Ecommerce, UX / CX

10 Beauty Brands Using Minimalist Design to Elevate Products

Overcomplicated website layouts and designs can quickly take a turn towards cluttered and confusing customer journeys. In fact, 40% of shoppers will stop engaging if they find the online store unattractive or outdated, according to Adobe.

There’s something to be said for an ecommerce site that offers a minimal, sleek design. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Not only does a minimalist design enable a frictionless path to purchase, but it also provides brands a blank canvas to showcase products, content, and promotions.

Why do minimalist website designs and user experiences work in the beauty industry? The beauty industry is cluttered with household names, retailers, and digitally native brands alike. Minimalist blends beautiful visuals with prime functionality—removing the clutter and noise that often deters customers from making a purchase. Cosmetic companies particularly have the benefit of leveraging the colors in the product to add to the aesthetic of the site. 

We gathered the top ten beauty brands using minimalist design and customer experiences to elevate their products and brand story.

PETER THOMAS ROTH

While many of Peter Thomas Roth’s products give credit to old-school remedies for their success, their ecommerce site is anything but. Similar to how they use the latest innovative ingredients to improve their product formulas, their site offers a sleek design based on the most recent trends and expectations of digital customer experience.

Peter Thomas Roth updated all their product imagery to match the clinical and prestige nature of the brand and partnered with the Blue Acorn iCi optimization team to align the new design with the product images. As a result of the new design and imagery, brand content engagement increased by 34.7% and revenue increased by 24.5%.

HARRY’S

Harry’s promises an easy way to buy razors and shaving products online, and they deliver with their streamlined shopping experience. Their limited number of SKUs simplify the checkout flow as well as the design. Directly on the homepage, you can find Harry’s top products, choose the quantity, and add to cart. No fussing with product filters, product listing pages, or search results. 

Recently, Harry’s released a mobile app, adding to the simplicity of ordering razors. With the app, users can manage their Shave Plan subscription, quickly order shaving supplies with one-touch checkout, and communicate with the customer experience team 24/7.

GLOSSIER

Glossier is known for being a community-driven beauty brand, providing their customers with a space to share opinions and feedback with one another and the brand. Born from the ideas of their consumers, their product line is “casual” and “uncomplicated”—focusing on manageable and practical everyday makeup routines. You won’t find sixteen shades of eye shadow or glitter eyeliner.

The product designs only include the essentials: product name, ingredients, and size of the container. Most cosmetic, skin, and hair care products come in white containers with bold black text, photographed on a white background.

BLISS

Bliss lives up to its name with its millennial pink, sky blue, and easter yellow color scheme on its site and email marketing. While the beauty brand’s color scheme is anything but minimal, their free shipping, free samples, and Bliss Blue Rewards allow for minimal effort to try the beauty brand for first-time shoppers. If you’re looking for items in the same product line, Bliss leverages packaging to visually bundle products. All products in the same line have identical coloring and design.

OUAI

Ouai (pronounced “way”) achieves the essence of “less is more.” Their white product containers with black font look good on the ecommerce store, an Instagram feed, and in their customers’ bathrooms. The minimalist theme carries throughout the site and marketing campaigns, with predominantly white pages and background.

The template of the product display pages issues an intuitive flow from product images to learning more about the product and its ingredients, followed by a how-to video and FAQs. The subscription feature allows shoppers to schedule recurring deliveries every one to three months.

HERBIVORE BOTANICALS

Herbivore Botanicals combines transparency with thoughtfully designed packaging and labels—allowing for the ingredients to act as the shining star in the packaging. Naturally speaking, this experience is ideal for the health and beauty brand’s target audience: young customers seeking clean and organic products.

DRUNK ELEPHANT

Nothing says clean beauty like a clean ecommerce site (and of course it’s ingredients, but the design is the first thing you see). Directly on the product listing page, customers can add items to their cart—an ideal experience for returning shoppers who know exactly what they need.

Drunk Elephant’s site search functionality leverages a machine learning component to instantly present results as the user types a phrase or word in the search bar. The customer can go directly to a product page from the pop-up search results or go to the full search results page.

RODIN

If you find beauty in simplicity, then you will L-O-V-E RODIN’s ecommerce site design. The process of finding and purchasing a skin product is simplified with the beauty brand’s limited number of items and choices. Those new to face oils or the RODIN brand are guided by a helpful how-to video about their signature face oil product.

The brand’s social media presence is as light and airy as their ecommerce site. The minimal product packaging design provides a sleek center point for Instagram and Facebook feeds.

KATE SOMERVILLE

What’s strikingly minimal about Kate Somerville’s website is the navigation. The navigation has six primary categories for all skin care, anti-aging, acne, bestsellers, blog, and clinic. The simple navigation enables new shoppers to drill down to the product type they’re seeking and discover new products and enables returning customers to purchase what they need when they need it quickly.

LIVING PROOF

For Living Proof, haircare routine is a science. You won’t see a multitude of colors or irrelevant imagery and messaging on their site. The brand’s homepage is full of meaningful content, from recommended products and before and after images to a diagram outlining the hair health improvement over a twelve-week period after using their products.

The products themselves are packaged in clean, muted colored containers with black and white font, driving shoppers to focus on the what and how of the product. All the products are photographed against a white background, allowing for minimal distractions while shopping.

If you’re looking for more beauty consumer tips, read our 2019 Beauty Ecommerce Report here.

Shannon Kenneally
After graduating from Clemson, Shannon started her career in marketing, focusing on content creation and engagement. As Blue Acorn iCi’s Media Marketing Specialist, she keeps clients and customers up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the ecommerce world. In her free time, she enjoys running with her dog and checking out the local breweries in Charleston.
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