Ready, set, done make-up

In 1966, the Glamour Book of Beauty advised a morning routine that included leaving five rollers in your hair for an hour, applying moisturiser, two types of foundation and powder, pencilling your eyebrows and then applying liquid eyeliner, mascara, false lashes, eye shadow and lipstick.

Today we don’t have time for such glamour-book routines. The kids are banging on the bathroom door, you wish you could hit the snooze button again and you’re running late for a meeting. Getting out the door on time can often feel impossible, so you don’t want your make-up to be part of the problem.

First thing is get organised. Morning is not the time for tweezing your eyebrows, applying a mask or trying out a new look. Each night, make sure your eyebrows are tidy and your essential make-up is organised and easy to access.

Organising your make-up in shallow plastic storage boxes or a cutlery divider beats tipping out the contents of a bulging toiletries bag every morning to look for your favourite pencil, which has slipped to the bottom. Edit your make-up kit down to the morning essentials and stash the fun stuff away for more leisurely occasions.


Go to bed with a clean face free of make-up so you can wake up ready to go. Eyeliner tends to smudge and settle into creases overnight, so remove all eye make-up thoroughly with a gentle cleanser such as Estée Lauder’s Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. Apply a night cream that gives the illusion of a good night’s sleep, such as RoC’s Hydra+ Relaxing Nourishing Night Care or RoC’s Hydra+ Moisturising Anti-Fatigue Eye Care.

In the morning, use a moisturiser that will also smooth the skin and act as a

base for make-up. All Bobbi Brown moisturisers, for example, contain ingredients that act as primer. Try Clarins’ new Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, which uses photochromic pigments to reflect light and mask imperfections, and micro-pearls made from acacia extract, which “fill” fine lines and absorb oil, leaving a velvety texture that takes make-up quickly and smoothly.


Most make-up artists will tell you that five minutes is all you need to look polished in the morning. Kate Smith, make-up artist for Bobbi Brown New Zealand, believes there are just three key steps. “The most important step is under-eye concealer,” she says. “Try Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer, which covers those dark circles under the eyes and instantly wakes up your whole face. If you have time for nothing else, I would say use concealer.”

The next step is blush, to remove that “just woken up” pallor. “It makes you look healthy and instantly brightens your face,” Smith says. “A pop of natural pink on the apple of your cheeks is all you need – there’s no time for contouring.”

Finally, Smith recommends you choose a sheer lipstick that is close to the natural colour of your lips. You can apply it straight from the tube, and the sheer texture cuts down on mistakes. “If you have time, just apply some mascara,” she adds. “It should only take an extra 30 seconds.”

Charlotte Turner, head of education in Australia for Clarins, adds a few steps to the morning routine but also believes it should take only five minutes. It starts with tinted moisturiser “just over the T-zone, applied with your fingertips”. Then add concealer where needed – under your eyes and around your nose – and use your fingertips to smooth cream blush on the apple of your cheeks.

Next, you apply a medium cream eye colour to your eyelids (Turner recommends one with a soft glow, such as champagne colour, to illuminate your eyes) and then line only the outer corners of your lashes with kohl pencil. “Finish with two coats of mascara and a dab of coloured gloss in the centre of your lips, blending outwards,” Turner says.


Make-up experts consistently recommend you don’t apply foundation unless you need it – and then only where you need it. “There’s no need to put foundation on your forehead. In fact, it can be ageing,” says make-up artist Napoleon Perdis.

“The less you use, the better.”

Perdis recommends his Camera Finish foundation, which will have you looking “paparazzi-ready” in a moment, he says. It’s a creamy powder formulation so there’s no need to add extra powder.

If you don’t wear foundation, Perdis recommends mixing a dollop of primer with bronzing lotion for a healthy, natural look. Alternatively, highlight your cheeks with a light gel bronzer such as Chanel’s Bronze Universel de Chanel, which has a lightly powdered finish.

Smith says she focuses foundation only on the centre of the face. “You can even out redness around your nose, then blend it out towards the edges of your face,” she says. For travel she recommends stick foundation, which doesn’t spill and can double as concealer because of its thick, creamy texture.


On the morning of an important client meeting, you wake with puffy eyes or, worse still, a big, angry pimple. Don’t panic – there are some simple solutions that take only seconds.


