Quick. Cheap. Beauty.
Quick. Cheap. Beauty.

There are two types of girls that I’m envious of: One, the girls who look totally stunning and beautiful with ZERO makeup whatsoever. Two, the girls who have serious makeup game and can totally transform themselves with all of the right products and flawless application. Me? I’m somewhere in the middle. I wear a few products on a regular basis, I have a personal beauty routine down, and I can figure out how to do the perfect smokey eye after watching a YouTube tutorial or two. I’m not a complete beginner or anything, but I’m also in no way an expert. One thing I AM good at, though, is the five-minute face. We’re talking low maintenance, max enhancement. Curious? Read on.

Fast and fresh, these makeup basics will leave you looking gorgeous in literally no time flat. This is the makeup you put on when you’re running late. You wear it on the beach. Maybe even at {or after} the gym?! It’s the makeup that you keep in an emergency kit in your purse for touch-ups. The essentials. This is the antithesis of Kardashian beauty. No contouring, lip lining, or intense brow maintenance allowed. The goal: to let your natural beauty shine through while still looking pretty, polished, and put together…in literally NO time. Best part: you don’t need to spend $$$ on ANY of these items. You can, of course, if spendy beauty products are your thing, but every item on this list can be purchased at a drugstore for under $12. No need to get crazy. Here’s everything you need to do to unlock total babe status in five minutes or less.

1.  Carefully apply concealer.

People use concealer for a variety of purposes, but here, we’re going to use it as a straight-up spot treatment. You want a shade that MATCHES your skin tone as closely as possible–nothing too light {like the stuff you put under your eyes} or too dark {like for contouring}. We want a match! When opting for a concealer-only approach, I like to use a formula that offers ample, long-lasting coverage, since I won’t be layering or blending with foundation or powder. Concealing creams and crayons are your best bet, with the exception of this “heavy duty” liquid concealer from Hard Candy. Pat your chosen product over any blemishes, dark spots, or discoloration, leaving the rest of your face free to breathe. Viola–even skin!


2. Put on a coat of mascara.

For as long as I’ve cared about makeup, eyelashes have always been my “thing”. I’m obsessed with long, dark, sexy lashes. They’re super sultry and they make your eyes and face just POP. Because I haven’t yet gotten a Latisse prescription or committed to extensions, though, a great mascara is my still my go-to for achieving the long lashes of my dreams. As far as high-end mascara goes, I’ve pretty much tried it all: Diorshow, Bad Gal, Shiseido, Lights Camera Lashes, They’re Real!… They’re awesome, but honestly, not totally necessary. I’m loving Rimmel’s “Scandaleyes“, and swear by anything from Maybelline’s “The Falsies” line for intense length, drama, and thickness. I thought I HATED the classic “Great Lash”, but now keep a tube of it in my handbag at all times…but only the “Lots of Lashes” variety with the new plastic brush. Swipe some on, look alert and awake.


3. Smile! Add blush.

My first foray into the world of beauty came courtesy of Bobbi Brown, when I purchased her “Teenage Beauty” guide at the book fair in sixth grade. If I took anything from that guide with me to adulthood, it is that blush, as Bobbi notes, is “instant pretty”. It is, guys. If you aren’t wearing blush, start now! You’ll be amazed at how it perks you up and makes you look fresh and healthy. I wear it every day. Powder blush is classic, but I love a good cream/gel formulation for extra staying power and that natural, dewy look. Don’t go crazy here–just smile and apply your blush of choice to the apples of your cheeks.


4. Top everything off with a swipe of highlighter.

OMG highlighter. A little light changes EVERYTHING. There’s nothing prettier than a highlighted cheek bone, bridge of the nose, or brow bone–a well-placed dab of shimmer makes you look totally radiant 24/7, like the sun’s rays are hitting you just so. I used to swear by bronzer when doing a quick face, but now I’m all about highlighter. It’s easier to apply on the go, and the result is much more natural. It’s also easy to find a complimentary shade, since the vast majority of highlighting products work on any skin tone.


What are your beauty essentials? How do you change up your routine when you’re crunched for time?



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