Makeup: Five Minute Face

This year and last, I had to get up and out the door in less than 40 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday mornings were particularly brutal, with what I refer to as a ‘Clopen’ shift (a term from my days in a London bar, where you close the bar at night and then open it in the morning). I regularly got about five hours’ sleep.

But makeup, although not indispensable, is a big part of my routine. It makes me feel professional and put-together, even when I didn’t sleep. It’s my “War Paint.”

Especially as a stressed-out ESL teacher, I needed to put time into my face. I just didn’t have much to allocate to it.

Hence, I got really, really good at doing my hair and makeup in about ten minutes flat. That gave me time to put the kettle on for coffee, make the coffee with my POS funnel and cloth filter system (DIY), get dressed, have a shower, gripe about getting up so early to my sleepy husband…not necessarily in that order.

I regularly do my makeup in five minutes or less. Full face. I even do winged eyeliner. The keys have been repetition and repetition. And repetition. Once I become practiced at a new technique, I am able to incorporate it into the routine and speed up its use for busy mornings.

To prove it, here’s m five minute face from today. I’m giving a talk at a local high school about travel, and I need to look put together. The video is poorly framed and unedited, but this captures best how I actually do my makeup every day.

The formula is: 

  1. Cover giant black circles under eyes with foundation and blend. Optionally add foundation to the rest of the face. 
  2. Bright blush with a kabuki brush. 
  3. Eyeshadow, blending from darkest color to lightest in layers. 
  4. NYX Milk on the inside corners of the eyes. 
  5. Darker eyeliner in the crease and blend. 
  6. Big, fat, sharp wings in liquid liner. 
  7. Two coats of mascara. 


And Ta-Da! Ready for action. If I have more time, I add filling in my brows with powder or brow mascara. Most of the time, I’m just fine with them being invisibly blonde.

How much time do you spend on your makeup? Do you think makeup is essential to a professional look in 2016? 

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