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Advice

Skinimalism: meet the makeup that’s actually good for your skin

Skinimalism: meet the makeup that’s actually good for your skin
View Gigi Gordon's profile

When I heard that Skinimalism was going to be the biggest beauty trend for 2021, I only had one question, why haven’t we been doing this all along? Skinimalism is a blend of skincare and minimalism, focused on the idea of choosing quality over quantity in beauty.

Essentially, it means going back to basics with your skincare routine and going for more natural makeup looks; choosing nourishing cosmetics that are actually good for your skin. Rather than having 15 steps in your skincare routine and 20 for your makeup, you make sure every product has earned its place on your counter.

The best part of Skinimalism is that it encourages you to embrace your natural beauty with clean products. Through a more carefully curated skincare routine that only gives your skin what it really needs, you can achieve a natural glow that you’ll want to show off. While conventional makeup can dry out your skin, skincare infused makeup can hydrate it, supporting your skin’s health to give you a dewy glow.

Skincare and makeup have been strangers for too long, when they should be working together all along. Why should a night of wearing makeup ruin your skin? Well, now it doesn’t have to.

Think of this guide as your Skinimalism bible, where we show you how to take your skincare and makeup routine into 2021. Think glowing skin, minimalist looks and natural luminosity. Are you ready?

Go back to basics with a minimal skincare routine

Not only do skincare routines maintain our skin’s health and youth, they're also a great way to start the day or wind down. But when it comes to skincare, could less be more?

According to the Skinimalism manifesto, our routines have become far too complicated. Think of Skinimalism as Marie Kondo for your face, simplifying your beauty routine to what you actually need.

Although our skincare routines may have gotten out of control, there are still four key steps that every complexion needs.

Step 1: keep on cleansing 

Any skincare routine should start with cleansing. It’s vital for keeping your skin clean and detoxified as well as warding off breakouts and premature ageing. When choosing a cleanser, go for something both gentle and hydrating. Your skin shouldn’t feel tight or dry afterwards, and squeaky clean is definitely not a good thing.

  • Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cleanser 120ml

    Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cleanser 120ml

    4.83 Stars 6 Reviews
    £34.00
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 100g

    Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 100g

    4.97 Stars 32 Reviews
    £44.00
  • Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 125ml

    Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 125ml

    4.73 Stars 198 Reviews
    £25.00
  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 236ml

    CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 236ml

    4.54 Stars 180 Reviews
    £9.50
  • FARMACY Green Clean Make Up Meltaway Cleansing Balm 100ml

    FARMACY Green Clean Make Up Meltaway Cleansing Balm 100ml

    4.5 Stars 42 Reviews
    £32.00

Step 2: smooth in your favourite serum

Often forgotten, serum is an essential step in any skincare routine – just make sure it has a purpose. Aside from just hydrating your skin, your go-to serum should contain an active or key ingredient. Look out for serums that contain Vitamin C, Retinol (if you need it), Hyaluronic Acid or antioxidant protection.

Antioxidant protection is more important now than ever. We continously expose our skin to the blue light emitted by our phones, tablets, TVs and laptops. Often underestimated, blue light can damage skin as much as the sun, so it’s vital that you defend your complexion. Check out our list of the best blue light protectants if you want to learn more.

  • Dr Dennis Gross Skincare C+Collagen Brighten

    Dr Dennis Gross Skincare C+Collagen Brighten

    4.33 Stars 3 Reviews
    £79.00
  • TRUE Skincare Radiance Renewal 10% Stabilised Vitamin C Serum 30ml

    TRUE Skincare Radiance Renewal 10% Stabilised Vitamin C Serum 30ml

    £18.99
  • 111SKIN Rose Gold Radiance Booster 20ml

    111SKIN Rose Gold Radiance Booster 20ml

    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    £85.00
  • Five Dot Botanics Deep Feed Green Coffee and Cacay Nourishing Facial Serum 30ml

