on trend

Minimalist Beauty in Berlin

May 3rd 2016

After taking the worlds of design and fashion by storm, minimalism is imbuing its functional, healthy state of mind into the latest beauty trends in Berlin. It’s a lifestyle that’s quickly seducing the bloggers of the German capital. 

The trend of minimalism: from Bauhaus to fashion

The minimalist state of mind is spreading on the other side of the Atlantic. Weary of the never ending cycle of consumption, consumers are increasingly on the look out for simplicity, and are trying to get back to life’s simple pleasures. Offloading yourself of your excess possessions and organising your apartment into an uncluttered, more livable space has well and truly become its own lifestyle trend. Marie Kondo’s system of thoughtful sorting and buying habits is popular in Japan, whilst The Minimalists in the USA advocate lifestyles that shrug off the dictums of consumer society. As for Germany, the simplification of beauty routines and the thoughtful selection of multifunction products seems to be taking root. In fact, the influence of Bauhaus, the celebrated school of fine arts and crafts founded by Walter Groppius, is still felt today. Its pared-down, functional aesthetic is inspiring modern German minimalists. Body care treatments and natural hair colourings are now thought out to have both seductive results as well as minimal ecological impact.

Healthy skin at the heart of minimalistic beauty

In Berlin, minimalism no longer only applies to design and fashion; its influence can be seen in the world of beauty too. Far from the extravagant nail art that trends on Instagram and the often outrageous make up styles of the catwalk, Berlin girls aspire to healthy, natural beauty. Elina, the beauty blogger behind Bare Minds, believes beauty should be a subtle accentuation of your natural features. ‘I love clean and minimal beauty so I like to keep it simple,’ she explained to us. Her priority is healthy skin: ‘After moisturising my skin and putting on some SPF, I use a light foundation. I prefer an even tint with a hint of freshness on my cheeks and some mascara – then I’m good to go.’

Bareminds Minimalist Beauty
Elina, from the blog Bare Minds

We mustn’t forget that the top beauty priority of Berlin women is to have good skin complexion, which they show off by applying only restrained make-up. ‘Berlin women prefer to invest in skincare products over make-up. The goal is to treat your skin as good as you can and the no make-up look is still a trend,’ Elina explains. In the Cowshed Spa at Soho House, a few steps from the Alexanderplatz, the spa’s style is in perfect harmony with minimalist beauty. The walls covered in white tile and natural wood and the floor made of bare waxed concrete invite clients to focus on the beauty of efficiency and quality. Treatments with Vitamin C combat skin hyper-pigmentation and anti-oxidant active ingredients help give that glow for which Berlin women are going wild.

Cowshed Spa at Sohohouse in Berlin
Cowshed Spa at Sohohouse in Berlin, photo credit: Chris Tubbs

Natural colouring for a perfect Nordic blonde

As for hairstyling, the same minimalist philosophy is in force in the German capital. The goal is to get a hairstyle which lasts, and which also protects and enhances the natural capillary fibres. Elina opts for having her hair freshly washed, shiny and loose. To accentuate her Nordic blonde colouring, she studies the list of ingredients to find the very best ones: ‘I need to know what it is that i’m putting on my hair. That’s why I got interested in the INCI (the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients),’ she told us.

Elina, from the blog Bare Minds
Elina, from the blog Bare Minds

It’s a system that Berlin hairstylists are putting to good use. Andreas Kurkowitz, the preferred colourist of blogger Ariane Stippa, uses a range of products with a microlight technology that wraps the copper found in the hair’s colour-giving melanin in order to create a natural, durable shine: ‘colouring hair is a very individual thing for me so I always need to find out what is the best for each client. You can’t use the same technique on everyone, also I have to mix different techniques together, like freehand colouring with foil work, which is a more technical way of doing highlights. I call it ‘‘Newance’’,’ the expert colourist told us. This minimalist state of mind is also found in her workspace, where brickwork and copper light-fixtures add warmth to the untreated parquet floor. With functionality and minimalism always in mind, the stylist has given particular forethought to lighting: ‘We have the perfect lighting here to let you see your colour as though you’re in natural daylight,’ she explains.

Andrea Kurkowitz's salon
Andrea Kurkowitz’s salon

Healthy skin and a natural blonde: these two features are nowadays at the heart of Berlin’s minimalistic beauty trend. It’s a novel way to think about beauty, one which aims to illuminate what Nature gave us, and one which goes hand in hand with the functional state of mind inspired by the Bauhaus aesthetic.