Before we take a look at what I used to get myself out the door, I should give you some background on what my goals were. If I really don't have any time, a clean, moisturized face is my only non-negotiable requirement. I am comfortable leaving the house without makeup, although I really prefer not to. It's not that I dislike the way I look without makeup, but I want to give the impression that I take the time and effort to put myself together. I've never been the kind of person to wear sweatpants, and in fact, I haven't even unpacked my sneakers since I moved in October! My "lazy day" uniform is jeans, flats, and a non-t-shirt top. I rarely wear t-shirts. I'm just a dressy, girly kind of person, and for me, makeup completes that look. Because of that, if I have even a few moments, I'll try to put on a couple of products.
When it comes to picking products to use when in a hurry, a lot of people either try to use the least number of products possible, or pick up multi-taskers. These are great strategies that I employ as well, but I don't hear people talking much about fool-proof products. I don't want to have to fiddle with liquid eyeliner, even if I can wear a graphic cat-eye without any other eyeshadow and have a polished look. Liquid eyeliner takes concentration, a steady hand, and more time than I want to spend. Likewise, I don't want to use anything with a fussy formula, that I might apply too much of if I'm slapping it on in a hurry, or anything that requires non-standard application (water, multiple brushes, etc...). I want to be able to use two brushes, tops, and my fingers as much as possible. I also want something that will stay where I put it, so I don't have to touch-up makeup when I'm already in a hurry. Finally, the products I use have to make me look bright and fresh; I want maximum impact for a minimum amount of time/ effort invested. The goal isn't to look "done up" fast; it's to look polished, pretty, fresh and bright. That was the mindset I was in this morning, and this is what I ended up using:
Twelve products! This is not the barest-bones makeup I could have done, but it only took me a little bit more than five minutes to put on my makeup, and it would have been less if I'd had all of these set aside in their own drawer (I keep meaning to make an "essentials" drawer in my vanity, but for now it's more of a "catch all"!) or in an "emergency" makeup bag. You'll also notice I didn't use concealer; if this had been a "low on sleep" rushed day, I would have included that and perhaps jettisoned the eyeliner or eyebrow pencil if I needed the extra time.
Here's what I did: I spread a pump of Almay's primer on my face with my hands (wanted to make sure that everything I put on would stay put and apply smoothly; speed would have backfired if it looked awful!), then mixed a dallop of Benefit High Beam into my Cover Girl Natureluxe liquid foundation, and smoothed that on my face with my hands. Because I wasn't using my usual array of brightening, highlighting, and/or bronzing projects, or any concealer, I relied on the highlighter mixed into my foundation to provide a bit of extra glow to my complexion and texture correction. I dusted on some NYC loose powder, then spread on a thin wash of MUFE's Aqua Cream in 16 from lashline to eyebrow. This worked as a sheer wash of color as well as a crease-proof base that would stay put all day. Then, I used Benefit Dallas on my cheeks, and stuck my finger in there and put some in the crease of my eyes for just a bit of definition. If I'd really been lacking color, I would have also lightly applied Dallas as a bronzer on the sides of my face, on my chin, and across my forehead. I used Urban Decay's 24/7 liner in Stray Dog on my upper lashline; it's a medium brown that does not require precise application, but I wanted just a bit of liner to help define my eyes. I used Stila mascara, my Prestige eyebrow pencil, and my Anastasia brow gel, double checked my face, and realized I needed something to brighten the whole deal up. I added a bit of Benefit Coralista to the apples of my cheeks, and a swipe of Korres lip butter in Pomegranate (I knew it would do double-duty and moisturize my chapped lips, instead of emphasizing their texture like a lipstick would have).
And there you have it! I used exactly two brushes, a blush brush and a powder brush; I used cheek, eye, and eyeliner in shades and finishes that were forgiving enough that I didn't need to be precise in their application, and made sure the products I used would last all day.
I've definitely done faster makeup than this when I really had no time but felt like I needed to put something on my face, but this is a slightly more polished version that will still only take about five minutes out of your morning.
What do you guys do when you really want to wear makeup, but only have a few minutes to spare? Are there things you absolutely must use? Specific products? For instance, if I'm in a REALLY big hurry but wearing makeup, I always have on at least powder, blush, eye shadow (always a MUFE Aqua Cream; usually brown or pewter, done heavier towards the lash line that gets sheerer up to the crease), and mascara, but I think after this morning, I might make a "in a hurry bag" that I keep in a drawer that I can reach for and go nuts with. If it saves me a minute of digging through product, that's a minute I can use for loading on more makeup! Is it sick that I want to set a timer tomorrow morning and see if I can do a 3-minute look...? What have I wrought!?