If You Had To Pare Your Morning Makeup Down to Just Five Products (Brushes and Tools Notwithstanding), What Would They Be?

Published in: Just For Fun

Just five?!

I thought this was going to be an easy question to answer, but then I got down to the nitty-gritty details and WHAT!? I mean, seriously, how could I ever NOT wear bronzer?

No. No way.


But, I guess if through some cruel twist of galactic fate, I absolutely couldn’t use more than five products to do my morning makeup…here’s what I’d choose.

1. Concealer

Obvs. To cover up those dreaded dark circles.

2. A dark brown powder eyeshadow

Something like MAC Brun, which I’d use to fill in my brows and could also use as an eyeliner in a pinch — with this cruel scenario being one such pinch.

3. Mascara

To thicken my lashes and help me create more of a wide-awake look. Even a single coat makes a big difference for my eyes.

4. Lipstick

Ideally, something creamy, because my lips need a lot of moisture, and nude, so that I can skip the lip liner.

5. Blush

I’d pick a matte coral pink powder blush like MAC Cantaloupe, because even though you know I lurves me some shimmery blush…they tend to magnify the size of my pores.

Matte blushes don’t seem to do that as much.

Forgive me for asking such a cruel, cruel question this morning. 🙂 But if you had to pare your morning makeup down to just five products (brushes and tools not withstanding), what would they be?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,




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  1. meghan says:

    I do this all the time if I’m in a rush! Brow product (shadow or pencil), foundation, powder, blush, mascara. I apply lipstick at work, so it doesn’t count. 😉

    • Maggie says:

      Lol! Stealing that ‘lipstick at work; idea bc I do the same! For me, it’s concealer, corrector, brow pencil, bronzer, powder. My eyes don’t feel naked bc I wear glasses and I find my frames interesting 🙂

  2. Scarlet says:

    Good question Karen!
    My list is quite similar to yours. This would be my list:
    1. Concealer
    2. Highlighter
    3. Dark eyeshadow for brows and eyeliner
    4. Nude lipstick/lipgloss
    5. Mascara

  3. Melanie says:

    1.) tarte’s brightening primer (or too faced bronzing primer)
    2.) bobbi brown porcelain finishing powder
    3.) a really shimmery metallic eyeshadow (also doubles as highlighter for cheek)
    4.) anna sui mascara
    5.) fresh sugar tinted lip balm (rose color)

  4. Whitney says:

    BB Cream, Rimmell Stay Matte Powder, a Bobbi Brown ashy brown eyeshadow for filling in brows/applied dry as a shadow/wet as an eyeliner, mascara, and Revlon Fig Jam lipstick to double as a creamy blush/lipstick!

  5. Anna says:

    That´s a tough one..

    1. I absolutely need concealer for my undereye area
    2. powder to keep this all in place
    3. can´t decide between bronzer and blush but I think it would be bronzer in the end because I´m so pale that I look slightly sick without it. And you can use it kinda as a blush as well. (and eyeshadow!)
    4. brow powder – (double use as liner)
    5. mascara

  6. Chaitra says:

    Mine are:

    Face Powder

    Chaitra recently posted … One Night Stand with NARS

  7. Georgie says:

    I rarely use more than 5 products in any one look unless I’m, like, going to a party… I’d pick
    Mascara (if I had one product that would be it)
    Touche Eclat
    Sheer matte powder
    Either a lipstick or a blush (I very rarely wear both)

  8. This is cruel!

    1. Eyeliner
    2. Mascara
    3. Concealer
    4. Tinted lip balm
    5. A bronzer or blush that could be used as eyeshadow as well
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | What happens when your boyfriend picks your make-up…

  9. m4dswine says:

    I’d have to go with:
    Kohl pencil

    I reckon I could get away with just those!

  10. Emily says:

    Oh this question is so fun!

    Five products is actually pretty easy for me..

    1) Maybelline New York Fit Me Stick to even out my face
    2) Mascara (absolute necessity!)
    3) Blush.. likely Maybelline New York Dream Bouncy Blush
    4) Lip stain or balm.. preferably red
    5) I don’t even need a fifth product but since I have extra space I’d pick a light bronzing powder to top off my look

    Hmm, seems I’m pretty easy to get ready in the mornings.. wonder why it takes me so long haha!
    Emily recently posted … Emalitsa’s Holiday Essentials Giveaway!

  11. Sarah says:

    I would use foundation, park ave princess bronzer, brown rimmel scandaleyes eyeliner, Mac all that glitters

  12. fred says:

    oh my god, difficult question!
    1) Mac concealer
    2) Mac Prolongwear foundation (especially in winter!)
    3) Blush
    4) Mac satin taupe eye shadow
    5) tinted lip balm
    so nice to see you!