    Five Dot Botanics Deep Feed Green Coffee and Cacay Nourishing Facial Serum 30ml

    5 Stars 4 Reviews
    £38.00
  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Advanced (90 Capsules)

    Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Advanced (90 Capsules)

    4.58 Stars 19 Reviews
    £84.00
  • Medik8 C-Tetra Serum 30ml

    Medik8 C-Tetra Serum 30ml

    4.43 Stars 46 Reviews
    £35.00

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Step 3: moisturise with spf

Maybe the most important part of your skincare routine, moisturiser keeps your skin hydrated, supple and youthful. Dryness can cause the skin to crack, leading to premature ageing. In fact, many of the young people who are worried they have wrinkles actually have dehydration lines, where their skin is crying out for moisture.

When choosing a moisturiser, it’s best to go for one with SPF. Although you can simply add SPF afterwards, many of us live busy lives or can be forgetful. Instead, make your life a little bit easier and get both things from one product. This less is more mantra is at the heart of Skinimalism.

Your skin needs SPF protection every day, even if it’s not sunny, as sun damage is the leading cause of premature ageing. In fact, Kate Somerville, the leading skin health expert, named SPF as her number 1 tip for younger-looking skin.

  • COSRX Aloe Soothing SPF50 PA+++ Sun Cream 50ml

    COSRX Aloe Soothing SPF50 PA+++ Sun Cream 50ml

    4.58 Stars 121 Reviews
    £18.00
  • Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF30 50ml

    Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF30 50ml

    4.87 Stars 39 Reviews
    £87.00
  • La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Rich 40ml

    La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Rich 40ml

    4.57 Stars 14 Reviews
    £17.50
  • VICHY Idéal Soleil Anti-Ageing Sun Lotion 50ml

    VICHY Idéal Soleil Anti-Ageing Sun Lotion 50ml

    4.63 Stars 8 Reviews
    £16.50
  • VICHY Idéal Soleil Dry Touch Face Cream SPF 50 50ml

    VICHY Idéal Soleil Dry Touch Face Cream SPF 50 50ml

    4.23 Stars 30 Reviews
    £16.50
  • REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 50ml

    REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral SPF30 50ml

    3.6 Stars 35 Reviews
    £32.00
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturiser For Face Spf 15 (50ml)

    Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Daily Moisturiser For Face Spf 15 (50ml)

    4.65 Stars 26 Reviews
    £30.00
  • CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 52ml

    CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 52ml

    4.23 Stars 90 Reviews
    £13.00

Makeup that actually looks after your skin

The second part of this beauty mantra is choosing makeup that feeds hydration and nourishment to the skin. Gone are the days when we would tolerate dehydrating, clogging or cakey makeup that would cause a breakout the next morning (or sometimes the very same day). Instead, we’re opting for hydrating, lightweight foundation that lets our skin breathe and shows off our natural glow. Minimal looks that enhance our natural beauty, while feeding moisture deep into the skin’s dermis. We’re in, are you?

Step 1: Prime your complexion

Start with a nourishing primer to prep your skin for your new makeup routine. Something lightweight and sheer that will grace the complexion with natural looking luminosity, while keeping your makeup firmly in place. If you choose a formula that contains blurring pigments, a primer might be all you need.

  • Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base 50ml

    Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base 50ml

    4.83 Stars 223 Reviews
    £45.00
  • Stila Lingerie Souffle Skin Perfecting Primer - Sheer Illumination 30ml

    Stila Lingerie Souffle Skin Perfecting Primer - Sheer Illumination 30ml

    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    £28.00
  • Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer 30ml

    Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer 30ml

    5 Stars 6 Reviews
    £34.00
  • Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Protection SPF50 40ml

    Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Protection SPF50 40ml

    4.69 Stars 13 Reviews
    £24.50

Step 2: Go for a natural base

When building a more natural base, you still have plenty of options. If you only want a touch of coverage, try a nourishing concealer. After a barely there feel? – go for a tinted moisturiser. If you're looking for a little more coverage, you'll love a sheer foundation.

