Have months of wearing hardly any make-up left you barely able to remember how to apply it — or why you used to spend ages doing so each morning?
If so, rest assured you’re far from alone. During the first year of Covid, 72 per cent of us spent less money on make-up, according to researchers Mintel.
And experts say this year will now see a revolution in the way we get ready, with women demanding a polished pre-pandemic look, without the pre-pandemic faff and fuss.
Coming to the rescue are clever new products that can be used on several areas of the face, making application quicker than ever.
Still buying separate lipstick, blusher and eyeshadow? There are now products that can do the job of all three in one.
FEMAIL challenged five top make-up artists to create an elegant look that any woman can do herself in just two minutes. Pictured: Date night red lips by Bryony Blake
These hi-tech heroes often do away with the need for brushes or sponges altogether, leaving those in the know with what beauty forecasters are calling the ‘two-minute make-up bag’.
The idea is that you can be ready to go — to work, a party or a date — in the same time it takes to brush your teeth.
Clare Varga, Head of Beauty at forecasting company WGSN, says the two-minute make-up bag will be one of the year’s top trends.
‘Consumers now want easy-to-apply, multi-tasking products that create a look in just minutes,’ she says.
In essence, we want to look as glamorous as we did in the good old days — but simply cannot be bothered to spend all that time in front of the mirror, especially after nearly two years of a lower-maintenance daily regime.
So Clare predicts a surge in the launch of ‘smarter beauty [products] that deliver better results but with a lot less effort, cost and commitment’.
But can we really have our cake and eat it? We challenged five top make-up artists to create an elegant look that any woman can do herself in just two minutes — then put their routines to the test with a stopwatch.
DATE NIGHT RED LIPS
By Bryony Blake (bryonyblake.co.uk)
A make-up artist on Strictly Come Dancing, Bryony is also a beauty expert on This Morning. If you’ve missed bold lips while in a mask, you’ll love her smudge-proof solution.
- Code8 Seamless Cover Skin Perfecting Concealer (£27, codeeight.com)
- Code8 Bronze Summer Glow Powder in Positano (£35, codeeight.com)
- Missguided Cosmetics Slick Flick Eyeliner in Double Espresso (£6, superdrug.com)
- Sweed Lash Lift Mascara (£22, spacenk.com)
- Tropic Skincare Lip Stain in Bitten Red (£14, tropicskincare.com)
1) Apply concealer under the eyes and on fine lines around the mouth.
2) Add warmth by sweeping bronzer over cheeks and forehead.
3) Use the same bronzer on the eyelids to add depth to the eye socket.
4) Accentuate the lash line with a dark brown eyeliner — before using black mascara to lengthen lashes.
5) Apply several layers of lip stain to create a bold wash of colour — and dab on the cheeks with fingertips for a fresh look.
TIME: 2 mins 25 secs
By Caroline Barnes (carolinebarnes.co.uk)
Caroline Barnes applied five cosmetics using only her fingers to create a night-out look (pictured) within two minutes
Caroline has created a night-out look you can apply with fingers only.
- Trinny London Eyetallics in Minerva (£18, trinnylondon.com)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Whiskey (£16, urbandecay.co.uk)
- It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara in Black (£22, itcosmetics.co.uk)
- Nars Audacious Sheer Matte Lipstick in Sylvie (£26, narscosmetics.co.uk)
- Bare Minerals 16-Hr Full Coverage Concealer (£24, bareminerals.co.uk)
1) Start with Bare Minerals concealer, brightening around the nose, eyes and lips.
2) Eyetallics Minerva suits all skin tones. Apply all over the eyelid.
3) Use kohl — Caroline swears by Urban Decay — along the lower and upper waterline.
4) This Superhero mascara gives thick lashes in two swipes.
5) Apply lipstick then use your ring finger to dab lips and transfer to your cheeks to avoid getting too much colour — eyes should be main focus.
TIME: 2 mins
FRESH-FACED AND NATURAL
By Bobbi Brown (jonesroadbeauty.com)
Make-up legend Bobbi Brown used a selection of products from Jones Road Beauty for a fresh-faced and natural look (pictured)
Bobbi Brown is a make-up legend, famed for her sophisticated natural look and for creating the best-selling eponymous brand (since sold to Estee Lauder).
