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A 2 minute makeup routine tutorial

The Perfect 2-Minute Makeup Routine for Any Occasion

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Main Image – Live That Glow

Let me start off with a confession; I’m someone who has roughly the patience of a toddler…that’s teething….and is stood at the back of a long queue at some sort of sweet shop.  Combine this with a total lack of makeup application skills (I mean really, who needs 57 different brushes…?) and it’s fair to say that makeup isn’t really my thing. Not nearly as much as skincare anyway.

I’m also a major fan of the natural look, so instead approximately 99 per cent of my energy goes into trying to get my skin to glow naturally, rather than adding to anything that’s already there. 

All of this is just a roundabout way of saying that if I can possibly avoid taking more time than is *absolutely essential* to do my makeup, then I will. And since I’ve spent the past 15 years pretty much applying at least some form of makeup daily, I now have a low-effort routine down to about two minutes.

So if you’re something of a no makeup-makeup fan like me- or just have similarly woeful application skills or a total lack of patience- then here’s how I do it.

A 2 minute makeup routine tutorial

Image – Live That Glow


Drunk Elephant D Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

Image – Live That Glow


Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara

Image – Live That Glow


1. The Base (approx. 30 seconds)

While I’m not necessarily the most enormous Drunk Elephant fan in all things, I will genuinely never stop being grateful to the people who brought D Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops into my life.

Part antioxidant serum (great for city types to counteract free radical damage), part liquid bronzer, this concentrated serum is designed specifically to be mixed in with your other skincare for a fully customisable, bronzy base.

What is free radical damage? Well, according to Healthline, “Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. They’re linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.”

Antioxidants can also be found in our food and dietary supplements.

Not only does this cancel out the need for foundation, but it also nixes the need for bronzer and most concealer (for me at least if I’m having an alright skin day). As a welcome bonus, the virgin Marula oil and blackcurrant seed oil in this is looking after my skin at the same time.

It’s also totally foolproof- you just mix D Bronzi together with some skincare (I like using it with my SPF but find out how to make your own little D Bronzi cocktail here) between your palms for a few seconds and then slather on.  It’s so gentle I can even apply this around my eye area, and there’s no need to blend- just massage it down your neck and onto your chest for bronzed antioxidant protection.

After working this over skin I also take the chance to quickly fluff my eyebrows up and then back into shape using my fingers- I find the residual skincare concoction left on my hands adds enough weight to get my brows looking neat while this also helps to blend in any remaining product around the eyes and forehead.


2. The Concealer (approx. 20 seconds)

Ok, I accept that in this respect I’m pretty lucky- I (no longer) get many breakouts, and aside from some bits of hyperpigmentation my skin tone is broadly even.

Having said that, nature always finds a way of balancing things out, doesn’t it?  And so while I may be mostly breakout-free I do in fact have the under-eye circles of Dracula after a particularly heavy night.

Yes, I look permanently un-slept (thanks genetics), and while there’s not a whole amount I can do about that skincare-wise beyond retinols and vitamin C (there are some good choices however, so if you’re looking have a browse of my 3 Causes and Fixes of Dark Circles), luckily, there is something I can do about their appearance during the day (thus avoiding frightening small children etc): concealer.

Because *any product* I put under my eyes tends to crease almost immediately, I’m pretty picky about the concealer I use- tending to favour cream-to-powder finishes rather than the full-on creamy kinds that can be prone to settling in fine lines.

My personal favourite is MAC’s Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer, which I apply from its wand onto the back of my hand (rather than straight onto my face, for hygiene reasons- no one wants to throw away a product before they have to because it’s gone off) before dotting under eyes with my ring finger (the weakest of your fingers, making it almost impossible to be too rough on your delicate under eye skin as you apply).

