I remember when, less than three years ago, my entire make-up routine would take a maximum of 5 minutes. No contouring, no highlight, no brow products. Those were the days! And, actually, perhaps surprisingly, I don’t look too bad in my graduation photos, or the photos from any night out at university. Maybe there’s something to learn from that, that a lot of today’s ‘must-have’ make-up is the equivalent of a ‘filler’ track on that album you love. Nevertheless, the idea of leaving the house these days without contouring brings me out in a cold sweat, and I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one.
Now, I’m one of those girls that doesn’t feel ‘done’ without make-up on. Even if I’m not leaving the house ALL day, I will still apply a full face of make-up in the morning. I say that because I don’t want to brand myself as one of those girls who won’t step outside the house without make-up on. I mean, I am one of those girls, obviously. But it’s not a question of confidence more than I just don’t feel fully awake and ready to face the day before I’ve got my make-up on. If I’m ever too ill to put make-up on, it’s a sure giveaway that I feel absolutely dire.
With that in mind, it’s worth saying that my daily make-up is incredibly natural-looking (other than the eyes) to the point that counter assistants and colleagues like to tell me ‘it must be nice not having to wear much make-up’. Bitch please, I’m wearing about 20 products on my face at any given moment which encompasses three concealers and 2 foundations. My bare skin has the natural beauty of a dirty potato that’s been left out in the sun for a month. No kidding. My entire routine probably takes me about 20 minutes on the average morning before work, although on my days off this can stretch to up to an hour as I play around with different eye looks. Today I have bright blue winged liner that angles upwards into flicks on both the outer and inner corners of my lid.
The first step is moisturiser and primer. I was using a fancy expensive Clarins moisturiser over winter but over summer I’m using this incredibly cheap Garnier one which does the job fine. I usually use a cheap primer too, but this month I’ve splashed out and am trying Benefit’s Pore-fessional for the first time. So far, I’m not overly impressed and the £26 price tag will make me think twice about buying it again.
I start with my Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer and apply it under my eyes and under my chin, but blend it out over my cheeks as well as I always have a slight rosiness to my cheeks that I want to cover. I’ll then apply my Urban Decay All Nighter foundation in shade 1.0. I’m trying to start using foundation brushes as it’s the only thing I don’t use a brush for, but more often than not, I end up using my fingers to apply my foundation. I feel that I use less product this way as a small dab of All Nighter foundation goes a looooong way. A blob the size of a 5p piece should cover your entire face. After my foundation is applied I’ll blend it in with a make-up sponge and usually add another thin layer of Lock-It concealer to my chin area which is where my spots usually are if I have any that day.
After this, it’s time for Blusher No.1! (Yes, there are 2 blushers. I do tend to use two of everything, not really sure why. I should probably find products with enough colour pay-off that I can use one!) At this point, I will add a crème or liquid blush to my cheeks, usually the Body Shop Crème Blusher in shade Florida Sunset which was a steal at £4 in the sale!
Then I add a layer of powder to set my foundation as from here I move on to only powder-matte based products. I tend to use either Collection Powder in shade Ivory or Seventeen’s Powder in Light/Very Fair. The Seventeen powder is technically slightly too dark for my skin, but it has much better staying power than the Collection one. I’m debating investing in some Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder but unsure – do let me know in the comments if you’d recommend this! For powder, I use this ‘stippling’ brush I bought in Claire’s Accessories a few years ago and it works really well.
Now it’s time for a contour! I start off with a NYX bronzer and add a little of it to my cheeks, blending in with a NYX contour brush. I then deepen this colour with Benefit’s Hoola, using the same brush. When I look like I have cheekbones, I use a big fluffy blusher brush from M&S to buff Hoola over my forehead, nose and to blend a little bit more into my cheeks. Because I’m naturally pale with black hair, it’s important I don’t skip this extra bronzing step so I don’t look like a ghost!
Next, I open up my Make-Up Revolution Hot Spice palette and use a Primark blusher brush to dab a peachy/pink shade on my cheeks to add some colour to them. Which colour I use depends on the day, but it’s usually the sparkly orange one on the far right of the palette. Now, it’s time for everyone’s favourite part….
HIGHLIGHTER!! My preferred highlighter is Topshop’s highlighter in Crescent Moon. But, like all other products, you guessed it….I use two highlight products!! Over the top, I use Kat Von D’s Alchemist palette and blend a little of the Amethyst or Sapphire shades over the top to give that extra shimmery goodness. Now my base is done, I spritz my face with some of NYX’s Matte Finish Spray and move onto brows and eyes. All of the above steps will have taken me about 10 minutes in total.
Now, we go in with the brows and I can share my favourite ever beauty discovery with you all! Benefit’s Precisely My Brow is the only product I use on my brows, which saves me sooo much time. I remember all the months I struggled with brow pomades and brow pencils and brow gel and I wish I’d discovered Precisely My Brow earlier! It’s a double ended tool with a brow pen/product on one end and a spoolie on the other. I brush my brows into shape – up at front, then along until I find my arch and then downwards. I then fill my brows in, creating a strong arch and a feathered look at the front of my brows and voila: brows done. 1 minute tops. It perhaps helps that I have monthly brow waxes and tints at my local Benefit Brow Bar, but as I never plucked or waxed my brows growing up, I do tend to keep my brows quite full.
Now for the final touches, eyeliner and mascara. On an average work-day, I don’t wear eyeshadow but I’ll include a quick easy look that I sometimes do when I want to look a little fancier.
If I’m doing eyeshadow, I’ll blend this blusher from Primark all over my lid using my Real Techniques eyeshadow brush. I’ll then apply some highlighter into the inner corner, and some gold shadow from this cheap little MUA eyeshadow palette to the outer corner. I then apply some dark brown shadow into my crease and blend it all out which creates a look I like to call ‘Sunset’.
I have three different eyeliners in my make-up bag, all of which are felt-pen tips – Kat Von D’s Ink Liner, Soap & Glory’s Supercat liner and MUA Luxe’s pen liner. I tend to just use whichever one comes to my hand first that day, but my current favourite is probably Kat Von D’s as you have a lot of control over the pen, which is good if, like me, you like to do attempt winged liner every day in under 20 seconds! I do very small wings on the outer corners and then use L’oreal Paris’s Miss Baby Roll mascara in black which is honestly the best mascara you will ever find. Better than Too Faced, better than Benefit, better than any brand you’ll find in Boots. I tend to do three coats on each eye which makes my lashes look super long.
Then I apply a coat of either Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk lipstick or NYX’s Lip Lingerie in Bedtime Flirt to my lips, both of which are a similar shade and have similar longevity. Again, which one I apply is just generally which one my hand falls on first in my bag! They are both very natural ‘your lips but better’ shades that just help to give my face that little bit more colour.
And that’s it! I tend to do an extra spritz of my NYX finishing spray when I’m done and then double-check everything in my magnifying mirror to check there’s no dodgy patches anywhere and then I dash out the door to go to work! So I tend to get up at 7.30am to have a shower, get dressed, do my make-up and eat breakfast in time to leave the house at 8.10 am, just to give you an idea of just how close-cut my mornings are! I feel like I’ve made it seem like I spend aaaages on my make-up with this super detailed post but it honestly doesn’t take too long at all, and the result is simple but professional.
If you got to the end of this post – well done! And thank you!
Let me know in the comments below what products you couldn’t live without in your daily make-up! Mine would probably be my Benefit eye pencil and L’oreal mascara!
See you next time! P.