Thoughts On Shortlist Beauty And A Minimal Skincare Routine

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

If you're a regular reader here then you'll know that I replaced my usual skincare routine with the Shortlist Beauty system back in June. After one month, I shared an update on how my skin was doing on the regimen as well as how the minimal routine worked and how I adjusted.  Let me reiterate that the Shortlist system consists of two products: a serum and a cream. I have been using these products after washing my face and using toner in the AM and PM. The only other skincare I use are facial masks, eye cream and sunscreen. Transitioning from a multi-step skincare routine to just two products was a little odd at first but it was pretty easy to get used to.

According to Shortlist Beauty, beauty should be effortless. The brand has created a skincare support system consisting of just two premium products with a goal to streamline skincare. The Shortlist skincare system includes a Serum and Smoothing Cream which have been created to deliver unique breakthrough ingredient absorption and efficacy especially when used together. These transformative products are purposefully formulated with the most effective active ingredients that work to repair damaged skin and help prevent aging.  The products are free of fillers, parabens, sulfates, colorants, fragrances and mineral oils. And Shortlist products are designed to work for ALL skin types and ethnicities.

The average skincare product contains over 30 ingredients. Shortlist products have the minimum number of ingredients possible at just 11 in the Serum and 9 in the Cream. They're are formulated with 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. The Serum immediately moisturizes and repairs dry damaged skin. Over time, it re-energizes skin cells so skin takes on a younger  appearance and feel 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 Serum is housed in a modern minimal white frosted glass bottle with a pump. Just one pump is enough to cover my face. The serum is an fragrance-free product with a milky appearance and watery consistency. It has a silky texture and weightless feel that spreads easily and absorbs readily into the skin. While it provides a light level of moisture it'd definitely not enough for my skin. Anyway this wasn't designed as a standalone product. It's meant to work to smooth and prep skin for the Cream which is a retinol treatment. 

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Shortlist Cream

(48 g // $34)

The Cream is a pro-retinol moisturizer designed to be used following the Serum, that also provides short and long-term results. The cream immediately rejuvenates 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 a formulation 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 encased in a white frosted glass jar. For the sake of hygiene, I use it with a beauty spatula from my stash.  Like the Serum, the cream is also unscented and white in color. The consistency feels like a gel meets balm. It sinks into the skin as it's patted on, feeling rich and nourishing without any heaviness. This product has a satin finish making it suitable for use in the daytime under sunscreen and makeup as well as in the evening. I didn't experience any pilling while wearing this product under makeup. The cream does contains retinol and it is supposed to be suitable for daytime use with proper sun protection. It actually made me extra vigilant about applying and reapplying sunscreen during the day since Vitamin A can increase skin sensitivity to the effects of sun exposure. The Cream provides enough moisture for my skin especially used over the Serum.

I had no reactions or sensitivity to these Shortlist products during the two months I've been using them. I has some initial concerns since retinol has a tendency to dry out my skin when used continuously and I'm happy to report no dryness or irritation. I also had concerns whether these products would be able to effectively maintain the condition of my skin and address certain issues. The answer is yes. The condition of my skin is better than when I started and my skin feels hydrated most of the time. Even though I haven't used any other brightening products in this time, my freckles have taken on a lighter appearance and my face looks visibly brighter overall. My complexion also looks more supple and smoother and my pores more refined. The transformative powers of niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and retinol are real. 

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My experience with Shortlist has been both enlightening and liberating. It has shown me that it is possible for a simple skincare routine to maintain your skin. The key of course is simple but EFFECTIVE. I'm not sure if this would have been possible using other products but Shortlist worked for me because they contain ingredients with proven efficacy. In short these are clean formulations that yield visible results while boosting skin health. If you've been wanting to simplify your skincare routine, I would suggest giving Shortlist a look. The complete regimen is actually quite affordable at $68 total.

I've also loved having my time freed up to do other things than applying a bunch of products to my face. While I'm not sure I would make the switch to such a pared down routine full time, I could see doing it for a few months at a time. For now I plan to continue using these products in the evening until I'm finished with them. Shortlist has proved to me that less can be more when it comes to skincare. Be sure to read my first feature on Shortlist Beauty for an in depth introduction to the brand and products and my update to . You can visit to purchase the system and learn more about the brand's story and philosophy. Shortlist backs their products with a 100% money back guaranteeGet 10% off by signing up for their newsletter and .

