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The Best 10-Minute Makeup Routine

Last updated on : April 23 2019

relaxed woman doing makeup in front of mirror

Time Is Money

Modern women have many responsibilities. Like juggling career, family, relationships, children, friendships, exercising, cooking, cleaning, and more. And although we have all this to do, we want to look fabulous doing it.

Women don’t have to wear makeup, however, if wearing makeup makes you feel confident throughout the day, don't forgo it because of a hectic morning schedule.

There’s no reason for your morning makeup routine to take more than 10 minutes of your valuable time.

So set your alarm a fraction earlier, follow these tips for a makeup routine that takes less than 10 minutes, and feel fierce and fabulous as you tackle your day.

Here are the steps to a 10-minute makeup routine that works for any skin tone and type.

Cleanse and massage: 2 minutes

No matter how perfect or straightforward your makeup routine is, you will want to start with a clean slate.

Wash your face with gentle, mild soap and warm water to remove any oils that may have accumulated during your sleep. Be sure to use a cleanser formulated for your skin type.

Not sure what your skin type is? Take this quiz from Ask the Scientists to figure out your skin type so you can choose the best products for you.

Massage the cleanser gently into your face, using your fingertips to rub upwards and out. This method stimulates the circulation in your face, helping to get the blood and sinuses flowing and improve the overall look of your skin.

Exfoliate once or twice a week to remove dead, flaky, dry skin for a smoother base.

Moisturize: 30 seconds

Once you’ve removed all the dirt and oil, your skin will need some hydration. A good moisturizer will hydrate, protect your skin from damage, and create a smooth surface for your makeup.

Use a light moisturizer formulated with SPF to prevent skin cancer, wrinkles, and sun damage. Like a facial cleanser, you’ll want to use a moisturizer formulated for your skin type.

Just be sure it is a daytime formula (night moisturizers tend to be heavier and greasier, and could make you look shiny or your makeup slide off) with SPF to take the best care of your skin.

And yes, you need SPF every day, no matter how cloudy it is outside. Tip: Also apply a moisturizer with sunscreen to your neck, chest, and the back of your hands, and reapply as needed throughout the day.

Your decolletage needs just as much care as your face, and your hands take a beating and show age faster than other body parts, due to the thin skin, regularity of use, and hand-washing.

Base: 1 minute

Now that you have prepared your canvas, it is time to paint. Correctly applying foundation can be tricky and time-consuming and might be too heavy for everyday use for some skin types. Instead, use a tinted moisturizer if you have dry skin or mineral powder foundation if you have oily skin.

Combination or healthy skin can use both (apply tinted moisturizer first, then brush over the T-zone or oily areas with the powder).

This article from Cosmopolitan recommends Aveeno brand tinted moisturizer, which is formulated with SPF 30 to give you extra protection from the sun. Plus, at $18.99, it is super affordable and available at most drugstores.

Concealer: 1 minute

Use concealer to hide any blemishes or dark circles. Be sure to apply concealer after tinted moisturizer, but before a powder foundation for best results.

Rubbing tinted moisturizer over concealer will smear it, and applying concealer on top of powder foundation will create a grainy texture.

Tinted moisturizer creates a smooth primer for the concealer, while powder foundation sets it nicely.

Blush: 30 seconds

Save the time-consuming heavy contouring for girl’s night out or date night, and instead highlight your cheekbones with blush or bronzer.

You can use a cream, liquid, or powder version of either.

This article has everything you need to know about how to apply blush, from choosing the right color for your skin as well as how to use it the most flattering way for your face shape.

Eyeliner: 1 minute

To keep it simple, skip the tricky liquid eyeliner and instead use a soft crayon type of pencil to outline eyes.

Crayons create a softer look and blend easily, so if you make any mistakes, you can fix them quickly by smudging with a Q-tip.

For a fresh, everyday look, do a simple swipe across the top lash line. Then at the end of the outer lash corner, flick the pencil upward for a cute cat-eye effect for longer looking lashes and bigger looking eyes.

This article from Cosmopolitan has excellent tips on how to achieve the perfect eyeliner quickly.

Mascara: 30 seconds

If you don’t wear any other eye makeup, the one step not to skip is mascara. You can wear it without any eyeliner or shadow and still make your eyes pop and pull your look together.

Don’t bother with false eyelashes for daily errands or the office.

Use an eyelash curler for 15 seconds on each eye, then grab your favorite mascara and swipe on a few coats on the upper and lower lashes. You might want to experiment with different products to see what which mascara works best for you.

For example, some people swear by waterproof mascara, while others say it is hard to remove or makes their eyes itch.

Some mascaras are for lower lash use only; if this will save you time, you can try it. Otherwise, it’s just a new bottle to open.

This article from Birchbox has all the tips you need for the perfect mascara application.

Eye shadow: 1 minute

This step is optional, as eyeliner and mascara alone will give your eyes enough definition for an everyday look. But for a little extra glamour, swipe on a neutral eye shadow.

To make this even more comfortable and faster, try an eye shadow crayon. They are formulated to glide on quickly for a light sheen of color that stays put.

Eyebrows: 1 minute

Liquid brow pencils and brow gels can be messy, so fill in eyebrows with a brow pencil. This article from Allure describes all the brow products and how to use them.

For a casual daytime look, use a pencil that is one shade lighter than your hair color. Fill in any gaps or sparse areas of your brows with light upward strokes to resemble individual hairs.

Use a spoolie brush (many eyebrow pencils come with one attached) to comb the eyebrows upward and out towards the ears, blending the pencil lines. This article from Marie Claire lists the best eyebrow pencils and their traits.

Lips: 10 seconds

Using lip gloss will save you time as it can be applied quickly and is more forgiving than lipsticks, stains, or lip liners.

Most lipglosses today are formulated for long-lasting color and hydration, so they have the added benefit of moisturizing your lips (unlike lipsticks and stains, which tend to dry out lips).

Swipe on a tinted lip gloss as the final step of your beauty routine, and throw in your bag to re-apply throughout the day as needed. Here are the top lip glosses recommended by Allure.

The 10-Minute Makeup Routine Infographic

Here's a useful infographic to share or print-out, ready for you to use when in a rush.

The Best 10-Minute Makeup Routine, infographic

In Conclusion

And voila! You are gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on your day in under 10 minutes!

Remember to replace all your makeup products regularly to avoid infection, and to apply sunscreen on your face and decolletage every day, even if you think you will be indoors or it’s cloudy.

For the no-hassle makeup remover, stock up on makeup removing wipes. You can even use unscented baby wipes, although makeup remover wipes, while more expensive, are formulated to remove eye makeup without causing an imbalance in the skin quickly.

Now you have a complete makeup routine that only takes about the amount of time for your coffee to brew!

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