Achieve a Minimal Makeup Look That Will Keep You Looking Refreshed All Day, According to an Expert

Professional Makeup Artist Rebecca Robles gave us the lowdown on what we really need to get that "no makeup" look.

By Megan Gray Jan 04, 2024 7:01 PMTags
shop_minimal makeup recs_heroE! News Illustration/Photos Courtesy of Sephora, Amazon

We interviewed Rebecca Robles because we think you'll like her picks at these prices. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. Prices are accurate as of publish time.

When it comes to makeup, I always feel like I'm doing it wrong. And with so many products out there, I never know what to buy and the search becomes overwhelming. But, what I do know is that I don't have a lot of time to get ready in the morning (I have kids!), and I want a "no-makeup" or "low visual" look that doesn't require a lot of upkeep during the day. So I've turned to an expert Makeup Artist, Rebecca Robles, to help me (and maybe you) achieve that minimal look. She offers some recommendations that will make it seem like "you got a wonderful night's sleep." And, best of all, Robles promises that you can apply these products in 15 minutes or less and, "you can pull off during your morning commute with just a few items." So let's get into the steps and the products you need in your bag.

About the Expert

Rebecca Robles is a Makeup Artist with 15+ years of experience, whose work has been featured in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Out, and Glamour, as well as in films and red carpet events, and is available for personal sessions. She loves helping others feel like the best version of themselves and empowered to take charge of their beauty routine.

Minimalist Makeup Essentials

What Are the Steps to Achieving a Minimal Makeup Look?

Step 1: Moisturize Your Skin

According to Rebecca, "great makeup starts with great skin," and it's all about how you prep. She recommends starting with a clean face and followed with a moisturizer. 

CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

For daytime, Robles reports that "SPF is essential." She likes Cera-Ve Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30, "which works great for normal to oily skin types."

TATCHA The Dewy Skin Cream

For normal to dry skin types, Rebecca loves TATCHA Dewy Skin Cream for "creating that glow-from-within look."

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra Rich Cream

Another pick for normal to dry skin types, Rebecca loves Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra Rich Cream. It's also great because it "hydrates beautifully and makes for a great highlighter too." Plus, it comes in a mini travel size which is "perfect to keep with you throughout the day for touch-ups." 

Step 2: Apply Concealer or Foundation, but Keep It Light

"Once the skin is good to go, the rest is about keeping the look very simple and fresh," Rebecca advises. A bit of concealer goes a long way, she adds, so keep the application light.


Apply the concealer "with your fingers or a Beauty Blender," Rebecca reports, "and focus only on the T-Zone. This allows your skin to show through around the edges of the face."

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Concealer

"Pat McGrath's Sublime Perfection Concealer works wonders under the eye and to cover up any spots or redness," according to Robles. It also comes in a ton of shade options.

Maybelline Dream Fresh Skin Hydrating BB cream

For slightly more coverage, Robles uses a BB Cream like Maybelline Dream BB Fresh Cream.

Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

If you're looking for another option with a little more coverage, Robles recommends Fenty's Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Long Wear Foundation.

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Step 3: Brows & Eyes

"A polished brow really helps the eyes pop," Rebecca notes. She recommends filling in the brow and brushing away excess product. Then, "follow with a smudge of eyeliner around the eyes and finish with one to two coats of mascara."

Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat Refillable Hair-Like Eyebrow Pencil

"Charlotte Tilbury's Brow Cheat is a great pencil and brush combo. Plus the pencil is refillable!"


Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Rebecca's go-to mascara is Maybelline Great Lash in Blackest Black.

Step 4: Lips

With a minimal makeup look, Robles stresses that "the most important thing is to keep your lips hydrated," because they "keep the look intentional whether or not you decide to add a lip color." If you're in the mood for a bolder lip, she suggests applying your favorite lipstick after moisturizing. Just press the lipstick into the lips to give the "effect of a stain or a wash of color." Rebecca's Pro Tip: You can also use your lipstick as a blush and apply with your fingertips.

Lucas Papaw Ointment Tube, 2-Pack

Robles recommends hydrating your lips with Lucas Papaw Ointment. This set comes in a two-pack and features an applicator tip for easily moisturizing.

fresh Sugar Lip Balm Hydrating Treatment

"For a great hydration/color combo, try Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in Rosé or Plum."

Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance Lipstick

"I love every shade in Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance Lipstick collection."

Are There Any Products That Are Essential (That Non-Makeup Artists Might Not Consider)?

Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer

"To minimize the appearance of pores, help your makeup last longer and go on more evenly," Rebecca recommends Smashbox The Original Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer. She suggests applying to the T-Zone after your moisturize and right before your concealer or foundation.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

To help give your eyes that extra pop, Robles advises this eyelash curler from Shiseido.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

To help your makeup "last longer, remain transfer-resistant, and look fresh throughout the day and into the night," Rebecca likes to use Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray. Plus, it's "great for all skin types."

Light Reflecting Setting Powder - Loose

"I personally prefer to skip powder for a more dewy finish, but if you want that extra assurance to your concealer and foundation or if you are more prone to getting very shiny throughout the day, a setting powder is a great tool for your kit," Rebecca notes. She recommends NARS' setting powder.

MAC Mini Gently Off Wipes + Micellar Water

To easily remove it all at the end of the day, Robles always carries a pack of MAC wipes in her bag.

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