Creating the super-fast everyday makeup routine


For the first half (and then some...) of this pregnancy, I more or less completely stopped wearing makeup. It wasn't really an intentional decision, I just didn't have the energy to put in effort that wasn't absolutely necessary, so all but the most basic hygiene fell by the wayside. I thought, for a while, that I had kicked the habit and would return to being the makeup-free person I was for so many years once I got to feeling better. I was wrong. For the last few weeks, I've been back into the face paint in a serious way, and the truth is that it makes me feel better about my appearance. I know, both emotionally and intellectually, that there are some very serious problems with that, and I hope to someday be able to unpack them completely and convince myself that makeup is truly optional, but for right now, given the large and strange effect pregnancy (and, I'm sure, new motherhood) has one one's appearance and one's feelings about said appearance, I'm going to give in on this one and just resume being a happy makeup wearer.

Except. Except that energy is still in a semi-short supply, and 5 minutes more sleep IS 5 minutes more sleep. I know this will be even more true once I have a baby. So it's essential that my daily makeup routine be fast and easy. I've never been one to take too much time with it, but still, I am working on paring it down further. Forget about the 5 minute face, we're talking the 2.5 minute face. I think what I'll do is put the products that I use every day in a separate small makeup bag, so when I don't have extra time (i.e. most mornings), I can just grab it and do my thing, without even seeing all of my other options. If you do your daily makeup this way, I'm super curious to hear about what you use. Leave a comment?

And in the meantime, this is my current lineup, which is still definitely under revision:

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theBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF 18 in Light
I love tinted moisturizer--I've never been comfortable with thick foundation, and this is just the perfect compromise. I may switch to BB cream if I find one I like, but in the meantime, this stuff by theBalm, which I picked up at Marshall's/TJ Maxx, is great. It goes on easy, the light color is a great skin tone match for me, and it smooths everything out without looking caked on. Plus it's SPF 18, which I like.

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Powder Foundation SPF 12 in Deauville
I'm not sure what makes this product "powder foundation" as opposed to just pressed powder, but I've been using it for quite a while and I like it a lot. It goes on easy, mattifies my shine-prone areas, and is a good color match for my skin in the Deauville (light to neutral complexions with a perfect balance of pink and yellow) tone. I am actually about to replace it, however, since I'm hitting the pan, and I am going to try something else, since it's pretty spendy ($45) and feels like it might be overkill now that my skin has calmed down.

Smashbox High Lights Creamy Cheek Color in Golden Blossom

This Smashbox cream blush/highlighter duo is actually not sold anymore, which is too bad, because it's my favorite natural looking blush. I like cream blush, especially when I'm in a hurry--finger application with just a quick swipe. I don't use the highlighter part of this, just the medium pink blush part. This is not at all serious blush--it's a barely-there type of thing--but that's just fine for me right now, as pregnancy seems to have put some natural color in my cheeks anyway.

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Benefit Lemon-Aid

Lemon-Aid is "color-correcting eyelid primer." So, it neutralizes the darkness around sleepy eyes, and gives your eye shadow something to cling to. Primer is one of those products that someone who is trying to streamline probably ought to give up, but I'm not going to. In fact, I just bought a replacement for my nearly-empty Lemon-Aid. A swipe of this stuff makes a huge difference, both as far as how tired/allergic I look, and how well my eye shadow stays put. It's staying on the list.

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Stila Eye Shadow in Kitten

Eye shadow is one of those areas where it's easy to get hung up on making a decision--so many choices! For my quickest face, though, I think it's best to go with the perfect neutral, and Stila's Kitten is, to my mind, the perfect neutral. I don't super-love Stila's eye shadow formulation, as even with primer I don't end up with a lot of it still on at the end of the day, but I love Kitten so much that I use it anyway.

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Tarte SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Fig

Regular eyeliner is not something I can do fast (or well...). However, jumbo liners like my favorite ones from Tarte are easy to apply and meant to be smudgy. I just draw a quick line, finger smudge, and I'm done. These liners are the best, because they truly do not budge all day--even for someone like me who habitually rubs her eyes. I have a bunch of colors, but if I have to narrow down to just one everyday color, I choose Fig, the darker/more neutral of the two purples Tarte offers. This color seems to suit me on almost any day.

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Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula in Black Onyx

I just bought this Clinique mascara, because I needed something that would stay put for allergy season, and so far I am really happy with it. The brush is really small and sparse, which makes application a bit more precise than I'm used to, but as I get used to it I see how it could be even easier than a bushy brush. So far, I haven't seen any rings-around-my eyes or anything while it's on. It's not the easiest thing in the world to get off when I'm trying (I really hate eye makeup remover), but that beats having it come off when I'm not, so I plan to keep using it.

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Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick in Bamboo Pink

Like eye shadow, lipstick is an area where I can be crippled by choices. I have no fewer than four dozen lip color options in my arsenal, so choosing among them could take way longer than I have on most mornings. For a true neutral, though, this lipstick by Clinique is a great start--totally subtle color, and moisturizing, with just the right amount of shine. Unfortunately, as is always the case with lipstick, it doesn't last as long as I'd like it to.

Now that I have them all listed, it seems that I'm still using quite a few products. I swear, though, as long as I don't have to choose anything, it hardly takes any time to put them on. And, like I said, it's a work in progress. What would you cut? Change? Leave me a comment, makeup lovers!


Personally I would skip the foundation and powder and just use concealor where needed. I feel like concealor is more needed then a whole face is. Mostly under my eyes and around my nose.

If you are using a jumbo liner I would skip the shadow too but I would add a shimmer stick.

So no powder, foundation or eyeshadow but yes to concealor, blush, mascara, fat liner rubbed in you know swipe it across quick,give it a good smudge and done. then a shimmer stick over top of cheek down nose and under brows. I do that last thing in the morning. I litearally just slap it on and rub as I walk out. oh and trade lipstick for colored balm. Keeps your lips soft and doesn't require a mirror.

Hi Grace!!! I've been keeping tabs on you and hope you are feeling well, and strong! I'm kinda feelin' you on this one. I recently (sans budget mind in place) went To MAC and spent a small fortune, but left with great new tips and a few different looks I even I could muster up. I wear makeup when I feel like it, and when I don't... YIKES!!!! ; ) I'm getting old, oh well.

You are beautiful with or without makeup. xoxo kris

Hi Grace thanks for your useful post on the fast everyday makeup. I really like to have a fast makeup too as I always remain busy with my work. I have contacted an expert makeup artist of a makeup school to learn the fast makeup techniques and I have discovered some thing amazing. I agree with you but want to add a few things like you can use lip plumper and lip gloss. Lip plumps and gloss give our lips a fuller appearance. I always wear lip gloss with my lipstick. If you get some time then moisturizing is really important. As we age our face usually becomes dry so we need to moisturize to help our makeup go on smoother. There are many moisturizers to choose from so find one that works for you and your skin. Anyway, thanks again for sharing.

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May 2012

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