Sometimes you just don’t feel like putting much effort into your hair and makeup, but you want to do a little something before you go out in public. That’s okay! Everyone has those days. There are ways to make yourself look like you put a ton of time into your morning routine, even if you really only spent five or 10 minutes on hair and makeup combined.
Polished Makeup in Minutes
Use your fingers or a brush to apply a foundation or CC cream that adjusts to your skin tone. Use your ring finger to tap a concealer under your eyes if you need it and set it with a finely-milled translucent powder or brightening powder product using a small, tapered brush. Evening out your skin tone and hiding any dark circles will make you look more alert and polished than focusing on a complicated eyeshadow look would.
When you’re in a rush in the mornings and want a little color plus contouring, there’s no need to pull out two or three separate products for your cheeks, thanks to a revived 70s and 80s trend (done in a more toned-down way, of course). A blush duo or gradient requires just one product. Use a soft fan brush for the most natural-looking application. Using the fan brush, or a regular angled blush brush and a very light hand, take the deeper shade and apply along the hollows of your cheeks. Blend well, then add a lighter color just above that to diffuse the line. A highlighting shade is optional if you have a few extra seconds, but not necessary.
With emphasis on your skin and color contouring your cheeks, the more time-consuming eye and lip products can take a back seat. Apply a curling mascara and a sheer gloss in your favorite shade before you go. If you need a little extra emphasis around your eyes to feel truly “done” but don’t want to spend a ton of time, quickly tightline your lashes with a kohl product and apply a shimmering shadow to your lids in a light to medium shade before applying your mascara.
If you have medium to long hair, styling it can take some time. Fake a French braid in minutes and keep your hair securely out of your face with this style. Pull the top and front sections of your hair back and secure them with a clear elastic. Make a hole just above the elastic and use your thumb and forefinger to grab the ponytail and flip it up, then down and through the hole. Split the tail into two even pieces and pull to tighten, then gather a new section of hair just under the first.
Make another small ponytail with the new hair and the tail of the previous ponytail, secure with an elastic, then flip the tail over and down through the hole again. Tighten that section by splitting the tail into two pieces and pulling apart. Repeat until all of your hair is pulled back, then go back and tug on the flipped sections to hide the elastics and add softness and volume where necessary. You can take it a step further by braiding the tail or twisting it into a bun and securing with bobby pins. If you go the bun route and have long enough hair, you can use a donut-shaped bun accessory ($5.00 or less at beauty supply stores) to add volume.
Sometimes it can be a challenge to remember there’s a middle ground between a full face of makeup plus curled or straightened hair and a bare face plus a ponytail, especially in the morning when you’d really rather be sleeping but have places to be. Try to focus on one feature (skin is usually easiest and most appropriate for mornings) and put your hair up in a style with twists or quick braids to avoid heat styling and disguise the fact that you didn’t have time to wash your hair.