Make Over Your Morning Makeup Routine
Spend less time on your morning makeup routine with these step-by-step applications.
Does This Scene Sound Familiar?
It's dawn and you're already late for a marathon of errands. And while you would love to walk out the door looking posh and pretty, you know that finding the time to put on makeup is just impossible. Or is it?
We're here to deliver the happy news that looking great—with even-toned skin, defined eyes, lush lips, and a healthy flush to your cheeks—is achievable in as little as two minutes. If you've got just a smidgen more time, we also have easy-to-follow routines that take just five and eight minutes. And all three looks require just a few tools and a handful of makeup essentials. So go for it!
Tinted Moisturizer (30 seconds): Evening out your skin is a cinch as long as you're using the right base product. For this look we chose tinted moisturizer, which covers up minor imperfections while hydrating your skin and, depending on the formulation, delivering sun protection. Since tinted moisturizer is very sheer, you can spread it on quickly with your fingers—concentrating on your forehead, nose, and chin, where most women need coverage—without worrying about streaks.
Concealer (45 seconds): Even in a time crunch, concealer makes everyone look better by lightening dark areas and covering spots and blemishes. Go for a stick or a wand concealer, so you can dot it specifically where you need it. Start at the inner corner of your eye (usually the darkest area of the face because of its thin skin) and continue to dot close to the bridge of your nose and underneath your eyes. Pat it until it disappears and resist the temptation to rub; you'll only remove it.
Cream Blush (30 seconds): Now it's time to add blush, which will be the sole dash of color on your face. (When you're in a hurry you'll get the most mileage out of blush since it gives you a pretty, healthy flush that lasts.) We like how easily (and quickly) cream blush blends into your skin. Dip your finger into a pot of cream blush and rub it on the apples of your cheeks, blending along your cheekbone, making sure not to get too close to your nose.
Tinted Lip Balm (15 seconds): With the rest of your skin looking this healthy and fresh, a final swipe of lip balm ties your look together. You could use traditional balm but for the same time investment, shine, and lip-conditioning benefits, tinted lip balm is your must-have. You will never overdose on color with a tinted lip balm; you'll just get a dash of lip-friendly hue. Toss it into your purse for touch-ups throughout the day, no mirror needed.
2-Minute Routine: Your Best Products
Single Shadow (2 minutes): After applying the tinted moisturizer and concealer as described in the previous look (or liquid foundation if you prefer), give your eyes some extra attention. For this look, we recommend a single shade of shadow applied from the lash line up to the crease. Opt for a cream formula in a slightly shimmery taupe: Not only does it complement most skin tones, but its gleam gives it a modern edge. Again, simply dip your finger into the shadow and gently dab all over your lids.
Mascara (90 seconds): Mascara wakes up your eyes like nothing else. But even though you're short on time, don't skimp on technique. First, what not to do: Pumping the mascara wand in and out of the tube only dries out the formula. (Hello, clumps!) Instead, slowly slide out the wand and place it on the base of your upper lashes, pressing against them as you slide the wand upward. Don't neglect the small lashes on the inner corner of the eyes for maximum pop. One coat is all you need.
Powder Blush (1 minute): Dip a medium-size brush into your blush compact and shake off the excess before touching it to your face. While we're fans of cream blush in our two-minute routine, it doesn't always show up as well as powder does. Again, start at the apples of your cheeks and sweep it up into your temples. Blend away any excess color with a clean brush.
5-Minute Routine: Your Best Products
2. Nars Cream Eyeshadow in Granada
4. N.Y.C. New York Color Color Wheel Mosaic Powder in Pink Cheek Glow
5. Prescriptives Rain Gloss in Cherry Storm
Loose Powder (3 minutes): Makeup artists rely on loose powder to reduce shine, help makeup last longer, and even tone down too-bright color. Again, start with the tinted moisturizer and concealer from the two-minute look. Then dip a fluffy brush into a pot of loose powder, blow away the excess to avoid a cakey look, and sweep it across your forehead, nose, and chin. You can also run your brush across a powder compact, but while it's faster and more convenient, it's not as sheer as loose powder.
Bronzer (30 seconds): When it comes to cheek color you have two options: blush or bronzer. Blush is great for adding a healthy, just-went-for-a-run flush, but you wouldn't want it all over your face. That's why bronzer is so exciting: With a few swipes across your forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks, you can replicate the look of a tan but in a much healthier way. Luckily, bronzer is now so sheer and available in so many hues that it's practically impossible to look unnaturally dark.
Two Shadows (2 minutes): Who doesn't enjoy a nice shot of color on the eyes, especially when it's still classic and pretty? Try an eye shadow palette that has both neutral and vivid shades. For this look we applied a soft bronze shade over the entire lid using the applicator in the compact, then dotted a vivid blue on the inner corner. (You could also do the reverse.)
Eyeliner (90 seconds): Finally, eyeliner! By accentuating your eyes in a dark color, you help to bring them forward. Of course there are many ways to line your eyes, but when the clock is ticking a pencil is your best bet because you can control the thickness of the line. For this look we suggest a bronze or chocolate-brown shade. It not only works with pretty much every complexion but also is a less-intense alternative to black. Keep the pencil as close to your upper lash line as possible. Follow up with mascara.
Lipstick (1 minute): The grand finale, the finishing touch. The biggest consideration here is which shade to choose. It's tempting to reach for the same ol' mauve, but why not give bronze a spin? Bronze complements the color palette featured here, but it's a fresh summer look. If you have an extra minute, line lips with liner first for extra durability. Opt for a neutral color—it's not necessary to match your liner to your lipstick—and softly smudge it around the outline of your lips. Top with your chosen lipstick and you're done!
8-Minute Routine: Your Best Products
5. Maybelline New York Line Stylist in Bronze Glam