Shortlist Skincare Update: My Ultra Minimalist Beauty Routine

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

Shortlist Skincare Update: My Ultra Minimalist Beauty Routine

I used to think that minimalism in skincare is counter-productive. After all, the more elixirs you slather on your skin, the better the effect… or is it? Shortlist offers a drastically different approach to beauty: two premium products – a Cream and a Serum – that work in tandem with each other, so you would only need a good cleanser plus a solid sunscreen for the daytime, and that’s it. I’ve been using these for just over a month, so I’m officially ready to give you an update.


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. Two currently available products work effectively for all skin types and ethnicities to protect and rejuvenate the skin. Serum and Cream contain just 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 with minimal effort required.

Shortlist Skincare Update: My Ultra Minimalist Beauty Routine Shortlist Skincare Update: My Ultra Minimalist Beauty Routine Shortlist Skincare Update: My Ultra Minimalist Beauty Routine

For a period of time I kind of struggled with the idea of using less. To me, skincare is therapy so I actually enjoy taking my sweet time to layer on a whole bunch of products. The problem here is how they all work with each other, considering my lineup consists of many different brands. Which is why Shortlist is so perfect for those who simply want efficiency without any bells and whistles.

Shortlist Serum is the first step of the 2-step routine that better prepares the skin for the retinoid cream. It works to brighten the skin and boost its moisture barrier, thanks to active ingredients Niacinamide, Glycerin, and Hyaluronic Acid. With only 11 total ingredients, sans the fillers, dyes, and fragrance, this is one of the cleanest and least irritating serums I’ve tried to date. Using it feels like an absolute treat: my skin drinks up the serum like a sponge, so I never have issues with it leaving my face feeling sticky. Sticky formulations are a big no-go for me, especially in the summer when the air is hot and humid. I tolerate them a lot better in the winter, though.

So, what have I noticed after using Shortlist Serum for a month? Well, for starters I believe my skin does look a little brighter. This can be just my natural cell turnaround, but I like to believe that my skincare choices play a big role in this, too. I also noticed that my skin feels more supple overall, like it can finally retain more water. I am currently dealing with two breakouts on my chin, and I can already tell they are going to leave marks after they’re gone. Shortlist Serum might be able to fade them faster, so I’ll make sure to update you on that in a month. [yep, there’s another post coming!] This will be a good test for the system 🙂

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

Shortlist Cream is the second step of the 2-step program, a lovely retinoid treatment that directly addresses the signs of skin aging. Again, a very impressive formulation with no fillers, where every ingredient actually does something useful. Retinoids are some of the most effective ingredients in skincare. They offer antioxidant protection and improve cell turnover, both of which are equally important to keep your complexion in tip top shape. The only drawback is the time it takes to notice the results, because the change is slow and gradual. In my experience with milder retinoids, it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to notice any kind of improvement, but trust me, it’s there. The key to using retinoids for the best possible effect is consistency, which is honestly the best advice I can give you regarding their use. Get your retinoid, and stick to it through thick and thin, and eventually you will realize that you skin’s looking and feeling younger. Also, don’t forget to apply SPF during the day if your routine includes retinol, or any other resurfacing products, like scrubs, Salicylic Acid, or AHAs.

I’ve been testing Shortlist Cream at night only, even though the company recommends applying it twice a day. For me, using it as part of my PM routine is just easier, because that’s what I’m used to. Something about using a retinoid during the day doesn’t sit well with me, but I may give it a try eventually. After one month of use it’s still hard to tell how well it’s working, but judging from my previous experience with retinoids, it’s definitely hard at work making sure my cell turnover is on top of things. I commented on this before, but I really like the texture of this moisturizer. It’s not too thick, not too thin, and leaves my skin feeling velvety and soft.

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

Shortlist Skincare Update: My Ultra Minimalist Beauty Routine


Shortlist certainly nailed it in the “effortless” department. Skincare can be confusing, even overwhelming at times, but when you literally need to use just 2 products day and night, it gets a whole lot easier. I can see how this line can benefit women [and men] with busy lifestyles that don’t have the time, or don’t want to dedicate time to a long-winded skincare routine, and still want to look their best. I admit, minimalism is not in my blood, so I slipped up a few times [ok, maybe more than a few], but through this experience I am learning to really look at what’s in my beauty products and how they work together. Or, if they even do! Shortlist takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation, and it’s just an easy way to have a simple, effective routine that works, with time-tested, proven ingredients that deliver short-term and long-term benefits for the skin.

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

Is skincare minimalism something you’d be down to trying, or do you believe that more is more? Let me know in the comments below!

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