The 5-Product Makeup Routine That’ll Get You Out the Door in 5 Minutes

Don’t waste more of your precious morning minutes than need be.

5 Step Makeup

Run from the gym to the office with a fresh face in mere seconds. | Photography by Claudia Gavin.

In my constant quest to pare down the makeup kit I bring everywhere, I’ve gotten things down to a science – or as close to one as ever. While I always want to look put-together and professional, I simply don’t have the time in the mornings to apply a full face. (Hello, that’s what train rides are for.) I also don’t want to give myself scoliosis by lugging around my whole kit every morning. If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness and SEPTA are my muses. I’ve perfected the five-minute, five-product makeup routine that leaves me looking fresh, awake, and ready to tackle the day.

Here’s how:

  • Slather your face with a tinted moisturizer – no brush necessary. I like to use Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer in natural ($44) during these cold months because it gives my dry skin an extra moisturizing kick and lightly conceals my problem areas.
  • Brush an iridescent blush along your cheekbones to give color and a dewy glow to your face. My current obsession is MAC Mineralize skinfinish in semi-precious rose quartz ($32).
  • The makeup artist’s best-kept secret secret to looking wide awake is highlight. Pop some MAC pigment in vanilla ($22) on the inner corners of your eyes near the tear duct, and dust along the brow bone. If you’re feeling a little extra, lightly add some to the highest point of your cheekbones and along the cupid’s bow to give your skin a radiant glow.
  • No face is complete without lightly filing in the brows – even if you’re just going to the gym (at least in my world). Be sure to grab a pencil with a lash brush attached like my ByTerry crayon sourcils in ash brown ($34), comb the brows into submission, and fill in any sparse areas using light strokes. The point here is to frame the face, not take over.
  • Mascara. Duh. My go-to is MAC In extreme dimension in 3D black ($22).
  • Adding a quick swipe of lipstick is the easiest, laziest way to bring some intrigue and drama to your look. (Warning: Without a little lip, this simple makeup look can cross into boring territory really quickly.) Add a pop of color to your lips to bring out your eyes and bone structure. I kept things neutral with MAC’s créme in your coffee lipstick ($17), but don’t be afraid to play around with more exciting colors like these.

Happy primping!