TikTok has quickly become the go-to place for new makeup trends, hacks, tips and tricks. Although many beauty trends that appear on the video-sharing platform are not new, they are often presented in a way that seems innovative, if sometimes obvious. For example, I was browsing the app a few months ago when I discovered that my “For You” page was filled with makeup content creators announcing a new era of makeup where foundation isn’t the star. – rather, a hydrating concealer serves as the main foundation product.
Seasoned beauty aficionados will recognize this as a simple, minimalist, makeup-free beauty, but the younger crowd on TikTok dubbed this look “the clean look” and “no foundation, just concealer.” As someone with textured, hyperpigmented skin, I was very skeptical about trying this trend (my makeup routine consisting of primer, foundation, concealer, concealer, powder, contour, blush and highlighter have been the same for years), but it seemed like the right time for a new routine.
I’ve been known to spend way too long on makeup (and constantly be unhappy with the results), so I was excited to try this less-is-more approach to see if it could deliver that effortless, finished glow. this sounds easy in theory, but is actually hard to pull off – not to mention that skipping a step would undoubtedly save me time and do wonders for my punctuality.
After watching a slew of makeup videos on TikTok, I narrowed down the four-step routine (a slight reduction from my previous seven steps) to just brows, concealer, cream blush, and a lip liner combo /gloss.
I chose to stick to creams with moisturizing qualities for a glowing “your skin only better” look. As tempted as I was to start with at least one low coverage skin tone or foundation, I persevered and immediately went in with a hydrating concealer – and to my surprise ended up with one of my favorite makeups I’ve done for date, and all in less than 20 minutes. I save this routine for quick and easy weekday glamor and really good skin days, and definitely opt for a longer process (which still includes foundation) for nights out.
Still, if you need a new, minimalist makeup routine or just a look you can do on the go, keep reading for my newly mastered four-step makeup routine that’s easy to customize for everyone. products you have on hand and however much time you have. save.
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Step 1: eyebrows
I always say I was cursed with thin eyebrows, so doing my makeup always involves filling them in. My go-to brow tool right now is Benefit Tinted Brow Gel. I’ve been a long time Benefit fan for their brow pencil which takes my brows from barely there to full and luscious – this gel is a happy medium and takes less time to use making it perfect for that quick routine and easy.
Step 2: Hydrating Concealer
After brushing my eyebrows in place, it’s time for the main attraction. The beauty of this makeup is that a quality moisturizing concealer in the right shade can be so effective that it will negate your need for foundation. I love the weightless feel of Hide Cosmetics Concealer, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem to cover enough for my more intense makeup looks. I thought it would be perfect for this routine, and I was right.
I start by taking the Espresso shade (which matches my skin tone almost perfectly) and applying it with a brush under my eyes (dark circles disappear!) as well as dark spots and hyperpigmentation around my face. After this step alone, I was shocked at how smooth and even my complexion looked with the minimal amount of product I used. You can stop there with concealer, but I like a good glowing under eye, so I go in with a slightly lighter shade (Umber) to brighten the area, applying it just around my tear duct where I I have a slight crease and at the corners of my eyes for a lifting effect. I’ve found by doing this routine a few times that Elf Camo Concealer is great for this type of look as well – it has a hydrating feel but is still thick enough to cover any marks you need to hide.
Step 3: Blush
I used to not be a fan of blush, but that definitely changed in 2021 for no other reason than: I discovered how beautiful cream blushes can be. My favorite blushes at the moment include Rare Beauty’s Liquid Blush in the shade Matte Terracotta and the Nars Air Matte Sheer Cream Blush in the shade Torch – but the blush that really smothered me is in makes a lip product. I was well aware that this Rouje Paris palette was for lips when I first got it, but upon opening the colors (especially the vibrant deep red) were too stunning not to try as a that blush, and I’m forever grateful to myself that I did.
I apply a small amount with a brush (sometimes my fingers if I’m really in a hurry) on the high points of my cheeks before smiling broadly to apply a little more on the fullest point of my cheeks . The result is a perfectly dewy finish.
Step 4: Lips
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t leave the house with brown lips and a rosy nude lip gloss, so I always finish every makeup look (natural or glam) with this lip combo. Recently, it’s Bossy Cosmetics liner in Lush paired with Dior’s Diorific Lipstick in Taupe Isaphan and topped off with a little Merit Tinted Lip Oil in Cara Cara.
And after 10-20 minutes and in just four steps, I’m ready to walk out the door, but not without admiring my handiwork and taking a few selfies – which is now the new reason why I’m late for everything.