Q & A | Products for Back to School

Q: I’m going back to university in a week, and wonder if there are any products you would recommend that could help save some time but make me look great in the morning!

A: I am probably the worst person to talk to about a “quick” morning beauty routine. While I was away at university, I would purposefully sacrifice sleep or be late for class – all in the name of getting my full 40 minutes of make-up in the morning! But of course there are those days where you’re absolutely pressed for time and 40 minutes isn’t exactly reasonable. Fortunately, there are many products that do double-duty (and some steps you can skip) to help spare you time in the morning, and more importantly, get you looking fabulous and wide-eyed (even when that venti latte hasn’t kicked in just yet)!!

Try these get-ready tips when pressed for time in the morning:
1. Use a tinted moisturizer.
A tinted moisturizer adds a hint of colour and moisture to the skin in one easy step. No need for a brush – just blend the product well into the skin using your fingers!
Approximate time needed: under a minute

2. Use a concealer.
I find that with age (ahem, experience) and late nights of blogging my undereye circles can be quite pronounced come the morning. One of my absolute morning make-up must-dos is concealer – I look alien without it. Since my undereye circles are particularly complex, I actually use two products to help brighten the area up: a) Peachy-pink concealer to lighten the dark brown/purples undertones of the circles (try Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer)and then b). a flesh-toned concealer to blend the neutralized area with my own skin tone. I find using concealer makes the world of difference on my own face – if I had even less time to get ready, concealer is still one of those products that I would be sure to sneak in!
Approximate time needed: 3 minutes

3. Add some eyeliner + mascara.
Line the upper eyes to help open up the eye area and make the whites of the eyes appear brighter. (Big-eyed beauties can usually get away with just curling the lashes and adding mascara, but my eyes need a little more attention!). You can use whichever you prefer: a pencil, gel or liquid liner. I always recommend a gel or liquid liner simply because they last. Curl your lashes and top with 2-3 coats of your go-to mascara.
Approximate time needed: 5 minutes

ARTIST TIP: To keep the eyeliner long-lasting, apply a layer of eyeshadow primer in a neutral colour atop the eyelid.

Products to try: Cover Girl’s Line Exact – the felt tip of this product makes lining the eyes as easy as using a marker! Recommended for novice to pro liquid liner users.

4. Add an instant glow with a luminscent bronzer.
I use a large-sized powder brush to apply bronzer in the 3-shaped motion along the forehead, cheekbones and underneath the jawline. Then, I dust any excess along the bridge of the nose. Keep the bronzer concentrated on the prominent areas of the face (think of where the sun hits the face first) and don’t overdo it. Remember with bronzer, less is more and orange is just…bad.
Approximate time needed: under 1 minute

ARTIST TIP: Dust a layer of loose translucent powder on the face first for the bronzer to glide on smoothly.

Products to try: NARS Bronzers – these glide on like a dream! The product itself is highly pigmented so a couple of swipes with the brush is all you need.

5. Dust a peachy-pink blush on the apples of the cheeks.
Peachy-pink is a universally flattering colour (just think Orgasm by NARS – the much-loved product by industry insiders and beauty junkies!). Simply smile to make your apples of the cheeks more visible and add blush using a brush. Blend well. The effect is a soft and healthy glow that adds an instant warmth to your morning complexion.
Approximate time needed: 1 minute

Products to try: NARS Orgasm. Just like their bronzers, NARS blushes glide on smoothly, making them super easy and pretty much foolproof to blend.

6. Skip the lipliner and lipstick. Just gloss it up!
Use a gloss with a bit of colour instead of lipliner and lipstick, which can be way more time consuming. When choosing a gloss, opt for a colour that is two shades darker than your own lip colour. Remember that the gloss will glide on sheer, so a colour that looks darker as a gloss will work with your own natural lip colour and appear more transparent. As the day goes on, the gloss will be easier to touch up as well.
Approximate time needed: 1 minute

Products to try: MAC’s Lychee Luxe, Maybelline Pink Sorbet. These peachy pink glosses are flattering on nearly all skin tones and will work well to complement your blush colour!

So there it is in about six (ok, more) steps. It’s not exactly a five-minute routine, but what I do like to stress is to focus on your favourite feature and make that stand out. If it’s your eyes that you like to draw attention to, focus on eyeliner, mascara and some gloss. If your lips are your favourite feature, go in with your lip brush, lip liner, lipstick or lip gloss (or all of the above!) and add some mascara to the lashes. If you’ve got great skin to show off, add some bronzer and blush for a gorgeous glow!

Beauty doesn’t have to be complicated – just take a few minutes for yourself in the morning and you’ll be amazed at how much better you can feel throughout the day!

Here are a couple of things you can do to ease the morning routine:

Groom your brows.

A well-maintained arch is sometimes all the make-up you need. Good brows frame the face and polish off any make-up look. To get good brows, check out this post.

Maintain a proper daily cleansing routine and apply moisturizer after washing your face.
You won’t feel the need to use foundation when your skin is naturally glowing. Maintaining a consistent cleansing routine is essential to glowing skin. (We all know the aftermath of not removing last night’s make-up: raccoon eyes + increased chance for break-outs!) Proceed to apply moisturizer after each time you wash your face.

Hope that helps!

If you have a make-up related question, please feel free to email me at rhia[at]artistrhi[dot]com.

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