I’m in Paris at the moment, but Sophia Smith, an Australian blogger and magazine contributor very kindly offered to write me a guest post while I was away. Sophia has written a fabulous article about minimalist beauty, which I am sure you will love!

When it comes to makeup I am absolutely a minimalist. Because I travel so much I have pared my products down to absolute basics – I call it a capsule collection. It has refined how much makeup I wear (very little), reinforced my belief in a good, bold lip, and has made me even more focused on maintaining a really great complexion. Skin care on the other hand is my kryptonite. I can’t get enough! The Korean 10 step regimen is right up my alley. If they made it a 20 step program I would love it even more!

I have been working hard to streamline everything in my life, so Sophia’s timing was perfect. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I have, and that you will follow Sophia on her social media, linked at the bottom of this post.

5 Steps To Minimalist Beauty

By Sophia Smith

It’s the movement that intends to change the way shopping and consumerism shape our societies. And it strives to do so not only without causing any harm, but while actually bringing a positive change to the world. In essence, minimalism is the modern individual’s way to make a statement and make a difference in the world, one Earth-friendly, long-term choice at a time.

Minimalist Beauty Guide

Why switch to minimalism in your beauty routine, you ask? Because both your skin health and your environment will be eternally grateful. And here’s how to do it effortlessly and permanently.

1. Back to basics

If your bathroom cabinets are chock-full of various products you apply randomly without a specific rhythm to it, then it’s high time you got rid of the extra bottles and rethink your skincare strategy. Ditch all those expired creams and lotions, assess your skin type and keep only those items you need for your daily cleanse and moisturizing.

minimalist beauty


A sunscreen, a moisturizing lotion and a weekly exfoliator are at the very core of a solid minimalistic beauty routine – everything else is accessorizing. Consider multi-purpose items such as moisturizers that work as toners and have built-in sun protection, and that are gentle enough to be applied even on your most sensitive areas around your lips and eyes. This will cut your beauty stock in half and simplify your routine.

2. Think: pure

Much like your diet, your skincare product ingredients should be nourishing and natural, without synthetic elements that can harm your health or the environment. It takes more than a single, prominent item on the ingredient list to be organic for the whole product to qualify as such. And nowadays, you can even screen products for cruelty, and find those that reflect your values as well as your skincare needs.

minimalist beauty

Many brands have earned a solid reputation as all-natural and organic and have become a number-one choice by green-oriented communities, such as the skincare line by Dr Hauschka. When you choose pure products that will keep your skin radiant and healthy, you ensure that your skin will age well, and stay protected from oversaturation with harmful chemicals.

3. The twice-a-day rule

Your three-step morning routine of water-cleanse, moisturize and protect can be simplified even further for your bedtime ritual. This time, since your skin had to endure the challenges of the weather and other harsh conditions, a slightly deeper cleanse should be incorporated. Instead of pure water, you can apply a gentle cleanser that will vary depending on your skin type, such as The Little Alchemist’s apple and mint gel.

minimalist beauty

Follow up with an evening-friendly moisturizer (and many natural ones double as both day and night creams) and your skin will be ready for the much-needed beauty sleep that is an equally important segment of your skincare regime.

4. Minimal makeup

While it seems to be a trend on the rise for this season, using little to no makeup to flaunt your natural beauty is also every minimalist’s attitude. Instead of overburdening your skin with excessive amounts of beautifying products, try to stick to one or two skin-friendly items that also nourish your complexion.

minimalist makeup

Mineral makeup has some great benefits that are incredible for people with sensitive or acne prone skin, so it’s definitely something to consider. Read the labels and only trust brands like Nude by Nature without synthetic ingredients, preservatives, 100% cruelty free and PETA certified.

5. Multipurpose minimalism

In case you’re a foodie as well, your kitchen is probably filled with delicious, healthy choices that nourish your skin from within. But have you tried using some of your trusty kitchen supplies as your beauty boosters? Some of the simplest items can have a powerful effect on your skin health, and coconut oil is a perfect example – it can be used as a lip balm, an exfoliator when mixed with sea salt, or your body lotion.


The same goes for your tea-packs that can help you get rid of eyebags, cucumbers that tone and revitalize your skin, face masks made of eggs, honey and healthy oils, you name it. In all likelihood, most of your skin necessities are hidden in your kitchen, so homemade can be your perfect solution.

Author BIO:

Sophia Smith is an Australia-based beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is very passionate about yoga, natural skincare and healthy food choices. Sophia writes mostly about beauty related topics in her articles. Over the years she wrote pieces for: Eco Warrior Princess, Viva Glam Magazine, How to Simplify, Urban Naturale, Just Haves and Carousel.

Find Sophia on Twitter @sophia_bri  and on Google+ here

All images in this post are courtesy of Sophia Smith


Have you noticed that in summer your makeup doesn’t look quite so good?

Maybe your foundation looks super slimy or maybe it looks too dry, your eye shadow turns into greasy pools in the creases of your eyelids, nothing stays where its supposed to, and you look nothing like the fresh faced models in the magazines?

