Monday, October 28, 2013

8 minute basic, work appropriate makeup routine for the lazy and/or incompetent (using affordable products)

8 minute basic, work appropriate makeup routine
See below for the list of products used.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
I feel like if this were a feature in a magazine, it would be called a 5-minute makeup look. But since I do not move quickly in the morning, I'd categorize it in the 8-12 minute range, to account for the time I spend staring blankly at the wall between each step. My criteria for choosing each product in this routine is what I oh-so-fucking-cleverly decided to call the "fast/last" rule. That is, it has to apply fast, and it has to last through most of the day without reapplying. Fast, for me, means minimizing the use of tools like brushes. If I can smear it directly on my face, great. Your version of the routine might include more or fewer steps, depending on what you like/need. For instance, I'm lucky enough that my skin is fairly clear, or at least there isn't too much that I really strongly feel like I need to cover up. I just go with concealer and powder when I am in a hurry. That's just me. If you prefer to use foundation etc., then you'd have to factor in the extra time for that.

By the way, the "lazy and/or incompetent" bit in the title refers to me in the morning. Also during the rest of the day, but mostly the morning.

Here's are the steps I take:

  1. Sunscreen: I wear it every day, all year round. I use this stuff.
  2. Fill in eyebrows: I switch between eyebrow products from day to day, but Avon Ultra Luxury Brow Liner in Blonde (reviewed here) is the quickest. I define the bottom edge of my brow with it, and then I fill in the rest with short, light, brush-like stokes. This is a step that you could definitely skip if you already have dark/full brows. Mine happen to be invisible, and I like the way my face looks better when I have some.
  3. Concealer (undereye, spots, around my nose): There are a few options I could go for with this, but the main thing for speed is to use something that I can apply directly to my face without using a brush, and that I can blend with my fingers. This time I went with Milani Shadow Eyez in Almond Cream on spots and around my nose (I have a lot of redness around my nostrils and at the sides of my nose), and L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Crayon Concealer in Fair/Light under my eyes. (I wrote about them here.)
  4. Pressed Powder: This step requires a brush. I use CoverGirl Advanced Radiance Age-Defying Pressed Powder in Ivory. I've been using this same stuff for probably 10 years now - I've tried other options, but I always come back to this. I doubt it has any anti-aging properties, but I like it because it's smooth and soft, the shade matches my skin really well, and it provides just a touch of coverage and mattifying. It's enough to even things out, without actually being able to see the powder on my skin. Oh and it has no scent whatsoever, unlike the horrible Rimmel Stay Matte Powder that I tried once, which smelled like grandma's expired makeup. I really don't like scented makeup, with the occasional exception of lip shit. I use a big fluffy brush to brush the powder lightly all over my face, making sure to get the places where I used concealer, so that they're set.
  5. Long wearing cream eyeshadow: I spread a cream shadow that wear well from my lashline to the crease with my finger, and then blend it into the crease, still with my finger. A medium neutral shade works best for me. Here I used Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe. That one lasts fairly well without any primer, but I wouldn't recommend using one of the shimmery Color Tattoos. I find they crease really easily. Even better would be Milani Shadow Eyez in Cafe Au Lait (or the cheaper Jordana version, which might be easier to find). That shit will not budge. 
  6. Mascara: I used CoverGirl LashBlast Volume (the one in the orange tube) in Black Brown. Another old favorite. I haven't found anything I like better for adding volume and length without looking clumpy or too obvious (and I have tried a lot of mascaras in my many, many days).
  7. Blush: Blush is the one thing that I think applies more quickly with a brush, so I use a powder. Here I used Wet N Wild Color Icon Blusher Pressed Powder in Pearlescent Pink (swatch here). It's cheap and looks pretty natural on me.
  8. Long wearing lip product: I used my beloved Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey (swatches here). It's a nice neutral, and it'll see you through at least until lunch.
Oh, and the last step for me is always to clean my glasses, because they are always fucking filthy, no matter what. That's it. I feel like I look presentable (not that no makeup is not presentable, but this is what I like), and I haven't even finished my cup of tea. But oh shit, I'm going to be late anyway.

It's not fancy. It's just some makeup to get me looking a little more polished than usual, but still fairly natural. For me, it's about making it clear that I actually do have some facial features. This routine is not going to eliminate things like freckles or pores. I'm okay with that on a daily basis.

(Commenter Harley Quinn once asked me to write about my concealer+powder routine, so here you go!)

(Another aside: Liz from Beauty Reductionista linked me to some info about how to fix the zombie skin problem I was having with my Revlon Matte and Lacquer Balm photos, so they're much more accurate now! Thanks!)


  1. Just thought I'd mention here instead of the original eyebrow post because it's older: I, too, didn't realize Groucho's eyebrows and mustache were painted on until a year or two ago.

    1. So weird! I'm guessing it's because the movies I'd seen were more grainy, and I hadn't looked at a nice photo.

  2. Fast/last for me means minimal eyeshadow, because if I try to apply a lot when I'm tired then it will end up all over my face. Cream shadow seems like a good compromise.

    1. Yes! Just don't stab yourself in the eye with your finger when you're trying to blend it. Not that I've ever done that.

  3. Staring blankly at the wall between steps is an important component of any morning beauty routine. How else am I supposed to remember where I am and what the fuck I'm doing?

  4. Holla. Thanks, bro. You must have very excellent skin to only need concealer and powder. Jealz.

    1. Nah, just lazy. And it varies from one day to the next.

  5. InLOVE those matte Milani cream shadow pencils!

  6. InLOVE those matte Milani cream shadow pencils!


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