The last calendar year has changed a lot about our beauty practices. From co-signing more low-maintenance hair choices to adopting mask-friendly makeup and carrying out more at-home beauty treatments than ever before, we've amended every aspect of our hair, makeup, skincare, and nail routines to suit our socially distanced lives. And we don't know about you, but after being robbed of Hot Girl Summer 2020, we're feeling the urge to show out this solstice season. That's why all summer 2021, we'll be leaning into the most fitting trend that also happens to be so pretty: minimalist makeup.
Now, minimalist makeup might not sound all that exciting, but it can be a lot more fun than its name suggests. Remember when Beyonce had us all shouting "I woke up like this" a few years ago? Well, minimalist makeup brings that notion to life via glowy highlighter, subtly shimmery lids, flushed lips and cheeks, and bushy brows. Can you say swoon?
While this type of makeup look requires less perfecting than your run-of-the-mill full face of Instagram makeup, there's still an order of operations that yields the best results. Thankfully, we've been studying the recipe and have come up with an edit of all the best products for creating the most gorgeous minimalist makeup looks all summer. Keep scrolling to see them all.
This brightening, lightweight moisturiser is the perfect follow-up to the aforementioned dew drops if you're looking for juicy, plumped-up skin without the greasy feeling of a heavy moisturiser. It's formulated with watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and botanicals to boost radiance and smooth out texture.
There are some crazy good before-and-afters out there demonstrating how well this colour-correcting cream is able to neutralise redness in the skin. It's a thick cream that goes on green before changing colours to match your skin. Chances are if you're dealing with redness, you've got a fair to medium skin tone, and that's the demo this product works best for. Many reviewers have said it's a little too thick to layer under a foundation, so it may be best used in place of a complexion product that would feel too heavy in tandem with this cream.
The hydrating prowess of hyaluronic acid isn't a new discovery, but still, the internet has managed to unearth yet another way it can be used. In addition to spreading the serum all over the face to attract moisture throughout the day, makeup artists are now calling out HA's hand in creating the most seamless concealer coverage. The method involves tapping the stuff directly into the under-eye area before layering and blending concealer for the most flawless finish.
Perfect: Lightweight Complexion Products
Gigi Hadid called this out as one of her go-to everyday makeup picks and the rest, as they say, is history. This glowy gel can be layered under foundation, mixed with foundation, tapped into high points of the face as highlighter, or even worn on its own to subtly blur and create a soft glow. It's truly a unicorn product you can't be without this summer.
This brand-new skin tint from Fenty Beauty dropped just in time for the warm-weather updates that will soon befall our makeup routines. Pros always stress the importance of lightweight formulas this time of year (and all year if you have mature skin), and this one is already getting rave reviews for its skin-like, blurring effect.
This foundation is selling out fast, so if you've been interested in trying it you'd better grab your shade before it's gone! A high-coverage formula might not sound like the obvious choice for summer but its so melty and hydrating that it literally meshes with your skin for a fresh, matte finish. Plus, you can apply just a thin layer or build it up. Bonus points because it can also act as a spot concealer and under-eye brightener.
Enhance: Blush, Bronzer, and Highlighter
This highly pigmented cream bronzer is made with lush mango butter and calming green tea extract to instantly add a summer glow, even if you haven't spent more than a few minutes in the sun since last year. It's perfect for carving out the cheeks and adding a shimmery pop that blends out to a skin-like finish. And if you're feeling spicy, go in with this balm on the eyelids for the perfect minimalist summertime eye look.
Emphasise: Lids, Lashes, and Lips
Let this be your sign to stop sleeping on brown eyeliner. This one is creamy, ultra-pigmented, and can be smudged out for a smouldering, subtly smoky eye look that's almost too good to be true. Plus, it's waterproof so you won't sweat it off this summer.
When it comes to minimalist makeup, there's nothing better than products that can do it all. This is one of them! It's a beautiful and ultra-pigmented cream that can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips for a wash of colour that can look slightly glossy or amped up to vinyl-like. It's the perfect topper to carry in your purse and layer on top of mask-proof soft matte lips once you're able to reveal your pout.
Speaking of soft matte lip colours, this one is truly phenomenal. Though matte lips may not instantly come to mind when considering minimalist makeup (or summer makeup, for that matter), they hold up the best underneath masks, which we all need right now. This one is creamy and plush and can be blended out for a more diffused, stained lip look.
Setting powder gets a bad rap for making the skin look cakey and flat, but that doesn't have to be the case. This powder is silky smooth and can be dusted over the face with a brush or pressed into the skin with a powder puff. The latter method, an old-school makeup artist secret, is quickly gaining traction as one of the best techniques for flawless yet skin-like makeup.
For a minimalist look, you'll want to pour a bit of powder into the center of the puff, fold it in half like a taco, then rub either side together to infuse the powder deep into the puff. Then, gently press and roll it over your oily spots or any area that's shinier than you'd like. Instead of a powdery look, you'll just get a slightly matte effect that still looks like your skin.
This alcohol-free, dual-phase setting spray helps melt makeup into the skin to stay put for up to 12 hours, while also hydrating the skin and proving a dewy glow. It can be used at any phase of your makeup routine that calls for dampening of your skin or a sponge.
Opening image via @evemeetswest.