6 Steps To A Minimal Makeup Routine On A Budget!

Minimal makeup routine

Makeup can do so much. It can transform your appearance for costumes or fun. It can also help you hide imperfections or try out a new look. But let's face it, most days, we all need a quick routine that will look great but without too much effort or time. After all, during any given day, you've got work, meetings, commuting, gym or fitness classes, family obligations, and more. Introducing the minimal makeup routine.

Using just six easy steps, you can easily elevate your look and create a consistent routine that will look good all the time. While it's fun on occasion to take your time with makeup and add extra details, this minimalist makeup routine is a great way to ensure you get the look you want always. And there's plenty of great benefits.

Benefits of a minimal makeup routine

The benefits of a minimalist makeup routine are almost endless. Many people will choose this route because of its simplicity, but let's go over some other great things about this idea.

In addition to the obvious things like time saved, you will also notice some other benefits that you may not have thought of.

A minimal makeup routine saves time

A twenty-step skincare and makeup routine can take you an hour. And with work, school, family, friends, and hobbies, who has the extra minutes? A minimal makeup routine provides the solution. Your face will look fresh and ready for the day in five minutes rather than fifty.

This can leave you with a ton of extra time in your morning routine. Say hello to journaling, morning pages, or all that reading you keep saying you're going to get to eventually!

Use your extra minutes in the morning to truly enjoy that cup of coffee, talk with your family, or sit in silence. Who knows? You might even find time for an extra hobby or side hustle.

While makeup trends are exciting and can be fun to try sometimes, no one can deny the extra work it takes to keep up. A minimal makeup routine keeps things simple. Which means you aren't going for trendy.

And the opposite of trendy is classic, timeless makeup that will look amazing through each day and season no matter what. Not only can you quit paying attention to which eye shadow is the go-to shade of the moment, but you can create your very own makeup look that will last.

So say goodbye to scrolling through lifestyle influencers' Instagram accounts and blog posts for ideas. You already have your own unique look.

A minimal makeup routine takes out the guesswork

Guess what is really awesome? When you wake up and already know your plan for the day. Makeup routines help you by taking out the guesswork. No staring at your makeup mirror and trying to decide between lipstick shades.

Instead, you'll form habits that allow you to perform your minimal makeup routine without even thinking about it. Getting ready doesn't get easier than this. You can do the same basic process every morning and add details that make it different only if you feel like it.

Great for ladies on the go

If you travel a lot or are just constantly on the go, a minimalist makeup routine is your friend. Rather than shoving 27 products into a tiny makeup bag, you can be content with just five products or so. Everything will easily fit in your purse or carry on without any hassle on your part.

Whether you're in the airport or out with friends, you can easily touch up your makeup look. Since you won't have to carry much product around, you'll have everything with you that you need to recreate your minimalist makeup routine at any time.

A minimal makeup routine saves you money

Guess what doesn't cost much money? A handful of makeup products as opposed to three drawers full. A minimal makeup routine saves you money because you simply need less of everything.

Plus, when you buy something, you can go for excellent quality since you know you'll use it all the time. You will still spend less than if you were buying every new product on the market.

Going minimalist means you'll have less duplicate items. With makeup, it's really easy to have twelve of the same thing and not even know it. A minimal makeup routine gets rid of all of that. This means you can look good everyday regardless of your budget.

How to establish a minimal makeup routine

So we've convinced you? Beginning with a minimalist makeup routine is so easy you'll hardly notice it. There are just a few things to remember and the pattern is so simple that you'll soon have it memorized.

In fact, you may find yourself doing your makeup each day without even pausing to think about it. Here is how to establish a minimalist make routine:

Start with your skincare routine

Before putting on makeup, it's important to start with skin that is clean and moisturized. There are a lot of minimalist skincare routines you can choose from.

Pick something that caters to your specific skin needs, such as extra moisture or an acne-fighting cleanser. At the very least, use a cleanser and a moisturizer with SPF. Add in extra things depending on what your skin needs most.

Decide what to buy

You probably have a lot of the needed items for this already. But if you do find that there's something you have to buy, read our list of minimal makeup products first. It will help you know what's necessary and what's not.

Since you want to keep things as simple as possible and not overspend, take an inventory of what you have be sure to stick with a list when shopping!

Use what you have

It's easy to go out and buy more products, but a better way is to use what you have. Do this by going through your makeup and noticing what you regularly use; feel free to clear the clutter by throwing away items you never wear. Or if any of them are unopened and new, give them away to friends who will use them.

After that, see what products you own that have more than one use, like blush or bronzer. Hold on to these because they may come in handy later. And most of all, look to the tried and true makeup that you wear consistently, like foundation or mascara.

These are the items that you can build your routine around. Keep in mind the products we'll mention in the six-step routine, and use what you have in those categories.

Good products for a minimal makeup routine

Here are some products you probably already own, but if not, they're worth considering. There's nothing complicated about this list, and you've likely heard of all of them.

These products have multiple uses and can make your minimal makeup routine even faster. If you want even more suggestions for versatile makeup, check out this article by Kaitlyn Yarborough of Southern Living.

BB cream

What doesn't this product do? Seriously. It moisturizes the skin while also keeping blemishes from standing out. BB creams generally contain SPF as well. It's basically a light foundation that can make your skin look fantastic without a lot of effort.

