10 Ways to Simplify Your Makeup Routine


There are special occasions when you want to pull out all the stops – weddings (especially your own!), New Year’s Eve bashes or even an important meeting at the office. However, for your day-to-day routine, you simply don’t have time to go through the entire makeup, hairstyle and grooming routine. Fortunately, there are strategies that you can employ that allow you to look good every day and still get on with your day.

1. Strip Down to the Essentials

If you have brushes and bottles and pads and tubes and wands spread across your dressing table or bathroom counter, it’s no wonder you stumble over your beauty routine. Cut the clutter and you will almost inevitably find that you need less time to get ready. No one is telling you to sacrifice essentials, but if you’re not using it on a regular basis, toss it – or at least stow it out of the way.

2. Limit your Makeup Routine

Do you REALLY need to execute a full makeup job every day? While it is true that many women feel naked until they have applied their “faces,” it is also true that many women look just fine with no makeup at all. If you just can’t bear to go completely bare, try limiting your makeup routine to apply a quick, light covering of powder, a dash of lipstick and perhaps a brush of mascara and head out the door.

3. Focus on One Feature

If the minimal look just doesn’t work for you, go ahead and splash out on a full makeup routine – but limit the attention that you lavish to one feature. Everything else gets the bare or barely-there treatment. For instance, if you really love the smoky eye look and don’t care how much time and effort are involved, go ahead and spend that ten minutes making sure very step is carried out just right, and then spend no more than two minutes on applying powder, lipstick and blush

4. Set Out Your Products and Tools in Advance

You may be aware of the trick of laying out the outfit that you want to wear the night before. Placing the right blouse, slacks or skirt and shoes where they are easily accessible saves valuable time that you might otherwise spend staring blankly into your closet, or desperately strewing clothes about trying to find an ensemble that looks good together. The same principle works with your makeup – setting out the makeup and tools that you intend to use will also cut down on the time necessary for your morning routine.

5. Choose Low-Maintenance Tools

Keeping your makeup tools clean and in good repair is essential to proper application. But who has time for complex routines involving special elixirs or specially devised drying pads? Instead, choose makeup brushes that you can wash out in the sink and allow to dry on your counter along with other low-fuss makeup tools.

6. Keep Two Sets of Makeup

Getting ready for a big date or some other special occasion requires WAY more makeup than pulling yourself together for a casual weekend brunch. Make the investment in two separate makeup kits, complete with brushes and other tools to simplify your everyday routine. Set out the makeup that you use daily where it is accessible while you stash away your “special occasion” makeup in a drawer or on a shelf where it is out of the way.

More: 10 Classic Makeup Looks to Try

7. Strive for Healthy Skin

If your skin is healthy and clear, you don’t need nearly so much makeup because there are no blotches or blemishes to cover. Make an appointment with the dermatologist if you have serious skin problems. To minimize minor breakouts and everyday imperfections, take the time at night to cleanse and condition your skin.

More: 10 Vital Everyday Skincare Tips

8. Tinted Moisturizer, Pressed Powder

Look for products that perform double duty or triple or which are easier to apply than alternatives. For instance, tinted moisturizer eliminates the need for foundation. Pressed powder is easier to apply in an even layer than loose powder. There are even products that can be used as eye shadow, blush and lip color.

9. Buff Your Nails or Easy-to-Apply Polish

If you love the entire routine associated with manicures and pedicures, set aside some weekend afternoon and knock yourself out. But if you just want to achieve look of groomed nails, try buffing your nails and skipping the polish. If you want color on your nails, opt for polish in pen form that is easier to apply than polish applied with brushes.

More: 10 Great Beauty Habits to Try

10. Headbands and Ponytails Are Your Friends

Headbands and ponytails were invented bad hair days. A headband that is two inches or wider will hold back unruly bangs or the fact that you’re overdue for a trim. Brushing your hair into a low ponytail looks polished enough for the office and hides the fact that you’ve skipped a shampoo.

More: 7 Best Ways to Keep Your Makeup Fresh Longer