Then the lazy girl magic: I don’t blend in the product immediately, no no; this girl is far too busy to spend so much as 5 seconds blending product if she doesn’t have to. Instead, I move onto blusher and lips, letting the concealer settle and dry slightly for 20 seconds or so before coming back to it and patting it in. I find this does two things: firstly, it means that by letting the concealer dry slightly you keep it where you actually want it- under the eyes- instead of blending it all over the place while it’s still wet. And secondly, I find that waiting until it’s mostly dry and then pressing it in dramatically cuts down on the chance of it settling in creases 



3. The Blusher (approx. 20 seconds)

Alongside a dislike of any makeup that takes forever to apply is an aversion to using multiple products when just one will do. On the other hand I *love* a cream product- both because they’re almost impossible to mess up application-wise, and because they tend to have the most gorgeous dewy finishes.

So for all those reasons, when it comes to blush, I tend to stick to either multi-use cream products (here are some favourites), or even just skip the whole shebang and use a high-quality lip product on my cheeks instead.

And by high quality I mean full of gentle, skin-nourishing and mineral ingredients- the sort of product that can safely be used anywhere on the face without risk of breaking out or irritation.

My personal favourite is basically anything by organic brand RMS Beauty, and at the moment their Lip Shine in Sublime. A really bright, happy fuschia shade with a glowy finish, I dab this onto the apples of my cheeks with my fingers before blending up and out towards my temples. The fact that this has a slight gloss to it means that it acts as something of a highlighter at the same time- bringing in a dewiness that looks really really pretty (and will land you endless compliments on the condition of your skin- trust me).


4. The Lips (approx. 20 seconds)

Of course, the other benefit of using RMS’s Lip Shine on my cheeks is that I have a ready-made matching lip product right there ready to go.

If you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy though, one of my favourite ways to include a lip product without taking up too much time is to grab a crayon style lipstick like Nudestix’s Magnetic Matte Lip Colour (loving the shade Capri).  Doubling up as a lip liner thanks to its shape, this is super quick to apply in a really precise way, while it’s highly pigmented lip tint/lipstick formula means I don’t need to reapply more than once every few hours (and it really isn’t the end of the world fitting this into a bag since it’s tiny).


5. The Lashes (approx. 30 seconds)

Now I’m a really quick lashes girl (although I appreciate this may be where a lot of people spend the bulk of their time since rushed lashes often = clumpy, streaky ones), but that’s because instead of going heavy on the mascara I instead get a lash lift around every six weeks. This means my eyelashes are always pre-curled and pretty much look like they’ve got some mascara on already. 

I only actually apply mascara now if I’m going somewhere particularly exciting (so never, basically). But when I do, I have a particular routine: look down when applying, get the wand right to the root of lashes, wiggle, and then rotate the wand with your thumb and index finger as you run it through the lengths and ends.  This means you get the bulk of the product at the roots of lashes- giving the appearance of fullness- and also prevents the heavier amount of product from weighing down volume through the ends.

If you have extra time and aren’t up for a lash lift, you can always curl first by pre-heating your eyelash curler with a hairdryer a la Holly Willoughby (just be really, really careful not to touch delicate eye skin with hot metal).


The Takeaway

So there you have it- a full (ish) face of makeup in two minutes.  If you’re worried about longevity you can always dust on some translucent powder across the whole face (Glossier’s Wowder seems to get impressive reviews), or alternatively quickly spritz with a setting spray like my favourite, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dewy Set.

Equally, if the occasion calls for a more grownup eye makeup look but you’re still short on time, reach for eye products designed to be applied with fingers, like Roen’s beautiful cream/powder formulas.  And for the quickest ever eyeliner/feline flick effect, just use an eyeshadow one shade darker than on the rest of your lid, dip in an angled eye brush (like this one) and quickly smudge on a rough line just above your lashes, before gently tracing a very small flick upwards and outward in the direction of the end of your brows.  If you choose the right shade and apply in small enough quantities, this will give your eye look depth and definition while being so subtle that any less-than-perfect lines etc won’t show.





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Sally Underwood is a journalist, *serious* beauty fan, and Editor-in-Chief of Live That Glow. Formerly Editorial Director of one of Europe's largest newspaper groups, Sally has been a beauty obsessive since her teen years spent dragging her long-suffering (but immaculately-groomed) friends around every beauty counter in London. She now leads Live That Glow's editorial operations.

Expertise: Skincare, Body care
Education: University College London

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