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Developing A “Less is More” Makeup Capsule Collection: Good to Know

Let’s talk about capsule collections! In my fashionista head, I like to apply fashion terms to just about everything in my life. When it comes to beauty, I think of a capsule collection as a core set of standard makeup items that you keep going back to, and often buy on repeat because each fits the purpose it should perfectly. These items become the part of your collection that will, likely, never really be done away with. Sometimes, you create such a strong association with those items, that others start to associate you with them whenever they hear of it. For instance, a lot of my Instagram fam know I’m a sucker for Clarins products!
It took me a while to create this capsule collection, and a lot of the trial and error came from the fact that I was (and still am) an Indian Classical Dancer and had to do stage ready makeup quite a bit. My teacher demanded a certain level of professionalism when it came to makeup and some products just didn’t work out for me. Maybe they weren’t effective, potent, or pigmented, or otherwise, maybe not user friendly at all. After years of perfecting the art of stage makeup, I came to a capsule collection. What I love about these items is the fact that I can use them for any makeup look--whether I’m going full glam or in search of something subtle.
👑 Clarins Supra Volume Mascara
👑 E.l.f. 16 Hour Camo Concealer
👑 BH Cosmetics Desert Oasis Palette
👑 Smashbox Shapematters Palette (for highlight and contour)
👑 Clarins Crayon Kohl
👑 Surratt Artistique Blush in Rougeur

My mentality of less is more is heavily driven by the fact that an organized, simple life creates a calmer mind. The more I have on me, the more of a mess things typically end up being. My mother always told me cleanliness is next to godliness and reiterated the fact that your living space is a reflection of your state of mind--and vice versa.

As a beauty lover, it becomes difficult to resist the splurge urge on new, tempting products. I’ve learned how to balance it out: I try to do an assessment of what I have, and if a product is pretty similar to something in my current collection, then no matter how tempting it is, I hold off on buying it until I’ve finished what I already have. For instance, I personally feel like there’s no need to have more than 3 mascaras because there aren’t that many different effects that a mascara can produce.
👀 Mascaras: One that lengthens, one that volumizes, and one that gets the mini + bottom lashes.
✏️ Pencil Eyeliner: Just need one, really dark one.
🍷 Blush: One that suits my medium skin tone best, and will go with any of my simple + crazy makeup looks.
✨ Concealer: A lighter shade than my foundation to take care of my dark under eyes.
🎨 Palettes: One extremely comprehensive one for eyes, and one for contour + highlight + brow purposes.
- The BH Cosmetics Desert Oasis Palette has tones that work for every season and every mood. Whether I’m feeling Earthy, Fiery, Fall, or Summer, I have more than one shade ready for me. 
- The Smashbox ShapeMatters Palette comes with a few different browns, and creams, depending on how deep and dark you want your contour and your brows to be, and how light you want your highlight to be. Too, the brush that comes with the palette has a precision tip for brows!
👄 Lips: This is one area where I don’t save. I need a good collection of matte shades and glossy shades. I also need a clear gloss. I have the maximum number of lip products in my collection, and it’s too tough for me to share just one because I use them all!

Well, guys, I hope this post inspired you to get thinking about which few, key products you’d keep as a part of your capsule collections--hopefully they’re ones that allow you to do more, with less!


All comments (67)

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  • B

    This is the mantra that I keep telling myself but I can't resist when I find something new that is just calling to me. I learned that for me, it's worth getting if have that need, although I try to offset with sharing whenever possible. I love finding products that can be versitile, such as the NARS orgasm blush/highlighter/simmer and in a pinch, lip color. But i LOVE your BH recommendation!

  • Caer

    Ooh this looks so great! I wanna try this so bad!!

  • Christine Czaiczynski

    Like the review and the whole collection of products here look great so I will check some of these out for myself and of course my friends like to know what I use so I let them know.

