Streamline your make-up routine to ace your face with Megan Bedford’s tips.
streamline your beauty routine
Long been stuck on autopilot when it comes to your morning make-up routine? Your go-to products and relied-on technique might make life straightforward in those bleary morning moments when you have one foot out the door, but are they giving you the polished presentation you’d like? If you haven’t re-evaluated your beauty products or technique in a year or two (or more!) it might be time to consider some new strategies to make the most of your make-up in minimal time.
To start with, consider how your current routine makes you feel. Modern make-up should enhance your features so you look fresh and feel confident. Generally it’s about improving the appearance of your skin, defining your eyes and lips or brightening the undereye area where it’s needed. If, for you, that means using only one product, applied correctly – embrace it. If you’re relying on a heavy mask of cosmetics, consider stepping away from your staples to try one or two new formulations. Alternatively, learn some new application tips from an expert at a make-up counter that allow you to cut down the number of products required.
To maximise your efforts, and have you heading out the door feeling your confident best, try these ground rules:
Clutter clouds the mind, particularly if it’s the first thing you face in the morning. You shouldn’t have to spend time digging through dried-out mascara tubes and evening-only shimmer shadow to get to the products you need. Instead, remove the excess to another space, say a second drawer, and isolate the five to six products you actually need for a full face. Like a co-ordinating wardrobe, choose products and colours that you know work well together. An eyeshadow palette in complementary neutrals helps with shade selection. You can rotate products out for variation, but move the ones you aren’t using to the second drawer.
2 Assess your environment
If you’ve ever been dismayed to find a foundation tideline on your chin as you look in your car’s rear view mirror on the way to work (or worse, not until the way home), you’ll know the lighting in your bathroom can’t always be relied on. Downlights cast too many shadows and yellow lights can change the way you perceive skin tones. Front-facing natural light is best, but a light-up vanity make-up mirror with bright LEDs and a magnifying option is a good solution for your bathroom or bedroom benchtop. Treat the place you do your make-up like a workstation and stock it with everything you need like brushes, cotton buds and cleanser so you can get it done without distraction.
3 Prep and prime
Make-up sits better on well-hydrated skin. You’ll also find you won’t need to use as much. Apply moisturiser and wait a minute or two – brush your teeth or add some body lotion in the meantime – before starting your make-up. Even better, use a dedicated make-up primer instead. It will hydrate as well as smooth skin, minimise fine lines and keep everything in place a lot longer, without the need for touch-ups or blotting shine.
4 Consider your tools
Your fingers might be faster, but for a flawless foundation finish a brush comes up trumps every time. Instead of painstakingly sweeping it on with a traditional paintbrush-style foundation brush, try a stippling brush for a more lightweight, even finish. A dense buffing brush with closely packed bristles or a beauty blender sponge will also allow you to polish on product just where it’s needed over your T-zone and chin, so you’ll save product and time. Blending well is key to a professional finish so double-check there are no obvious edges.
In the spirit of less is more, it also helps to seek out products that serve multiple purposes – even better if they are in portable packaging. Stick or crayon forms of blush and lip colour make application easy and don’t require precision. Consider cream blush for adding colour to both lips and cheeks, or alternatively, dab a touch of lipstick to cheeks and blend thoroughly with your fingers for flattering co-ordinating colour. Bronzer can be swept onto the creases of eyes as a shadow, and foundations with skincare benefits such as moisturiser or serum are now readily available.