The key is to apply something cold. If you have a spare minute, gently press your eyes with a cold teaspoon to reduce the swelling. Store a cooling eye gel such as Origins’ No Puffery in the refrigerator for such emergencies. If you have a little longer, ophthalmologist Anne Summers recommends lying down for 10 minutes with cold cotton balls over your eyes.

Slices of cucumber or wet chamomile tea bags also work through the application of consistent cold; scientists believe the mild tannins in the tea help to constrict swelling and reduce redness.

L’Oréal make-up director Rae Morris recommends applying white or cream eye pencil to the inner rim of your lower lashes, to open up the eye area.

Avoid salty foods and sleep with your head slightly elevated to help prevent puffiness around the eyes.


Again, the way to reduce swelling and redness is to apply cold. Apply an ice cube wrapped in cloth to the blemish for a few minutes; dry and then apply a blemish cream containing benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria. Whatever you do, don’t pick at it!

If you literally have only seconds to reduce the inflammation, here’s a trade secret of models and make-up artists: apply eye drops to the blemish. They work to reduce redness in the eyes by constricting tiny blood vessels and will act similarly on blemishes.

Slightly sticky concealer works best to cover spots, as it won’t budge or look dry and caked. For larger areas of redness, thinner liquid concealer or foundation will blend more naturally.


Creamy concealer is the answer for dark under-eye circles. Use concealer that is half a shade lighter than your skin and has a hint of yellow. Its creamy, moisturising texture means it won’t settle into fine lines (you want to avoid any formulation that is too drying around the eyes, as the skin here is thinner and produces less oil than elsewhere on the face). Try Estée Lauder’s Re-Nutriv Intensive Concealing Duo.

Before applying concealer, prepare the area with eye cream. Avoid gel formulations, which leave a sticky residue. Origins’ A Perfect World for Eyes leaves a velvety texture that helps concealer glide on seamlessly. Set the concealer immediately with powder to prevent it settling into any lines.


There’s no time for a complete make-up revamp when you want to leave the office quickly. Use make-up primer in the morning to prevent your foundation sliding and settling into creases. Blot any shine with blotting paper or tissue and then add some powder with a light touch. The new mineral powders from M.A.C and L’Oréal add a weightless finish; apply them with a big soft brush to keep the look light.

Morris has a great trick for perfect evening eyes, which takes just seconds and really works: “Take a piece of [ordinary sticky] tape and remove most of the adhesive by pressing it with your fingers.

Place it at an angle from the outer corner of your eye to your brow, following the line from your nose to your brow for the most natural angle. Take a dark eye shadow and trace it along the edge of the tape just above the corner of your eye and down to the lash line.

You can blend that along the lash line a little. When you remove the tape, you have a beautiful, clean line.” Voila! Perfect cat’s eyes that look more Audrey Hepburn than

Amy Winehouse.

Smith likes to use cream eye shadows for evening. “Cream eye shadows are crease-proof and waterproof,” she says, “and they take just seconds to apply with your fingertips.” Smith’s favourite is a burnished cream eye shadow she describes as a rich, golden-brown shade with a hint of shimmer that works for all complexions. Try Bobbi Brown’s long-wear cream shadow.

The other quick option for evening is to focus on the lips. Shawn Peltier, director of Stila Global Artistry, recommends applying coloured lip glaze for instant glamour. Strong lip colour is back in fashion and the sheer gloss texture keeps it looking modern and effortless. Try layering Stila’s Peach Lip Glaze over Pixie Lip Color and then sweep a flush of Convertible Color in Peony across the apple of your cheeks.

Chanel’s new Aqualumiere Gloss also adds a slick of transparent colour with a hint of shimmer; it’s the perfect way to amp up the glamour when the rest of your make-up is quite low-key.



Skip the foundation and apply concealer only where necessary, paying particular attention to dark circles under the eyes. Add soft powder or cream blush to the apple of your cheeks to brighten your face, then apply a sheer, natural lip tint and a coat of mascara.


Apply make-up primer to even out your skin texture. Follow with foundation if you need it. Highlight cheeks with a light gel bronzer and apply long-wearing cream eye shadow. Line the outer corners of your eyes with a kohl pencil and finish with two coats of mascara.


Apply moisturiser and give it a few minutes to sink in. Curl your lashes. Apply cream eye shadow. Apply white or beige pencil to the inner rim of your lower lash line. If your hair looks limp, use a dry shampoo to remove oil and add volume.

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