Shortlist Beauty for Skincare Minimalists

I’m sharing #Shortlist in my life as part of a Shortlist sponsored series for Socialstars™.

Beauty for Skincare Minimalists, Shortlist Skincare Review

While I embraced the less is more approach in my makeup routine, I’m still far away from being a true minimalist. My shelves are overflowing with beauty products, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. Considering the average skincare product has over 30 ingredients, that is a lot of different compounds to layer on the skin, and they may or may not work well with each other. In theory, someone who is familiar with the science that goes into formulating cosmetic products can easily make the right decisions that will ensure the cocktail of ingredients on your face is not doing more harm than good. In reality, few of us have such knowledge, so exercising the less is more approach might be beneficial.


Shortlist is a new premium beauty brand that embraces the simple approach to skincare, with zero filler formulas that do not contain parabens, sulfates, colorants, fragrances, or mineral oil. The two currently available products – serum and cream – contain 11 and 9 ingredients in total, respectively. The active molecules were chosen to work well with one another to provide maximum benefits for the skin.

Beauty for Skincare Minimalists, Shortlist Skincare Review Beauty for Skincare Minimalists, Shortlist Skincare Review Beauty for Skincare Minimalists, Shortlist Skincare Review


Shortlist Serum has a watery, gel-like consistency and smooth texture that spreads easily on the skin. It’s lightweight and sinks in right away, prepping the skin for retinoid treatments [hint: the cream contains a retinoid]. After trying it a few times, I thought the serum was very pleasant. It provides a cooling sensation that feels like a splash of water, which is especially nice on a hot summer day. Shortlist claims these formulas are fragrance-free, and I definitely agree with that – my nose didn’t detect any additional scents. Overall, my first impression of the Serum is a positive one. 😉

Key ingredients:

  • Niacinamide (vitamin B3) – Helps to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier and improves surface cell turnover to address rough texture and discolorations.
  • Glycerin & Hyaluronic Acid – Potent humectants that attract moisture to the skin, keeping it looking plump, youthful, and hydrated.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Tapioca Starch, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Vinyl Isodecanoate Crosspolymer, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide.


Shortlist Cream has a rich, balmy texture that melts into the skin upon application. I was a little worried that I won’t be able to use it, because the cream feels heavy at first, but it sinks in after a few minutes and doesn’t leave my combination skin feeling congested. The formula contains a mild form of Vitamin A, proven to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyper-pigmentation with regular use. I actually dug around and found this 2010 clinical study that shows drastic results for a beauty routine that includes peptides [my sunscreen has peptides], Niacinamide [included in the serum] and Retinyl Propionate [included in the cream].

Key ingredients:

  • Retinyl Propionate – Improves surface cell turnover, diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
  • Glycerin – Potent humectant that attracts moisture to the skin, keeping it looking plump, youthful, and hydrated.

Note: Use in conjunction with sunscreen for best results!

Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Retinyl Propionate (Vitamin A), Ceteraryl Glucoside, Sodium Polyacrylate Starch, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid.

Beauty for Skincare Minimalists, Shortlist Skincare Review


I haven’t been using Shortlist skincare long enough to share an actual review yet, so today I just wanted to introduce you to the brand and give you my first impressions, that sort of thing. I will follow up next month with more complete thoughts! I will say though that from a nerdy standpoint, I am impressed with the choice of the ingredients. Glycerin and HA are solid, reliable humectants that will for sure keep the skin moisturized, with lightweight silicones to provide an occlusive layer to keep the water from evaporating. I love that Niacinamide is very high up on the ingredient list in the serum, and combined with Retinyl Propionate, the cream/serum duo can over time improve the signs of aging and help combat breakouts [that was another clinical study I found on Retinyl Propionate, apparently that molecule is great for problem skin, too].

Visit to learn more about these products and the brand’s mission.

Would you try a minimal skincare routine? What do you think about the “less is more” beauty concept? Let me know in the comments below!

Glamorable would like to thank Shortlist and Socialstars™ for sponsoring this conversation.