In a perfect world I’d have enough time to skillfully craft a gorgeous makeup look every day, complete with contouring, falsies and lip liner. Here in the real world, that is unfortunately rarely the case. I’m generally left throwing on makeup quickly and hoping for the best. As a makeup artist of 12+ years, I’ve gotten good at a routine that is about 5 minutes and makes sure I look polished, professional and presentable. Below are the products I reach for pretty consistently. Many serve double duty or act as space savers- great for a traveling or small makeup bag on the go.
1. Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint
While I always finish my skincare routine with an SPF 50, this tinted moisturizer has a built in broad spectrum of SPF 15 for extra protection. It has enough coverage that it hides any imperfections and evens my skin tone, and lets me omit a setting powder. I use about a dime sized amount, spread lightly between my index and middle finger on both hands and dot on my nose, cheeks forehead and anywhere I may have a blemish to hide. Then lightly blend in, making sure to feather down my jawline.
2. E.L.F. Contouring Blush & Bronzer Duo
When I’m pressed for time, contouring and bronzing is the last thing on my mind, but the golden hued bronzer makes for a perfect makeshift eyeshadow to sweep across my lids with my finger. The blush is a peachy tone, and universally flattering. Best of all, the duo will only set you back $3 and is a worthy rival to the similar NARS that retails for $42
3. Senna Cosmetics Sketch-a-brow
Using a pencil to quickly define the brows and fill in any gaps is a bit quicker and easier than a powder and a brush. Bonus- the end of this pencil has a built in comb.
4. Eyelash curler
A lash curler is definitely one of my “can’t live without” tools. Curling your lashes makes your eyes appear more open, your lashes appear longer and you’ll look more awake overall. If you don’t do it already, it’s worth the effort to get the hang of it. Be cautious of drugstore brand eyelash curlers, as they can sometimes pinch the skin around your eyes. While the Shu Umera and Kevyn Aucoin curlers are considered the professional Holy Grail of lash curlers, I’ve had equally good luck with the Tweezerman brand, which comes in at less than half the price and is pretty widely available.
5. Multi purpose powder brush
This powder brush by Royal Langenickel is big enough that it can serve double duty for all over powder and applying blush or bronzer. Make sure to not go too big if you plan to use it for blush or you wont have much control over where you apply it.
6. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
When you don’t have time for layering or multiple coats, you can achieve some serious drama in very little time with this new mascara from Urban Decay. For a drugstore counterpart, try L’Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black.
What are your time saving makeup essentials? Share in the comments!
Molly Hutchins is a licensed esthetician, makeup artist and skin care educator. She is the writer and co-founder of MoreThanHeels.com, and @morethanheels