In an ideal world, we would all wake up with enough time to chill and relax before the responsibilities of the day took over. Imagine taking a leisurely shower, followed by picking out your outfit for the day, and then grabbing a hot cup of your morning tea or coffee, and sitting down to do your makeup and create a masterpiece for the day.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to snap back to reality. A lot of us prioritise sleep over slapping on makeup (hey, you’re not alone!) but still want to look fresh and done up. Maybe you don’t have time to put on makeup, or you don’t want to make time to put on makeup – I get it.

Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve figured out (with a lot of trial and error, I’ll admit) a super easy routine that anyone can do! It requires only one brush and five minutes – yes, it’s that quick.

Before we start, though. Never forget the cardinal rule – cleansing, toning & moisturizing. Even if you don’t plan on using any makeup, skincare is paramount.

Base

Now that your skin is prepped, the first step would be your base. Personally, if I’m doing a very chilled-out, casual makeup look, I don’t bother with covering any and every little imperfection. So, I just pick up concealer (like this one from Lakmé) and cover any major issues like acne or redness by lightly tapping and blending it in with my fingers. However, if you’re after a more even base, go for a BB/CC cream or a light-coverage foundation. A lighter coverage base is easier to blend in with your fingers (remember- we’re trying to save time and effort!) and is quick.

Cheeks

When it comes to the cheeks, cream formulations are your best friends. It looks natural and dewy, and can be applied and blended in using your built-in tools – your fingers. A cream blush or bronzer is your best bet. If you want to add a pinch of colour and rosiness, pick up a blush. If you’re after warmth and structure, a bronzer is what you need.

Creams are often heavily pigmented, so remember to start off light. Pick up a bit, work it into the skin, and then add more. Remember – it’s always easier to add on than to take away colour.

You can also pick up a lip & cheek tint and tap some onto your lips at this point if you’re not planning on wearing lipstick or gloss. If you have a multi-stick or cream and want to add a little pop to the eyes, you can swipe a little bit onto your eyelids for an instantaneous and easy eyeshadow look, too. Oh, and this ensures that all your tones match and you have a somewhat monochromatic look, which is always on trend.

Brows

Next up, brows.

Now, I know that brows are a very personal (and touchy) topic for some of us. Some people love a carved out Instagram brow, whereas others love a natural, fluffy brow. But, when you’re running low on time, energy and inspiration in the mornings, a pigmented brow gel is your best bet. It’ll help shape the brows and make them look fuller and more defined, in a matter of seconds.

Eyes

For the eyes, mascara is your best friend. I know that a lot of us Indian girls (and guys!) love wearing kajal, but I feel that a good mascara can really help open up your eyes and make you look fresh and awake like you had a good night’s sleep. Come on, I know you were up till 3 a.m. rewatching The Office for the third time. We’ve all been there.

And now, the one step that requires a brush – powder. Always remember to set your hard work in place with a powder so that it doesn’t budge. If you’re on the oiler side, pay special attention to your t-zone and mattify the heck out of it. If your skin is drier, just lightly set the areas you applied to concealer to, so that it doesn’t move around, or rather, magically disappear mid-day. When using liquid and cream products, powder should always be your last step, because applying creams and liquids on top of powder products is basically a disaster. It’ll be extremely patchy and you’ll be stuck trying to frantically blend it all out for the next 10 minutes.

Lips

The last step, lips. Yes, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I would suggest a lip stain or tint, because they stay on through food and drinks. They’re also easier to apply and low maintenance compared to an opaque lipstick. If you must have opacity, try a liquid lipstick, as they have a longer lasting power as compared to a traditional bullet lipstick.

Boom – you’re done! I know that this still looks like a lot when you’re reading it step-by-step, but this routine shouldn’t take you more than five minutes in the morning, tops. With practice, I’m sure you can cut down the time to a magical two or three minutes too!

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