2016 might be the year you say goodbye to heavy contouring and hello to minimalist makeup. We’re taking that cue from the very first red carpets of award show season, which is now upon us. Celebrities at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards sported fresh faces that were free from heavy foundation, caked-on contour and loads of eye makeup, and we have to say that this toned-down approach to natural makeup is very refreshing. While these stars (and their pro makeup artists) have a slew of tricks up their sleeve that help them achieve the barely-there-beauty vibe (remember just how involved “Meh” hair was?), the latest approach to winter makeup relies on one small-but-mighty product that you probably already own. Take it from Rooney Mara, the queen of all things minimalist — this is a trend you (and your skin) will be happy you tried.


A beauty balm — a thick salve that you can use from head-to-toe — is the one product you need in your beauty toolkit to achieve this minimalist makeup look. Beyond being a total skin savior during these cold winter months, the intensely moisturizing properties of a quality beauty balm give you a healthy sheen wherever you need it, a serious dose of hydration and lightweight holding ability. In other words, you can use this ish everywhere. Your skin will show through but will have a veil of sheer radiance, which is why it’s key for achieving glowy skin. Here are four easy ways to get a natural beauty look with beauty balm.



One of the keys to achieving the lit-from-within makeup look is to have flawless skin — or at least look like it. A long-lasting, antioxidant-infused beauty balm like Glossier Balm Dotcom ($12) patted on your cheekbones, along the bridge of your nose, on your brow bones and cupid’s bow will instantly give your skin a luminous glow that’s synonymous with a stripped-down look. The best part of using this beauty-balm-as-highlighter approach = the legit moisturization your face is getting.



This time of year can wreak serious havoc on our nails and cuticles. Regular lotions and moisturizers just don’t seem to cut it — something that has a thicker, waxier texture is needed to really get the job done (and actually stick on your nails). Slather on a balm that’s made specifically for the extra-dry, sometimes-cracked skin on your hands, like Captain Blankenship Anchor Hand & Lip Balm ($20). The tangerine essential oil in this stuff smells incred and will last through hand washes, which is key for a product for your hands and nails. The shea butter in this stuff will totally transform your cuticles too. Dry hands and nails are not cute, you guys.



We’ve all been there: You wake up and your brows are unruly AF — they’re all over the place. Most days, you probably reach for your makeup to get them looking up to par, but in the name of no-makeup makeup, opt for a completely clear beauty balm instead that’ll get the job done more naturally. Trusty ‘ol Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy ($6) works well to tame brows and keep ‘em groomed all day long. Squeeze a super small amount (half the size of your pinky, or even less) onto your finger and brush it through your brows with a spooli. Your brows will hold their shape and have a slight sheen to them that’ll brighten up your whole eye area without any makeup.



Why mess with a classic? Reach for the tried-and-true Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6) for slightly shiny, extra hydrated lips. This multi-purpose balm has a super sheer pink wash of color to it, so it’s a perfect product to use when you’re after the minimalist makeup look — your lips will look healthy and moisturized but not goopy and overly glossy. When you’re done applying this stuff with your finger, apply the excess product over your cuticles (or anywhere, really) for extra moisture.

Tweet us @britandco about your favorite ways to rock no-makeup makeup!

(Featured photo + photo via Jason Merritt/Getty)