Whichever form you choose, just make sure the formula includes hydrating ingredients. This carefully curated list only includes skin-loving ingredients, non-comedogenic formulas and lots more SPF (can you ever have too much protection? We don’t think so).

Concealer

For more precise coverage, like spots or dark circles, concealer is the one you need.

  • The Ordinary Concealer 8ml (Various Shades)

    The Ordinary Concealer 8ml (Various Shades)

    4.75 Stars 4 Reviews
    £4.90
  • bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Concealer 6ml (Various Shades)

    bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Concealer 6ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    £24.00
  • Clinique Even Better All-Over Concealer and Eraser 6ml (Various Shades)

    Clinique Even Better All-Over Concealer and Eraser 6ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 4 Reviews
    £23.00

Tinted Moisturiser

Truly the best of both worlds, tinted moisturiser graces the complexion with a sun-kissed glow while moisturising the skin. Ideal for a barely-there, no makeup makeup look, tinted moisturiser is one of the hottest products in beauty right now. However, contrary to popular belief, tinted moisturiser does need to be removed at the end of the day, just like any other makeup.

  • Urban Decay Stay Naked Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator 35ml (Various Shades)

    Urban Decay Stay Naked Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator 35ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 3 Reviews
    £29.00
  • Skin In Motion Ltd Work IT Tinted Moisturiser 30ml (Various Shades)

    Skin In Motion Ltd Work IT Tinted Moisturiser 30ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 5 Reviews
    £25.00
  • bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer SPF30 35ml (Various Shades)

    bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer SPF30 35ml (Various Shades)

    4.48 Stars 56 Reviews
    £30.00
  • BECCA Zero No Pigment Virtual Foundation 30ml

    BECCA Zero No Pigment Virtual Foundation 30ml

    4.5 Stars 2 Reviews
    £28.00

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CC and BB creams

Applying like lotion, CC and BB creams provide lightweight coverage. Although they sound similar, they do target different concerns. While CC stands for colour correct, BB stands for blemish balm. While the CC combats redness and evens tone, the BB covers spots and imperfect skin. Gracing the skin with a luminous finish, CC and BB creams create the ultra-natural makeup look. Honestly, no one will be able to tell you have it on. As if that wasn’t enough, our selection also contains nourishing ingredients that care for skin while providing lightweight coverage.

Our favourite CC and BB creams:

  • Erborian CC Eye Cream 10ml (Various Shades)

    Erborian CC Eye Cream 10ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    £34.00
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Cream 30ml

    La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Cream 30ml

    4.44 Stars 43 Reviews
    £17.00
  • By Terry Cellularose CC Serum 30ml (Various Shades)

    By Terry Cellularose CC Serum 30ml (Various Shades)

    4.46 Stars 59 Reviews
    £61.00
  • Erborian BB Cream 15ml (Various Shades)

    Erborian BB Cream 15ml (Various Shades)

    4.33 Stars 12 Reviews
    £16.00
  • Erborian CC Dull Correct Cream 45ml

    Erborian CC Dull Correct Cream 45ml

    £39.00
  • Erborian CC Cream 45ml (Various Shades)

    Erborian CC Cream 45ml (Various Shades)

    4.56 Stars 16 Reviews
    £39.00

Find the best CC or BB cream for you

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12 months agoBy Holly James

Lightweight Foundation

For those who want a little more coverage, a lightweight foundation is your ticket. Our Skinimalism approved selection provides hydrating coverage while blurring the look of imperfections, building a flawless base. Enriched with moisturising and brightening ingredients, these formulas take foundation to the next level.

  • Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    3.5 Stars 4 Reviews
    £66.00
  • Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting SPF30 Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    Shiseido Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting SPF30 Foundation 30ml (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 3 Reviews
    £41.00
  • Clinique Even Better Glow™ Light Reflecting Makeup SPF15 30ml (Various Shades)

    Clinique Even Better Glow™ Light Reflecting Makeup SPF15 30ml (Various Shades)

    4.41 Stars 22 Reviews
    £29.00

Step 3: Finishing Touches

 

Longer lashes

For naturally long and fluttery lashes, swap out the mascara for a growth serum. Fuelled by advanced formulas, these serums help your lashes to grow longer and thicker, quite literally enhancing your natural beauty.

If you want to keep the mascara anyway, make sure you go for something nourishing. Swap those clumpy mascaras for something much more moisturising, like L’Oréal's Castor Oil-Enriched Paradise Volumising Mascara or Too Faced's Collagen infused Better Than Sex Mascara.

  • RapidBrow and RapidLash Serum Duo (Worth £76.99)

    RapidBrow and RapidLash Serum Duo (Worth £76.99)

    4 Stars 2 Reviews
    £65.44
  • DHC Eyelash Tonic (6.5ml)

    DHC Eyelash Tonic (6.5ml)

    4.58 Stars 40 Reviews
    £11.50
  • Lancôme Cils Booster Lash Activating Serum 4g

    Lancôme Cils Booster Lash Activating Serum 4g

    1 Stars 1 Reviews
    £36.00

 

Natural-looking brows

Keep it casual with a clear brow gel that will hold your hairs in place. Giving your arches a bit of shape and hold, brow gels keep your makeup look minimal and effortlessly natural. Simple to use and easy to apply, your brows will be set in no time.

  • benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel

    benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel

    4.69 Stars 48 Reviews
    £22.50
  • NYX Professional Makeup Control Freak Eye Brow Gel - Clear

    NYX Professional Makeup Control Freak Eye Brow Gel - Clear

    4.06 Stars 35 Reviews
    £7.00
  • MAC Brow Set - Clear

    MAC Brow Set - Clear

    3.43 Stars 7 Reviews
    £16.00
  • Revolution Pro Brow Volume and Sculpt Gel - Clear 6ml

    Revolution Pro Brow Volume and Sculpt Gel - Clear 6ml

    3.33 Stars 3 Reviews
    £7.00

Juicy Lips

The final touch is a nourishing lip balm that will soften your pout. Rich and hydrating, these hybrid formulas moisturise while giving the lips a touch of warmth. What’s more, the balms also defend the skin against harsh weather conditions or damaging UV rays, safeguarding the skin.

  • Stila Colour Balm Lipstick 3g (Various Shades)

    Stila Colour Balm Lipstick 3g (Various Shades)

    5 Stars 3 Reviews
    from
    £16.00
  • Skin In Motion Ltd Plump IT SPF30 Tinted Lip Balm Sheer Berry 15ml

    Skin In Motion Ltd Plump IT SPF30 Tinted Lip Balm Sheer Berry 15ml

    5 Stars 4 Reviews
    £17.00

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View Gigi Gordon's profile
As a haircare obsessive, I’m always on the lookout for new products and methods that will define my crown. I can never stick with a hairstyle for too long, and I love to pair minimal makeup with a bold lip. I specialise in haircare, with a mission to make all hair types and textures look and feel fantastic. If you’re after a new routine or product – I’m your girl, I’ve tried every haircare challenge and all the curl creams I can get my hands on. I couldn’t live without my wash-and-go routine, and I follow the Curly Girl Method religiously. Unable to find my perfect salon, I’ve always cut, braided and dyed my own hair, working as a freelance hairdresser since 2016. Although I’m a long-time fanatic, I’ve been writing about beauty since 2019, working with haircare specialists from Cantu, Boucleme and Mielle Organics to uncover the best tricks and tips. Felicia Leatherwood is my haircare guru, and Scary Spice is my all-time icon.
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