  • Deanna Straub

    Awesome post Malvika! You really know your stuff and you professionalism and intelligence are extremely impressive. Matched with your breathtaking beauty, you could rule the world beautiful woman. Thank you for the inspiration. I love your choices of products which definitely are a useful capsule, yet, has amazing beautiful and surprisingly variable affects.I admire your sensibility and your ability to reel in the impulses to shop products because it is so much fun and satisfying to have them all. Thank you

  • Michelle

    I would love to try this collection

  • Christy Lee

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your minimalist makeup! I would ideally love to be more minimalistic, but I love trying new things so my collection quickly builds up! I have all my makeup indexed in a spreadsheet with the date of purchase, so I can keep track of everything. I also try to budget myself every month, so I’m not expanding my collection too quickly. The one thing that I can never have enough of though, is lip balm/tints!

  • Kelly K

    Absolutely beautiful!! I'm all for the less is more look except for special occasions, then I go all out. Like fourth of July and Christmas I like shimmer! I keep my beauty purchases in check my setting a monthly budget and by keeping track of everything I spend. My favorite Fall looks are warm Smokey colors and special holiday looks!

  • Jen

    I love the "less is more" mentality. I don't like when make up looks super heavy and completely unnatural, especially for every day wear.

  • Rose Guttillo

    I like the BH Desert Cosmectics Oasis Palette. Good review. Less is a good look.

  • Tonilynn Rosario

    Great review on less is better. I too wear less makeup for a more natural look nothing heavy.

  • Rita Whirls

    Great Review. I want to try all these products. Nice look.

  • Pauline

    Love Desert Oasis palette shades for eyes for Fall season. Like the less and lighter look during the day with all the beautiful and warm looks coming out for fall wear fashion. I really like the fashion worn by the model pictured. Like all the products introduced in this posted review Less is More make up.

  • Amanda Puckett

    I love your style of less is more! You’ look amazing and I wish I could do mine like that. I get carried away. I always say I’m not gonna put anything on but brows and lipgloss buttttt I always end up doing a full face lol.

  • Rukhsana

    less is more makeup is beautiful in a way where it makes a difference by looking natural but still very pretty and not too much coverage. i try not to get too many of the same lipstick shades and i try not to hoard on foundations. im excited for dark maroon lips for this fall. with light neutral smokey eyes.

  • Bre Walker

    Nice pics! That Desert Oasis pallet look awesome! Sometimes I use a little make up, and sometimes I use a lot, just depends on where I'm going and my mood. I love smoky and vampy makeup during fall!

  • Kayla Furnia

    That brow palette is super cool! I've never seen one like that before. I love the precision brush too.

  • Marlena Fannin

    Nice review bit I am in no way limiting myself on how much makeup I have or don't have. I sticking to my mom's traditions and one is, "Don't leave the house without makeup because you never know who you're going to see."

  • Candi Moore

    Less is better! Natural look is what I go for!

  • Amanda

    All natural look with a pop of color is always beautiful.

  • Cheryl

    Less is more all natural look is true beauty

  • Kristine

    I like the less is more, but I have to add a lip. For me I like to really go for great quality for my staples. I'm a bit more forgiving on trendy stuff that probably will be just for a season or two.

  • Jennifer Brown

    Oh girl I am so with you on this!!! I have 3 tackle boxes (yes the ones for fishing) of makeup. That I don't use. I have drawers of skin stuff too... I'm not addicted to skincare products or makeup or anything. Lol please don't judge me! But as time has gone on, I have figured out how to cut down on the stuff I actually use and love.

  • Jennifer Raska

    I totally understand the "less is more" concept when it comes to make up. I always use less in all my area's but one spot on my face to make the area I use the most stand out. For example... If I go light everywhere but my eyes, I darken them up and they are what I want people to notice that day. Sometimes it's my lips I do dark while the rest of me is light.

  • Jennifer Britt

    Less is more means effectively using less makeup and getting exceptional results!!

  • Brooke Wallace

    I love the "less is more" makeup philosophy. I believe in good products and having your signature looks. I have bought the same MAC lipstick and still eyeliner for year and I am always happy with the outcome.