Lip cheek and lid tint

This type of product can do three things at once. It's one of the best items to bring with you for a bit of instant color on lips, cheeks, or even eyes. You can find these often as a tint stick or sometimes as a cream. Some are only for lips and cheeks, but you can also find some that work well as eye makeup.


Bronzers are great for giving your skin a healthy glow, and that's what most people use it for. But you can also use it as an eye shadow. That's why it's another great product to have around that serves more than one purpose. It creates a very natural but beautiful look.

Foundation that contains sunscreen

If you can find a foundation that also has sunscreen, you get to skip a step in your makeup routine. Since many people wear foundation every day to hide imperfections, you can easily find one that serves as sunscreen.

Then it's two steps in one. Plus, it saves you from needing to remember to add sunscreen to your routine. Let's face it - most of us forget to do this anyway!

The six-step minimalist makeup routine

Introducing just six steps to an amazing minimal makeup routine. It takes almost no time, your skin will stay healthy, and you can save money.

When you keep things simple, you allow your natural beauty to shine through, and you can be confident that you aren't overloading your skin with too much product. Check out how easy this is!

Step 1: Clean skin

Begin with skin that is cleaned and moisturized. This is pretty much always the place to start with makeup. It helps your skin to stay healthy and look great with or without makeup.

You'll need to at least cleanse your skin and make sure you have no traces of old makeup on your face. This gives you a fresh look to start with.

Step 2: BB cream or foundation

You can choose whether you prefer BB cream or foundation for your first step. If you want light, sheer coverage, or the weather is warm, BB cream is your friend. It's an easy way to provide some coverage for your skin without going overboard. Plus, it's one of the most natural-looking things you can do as far as makeup goes.

When you want moderate to full coverage for your skin, try foundation. It can give a flawless look that covers acne or imperfections quickly. Opting for either BB cream or foundation will keep your minimalist makeup routine simple.

Step 3: Concealer

Find a great concealer that works well with your skin tone. You can use it under the eyes to hide dark circles or to erase blemishes. You can use fingertips or a makeup sponge for a more flawless look.

Make sure to clean makeup brushes and sponges regularly and replace them when necessary to keep your skin healthy.

Step 4: Blush or cheek color

Giving your cheeks some color is an essential part of any makeup routine. Blush looks great on almost everyone as long as you find the right shade for your skin and don't overdo it.

It's best to use a makeup brush for powder blushes, although a cream cheek color may be easier to apply with fingertips. Experiment with adding color to find what looks best on you.

Step 5: Mascara

This will highlight your eyes and make them pop. Mascara is super easy to use, and usually, a brown or black shade is best for a natural look. If you don't mind an extra step, use an eyelash curler before applying mascara to play up your eyelashes even more.

But there are also curling mascaras that keep you from needing to do this step. You may also want to get a waterproof one to avoid your mascara running at any point during the day.

Step 6: Lip/Eye color

Finish off your look by adding a lip/eye color. A soft pink or red provides a classic look for lips, and you can dab a bit of color onto your eyelids as well.

While you don't have to use the same product for these, if you can find a cream or color tint that does both, it saves time. Try to choose a natural shade that accents your features. Less can be more when makeup is concerned.

Extras to add to your minimal makeup routine

The six steps discussed above are all you need for a fantastic makeup look that will never go out of fashion. There's no need to add more to your routine unless you want to.

However, if you find that you have a few extra minutes in your morning, these additional steps won't take much time, but they can elevate your look.


A liquid or pencil eyeliner makes your eyes stand out. If there's time, you can add this into your makeup routine on occasion. While some people like to wear eyeliner every day, others prefer it for evenings or special occasions. Black and brown shades are the most typical colors, but some people like using violet, blue, or other fun hues.

Line your eyes however you want; some people like to line the entire eye, others just the top of the eye, and so on. Just choose whatever looks best for your eye shape.

Brow gel or pencil

To help define your brows, you can use an eyebrow pencil. They come in various shades, so find one that matches your natural brow color and take the time to apply when you have the time. On the other hand, eyebrow gel is excellent for keeping your brows in place during the day.

It will help them hold their shape and you'll look put together. Shades are varied, and if you prefer to keep things natural, use one that's clear.

Weekly skincare mask

While this isn't technically "makeup," it does contribute to your overall appearance. A weekly mask for hydration, clear skin, brightness, or something else is super easy to use, and you can add this in if you have ten extra minutes on a Saturday morning.

You can make a DIY mask using ingredients you already have at home. Or if that isn't your thing, you can always pick up a pre-made mask on Amazon or at the drugstore. There are a ton to choose from.

Try out a minimal makeup routine

A minimal makeup routine is the way to go for busy people who want to look good on a budget and without much extra time. By combining all the most essential parts of your regular makeup routine and leaving out the non-essentials, you can get a great look without sacrificing an hour every morning for beauty.

There's no reason that looking good needs to take a lot of time. All it requires is some planning and organization. A minimal makeup routine saves you time, money, and the effort of keeping up with trends. It's easy to get started using products you already have, and you can slowly swap these out for makeup products that serve more than one purpose as it fits your budget.

You can experiment with this until you find the perfect products and look. Enjoy the hours you'll get back each morning, and remember it's easy to create a classic look without much effort! Since you are on the track to a minimalist routine, give our 30-day minimalism challenge a try too!

Learn how to create a budget that works for your new minimalist journey with our completely free budgeting course! Also, be sure to tune in to the Clever Girls Know podcast and check out our YouTube channel!

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