How to do your makeup in only 5 minutes

How to do your makeup in only 5 minutes. Image of peppermint makeup bag with various makeup products and brushes coming out of it

5-minute makeup has been a necessity most mornings for me for years now.  Nothing will throw you off a perfect smokey eye quite like the sound of a toddler as it wreaks havoc around your home – all before 7am. 

Even with a more hectic lifestyle, makeup remained (still remains) a much-loved part of who I am and how I identify.  So it was important to me to work out how to continue to use it but in a way that didn’t cause any additional stress. 

Sound good?

Maybe you want to look more polished, but struggle to find the time?  Or maybe you just want to reduce the time it takes to do your makeup in order to free yourself up for more exciting things? 

Whatever your motivation, you too can also achieve a your-skin-but-better look easily within the space of 5-minutes. 

But before we look into how to do it, here are a few things to consider…

– You’ll naturally require less makeup if your skin is in good shape. 

– Adopt healthy skin care habits such as cleansing, toning & moisturising daily.  Remove your makeup thoroughly every evening. 

– Look after yourself from the inside with a balanced diet, keeping hydrated & exercising regularly

– Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. 

– Get as much sleep as possible. 

Related: Sleep well:  How to win at sleeping! (and why you should want to)

Now you’re ready, set your stopwatches, here’s how to do your makeup in 5 minutes…

5 minute makeup routine. How to do your makeup in only 5 minutes. Image of Closeup of an African American woman applying mascara in mirror at home

5-minute makeup routine:

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01. Onto clean skin, apply a BB cream or tinted moisturiser using your fingertips like you would your moisturiser.  BB’s are designed to help blur imperfections and even out your skin tone.  They’re also buildable, so you can apply more if you need more coverage. 

Good to Know: A lot of the BB’s contain an SPF (some are factor 50+) which is great for sun protection and fighting the signs of ageing.  

Recommended:  I’m currently using Bobbi Brown BB Cremé*.  It glides on easily, is SPF 35 & on days where I want to wear a full foundation, doubles as a primer.  Alternatively, Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Daily All-In-One B.B. Cream, is a good budget option, not as long-wearing as the Bobbi Brown, but gives a nice dewy finish.  

5 minute makeup routine. Image of Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 3502. Follow with an application of cream concealer to your under-eye area to lighten and brighten. 

I talk about my favourites here: Recommended: Under-eye concealers

03. We only really want our personalities to shine out, not our faces!  So I recommend applying a dusting of powder, concentrating on the T-Zone.   It helps to set your look & give the makeup a bit of staying power. 

04. Now add a hint of colour to your eyes.  Using your fingers blend a neutral-shade eye-shadow such as Chanel Ombre Premieré in 804 Scintillance* from the bottom of your eyelid up to slightly over the crease. 

5 minute makeup rountine Image of CHANEL OMBRE PREMIÈRE.
As a bonus, this eyeshadow is long-wearing. Not only are you getting your makeup done quickly, but you’ve also got a bit of staying power too.

05. Finish by applying a gentle sweep of a highlighting stick across your brow bones.   

Recommended:  No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter – this is also available in a bronzing version too.

Can’t go out without an eyeliner?  Consider substituting eye shadow for eyeliner.  Unless you’re very practised and could do both quickly.

06. Next use an eyebrow pencil to build some definition to your brows.

Recommended: No7 Beautiful Brow Sculpting Pencil (£8) is super easy and near foolproof to use.  I talk more about it here: Recommended: No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil

Recommended No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil07. Follow this with a slick of mascara on your lashes.  My favourite for quickness is Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara Dramatic Volume Waterproof

08. Add a cream blush for a hint of natural colour to the apples of your cheeks.  The key to cream brush is to go lightly and add more only if necessary.  

Top Tip: select a shade that is as close to the natural colour that appears when you pinch your cheeks. 

09. Finally, finish your look with a clear or tinted lip balm.   Super simple to apply, they moisturise whilst making your lips look naturally plumper.  All without the need for lip liner or layering. 

