I want to start out by making it clear, that the ‘natural’ makeup look, for me, is not my preferred.
I actually love nothing more than taking my time, layering up my steps and taking my face from that of a 12 year old to a fully fledged catfish. There’s something deeply satisfying about perfectly blended eyeshadow and a fresh set of false lashes that makes you feel invincible. Even if the club is pitch black and not a single photo of your hard work is taken …
But my day to day face is a lot less effort. I’m an early riser, not by choice but by obligation. I start work at 7am every day ~cry with me~ so I have had to seriously strip down my morning routine.
I don’t have that extra 15-20 minutes first thing to put the effort it. Highlighter is not an option, I just need to get up, dressed and have my teeth brushed on time.
So, because of my inability to not hit the snooze button incessantly, I have perfected my 10 minute makeup routine. It took a lot of sacrifice, guilt and practice to get it down to what it is, so I hope you learn how I take myself from something resembling a small naked mole rat to a mildly presentable girl.
STEP 1: SKINCARE
I’ve spoken about my pretty simple skincare routine recently, so I won’t go into detail again, but if you want more information on the skincare products I use every day have a read here.
The first thing I do is brush my teeth, and splash my face with cold water. This is mainly to make myself up, but also a good way to just rinse away what’s built up overnight. I then use my exfoliating toner, and my moisturizer to start off my ‘base’. If I have the time, and or if my skin is looking a little dull, I’ll mix in a drop or two of my Iconic London Illuminator in shade SHINE to my moisturizer, and it’ll give this amazing glowy sheen that stays there once the moisturizer has sunken in to my skin.
I find this to be the most important step in my ‘natural’ makeup routine. If my skin looks healthy and glowy, then the minimal makeup looks effortless. If it’s looking dry and tired, then it looks dull.
STEP 2: EYEBROWS
I unfortunately am not blessed with naturally dark brows. I’m a redhead, and even though it would make sense for my eyelash and eyebrow hair to match my head of hair, they don’t. They’re naturally blond, especially at the end where I rarely pluck, so without some brow pencil i don’t have anything to frame my face properly.
I have somehow mastered the art of filling in my eyebrows and having them not look like I used a sharpie in a matter of minutes. I used to meticulously pencil them, shape them, conceal and carve them out. And they looked bloody awful.
“We’re not all blessed with full dark brows … “
Now, I try and use my eyebrow pencil as a way to highlight my brows rather than change them. I’ve stopped over-plucking them and trying to make them a shape they don’t want to grow in, and let them do their thing.
My go to brow pencil, after maybelline discontinued their brow satin in auburn – which they got an email about I was so upset – ids the NYX cosmetics precise brown pencil in auburn. If like me you’re a redhead who is tired of having brown or blonde brows as your only option, definitely get one of these. It’s a super thin pencil, so allows you to replicate hair strokes so easily. It also blends well, it’s not harsh and comes with a spoolie attached so you can brush the brows through and make them fluffy and more natural.
Now, once I’ve fluffed and filled them, I want to set my brows in place. Even though I’m going for a natural look, using a simple clear brow gel just to light brush the brow hairs upwards means they get set in place and stay looking the same all day. The Benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter was a product I received in my Jame Genevieve X Cult Beauty box, and I don’t know how I will ever use any other brow gel ever again. I’m obsessed. This gel allows me to work 7am-3pm, go to the gym and sweat for an hour and STILL have my eyebrows perfectly intact.
STEP 3: CONCEAL
I am from time to time prone to minor breakouts in my skin, so spot concealing is a quick step I’ll try and incorporate into my routine if I need to. In addition, I’ll conceal under my eyes if I’ve had a rough night sleeping, or if my hangover still hasn’t budged from saturday night. I’ve always used collection concealer in shade fair or extra fair, it’s so cheap and effective. But recently I’ve picked up the new L’Oreal Paris Infallible More Than Concealer, which is thicker and lasts a lot longer.
If my skin is in need of some very light but even coverage, I mix a small amount of the Garnier BB Cream in with my moisturizer (see step 1) to give me a bit of colour and to even out my skin tone.
STEP 4 : LASHES
Like I said before, my naturally fair hair means I appear to have NO eyelashes without my mascara on. If I wanted to go for a very paired down look, I’d reach for a brown mascara like I used to when I first started experimenting with makeup. But for the most part, I use Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara. It’s the best drugstore mascara in my experience, and after years of using Benefit, Urban Decay and MAC mascaras at a cost, I don’t think i’d ever go back to a high end mascara.
It just gives the length and curl I need, and makes it clear I DO have lashes, they’re just too fair to see…
STEP 5: SET
No matter how much or how little make up I wear, I always use a setting spray. The Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray has been a firm favourite for years, not only because it keeps my makeup in place ALL DAY, but it also has a temperature control element. Basically, if you start sweating whilst you’re power walking to work, the spray helps stop your makeup running and melting off your face. It really is a miracle.
I do also use the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Translucent Powder to set the oilier areas of my face, mainly my T-ZONE. It’s the area I notice my makeup breaking down first, especially in the summer months. Even if it’s a minimal amount of concealer, or a light amount of BB cream, a little bit of powder makes a big difference to how well it’ll stay on for the day.
So, there it is! My 5 Step Minimal MakeUp Guide. This takes me no longer than 10 minutes in the morning, and really is my day-to-day go to when it comes to making myself look and feel more presentable for work. If you try out any of the products, or have any questions about them, drop them in the comments! I’ll happily give any advice or tips on how to make the most of them.