I am not a morning person. Not in the slightest. So, by the time I wake myself up enough to move at a regular human pace, I can really only allow myself about 15 minutes to make my face look presentable before I rush out the door (ten, if I really push myself).
This is my morning makeup routine – this is what I do every day, without fail. All of the items in this routine can be bought at the drugstore, because why spend more money if you don’t have to, and because the majority of people who see this on a regular day are six-year-olds and they really don’t care much.
Step 1: Moisturize and prime
I always moisturize my skin well, then go and do whatever I have to do with my hair, to allow the moisturizer to sink in properly before I begin my makeup. Ten minutes of skincare-sink-in-time is ideal, if you can wait that long.
I use a silicone-y primer to help blur my skin texture bit, and to help make base products easier to blend. My favorite is the Face of Australia HD Primer (If you're in the U.S., try NYX HD Studiogenic Primer Base), but I’ve run out, so today I used the Face Base Primer by the same brand.
It’s a good idea to let your primer begin to set and go tacky for a minute or two before you apply anything else – it helps the next thing you use to stick well. I brush my teeth while I wait.
step 2: groom the brows
I use the L’Oréal Brow Artist Plumper in transparent. I brush the brow hairs up and out to help open up the eye area a bit.
Step 3: Conceal
Yes, you read right. Forget the foundation, I go straight to concealer. Makeup has no rules! I don’t want to bother with a full face, but I do want a bit more coverage than foundation in certain places, so concealer is my compromise.
I use the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in the shade fair. It’s very pigmented and smooth. I pretty much put it over the centre of my face – on my chin, down my nose, around the sides of my nose, under my eyes and on the center of my forehead.
I use a damp sponge to blend this out towards the sides of my face. I used to use my fingers, which worked fine, but a sponge is actually quicker (and more flawless). I own three sponges that I rotate – the Beauty Blender, the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge and the Aethetica Beauty Sponge. I like them all, but if you’re going to buy one, and you can justify it, the Beauty Blender does win the race.
Step 4: Set
If you have just carefully concealed any particular areas of your face, I would recommend patting on the powder in these areas to avoid accidentally shifting the concealer around (But tap off the excess powder first so you don’t end up with a bunch of white stuff on your face – swirl your brush in the powder, tap off the excess once or twice, apply to face).
I always pat over my under-eye area, so I like to use a small brush that has a bit of precision. I use the Real Techniques Setting Brush. Setting under the eyes like this stops or reduces creasing (gathering of product into the fine lines) as well. On the rest of my face, however, I use a big, time-saving, fluffy powder brush (also by Real Techniques). I generally pat over the rest of my face, too.
Step 5: Blush
Only now that I have powdered my face do I put on powder blush. If you don’t set your base before applying colored powder products like blush, you might find that your blush sticks awkwardly to your base and goes on patchy. This is a good rule of thumb for most of your face: Don’t put powder products onto unset liquid or cream bases, and don’t put liquid or cream products on top of powder, either. If you were using a cream blush, you’d do it before setting the face.
Most people focus their blush on the apples of their cheeks and sweep up their cheekbone. I prefer to focus it on the middle of my cheekbone, but bring it up around my temples a little as well. It gives a bit of color to my rather pale face. I change my blush semi-regularly, but I most often reach for my Face of Australia blush in Nutmeg. I use a fluffy brush that is no larger than my cheekbone (Zoeva Luxe Cheek Finish, namely).
Step 6: Mascara
Done! Time to grab the lunch I packed last night and run out the door. Here’s the finished product.