This morning I timed myself doing my makeup, because there was a feature in a national newspaper a couple of days ago stating that you ‘could’ do your makeup perfectly in 8 minutes, and that many took a whole lot more time. I came in at 3 minutes 45 seconds including serum, moisturiser and primer which the feature didn’t include but which I think essential.
I had to laugh as it also said – courtesy of Superdrug - that the average woman has up to 27 steps in her makeup routine and uses around 30 products, spending up to 40 minutes on her face in the morning. Seriously? Who has that much time? And how much makeup do you really want to wear?
As someone who goes for a ‘less is more’ look and is always in a hurry I don’t want to look as if I’ve been made up for a photo shoot (and in case you’re wondering I’ve watched a lot of makeup artists get models ready for shoots). I want to look natural. Anything else is ridiculous first thing. To a grown-up, anyway. I’ll admit I never go out without makeup though.
So here’s what I used today. And I’ll say straight away that I had everything to hand and didn’t have to search for anything. In brackets I’ve put my alternatives. All of these are investments but last a long time.
Face Serum – Clarins Super Restorative Serum (Clinique Turnaround Revitalising Serum)
The best skincare and makeup starts with the best serum. This is not a step to leave out and believe me it only takes a couple of seconds to apply.
Eye Serum – Elemis Advanced Eye Treatment (Dr Sebagh Eye Primer Lift)
You may think ‘oh I don’t need an eye serum’ but you probably need one for your eyes more than your face as this is the first place that wrinkles appear, so it pays to invest in a really good serum early on.
Moisturiser – Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream (Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Moisturiser)
I really like the texture of Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic cream and it comes in a large pot so will last for ages. My Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Moisturiser was part of a gift with purchase and is more of a gel texture. Also a brilliant moisturiser.
Primer with SPF – Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer)
You can’t part me from my Laura Mercier SPF Primer. Not only does it stop makeup from slipping off your face whatever the temperature but it also protects from the sun, as does Eve Lom’s Flawless Radiance Primer. Frankly they are hard to choose between although the Laura Mercier is quite a bit less expensive.
Foundation – Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation (Lancome Teint Visionnaire Foundation and concealer duo)
Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Foundation offers a light, sheer coverage which looks radiant and natural. It’s become one of my all time favourites. This is closely followed by Lancome’s Teint Visionnaire which gives a little more coverage and has a concealer in the cap. It’s worth spending time testing and choosing your foundation as an ‘over made-up look’ starts right here.
Concealer – Estee Lauder Perfectionist Concealer Duo (Lancome Teint Visionnair Foundation and Concealer Duo)
When it comes to this type of product I seriously like something that does double duty. Estee Lauder’s Perfectionist Concealer contains a brightening serum at one end and concealer at the other. And both are seriously good.
Powder – Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder (Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder)
Both of these powders offer a smooth and flawless finish to your foundation and are essential to a natural look. I always apply powder with a brush and shake off any excess first.
Highlighter/Bronzer/Blush – Kevyn Aucoin The Neo Bronzer (Oribe Illuminating Face Palette)
Ok I’ll admit it. I don’t strobe, drape or contour. But I want the products necessary to add radiance, flush and a subtle glow and I want them all together so that I can choose to use one or all three. These two face palettes will do just that.
If you want a brilliant highlighting blush on its own you might like to try Laura Geller New York Baked Blush and Brighten which I discovered – in NY – a couple of months ago. And if you want a stand alone Bronzer try Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder. Finally an all time favourite which I carry with me everywhere is to be found at Sephora, their Sephora Collection Baked Sculpting Trio – I use it in Sweet – is absolutely brilliant and has highlighter blusher and bronzer together in one little palette. If you can, run there fast as it’s discounted right now.
Eye pencil with smudger on the end – Estee Lauder Double Wear Eye Pencil (Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner)
You may have lots of time to create smoky eye looks, and even I spend more time on my eye makeup when going out in the evening….well a bit. But to my mind nothing beats a seriously good long lasting eye pencil that you can smudge if you want to and not if you don’t. Both of these are good for that, and with a steady hand take seconds to apply.
You’ll notice I haven’t included mascara here as I just wear that in the evening, and this is my go-to daytime fast face makeup. When I do wear it my two favourites are Benefit They’re Real Mascara and Lancome Hypnose, both of which are hard to beat.
Eyebrow pencil – Clinique Instant Lift for Brows. This is my all time favourite and the only one I use. Suffice it to say the daughter uses it too. It comes in four different shades, one of which will definitely suit you, and is incredibly quick easy to use.
Lipstick – Estee Lauder Lipstick in Beige – or whatever your favourite is. As every one of my favourite nude lipsticks has been discontinued I am continually looking for new ones. Favourite brands for longevity and consistency are Clinique, Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown.
For a nude shimmer lipstick try Estee Lauder Pure Colour Long Lasting Lipstick in Tiger Eye.
I also have a very good set of brushes to hand which stand in a pot at the ready. This is a very reasonably priced cosmetic brush set I bought from Amazon with unexpectedly high quality brushes.
I never leave the house without putting on makeup – perish the thought, but it really doesn’t have to take very much time. So ready steady go… the stopwatch is on.