sure what Kravitz is wearing, we suggest a three-in-one beauty stick for a soft, monochromatic look to emulate hers. 

Our pick: The ICONIC LONDON Complexion Stick is a multitasking eyes-lips-face formula that saves you from purchasing multiple makeup products. The rosy glam stick is one of our faves for on-the-go glow. It’s easy to apply, blends effortlessly, and looks fab on the face.

7. Lit From Within Minimal Makeup

Close-up of Mandy Moore smiling at the camera rocking light pink gloss wearing a printed black and white dress complemented by her diamond earrings
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Mandy Moore and minimal beauty go hand-in-hand—and the actress surely shines here with glowy glam you can spot from afar. Accompanied by a swipe of black eyeliner and a light mauve-y lip gloss, the star lets her blush and complexion products take center stage. Going for the opposite of matte, Moore’s skin is a silky-smooth win. Even though she’s likely wearing full-coverage makeup, she manages to pull off “natural” effortlessly. There’s no sign of dry skin here!

Our pick: If we want that effortless glow, we opt for the IPSY Complexion Perfection Bundle, which creates the perfect canvas for your makeup. The powerhouse duo includes the DOMINIQUE COSMETICS Blur & Moisture Serum Primer and the NUDESTIX Tinted Cover Foundation, so you can implement part of your skincare routine into your makeup routine. 

8. Pale Pop Makeup Look

Close-up look of Hunter Schafer rocking a slick back half up, half down hairdo, captivating in subtle makeup, with a large golden dangling earring
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Less is often more, as evidenced here by Hunter Schafer. In another minimal monochromatic masterpiece, the Euphoria actress opts for pops of pale pink on her eyes, cheeks, and lips. No additional enhancements are necessary for this subtly striking look that pairs effortlessly with her statement earrings. 

Our Pick: The PEEK BEAUTY Metalimatte blush is a cream-to-powder formula that can be repurposed as eyeshadow. We also use it on our lips, followed by a clear lip oil to lock in the color. The peachy-pink is a subtle hint of shade that can go a long way when paired with a strong, stylish accompaniment. 

9. Minimal Winged Makeup Look

Close-up look of Yara Shahidi rocking a simple yet bold look featuring cat eyeliner, with a touch of gold lip gloss wearing a gold dangling earring
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

When you’re as naturally stunning as Yahara Shahidi, a little goes a long way. The actress lets her eyes do the talking with a simple bold look that requires none other than a liner (pencil or precise liquid pen will do) and a bright pop of color in the corner. The star caps off the look with a natural, even complexion, and a hint of lip shine.

Our pick: For that pointed, precise tip, we’re fans of the EYEKO Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner. Designed to create smooth, fluid lines in a single stroke, this eyeliner is formulated with intense black pigments that won’t smudge, smear, or fade for hours. 

10. Lashy Minimal Makeup Look

Close-up look of Zendaya smiling at the camera with minimal makeup adorned with a stunning diamond earring and a stylish black headband
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

When it comes to beauty, Zendaya is our versatile queen. She can make full glam and minimal makeup equally chic, and her look right here meets somewhere in the middle. Going for a more natural aesthetic, the star plays up her eyes with falsies that steal the show. 

Our pick: The luxury GLAMNETIC Lash Bundle features 100% mink falsies, along with a pigmented liner that doubles as lash glue. These lashes may not transport you to the red carpet, but at least you’ll look like you belong there!

11. Girl-Next-Door Minimal Makeup

Close-up look of Madison Beer with a simple makeup, rocking a chic hoop earring and a gold necklace
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

There’s nothing a glossy pout can’t accomplish! Madison Beer opts for a coat of mascara and slightly lined lips to accompany her natural glow. A two-in-one tint should do the trick for this flush of pink on the lips and cheeks. While it’s not clear whether she’s wearing highlighter, we can say for certain that she’s beaming.

Our pick: When we want to make our puckers pop, we always reach for the trusty PAT McGRATH LABS Lust: Gloss—and any celebrity makeup artist will agree. The ultra-luxe formula glides onto our lips effortlessly, offering instant plumping. We swipe it on bare, or layer it over lipstick or lip liner. 

12. Ice Queen Minimal Makeup

Close-up look of Alix Earle rocking a minimal face makeup with light pink lipstick, perfectly complementing her blond hair
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Playing into the “cold girl” makeup trend, TikTok’s #GRWM (Get Ready With Me) beauty guru Alix Earle amplifies her natural beauty with subtle pops of pink, intertwined with her signature white eyeliner and under-eye brightening. 

Our pick: The ITTSĒ Matte Eyeshadow offers a wash of muted pink that matches Earle’s eye makeup to a T. You can take things a step further and lightly tap the shade onto some lip oil to create her matching lipstick effect. 

Want all the products you need for natural glam and more? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already a member of our IPSY community? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated January 8, 2024 12:00 AM