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An Almanac For The 21st Century

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The Five Minute Face

The Five Minute Face

Lately, like in the past few months, I’ve been really into a streamlined makeup routine. A five minute face, if you will. It’s a standout day when I take the time to apply a full base or eyeshadow. Many days I don’t wear any makeup at all, but I usually feel a little more confident if I just use a few essentials. Aaaand here they are:

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First, I cover up anything I want covered with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in Light. It’s marketed for your under eyes but you won’t go to makeup jail if you use it to cover any hyperpigmentation or breakouts. I usually put a few dots under my eyes, around my nose, and anywhere that looks a bit red, then blend it all with a Real Techniques Mini Sponge. (I’m very pro-makeup sponge now that I know they’re easier on my arthritic hands and I can clean them quickly with oil cleanser.)

Next is blush. Blush, to me, is the secret to looking alive. Sure, you could load on spackle under your eyes to cover your dark spots, but I think the best trick is to use a small amount of concealer, and then add blush. My favorite is Milk Makeup cream blush in Perk (which is inexplicably called simply “Lip + Cheek”), probably because it’s so easy to apply and kind of idiot proof. Just dab some on your cheeks, pat it in with your fingers, and DONE.

All that’s left is eyes, and at this point I’m about two or three minutes into the routine. When I promise a 5 minute face I DELIVER. I fill in my brows (lately it’s been with Cover Girl Easy Breezy Brow Pencil in Soft Blonde, which I just reviewed last week) and then curl my lashes and apply mascara. I’ve rediscovered Maybelline Full n’ Soft mascara, which I’m loving right now. Just like the tube says, it provides a full look to your lashes without being clumpy or overly thick. This stuff is perfect for someone like me who is going for a minimal look but wants my lashes to be anything but minimal. Full n’ Soft is like getting temporary lash extensions for $5 and doesn’t that sound IDEAL?

I give my lashes a little separation without adding more mascara by using a tester wand I got at Sephora. I mentioned this is my post about another great mascara, L’Oreal Lash Paradise. I use one from Lancome’s Monsieur Big. Just snag one from the display when you’re at Sephora. I think it’s much easier to use than a lash comb, it’s free, and it adds a little finishing touch to your lashes. If I’ve managed to get mascara on my upper lash line (I have. I always have) then I just cover it up with a swipe of Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner. I love the subtle copper color Smog for this. It’s also great to smudge on the outer corners of your lower lash line for a bit of definition without looking too “done.”

I didn’t include lips in this, because that changes all the time. It’s often a subtle tinted gloss or balm, like NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait or Clinique Pink Honey. Or just some Jack Black Lip Balm. Whatever’s within reach, really.

And that’s it! This whole routine takes a literal 5 minutes and makes me feel just polished enough that I don’t imagine the world sees me as a troll who never leaves the comfort of my home. You know, on those rare days when I work on my laptop from a coffee shop instead of my couch.

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