What do you think about Shortlist? Do you think that less is more when it comes to beauty?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Shortlist and features 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.

Ingredients courtesy Shortlist


yanrula said...

First of all, your pictures are all so pretty! Do you have any tips? Haha! And I've read the previous one and I'm really glad that these brighten the skin! I could use some brightening right now!

Jackie Harrison said...

Does so much for the skin worth trying it out.

Paola Lauretano said...

Great review, I would like to try them!
Love, Paola.

Margaret Dallospedale said...

They seem great products!
Thanks for sharing!
Maggie Dallospedale Fashion diary - Fashion blog

Emmylou said...

Your Shortlist post has really intrigued me, Rowena. I've been looking at minimizing the steps I do for skin care as it does get really tedious for me especially at night when I'm tired and just want to go to bed quickly, you know? I love that these two have such low numbers of ingredients and work in tandem. And yay to affordable products!

PS OMG! Doing those Disney character pics WERE addicting. At one point, I was pushing DD to do more but she was getting tired and I actually contemplated just doing them by myself....hahaha


I use products with some retinol in my skincare and the more I read about Shortlist, the more it sounds like a lovely brand that I'd try. I like that they back their brand one-hundred percent and have minimal ingredients. Enjoy the rest of your week, Rowena!

Lena L said...

Again, I'm most attracted by the simple airy packagings! And, for some reason, I thought they were more expensive last time when I read this series. Now I see it is very affordable, too! :)

Shireen L. Platt said...

I am seriously impressed how short the ingredient list is and more impressed with the serum as Niacinamide is listed way up on the list too. I am tempted to try these, Rowena, I think my skin will appreciate the break from multiple layers of products.

Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

Beauty said...

Great Review; enjoy the day.

Jenny said...

Great review Rowena! I've been seeing their ad on my Instagram feed and have been curious about them ever since, so this is very helpful. I'm a big fan of shorter ingredient lists as well, I find that they just work better for my skin and there's less chances of irritations. I really like that they use proven ingredients as well and that's awesome that you're seeing results! I don't know if I could ever cut down my core routine to just 2 products, but this is definitely sounds like a great option for those who don't want to spend too much time fussing over their skin!

Jenny | Geeky Posh

R's Rue said...


Unknown said...

I don't use too many commercial skincare products anymore because of the amount of ingredients they include in them. I try to only use natural products whenever I can.
Eye opening post. Thank you.
Simera |Beautetude


Perfect skin care routine my dear ❤

Beauty Unearthly said...

So precise and detailed thanks!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

These products sound great, and I love that they have fewer ingredients than other brands :)

Gabrielle said...

I love how the brand describes how beauty should be effortless, and I'm so pleased to read of how these products have impressed you Rowena! Having a new and effective skincare regime in place can be so refreshing!

Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

Blackswan said...

I'm sold, Rowena! Gonna check them out! xoxo

Pilar said...

I've been interested in this brand ever since you started review products! Lately I've started using more skincare products and I like these products use less ingredients!

tr3ndygirl influencer e fashion blogger said...

very stunning line, i want to try its
NEW REVIEW ON MY BLOG <<< skin protection with Omega 3 >>>
have an happy day

Mary-Grace said...

That's always nice to have a detailed review. I have never heard of this cream before.
Have a nice day

Unknown said...

I never heard about this brand but it sounds great! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Ooooooooh more minimal skincare routine products! I love all the products you’ve been posting. I’m going to look up the Shortlist, I’m pretty sure I would love this product.

A Very Sweet Blog said...

They sound very impressive! Loved your reviews! Love the ingredients. Definitely want to give them a try to see if they would work for me.

ann-marie said...

I've never heard of this brand before but I love the short ingredient list. Great review! x

Ann-Marie |

Unknown said...

These look nice products and thank you for sharing this article. I use ​
revitol anti aging moisturizing cream and this cream is very effective and it has great results. Everyone should try this also.