Long been stuck on autopilot when it comes to your morning makeup routine?
Your go-to products and relied-on technique might make life straightforward in those bleary morning moments when you have one foot out the door, but are they giving you the polished presentation you’d like? If you haven’t re-evaluated your products or technique in a year or two (or more!) it might be time to consider some new strategies to make the most of your makeup in minimal time.
To start with, consider how your current routine makes you feel. Modern makeup should enhance your features and make you look fresh and confident.
Generally it’s about making your skin look better, defining your eyes and lips or brightening the under eye area where it’s needed, but if for you, that means using only one product, applied correctly – embrace it.
If you’re relying on a heavy mask of cosmetics, consider stepping away from your staples to try one or two new formulations. Alternatively learn some new application tips from an expert at a makeup counter that allow you to cut down the number of products required.
To maximise your efforts, and have you out the door feeling your confident best, try these ground rules:
Clutter clouds the mind, particularly if it’s the first thing you face in the morning. You shouldn’t have to spend time digging through dried out mascara tubes and evening-only shimmer shadow to get to the products you need. Instead, remove the excess to another space, say a second drawer, and isolate the 5-6 products you actually need for a full face. Like a coordinating wardrobe, choose products and colours you know work well together. An eye shadow palette in complementary neutrals helps with shade selection. You can rotate products out for variation, but move the ones you aren’t using to the second drawer.
2. Assess your environment
If you’ve ever been dismayed to find a foundation tideline on your chin as you look in your car’s rear view mirror on the way to work (or worse, not until the way home) you’ll know the lighting in your bathroom can’t always be relied on. Downlights cast too many shadows and yellow lights can change the way you perceive skin tones. Front facing natural light is the best option but a light-up vanity makeup mirror with bright LEDs and a magnifying option is a good solution for your bathroom or bedroom benchtop. Treat the place you do your makeup like a workstation and stock it with everything you need like brushes, cotton buds and cleanser so you can get it done without distraction.
3. Prep and Prime
Makeup sits better on well hydrated skin. You’ll also find you won’t need to use as much. Apply moisturiser and wait a minute or two – brush your teeth or add some body lotion in the meantime – before starting your makeup. Even better, use a dedicated makeup primer instead. It will hydrate as well as smooth skin, minimise fine lines and keep everything in place a lot longer, without the need for touch ups or blotting shine.
4. Consider your tools
Your fingers might be faster, but for a flawless foundation finish a brush comes up trumps every time. Instead of painstakingly sweeping it on with a traditional paintbrush-style foundation brush, try a stippling brush for a more lightweight, even finish. A dense buffing brush with closely packed bristles or a beauty blender sponge will also allow you to polish on product just where it’s needed over your T-Zone and chin, so you’ll save product and time. Blending well is key to a professional finish so double check there are no obvious edges.
5. Multi taskers
In the spirit of less is more, it also helps to seek out products that serve multiple purposes, even better if they are in portable packaging. Stick or crayon forms of blush and lip colour make application easy and don’t require precision application. Consider cream blush for adding colour to both lips and cheeks, or alternatively, dab a touch of lipstick to cheeks and blend thoroughly with your fingers for flattering coordinating colour. Bronzer can be swept on to the creases of eyes as a shadow and foundations with skincare benefits like moisturiser or serum are now readily available.
What to ditch:
If you’re in a hurry here are some things you can forgo in favour of haste:
- Contouring – Try and do this quickly and you’ll end up a mud-toned mess. Instead, a sweep of blush or bronzer will add definition.
- Eye liner – Eyes often look less brighter and more ‘wide-eyed’ without heavy liner, and liquid liner is time-consuming to correct if you make a mistake.
- Powder – Foundations are advanced these days so setting them isn’t essential. Instead, carry a compact and touch up where needed later in the day.
- Dark eye shadow colours – a smoky eye is a classic, but it takes time and blending to perfect. If you’re in a hurry, choose a warm taupe or bronze shade and apply as a wash over the lid.