A Minimal Skincare Routine With Shortlist Beauty

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This post is part of a #Shortlist sponsored series for Socialstars™

My beauty routine has always been more focused on skincare than makeup but it has been anything but streamlined. I first introduced first introduced Shortlist Beauty here last month and I took a step in adopting a minimalist approach to skincare with their products. I'm back to talk more about this routine, how I adjusted to it and how it's worked out for my skin.  First things first, the Shortlist regimen consists of just two products: a serum and a cream. I have not given up on washing my face or using toner, masks and eye cream but my multi-step skincare routine has been reduced to just two steps twice a day and it's been quite liberating even though it did take a little getting used to at first.

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Shortlist Beauty is a premium skincare brand which believes that beauty should be effortless. They want to streamline skincare routines by providing a thorough skincare support system consisting of only two products. The Shortlist skincare system includes a Serum and Smoothing Cream which have been made to deliver unique breakthrough ingredient absorption and efficacy especially when used together. The transformative products are formulated with the minimum number of ingredients possible. These are zero filler formulas made with the most effective active ingredients that work to repair damaged skin and help prevent aging.  These products are free of parabens, sulfates, colorants, fragrances and mineral oils. And they are designed to work for ALL skin types and ethnicities.

Shortlist products contain three proven main active ingredients to deliver the best results in the shortest span of time. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B, brightens and helps strengthen the skin, improving its moisture barrier. Retinyl propionate works to decrease the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and also evens out skin tone. Hyaluronic acid is a moisturizer that holds more than 1,000 times its water weight and  revitalize skin for a softer and smoother appearance.

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Shortlist Serum

(30ml // $34)

The first step of the regimen, the Serum is a dual action product that works to deliver both short and long-term results. It immediately works to moisturize and repair dry damaged skin. Over time, skin cells become re-energized allowing it to look and feel younger with more elasticity and firmness. Shortlist Serum prepares the skin for the Cream. Shortlist Serum contains just 11 ingredients including niacinamide which helps to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier, glycerin which provides long-lasting moisture and hyaluronic acid,  a moisturizing ingredient that can retain more than 1000 times its weight in water.

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The modern minimal aesthetic of the packaging mirrors the brand's philosophy. The Serum is packaged in a cleanly designed white frosted glass bottle. The bottle is capped and the product is dispensed via a plastic pump. The serum itself is unscented with a milky appearance and watery consistency. The silky texture spreads easily and absorbs readily into the skin. The lightweight feel makes it pleasant to use especially during the summer months. It does provide some level of moisture but that probably wouldn't be enough for my dry skin if used alone. It's not designed as a standalone product and it works well to prep my skin for the Cream which is a retinoid treatment.

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Shortlist Cream

(48 g // $34)

Designed to be used following the Serum, the Cream is a pro-retinol moisturizer that also provides short and long-term results. The cream immediately works to rejuvenate skin by increasing surface cell turnover. Over time, it noticeably diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reverses the visible signs of aging. Shortlist Cream is formulated with only 9 ingredients including retinyl propionate which diminishes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone and glycerin which provides long-lasting moisture.

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The Cream is housed in a white frosted glass jar with a screw off top. I'm not big on jar packaging wish that it had some sort of dispensing mechanism at least. A spatula wasn't included so I've been using one from my stash.  The cream is fragrance-free, white in color with a gel-like balmy consistency that sinks into the skin as it's patted in. Though it feels rich and nourishing, it's not heavy at all. It absorbs quite quickly into my skin leaving it smooth with a satin finish. This makes it suitable for use in the daytime under sunscreen and makeup. I didn't have any issues with pilling while wearing this product under makeup. I do have to mention that because the cream contains retinol, I was even more vigilant about applying and reapplying sunscreen during the day since Vitamin A has a tendency to increase skin sensitivity to the effects of sun exposure. My skin has a tendency to be dry and I regularly use hydration boosters for little extra hydration. The Cream provides an ample dose of moisture especially used in tandem with the Serum.

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The Shortlist system was designed to simplify skincare and it does just that. My previous skincare routine had me slathering on up to eight products at a time which I didn't mind because it was like a ritual but I would be lying if I said that going to just two products hasn't been satisfying albeit in a very different way. I've been making good use of the amount of time I've saved to GSD. My primary concern was whether this duo would be able to address my concerns while maintaining my skin. Well after replacing my usual daytime and nighttime for almost a month with Shortlist, I can report that my face looks and feels amazing. I have not experienced any reactions, dryness, sensitivity or redness that sometimes afflicts my skin while using retinol products. And best of all, I have seen a visible improvement overall in the clarity and texture of my skin. In particular my pores appear more refined especially around my nose. I can't say I'm really surprised since Shortlist uses ingredients with proven effectiveness.