Summer Makeup Tips

Photo by Brad Olson for Luca Magazine.
Makeup by Corinna Cooke

The picture I have used here is from my Summer Beauty editorial for Luca Magazine. There are definitely tricks to looking fabulous in the summer, so I am sharing some of my favorite ones with you.

This post contains affiliate links.

Here are 6 Summer Makeup Tips

1. Less is absolutely more in the summer.

The biggest mistake you can make is piling on too much makeup. Summer is all about looking fresh faced and healthy, which doesn’t work when you’re wearing mask-like makeup.
Aim for a gorgeous complexion. Start with a lighter weight moisturizer, next apply a dry finish facial SPF, and finally a really good primer to even out the texture of your skin.
If you need some help evening out your color, opt for a BB cream rather than a foundation.

2. Down play your eyes.

Big smokey, bold eye makeup looks stupid in the summer time. Choose a lighter, more nude look, and accent it with loads of mascara. To avoid smudgy mascara use a water resistant formula, and only ever use waterproof mascara if you’re planning on swimming or sobbing – waterproofs are so damaging to your lashes and can be difficult to remove.

3. Go easy on the bronzer.

Find a formulation that works with both your skin and your climate (pressed powder/cream/liquid), and then apply it where the sun would kiss your face if you were out and about all afternoon.
Bronzer does not take the place of blush, and regardless of what the you tubers tell you, it is not for contouring with.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to color your face in with bronzer – you will look muddy, not tanned. My favorite bronzer for the past few years has been Stila’s Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer. It’s a gel formulation that you can use to warm up a foundation (I cheat my way into fall…) or you can use it before or after foundation. I like wearing it on it’s own without foundation too. I never find it in stores, so I order it online. I have one in my pro makeup kit, one in my personal makeup stash, and one in my travel makeup kit.

4. Accent your brows.

Use your brows to add a little structure and polish to your look.
Without going overboard, (as in don’t do the brows you see all over Instagram) give your brows a little definition and a hint of color with a waterproof/water resistant brow product. It will frame your eyes and keep your look nicely balanced.

5. Focus on the lip.

Add a pop of color to your look with a bright summer lip. If your overall look is glowy try wearing a bold matte lip. If your skin is looking a little dry, liven your look up with a fun colorful gloss. For a bright, warm pink try Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Electric Poppy

6. A little highlight goes a long way.

If you are transitioning from day to night, or if your look feels a little flat, adding a tiny amount of highlight to your upper cheek bones, under the eye if your eyes look tired, maybe a hint to the bridge of your nose if you need it, can lighten and brighten your complexion.
Just don’t overdo it. There’s a big difference between brightening your look and making yourself look glittery-shiny. My favorite highlighter is Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar Of Gold. You can use it to add dimension to eyes, lips, cheeks. It has warmth and glows instead of sparkles. It’s fabulous.

Related Posts: Read about Exciting new Makeup For Summer here

Read How To use Gold Makeup For Summer here

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited US



I just got back from teaching my Beauty 101 class at the Pinner’s Conference in Utah.
I flew out there in my role of Beauty Director for Luca Magazine 
(a title I am very proud to hold!) 

One of the things I spoke about in Salt Lake City on Friday was the use and abuse of one of the greatest makeup products ever created, bronzer. I’ve had so many messages from ladies in the audience asking me about the product that I was telling them about that I decided to write a post about it.

Bronzer isn’t designed to fix a bad foundation choice, or to contour your face. It is designed to make you look all glowy and warm, as though you were just out in the sun.

The makeup transition from summer to winter can be tricky. As you lose that summer glow a powder bronzer can look manic. The color sits up on top of the skin and can look anywhere from Trump-orange to bogus-tan, and if the particles are large it can create a mad flickering effect to your complexion.
So if you are feeling washed out, what’s a girl to do? Don’t worry, I have a plan for you.

This is my absolute favorite bronzer. 


 stila Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer, 1 fl. oz.is a bronzing gel from Stila Cosmetics.

I’ve been using it for ages on myself as well as in my pro makeup kit.

my makeup table at a recent Luca Magazine shoot

Stila- Aqua-Glow-Perfecting-Bronzer
close up – Aqua Glow

As we transition through fall I am still using it every day. I like to apply a small amount to my cheekbones and blend it into my skin for a soft glow. On days like today I wear it alone, on days where I’m wearing foundation or BB Cream, I wear it underneath. It gives you a hint of controlled color that stops you from looking pasty or washed out but doesn’t look like you’re trying to fake out a long weekend in the Bahamas. You can also add a tiny bit to your foundation if you need to warm the color up.

I love it because it looks natural and has a fresh glowy finish that makes your skin look alive. 

I used Aqua Glow Perfecting Gel Bronzer on Ford model Amberly Ray on a shoot for Luca Magazine.
Her skin looks sunkissed yet autumn/winter appropriate

It’s super concentrated so you only use a small amount, which makes it great value too! Stila’s Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer 

I can never find it in stores, so I always order it online.

Free standard shipping for when you spend $50 or more at Stila Cosmetics