My toddler is many amazing, wonderful things. Patient isn’t one of them. If I even glance in the direction of the mirror, he senses it (I’m not kidding) and decides he wants my immediate attention. And, if I somehow get time to myself in the morning? Well, there are 25 other things I’d rather be doing than applying eyeliner.
What I’m trying to say is, my makeup bag used to get a lot more action. These days, it’s all about the essentials. So, a few months back I overhauled my bathroom vanity cabinet and got my daily makeup routine down to about six products, including some new purchases. Everything I kept is multi-use and easy to apply, and together, they get me out the door in five minutes, sometimes less. And while I occasionally dip back into my collection of shadow palettes, lipsticks, and contouring brushes, my new routine – which, by the way, is made up of all drugstore products that cost less than $20 – has been a total gamechanger.
Want to do the same? Here are the products in my five-minute makeup routine, in the order which I apply them plus the tool I use to get it done.
This is a primer, tinted moisturizer, and highlighter all rolled into one. The slight tint actually seemed weird to me at first but I’ve learned to love how it adds a subtle bronzey-glow to my skin. I also love that it’s not too pigmented and very smooth so I can apply it with my fingers without creating a mess. Personally, I apply it all over as a base then add it on my cheekbones at the end of routine if I want added glow.
Next, I go in with my most used product – concealer. I love the FitMe concealer in particular because it comes in a wand that I dab right onto blemishes and redness. When it comes to the dark circles under my eyes, it provides natural coverage with a bit of brightening. Total life-saver.
I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to leave my eyebrows out of this basic routine or, at the very least, to switch to a brow gel. I just couldn't do it. When I fill in my brows, my look comes together so much better. Like your cheekbones or your lips, the shape of your brows is a great feature on your face to play up and can wake up your face if done right. I fluff up my brows first with this NYX pencil’s little spoolie, then fill them in lightly with the pencil end. The finish is natural and stays all day long.
Full disclosure: I’ve been a fan of Chanel Soleil De Tan bronzing base forever, but it’s so expensive! This Butter Bronzer is a very close dupe, and actually, the color is a better, warmer match for my skin tone. Made with murumuru butter, this cream bronzer smells tropical and makes my skin look hydrated and healthy. I apply it with a damp blending sponge on my cheeks, under my jaw, and around my hairline.
Cream blushes are one of the best and most versatile products for an easy makeup look, and this one from Burt’s Bees is no exception. First of all, when you’re low on time you can swipe it on super quickly and blend it in with your fingers. A quick pop of color on the apples of your cheeks, your nose, and your eyelids give you a natural, youthful radiance — like you’ve spent time in the sun. This versatile stick also doubles as hydrating, sheer lip tint that’s so good, I may or may not have bought another shade to keep in my purse.
I’m not exaggerating: I’ve been using this mascara on and off for almost 10 years. During that time, I’ve also splurged on some of the most expensive and highly-reviewed mascaras, but I’m telling you, this one is just as good. As for why it deserves a place in a routine with only six products? A dark mascara lifts my lash line, hides my tired eyes, and makes my eyes and lashes pop! Also, if I feel like it, I can smudge a little on my lower lash line for extra oomph.
Say what you want about the convenience of blending sponges, they are hands-down the best for consistency and a flawless finish, no matter what your skin type is. Even on my skin’s worst days, a damp sponge will blend and distribute my products so nicely that I never look streaky or cakey. It also means I waste less product and can keep my hands clean! I love that you get two of these sponges for just $10 because if my toddler runs off with one, I have another.
What are your drugstore makeup essentials?