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How To Create a 2-Minute Makeup Routine (That Still Looks Great)

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Main image – Esthergalvan/Stocksy

Sitting at your lavish dressing table, gazing into the mirror, wearing a long satin robe after a leisurely bath, you quietly ponder over which eyeshadow shade to wear today and take time scrolling through Instagram for inspiration. 

Or, for those who only have mere seconds to get ready in the morning, there’s this article.

As much as we would love to pamper ourselves before work, the school run or after the gym, for most people, the morning rush just doesn’t allow it. So, you’ll need a quick makeup routine that will make you feel both pulled together and not pushed for time to get everything else done. 

So, how’s two minutes? If that sounds doable, keep scrolling for expert tips from makeup artist Ashley Nichole Gibson on how to create a speedy, yet effective makeup routine that won’t add extra stress to your morning. Satin robe optional. 


Step 1: Know your focus points

It will save time to know the areas you want to focus on with your makeup before you begin. “Determine which features you want to highlight and focus on them,” Gibson recommends. “For some, filling in eyebrows and applying mascara might be enough to feel polished. For others, concealing imperfections and adding lip colour might be the priority.” 


Step 2: Be savvy with your products

Double, or even triple up on your products’ functions. “Opt for products that serve multiple purposes,” adds Gibson. “For example, a BB cream or tinted moisturiser can hydrate your skin, provide sun protection, and offer coverage.” 


Step 3: Simplify your base

For speed, Gibson recommends using your hands to apply your foundation. “Your fingers are excellent tools for applying foundation, concealer, and cream blush,” she says. “The warmth of your hands helps to melt the product into the skin for a seamless finish, saving time on grabbing different brushes or sponges.” Just make sure you’ve washed your hands first.

I like to pour some foundation on the back of my hand and dip my fingers into it as I apply it to each part of my face. This gives me more control over how much I’m applying rather than pouring it all into my fingers at once and ending up with too much foundation on my face. 


Step 4: Simplify your lip and blush

As Gibson mentioned, using your fingers for a cream blush is the quickest way to apply it. I like to press hard into the cream blush so that I have lots on my finger. Then I very lightly dab it onto the apples of my cheeks and apply what is left on my finger to my lips. This way, there is no need to spend extra time later applying a lipstick. Don’t forget to use a clean finger to blend the edges of your blusher.


Image – Jones Road


A matched up lip and cheek looks well put together but it requires minimal effort. My favourite product for this is Jones Road Miracle Balm which not only gives my lips and cheeks a pretty hue, it’s super hydrating and glowy too.


Step 5: Simplify your eye makeup

Now is not the time to be creating a whole new eye makeup look with an eyeshadow quad. “Instead of elaborate eyeshadow looks, consider a wash of a single shade over the lids,” Gibson says. “Eyeshadow sticks are great for this as you can quickly apply the colour and blend it with your fingers. Add a quick coat of mascara to open your eyes.” Eye makeup, done in a flash!

I love an eyeshadow stick for speed too as sometimes even finding the right brush can take up precious time.


The takeaway

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the luxury of time in the mornings and be able to spend it on a long-winded, considered makeup routine? But just because you don’t have hours to spare doesn’t mean you can’t cut a few corners and create a shortened version of the routine you wish you had time for. 

It’s all about simplifying your routine with little tweaks that save time yet don’t sacrifice how you look or feel. Tweaks like ditching your brushes and using your fingers instead, doubling up on certain products and not over-complicating your makeup look. And don’t forget about eyeshadow sticks – in my opinion they are game changing for creating eye makeup that’s speedy, easy and pretty.


Meet the expert

Ashley Nichole Gibson is a licensed aesthetician and makeup artist who owns Paraposh, which provides on-site makeup services. Specialising in bridal makeup, her experience also extends to training and education for cosmetic brands, conducting master classes at Ulta, and working as a makeup artist at QVC for beauty brands.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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