From what I can tell so far,  my skin is faring well using the system and it hasn't even missed all those other serums, ampoules and creams. Shortlist has also given me confidence that less can be more and a pared down regimen can work for me if I'm using the right products. I look forward to continuing on the Shortlist regimen and will share another update soon. Be sure to read my first feature on Shortlist Beauty for a more in depth introduction to the brand as well as the products. You can visit shortlistbeauty.com to purchase the system and learn more about the brand story and philosophy.

What do you think about Shortlist? Would you consider a minimal skincare routine?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Shortlist and features complimentary products received for review. All words and opinions are my own. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to the Policies page of this blog.


Doctor Anne said...

I would of course consider a more minimal routine if my skins needs were met. Probably not forever though, out of curiosity.

Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

Jackie Harrison said...

I like their philosophy beauty should be effortless will like to try these products.

Emmylou said...

Oh wow! From 8 to two! What a big adjustment, Rowena, and great to hear your skin is faring well with this basic routine. I guess the key really is to find the products that are well-made. I would totally consider a routine like this just coz I'm really lazy:P However, I'll admit I'm scared to try new products coz I have sensitive acne-prone skin...sigh....But these Shortlist products do sound lovely. Thanks for the update, chingu:)

Lilli said...

Morning Rowena! Havent heard of this brand before but so curious to try it as well since I'm trying to cut my skincare routine too, using less products. Both products sound great and Im very curious to try them, especially the serum. Have a nice week dear! xo

Pilar said...

Over the years I've cut my skincare routine. I typically stick to a few brands, but this is a brand I definitely want to try. The products sound amazing!

little luxury list said...

I definitely should try out Shortlist - I love that it's simple and effective!

Shireen L. Platt said...

You have my respect for sticking through such minimal routine to test these products, Rowena. I don't know if I could be so discipline...probably not. Love the concept but gawd damn, the price makes me sweat a little.

Wooho said...

amazing products
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Beauty said...

Great Product and awesome Review; Happy Monday

R's Rue said...

Thank you for sharing.

Abigail said...

Both of these sound gorgeous. I'm like you and spend a lot of time focusing on skincare, ever since i got out my teen years i realised just how much more important it is!

Abigail Alice x

Oh to Be a Muse said...

You always share the coolest skincare brands with the coolest packaging.


Paola Lauretano said...

I didn't know this brand, but these products sound great!
Love, Paola.

Beauty Unearthly said...

Interesting post dear! thanks for sharing xx

Anonymous said...

These products sound amazing, I'll have to check it out!

xx Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes

Midnight Cowgirl said...

I haven't tried these, but they sound lovely :)

Hena Tayeb said...

Sounds like a great product. I can never manage complicated beauty regimes... the simpler the better.

yanrula said...

Two products only? I'd not have any excuse to skip my routine anymore hahaha :D

yanrula x

Anonymous said...

Having to use only two products would be a dream come true!


BEAUTYEDITER.COM – Beauty Blog said...

Really nice!!


Elle Sees said...

I've not heard of this brand before, so thanks for sharing. And it's only 2 products. score! Btw, thank you for always stopping by. i'm going through depression right now and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Unknown said...

I never heard about this cream but they look great! Thanks for sharing!


Jane said...

Sounds refreshing. I have had a pretty minimal skincare routine until recently where I feel like I have to add more (first it was a vitamin c serum, then something for my eyes and now putting toner back in). I do miss the days when less was more.

A Very Sweet Blog said...

I definitely want to try their products Rowena. You have me curious. If they work and benefit your skin, then less is more.

ALLIE NYC said...

Yes I read about this brand here on your blog, and I so want to try it. Yeah I have a lot of steps too, but I don't do toner or misters.

Allie of


Yes, I believe when we use the correct products for our skin then it shows with great results. My skincare regimen, most especially for summer is quite minimal but I also use fruit extracts on my skin which seems to work well (and a deep cleansing mask once a week). This brand sounds like lovely one that your skin seems to react well to. Thanks for sharing.
Have a great week! /Madison

Beauty Editer said...

This is amazing!


Margaret Dallospedale said...

They seem great product!
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Lenya said...

No I don't think so.....although it takes up a lot of time but I would still stick to my time consuming skincare routine. I would feel pretty uncomfortable with this minimal skincare thingy, tho. Happy midweek, Rowena.
new look: Gingham Girl

Unknown said...

You always share the nicest brands and products. I would love a minimal skincare routine :)

Gabrielle said...

Retains more than 1000 times its weight in water?! The ingredients of that serum sound incredible!!

ps. loving your photography as always...

Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice | Estella Bartlett Jewellery Giveaway (Open Worldwide!) x

Valerie said...

My skincare process is fairly long, so I love the idea of adopting a more minimal routine! This is definitely an inspirational post! Thanks for sharing! :)


Blackswan said...

Such a cute name for a skincare product. Gonna check it out! xoxo

Lyosha Varezhkina said...

looks like great product! the packaging is superb and it's sounds just like what I need.

Inside and Outside Blog

Rebeca Muñoz López said...

Many times I do not have time to perform all the steps of my facial routine, so this set would suit me perfectly, I liked the components and the philosophy of the brand.Thanks for the review!