‘Your-skin-but-better’ products can empower makeup users to accept their natural beauty

Minimal makeup is here to stay

Minimal makeup is now a major part of the beauty industry.

In the last few years, many beauty companies have shifted their brand look away from a heavy, full face of makeup to a fresh-faced, natural look enhanced by weightless products.

Instead of wearing heavy makeup, ‘your-skin-but-better’ branding encourages consumers to buy the company’s breezy products to help us feel confident while maintaining the beauty and individuality of our bare faces.

While some embrace makeup as a form of self-expression and individuation, others feel most confident not wearing makeup at all. The minimal makeup branding lies somewhere in between.

Glossier, a forerunning beauty company, sells makeup products in sleek, aesthetically pleasing packaging. Their makeup is branded as simple, light, and an enhancement of your natural beauty: “Our skincare essentials are designed to make you look and feel your glowy, dewy best before you even think about makeup.”

While buying expensive makeup to look bare-faced may seem counter-intuitive, there’s potential for empowerment in their message. Brands like Glossier, which have adopted ‘your-skin-but-better’ branding, suggest that all people, regardless of their age, gender, or skin colour, can use their products and see the same subtly dazzling results.

Buying and wearing expensive makeup to cover your face may seem like the antithesis of accepting your natural beauty, but many people feel more comfortable and presentable with makeup on. For this demographic, wearing a light layer of makeup allows them to feel presentable without having to spend 30 minutes messing with their foundation applicator.

The your-skin-but-better branding tactic is basically telling consumers they don’t necessarily need a company’s products. However, if they do purchase them, they’ll look like they just finished prancing in through a sunshine-soaked field of daisies. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Other brands have also picked up on this minimal, natural beauty branding. Rihanna created her Fenty Beauty & Fenty Skin line in 2017, selling lightweight makeup designed to work for all skin tones. She argues that makeup “should never feel like a uniform.”

A potential drawback for this kind of branding is it’s harder to achieve a full coverage look and get creative with different eyeshadows, tones of foundation, or a sassy lip liner. Also, while many people like to feel glowy and fresh-faced, sometimes you just want to hide a pimple that ‘dewy’ makeup just simply can’t handle. 

At the end of the day, if you want to wear rainbow eyeshadow and one-inch eyelash extensions, if you want to throw on some light blush, highlighter, and eye-brightening cream, or if you don’t want to wear makeup at all, you’re right. No guidebook or brand can tell you how to wear makeup or how to feel confident.

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