The Make-up Efficiency Expert: Get Your Face on Faster

By Tamara Jane

Does your make-up routine take an inordinate amount of time? Do you have to get up half an hour earlier if you want to look glam, but then end up with bags under your eyes from insufficient sleep? Do you find yourself copping the “who cares!” attitude half the time and just leaving the house with a blank facial slate? And even worse, could it be that when you do spend time on your face, it really isn’t even benefitting you that much? If any of this sounds familiar, maybe what you need are some power tips on how to whittle down your daily face art to five minutes or less, so you can consistently look gorgeous.

First of all, the basis of any good look is going to be a healthy complexion.

Fortunately, you can work on this at night when things are not so rushed. We’ll talk more in a future column about skin care, but for now, let’s just say this: Get the make-up off. Open your pores with a hot, moist wash cloth – oh, that feels good – just let it sit over your face for about 20 seconds, then wash your face with mild soap or a cleanser. Spritz or swab on a toner, wait one minute, then generously apply a thick night cream. If you have acne or problems with blemishes, use a night cream that’s targeted to treat that.
Now get a good night’s sleep.
Beep beep beep beep beep – Darn it! 6 a.m. already. OK, time to get ready.

Let’s say you’re the type that takes very little time to get ready. You throw on your clothes, which may or may not match, drive with the windows down to dry your hair, and when you do wear make-up, you’ve got clots in your mascara and blush that looks like Native American war paint. Here’s a routine to fit your lifestyle: Instead of applying the whole shebang – foundation, concealer, blush, eye shadow, lip color, etc., simplify with just foundation, mascara and lip gloss.
Start your face day the way you ended it, with a quick wash to get off the oils your face generated overnight. Then add a moisturizer with SPF 15 or better. Apply foundation, even to your eyelids, and then mascara heavily on top lashes and lightly on the bottom to make your eyes the center of attention. The eyes are the best feature on the face, and mascara is a great way to dress them up. Roll on some lip gloss and off you go. You spent three minutes on your face and you’re a beut!

What’s that? You have a little more time? Let’s see if we can get the whole face painted, and keep it under five minutes. To do this, we’re going to need to be set up properly. It would really help if your brushes were organized, bristles up, in a cup, and your make-up were lain out in order of item used in a drawer. At very least, you should put what you need, and nothing else, into one cosmetic bag. At the beginning of your routine, you can dump the goods on the counter and at the end, scoop it all back in the bag. Fishing for the right one among three or four different eye shadows or lip glosses is going to eat up precious seconds. OK, let’s do this thing.
Foundation – one minute: Quickly smear liquid foundation all over your face with a damp cotton ball, cosmetic sponge or wet fingers. Don’t worry about it, slather it on. Now take a dry wash cloth and pat the foundation dry on your face. This evens out the look and keeps your greasy fingers off of your face too. Mineral make-up user? Good for you. Brush it on, Sister, and be quick about it – you have 60 seconds.
Concealer – 20 seconds: Dab your problem spots with a stick concealer. Go on to your eyes.

Eyeshadow – 30 seconds: Don’t waste time trying to match your eye shadow to your clothes. Match it once and for all to your eyes and then when time is not of the essence, you can get creative with color to match your wardrobe. But for rushed mornings, go with your natural color match in two strokes: a dark color for the lid and a light color for the brow. Use the tips of cosmetic sponges to get one-stroke coverage for each color. Here are some suggestions of good color matches for eyes:
Green eyes: rich purples are best.
Blue eyes: grey (slate), purples, and lighter colors (except yellow, that’s a color best left to the skills of cat-walk professionals)
Brown eyes: Lucky you! You can wear any color. Pick one that compliments your complexion and stick with it.

Eyeliner – 30 seconds: To keep within this time frame, you need an eyeliner than rolls up, like lip balm does, rather than one you have to sharpen like a pencil. Now just line one thin stroke under your eyes – that’s all. Save the top lids for those special occasions and discard completely the habit of heavy lining.

Mascara – one minute: Quickly brush the top, then bottom lashes. Go to the next eye. Now repeat top only on the first eye, then the second eye.

Blush – 40 seconds: Time to blend that concealer. I like to wait a few minutes before blending so the color has a chance to set over the blemish. If I blend right away, I find I take the color right off and need to apply several coats to get the same effect as waiting a minute or two between applying and blending. Now, from the top of the cheek bone in a downward motion, quickly brush on powder blush.

Finishing powder – 30 seconds: Using the same brush you have in hand (c’mon, make it snappy!) give yourself a quick dusting or patting down with a translucent finishing powder.

Lip gloss – 20 seconds: Forget lining your lips and brushing paint on. Save that for special occasions. If you want to get out the door on time, just roll on a quick splash of moist color. If your eyes have the full Monty (eye shadow, liner and mascara), pick a light, subtle color so that your face won’t be too busy. Fair skinned women and blondes should also stick with lighter shades.
That’s it! Less than five minutes and we’re out the door looking fine!

You know what though? You looked awesome right after you cleaned your face. The truth is that make-up nearly always improves your look, but without it, there is still the beautiful face that God created, your mother loves and is uniquely yours.

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