Recommended: Try Kiehls #1 Lip Balm* or Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips.

5 minute makeup routine. How to do your makeup in 5 minutes. Image of Kiehl's Lip Balm
Available in different scents, my personal favourite is pear

And that’s all folks!

This is a quick, cover-all-the-bases routine – but it’s completely customisable.  If you prefer to wear more eye-makeup and are less bothered about foundation – switch it around.  Maybe you don’t even need a full-base, just concealer in certain areas would work better for you?   It’s completely up to you what you concentrate on. 

Just, remember, the more practised you are the quicker you become.  Don’t try to do something you’re not practised at when you’re budgeted on time.

5 minute makeup. How to do your makeup in only 5 minutes. Image of eyeshadows and 2 makeup brushes laid out in a style to ressemble a clockTop tip:  Lay out everything you need before you start. Don’t have your daily makeup buried in a mass of other products which you have to then rummage through to find.  If everything is easily to hand it makes it quicker and easier. 

Remember this really isn’t the be-all and end-all.  You’ll notice things about yourself much more than other people will.  So it’s important that whatever you do, you do to please yourself.  The happier you feel, the naturally better you’ll look.


RELATED: 10 Top Beauty Tips for New Mums & Mums-to-be (or anyone in a hurry!)

How to do your makeup in 5 minutes. 5 minute makeup rountine. makeup advice. How to do makeup quicker. Makeup when you have no time. Beauty in a hurry. #beauty #makeuptips #quickmakeup #beautyadvice
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Was this what you were expecting a 5-minute makeup routine to look like?  Did you expect to be able to do more or less within that time?  How do you make time to make up in the day?  Do you have any other top tips to add?  Any good products to recommend?  Whether you have questions or comments – get in touch via the comment box below.  I’m happy to help and I always love to hear from you! 

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14 thoughts on “How to do your makeup in only 5 minutes

  1. Love this article, the perfect advice for time rushed mums. I would add that if you have an order in which you always apply your products you spend less time thinking and therefore application is quicker and you are less likely to forget a step. I love arrow lip balms as they add colour and can applied without a mirror and Vichy dermablend is the perfect quick application coverage for problem skin (it has a higher pigmentation so less layering is required).

  2. Great post Alex, I love your top tips! my summer make up routine is always quicker than my winter one…it’s good to know about Bobbi Brown bb cream, I’ve been using the Garnier one which is ok but doesn’t really improve my face – which it needs lol I might give the BB one a try 🙂

    1. Thanks very much Fiona! You’re right, the summer does contribute to a quicker routine doesn’t it! The Bobbi Brown one is great – I love that it doubles up as a primer x

  3. This is great! I’ve been thinking about trying a BB cream and was looking at Bare Minerals. I’ll let you know how it is if I go for it! I also find keeping my ‘quick’ makeup in a separate make up bag is super helpful and quickens the process on a morning. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s a great idea Charlotte about the seperate make up bag – thanks for sharing it! I’ve used the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturiser and can recommend that one also – plus I believe they’ve bought out a defense version with SPF35 in it too now – let me know if you try it x

  4. I do the bare minimum — BB cream (currently using a Korean brand that I absolutely love!), lip balm and filling in my brows. Sometimes when I feel super extra, I’d dab in some eye shadow. I’ve stopped my nighttime skin care routine the past few months, maintaining only washing my face day & night, and I feel like my face is crying. Probably will add in sunscreen in that now, especially when I live in the tropics haha!

    1. Yes please Kate – make sure you’re putting on that sunscreen – you’ll thank your younger self for it when you’re older! BB creams are great for quickness aren’t they, especially if like you, you find a brand that you love! x

      1. Ahh yes! I’ll buy one on my next pay day 😀 BB creams really are great! But it really takes me long to find a good one since my skin is acne-prone. I didn’t know about the whole layering powder on the T-zone thing! Might do that as well 🙂

    1. Thank you, it’s not bad if it’s not something you’re bothered about – the best skin is natural skin. Hope you get on with a B.B would love to know what you think x

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