Now she’s launched another — Jones Road Beauty, featuring clever multi-tasking products that she describes as ‘the make-up equivalent of a Swiss army knife’.
Here she shares an easy-to-achieve weekend look that uses her Miracle Balm on lips, cheeks and even eyes for a healthy glow.
- Jones Road Miracle Balm in Tawny or Dusty Rose (£34, jonesroadbeauty.com)
- Jones Road The Face Pencil (£23, as before)
- Jones Road The Brow Pencil (£20, as before)
- Jones Road The Mascara (£24, as before)
1) Miracle Balm is a multi-purpose product you can use across your whole face to look fresher and more awake. Dip your fingers in, then apply to both sides of your face at once.
2) Apply to the cheeks for a subtle glow. Put whatever is left on the forehead, chin and neck.
3) Apply another slick of Miracle Balm to lips to hydrate them as you apply the other products.
4) The Face Pencils are fantastic for onthe- go coverage. Apply under the eyes, using your finger to gently tap into the skin. You can also go around your nose.
5) Use The Brow Pencil to create small strokes along the brow for a natural look. Bobbi’s top tip is to start with a lighter shade and work to darker if necessary to add dimension. Finish the look with mascara.
TIME: 2 mins
POLISHED FOR THE OFFICE
By Lisa Eldridge (lisaeldridge.com)
Lisa Eldridge suggests doing away with a fistful of eye products when trying to look polished for the office (pictured)
Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley are fans, and fashion brands from Gucci to Prada love Lisa Eldridge, too.
For a quick and easy work look, she suggests doing away with a fistful of eye products and simply using a multi-tasking brow palette for brows, liner and shadow. She also has a clever, no-brush-required trick for perfect blusher.
- Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin foundation (£44, lisaeldridge.com)
- Suqqu 3D Control Eyebrow Palette (£39, cultbeauty.co.uk)
- Lancome Lash Idole in black (£23.50, lancome.co.uk)
- Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (£26, lisaeldridge.com)
1) Use Seamless Skin foundation as both foundation and concealer to save time — it’s heavily pigmented and will even out red areas in less than 15 seconds.
2) This Suqqu brow palette has three shades and can be used first to define and fill in the eyebrows, then as eyeshadow.
3) Use the palette’s mid-tone to line the eye socket using a fluffy brush, then the darker shade to create a smoky line along the upper lash line. The lightest shade looks good as a wash along the lower lashes.
4) Finish eyes with a smudge-proof mascara — Lancome Lash Idole is a favourite.
5) Apply lipstick — Lisa’s True Velvet ones can be used as a light stain or to give full lip colour.
6) Tap your fingers over lips and blend the colour on to your cheeks to create a pulled-together look.
TIME: 2 mins
SEDUCTIVE SMOKY EYE
By Joyce Connor (joyceconnormakeup.co.uk)
Award-winning make-up artist Joyce Connor recommends blending eyeliner for a dramatic effect in seconds
Award-winning make-up artist Joyce Connor has worked on magazine shoots for more than 25 years. A smoky cat’s eye can prove fiddly, requiring an expert hand and a list of products. But Joyce’s clever take is a cinch — simply blend the liner for a dramatic effect in seconds.
- It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (from £14, itcosmetics.co.uk)
- Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Black (£3.99, barrym.com)
- Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (£23.50, bobbibrown.co.uk)
- Max Factor Divine Lashes Mascara in Black (£11.99, superdrug.com)
1) Use CC cream to cover blemishes and brighten under eyes, using your finger. Make sure you blend it, no powder needed.
2) Sketch the outline of the cat eye using eyeliner pencil. Hold up the forefinger of your other hand next to your eye to give you a steady line so you draw a neat flick.
3) Once you have your outline, use a blending brush to soften the flick, giving a smoky effect. You can blend onto the upper lid as well. If you make a mistake, take a cotton bud dipped in CC cream to erase anywhere you don’t want colour.
4) Finish with lashings of mascara to make the eye pop.
5) Use a balm-type product to create a hint of colour on the cheeks and lips.
TIME: 2 mins 10 secs