Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FOTD: Fast, Pretty, and Polished!

Yesterday Stephanie C. of In Her Makeup Bag posted about 8 products she reaches for when she's running out the door and needs a fast and easy makeup look; well, that was fresh on my mind when I realized I had a little less than 15 minutes until I was supposed to leave the house to get my boyfriend to a haircut appointment on time. I thought it would be a great opportunity to challenge myself and see how my fast and easy makeup routine held up. I managed to throw on some makeup AND photograph it before it was time to leave; considering I also had to dig around my makeup drawers to find the products I had in mind, I don't think that was half-bad! 

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!? 


  1. Interesting post and you did a good job...its not challenging for me to do my makeup in 5 minutes because I'm always short of time:)my skin requires most of the attention because I have acne marks and dark circles so concealer and foundation are must for me...than I just use lots and lots of mascara,blush and lipgloss/lipstick and I am ready to go:)of course it takes a little bit of time to get use to it.

  2. You look really glowing! I've never thought of using Dallas as a crease colour - I actually haven't used it in ages!

    I don't know what my 'quick' face would be... probably just mascara and brow pencil, a peach gloss or lipstick and a matte peach blush. That's probably my bare bones makeup, otherwise I'd just do mascara and brows (I don't even consider this makeup - I look like I've got no features if I don't do that much because I dye my hair!)

  3. Wow, 15 minutes to throw on makeup AND photograph it? I'm impressed! It looks great:)

    My absolute minimum would be concealer and lip balm, but more often, even if I'm in a hurry, I'll spend a few extra minutes and go for mineral foundation, mascara, and a one colour wash of eye shadow too:)

  4. 12 products! I just commented on Stephs blog that I'm comfortable running out the door with no makeup on and feeling fine with that. During the workday/workweek I never wear any makeup. So I'm used to being bare faced. However, if I want to perk my face up a bit I reach for just a bit of brown eyeliner on my lower lashline. I have small eyes and this helps define them just a bit. But you look great with minimal makeup! Thanks for sharing! Let us know if you can do 3 minute makeup!

  5. Aw, your look is so pretty! And thanks for linking my post! :) I can't believe you did your makeup in five minutes- I think I'll challenge myself to this, because I don't know if it's possible haha. I will be seriously impressed if you do three minutes!

  6. Thanks everyone! @Sugar Bumpkin, I have gotten pretty good at slapping products I'm familiar with on! I've done my makeup in the dark, without a mirror, etc... Lol!

    @Benish, I'd love to see your routine and pick up some tips! Sounds like you've perfected the 5 minute face!

    @Caitie, Thank you! What kind of concealer do you use? I hate mine without at least some powder on top to help blend it in with my skin, I look stupid with just concealer... Which leads me to believe that I need to find one with a better texture match/ shade match to my skin!

    @The Peach, I never would have thought to use just eyeliner and just on my bottom lashes. I'm going to try that one of these days, I like when I see other people without liner on their bottom lashes, or when I have heavy liner on my top lashes and none on the bottom, but I feel like I look a bit washed out with looks like this one when I don't use liner on my bottom lashes.

    @Stephanie C., you're very welcome! I am seriously going to try for 3 minutes now, I have visions of myself posting pictures of me with half-finished makeup though! Haha, we'll see...

  7. Gorgeous! I want to try a look similar to this. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  8. Thanks, Vintage! I'm glad you like it!

  9. I really like this look, it's very fresh and natural! I'm like you, I don't wear jeans and t-shirts, I live in skirts and dresses and heels. I also VERY RARELY go out without makeup. I HAVE to be wearing my primer/foundation/powder and at least some eyeliner and mascara. I hate being in a hurry, I need my makeup!

  10. There's just something about feeling sloppy out and about that is so depressing to me! I hate being in a hurry, too; I try to make sure I have plenty of time to get ready, or a plan to tackle getting ready in a hurry and still look respectable.


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