The last time I wrote a post about quick and effortless beauty I must have listed a million products. At the time that’s what low-key beauty meant to me - pretty much an entire face of foundation, contour, eyeliner, mascara… you get the point.
These days I’m embracing the less is more philosophy and I’m more focused on proper application versus how much makeup I can pack on my face when I have no time to spare.
Everyone’s beauty routine is different of course but these are the products I consistently reach for when I’m pressed for time. They’re hard working products that are easy to work with and most importantly, blend well with fingers. No fancy brushes or Beauty Blenders required.
Here’s how my five-minute beauty routine goes.
If it’s night time, I skip the SPF. If it’s daytime, SPF is a must.
If I have less than five minutes, I skip the foundation and go straight into concealer but if I have time, I love MAC’s Face & Body foundation. It looks super natural on the skin and blends in beautifully just using fingers.
(TIME-SAVING TIP: opt for a tinted moisturizer like Garnier’s Ombrelle Ultra Light Lotion in SPF 60. Sadly it only comes in the shade light so fair skins are lucky here. I use a sheer foundation over mine because I like the broad-spectrum protection from UVA/ UVB in this lotion.)
Blush makes the face look awake, well rested, luminous and more youthful so I always take the time for blush.
Cream and liquid blushes are my favourite because they look very natural, especially in the summer.
I’ve been loving the new liquid blushes from NARS a lot. The shade Torrid is a pretty coral shade with shimmer that looks so natural and luminous on the skin.
Just dot a bit of blush on the fat of the cheeks and build up the layers. It sounds more time consuming than it is but practice makes perfect and I can now do this easily.
Start with a little bit of blush and pat it in with your fingers and repeat the process.
Now move onto concealer.
Doing your concealer next will help all of the makeup blend together more seamlessly like you’re glowing from within. You can always add more blush after you’re done your face if you feel you need more.
I can skip foundation but I can’t skip concealer because I have dark under eyes and hyperpigmentation in some areas.
When I’m in a rush I dot a little bit of Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer under my eyes, nose and mouth.
Again DOT is the operative word here. Don’t do any of that silly triangle shit that YouTube beauty guru’s do. More product takes more time to blend in. Less product will not only look more natural but blend in quicker too.
I blend my concealer in with my fingers. The warmth of my fingertips allows the product to melt nicely into the skin.
Then I take a lightweight powder like Kat Von D’s setting powder with a small brush from Real Techniques to set the concealer so it doesn’t move. I set the concealer around my nose and mouth, and then powder my forehead and chin lightly and leave the rest.
I only started curling my lashes recently and I find it makes a big difference and makes me look more put together. Now I can’t skip this step unless I really have no time!
I start by curling the base, and then move up to the middle of the lashes, then the tip and then go back to curl the base again using my Shiseido eye lash curler. I like it much better than the Shu Uemera.
I always have to use a waterproof mascara to hold my curl, otherwise, my lashes will droop. Right now I’m loving Cover Girl’s Total Tease. CG makes my favourite mascaras of all time.
At this point, I’ll move onto brows as my mascara dries.
If I have extra time, I’ll line my upper waterline with a black eyeliner from Make Up For Ever and smudge it up to my lash line before applying mascara. It makes my eyes look bigger in a matter of seconds.
Finally, if I have a few more seconds to spare I’ll do a second coat of mascara using Marc Jacob’s Velvet Noir on the top and bottom lashes. It beefs up my lashes super quick and it doesn’t smudge or flake throughout the day.
I kinda hate doing my brows but I have to because they’re sparse but also dark so bald spots are obvious. (I grew up in the 90s when thin brows were chic. There’s a whole generation of us out there who regret over plucking.)
My favourite brow pencil when I’m short on time is the Bobbi Brown Long Wear. I had kinda of sworn this brow pencil off because the tip is fat and blunt, therefore not great for precise brows, but awesome for a quick brow when I’m pressed for time. I go in with a light hand and make quick strokes to fill in the spareness.
(TIME-SAVING TIP: Do your brows after your first coat of mascara. That way while your mascara is drying, you can work on the brows and then go back to your lashes for a second coat afterward. You’ll get fatter, longer lashes if you apply the second coat when your lashes are already dry.)
ALMOST DONE. PROMISE!
I love a good gloss when I’m short on time because I can skip the lip liner and not have to worry about being precise with my lipstick.
I’m never monogamous when it comes to lip colours and I always have a few shades on me at all times.
I love orange-reds, brown-reds, and red-plums shades to brighten up my complexion and bring a little more colour to my face. My favourite glosses are the Chanel Rouge Coco’s and the NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg gloss in Promise, a red-plum.
I apply them from the wand, directly onto my lips and then smudge the gloss around my lips with my fingers for a natural look.
Photography by Nathalie Martin.
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