How To Half The Time You Spend On Your Makeup


How To Spend Half The Time Doing Your Makeup

We asked the women of Escentual how long it takes them to do their makeup in the morning. We collated the 10 responses and, on average, we take 15.21 minutes. Is this something that resonates with you?

We’re a group of women from all types of backgrounds and ages. Some of us have a long commute and some of us have to to the school run, but the main thing we have in common is the fact we all want more time in the morning. So, we set both the quickest and slowest members of the team the challenge of halving their makeup time – here’s what tips they have to share with you…


How To Half A 10 Minute Makeup Routine…

Before and After Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation in 106 Vanilla

I used to think I had no time in the morning to do my makeup properly… and then I had a baby and realised how good I used to have it! My toddler is into everything; he capitalises on my distraction in the mornings and makes a beeline for all of the most dangerous things in the house (naturally), so my makeup routine tends to be a race against the clock.

My objective is to build a routine that makes me feel fresh and ready for the day… in under 5 minutes. Yep, my teenage self would be incredulous right now, but if it means I get a few more precious minutes with my little mischief-maker then I’m up for the challenge!

Here’s what I was able to do in just a fraction over 5 minutes…


Emma Quick Makeup Challenge

Base (1 minute 51 seconds)

I have just three core requirements from my day-to-day foundation: a) it has to be ultra-blendable as I often work with my fingers rather than a sponge or brush, b) it has to be suitable for my dry skin, and c) it has to have enough coverage to allow me to skip the concealer step. The foundation that is seriously speeding up my routine at the moment is the Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation SPF15 in 105 Nude, a sheer-to-medium, buildable base that effortlessly creates glowing skin. I mean, look at the before and after above!

I began by priming my skin with the ultra-cushiony Embryolisse moisturiser (dry skinned guys and girls, this is an unmissable step if you’re looking for a plump and dewy finish), and then I applied 2-3 pipettes of the Skin Illusion foundation directly onto my cheeks,  forehead and chin, before blending with my fingertips. It covers everything it needs to – note that my undereye shadows, red cheeks and chin blemishes are thoroughly disguised – and yet it never looks overly ‘makeup-y’. There’s zero concealer used above, too, as the combination of pigment and light reflecting particles have diffused my skin niggles completely.

Brows (1 minute 19 seconds)

My brows are the thing I spend the second longest amount of time on in the morning. Now, my arches take the whole ‘brows are meant to be sisters and not twins’ thing a little too seriously, so I try my hardest to make sure that they look a bit more uniform. The product that I found works best in an ultra-limited time frame is the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil. It has a slanted and elongated tip that emulates the appearance of brow hairs, allowing you to rapidly fill in sparse areas and create more of a shape without being tempted to completely colour your brows in to save time. It creates such a natural-looking finish and it takes barely any time at all.       

Colour (50 seconds)

Colour is kept to a minimum in the morning, in fact, I’d probably try and get away with not wearing any at all were it not for the fact that a touch of colour on my cheeks and lips instantly makes me look much fresher. A universal truth that every corner-cutting beauty lover needs to know is that coral is an absolutely fail-safe colour when it comes to cheating a more enlivened complexion, and my favourite for the job is Benefit Chachatint, a creamy lip and cheek stain in a glorious shade of pink-orange. I placed a couple of dots on my cheeks and then blended with my fingers (are you sensing a theme here?), and then popped a little bit on my lips too. Chachatint has the added benefit of working beautifully with Skin Illusion; its fluid texture helping to create healthy-looking cheeks that beam with radiance.

Mascara (44 seconds)

I try not to spend too much time on mascara as I’ve been known to go overboard on my lashes, resulting in a look that’s less luscious and more clump central. I’ve got no time for curlers in the morning so I go straight in with a lifting and holding mascara that’ll help me to look more wide-eyed. The formula that gives me the biggest helping hand is the Benefit BADgal BANG! Mascara, which is excellent at building instant volume that doesn’t need to be endlessly layered to make an impact. I just wiggled it through my lashes a couple of times, then built it up a bit more at the tips – this’ll help you to avoid clumps but still achieve beautiful length.

Glow (25 seconds)

My ‘luxury’ step is highlighter. And by luxury, I mean it’s entirely dependent upon whether my little boy is kind enough to let me pop some on! A foolproof formula that I don’t even need to use a mirror for is the Benefit Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter, a champagne-hued stick that makes light work of adding a glow. I dotted it straight onto skin and then blended it with my fingers for natural-looking dimension. I didn’t have enough time to do it for this challenge, but I’d normally dot a little onto my Cupids bow and on my brow bone for a low-key gleam.

= Total: 5 minutes 15 seconds (I can’t give up that highlighter step just yet!)

How To Half A 20 Minute+ Makeup Routine…

Before and After DIOR Diorskin Forever Undercover Full Coverage Fluid Foundation IN 102 Porcelain

My excessive beauty routine stems from my makeup background. After 10 years of heading to work every day with a smokey eye and a full coverage face to boot, spending 20 minutes + a day is now habitual to me. But time is precious and after realising I’m potentially spending 2 hours 15 a week blending and buffing, I’m on a mission to utilise my time better and take a more mindful approach to my morning routine. Here’s how I halved my application time…



Base (3 minutes 3 seconds)

I started by prepping my skin with REN Perfect Canvas Skin Enhancing Serum, its silicone-free and quick drying finish is the perfect base for DIOR’s Diorskin Forever Undercover Full Coverage Fluid Foundation. Instead of rushing, I waited 30 seconds before applying this foundation – this might be time-consuming for some, but the results are much better in the long run. Your base will be perfectly smooth and even, and your makeup will last longer.

Diorskin Forever Undercover is my daily go-to that lasts all day and its coverage level doesn’t need to be built up, which is perfect for covering my acne scarring. I always apply my foundation with a damp sponge to naturally build coverage and avoid dreaded brush lines; I still get a fresh finish, but I find that foundation is much quicker to apply using a sponge!

Colour (4 minutes 30 seconds )

Now, to stop me from going overboard with colour, I applied my blusher first. This way, I can see what warmth I can give my skin without relying on bronzer. My favourite ever blusher is MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Artist Face Colour in  B306 Shimmery Mandarin – it’s flattering on everyone! I then went in and added structure with Benefit Hoola Lite and added a touch of DIOR Diorskin Nude Luminizer Powder in 03 Golden Glow to the high points of my face for a super glowy result.

Eyes & Lips (2 minutes 22 seconds)

I cannot skip eyeshadow! Usually, I would bring out my 20 piece eyeshadow palette, however, as I’m looking to half my time,  I improvised and used what I used on my face on my eyes. Subtle but effective, I blended Hoola Lite into the crease and then packed the DIOR Diorskin Nude Luminizer Powder in 03 Golden Glow all over my lid and into the inner corners.

I won’t leave the house without mascara, and as you can tell from my before and after, the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara never fails to give my lashes a boost from just one coat.

Instead of spending minutes sculpting my brows, I opted for a tinted brow gel to do all of the hard work for me. MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Tinted Brow Gel in 25 Dark Blonde is the quickest way I can add colour and depth to my brows without getting carried away trying to recreate arches that don’t exist. I actually prefer this natural finish!

My ‘failsafe fake it’ is a bold lip. To add an instant touch of glamour, I grabbed my Dior Addict Lip Tattoo Colour Juice in Natural Red. This took seconds, and it instantly makes me look like I’ve spent a lot longer on my overall look!

= Total: 9 minutes 55 seconds (I can’t believe I actually did it!)


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