  13. Lyndsay says:

    1) MAC Matchmaster foundation
    2) YSL Touche Eclat concealer
    3) YSL Effet Faux Cils liquid eyeliner (very, very important)
    4) Diorshow Black Out mascara
    5) NARS Angelika blush

    I guess I can live without a lip product 🙁

  14. Lena says:

    oooh good questions.
    1. eyeshadow that can be used as brow powder and eyeliner. that would be something from one of my tarte or thebalm palettes, i’m not fussy about it.
    2. face primer: sue mcdevitt microquatic primer
    3. foundation: guerlain parure gold
    4. blush
    5. lisptick
    Lena recently posted … Review and Swatches: Tarte Off the Cuff Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush Palette

  15. Trisha says:

    Definitely mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow. Always those three. Plus, I’d add lip balm and blush to the mix.
    Trisha recently posted … For the Holidays: Algenist The Firming Collection Anti-Aging Set

  16. Ruchita says:

    Ok, this took some thought. But now I am prepared in case I need to make a run for it during the zombie apocalypse. 🙂

    1. Too Faced Shadow Insurance
    2. A neutral taupe-y eyeshdaow.
    3. Black eye liner – either pencil or gel
    4. Foundation. I need something to even out my skin tone
    5. Moisturizing lip gloss

  17. 1. Foundation (D&G Perfect Luminous Foundation)
    2. Setting Powder (Smashbox)
    3. Blush (I actually like Revlon best)
    4. A brown eyeshadow I could use dry for shadow and wet for liner
    5. Mascara (Bobbi Brown Party Mascara)

  18. Kim says:

    Ud demolition eyeliner
    Nars O blush
    Sephora microsmooth powder foundation
    Nars tinted moisturizer

  19. Natasha says:

    I think I only use about 5 products when I’m pushed for time… so here goes:
    1)brown eyeshadow — for liner and brows
    2)bb cream
    4)shimmery champagne shadow (for eyes and a bit as highligher if needed)
    5)neutral lippie
    Natasha recently posted … Friday Fitness: Faith, Hope and Love…5k

  20. meredith says:

    In a hypothetical makeup emergency I would choose in order of priority:
    Lipstick–preferably something bright or bold
    Gel eyeliner
    Blush (probably MAC blushbaby)

  21. Emma says:

    Ack, this is sort of tough! I don’t really use a lot of products, but I’d do much better with a list of like 6 or 7 instead of 5 >.<

    1. Concealer
    2. Powder to set the concealer (which, really, I think is just part of number one because I don't put on concealer without setting it!)
    3. Mascara
    4. Something for mah brows (which I might use as double duty in the crease)
    5. Some double duty with a cheek or lip product that I can use in both places 😀
    Emma recently posted … The Digit-al Dozen: Abstracted Christmas Tree with China Glaze Cling On + TONS of Glittahhhh!

  22. Liz says:

    BB cream
    LM caviar stick

    That’s what I use most days plus powder. Actually now I want to try my BB cream without powder tomorrow and see how it holds up.

  23. Chelsea says:

    1. Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation Stick in N10 – this works undereyes and is really versatile.

    2. Cream blush – I’m using Silk Naturals in Chelsea right now (this color lives up to its name, haha!)

    3. Eyebrow product – Currently using Sephora Waterproof Retractable Brow Pencil in Honey Blonde. It’s a’ight, but I’m always looking for something better.

    4. Mascara – Chanel Inimitable Intense in Noir

    5. Eyeliner – Probably Chanel Stylo Waterproof in Khaki Precieux

  24. Melissa says:

    Foundation, brow powder, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick.

  25. futuralon says:

    Top three products (in order) would be lip color, face powder, and eyeliner. Would certainly need to add eyebrow color, and for number five it’s a tossup: mascara, eyeshadow, or blush. While it looks like I think my eyes need the most work, it’s because I think they’re my best asset 🙂

  26. Tiera says:

    1, Clinique Redness Solutions Powder. 2, Revlon Brow Fantasy. 3, Mascara (Loving Maybelline The Falsies right now). 4, The cream bronzer & blush duo from ELF (Is that cheating?!). 5, A Revlon lip butter, probably in Creme Brulee.

  27. Jen says:

    1. concealer
    2. powder
    3. mascara
    4. blush
    5. light rose lipstick

  28. Mimi Kitten says:

    1. Black eyeliner for eyebrows and eyes
    2. False eyelashes
    3. Concealer
    4. Lipstick
    5. Blush!
    Mimi Kitten recently posted … I feel like i’ve been neglecting my blog!

  29. Vanessa says:

    Foundation + blush + eyeliner + mascara + lipstick 😀
    Merry Christmas Karen <3

  30. Iris says:

    This is a difficult question.

    I’d choose: eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow, lipgloss, concealer, and face powder.

  31. shah'ada says:

    1. mascara
    2. foundation
    3. a bronzing blush (thinking of the combo unable to separate the two from each other blush – estee lauder 3 or 4 summers ago)
    4. powder for my eyebrows
    5. rosebud salve

  32. Makai says:

    I rarely use more than this:
    1. Foundation
    2. Face powder
    3. Blush
    4. Lipcolor

    That’s it 🙂

  33. FreshEyre says:

    Hi, Karen ! Such a cute ring you have there – do they make it in a dog version ?

    So my five makeup musts – hmmm…this might be tough:

    1. Benefit’s Dandelion blush/highlighter for all-over color.
    2. Urban Decay 27/7 eyeliner in Underground
    3. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara
    4. Jane Iredale Lip Plumper in Madrid
    5. Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream SPF 15

    Can I have just one more, please ? Anastasia Brow Wiz to keep my caterpillars in line and then I’m out the door… 🙂

  34. Solangel says:

    Does a MAC quad count? It has Era, Mystery, Carbon, and Haux….basically every color needed for a basic eye and brow! If not, well: Fake Up concealer (loving it lately), Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner, a powder foundation, Coppertone blush, and Spice lipglass.

  35. Lauren says:

    Don’t know that I can use ONLY 5 products:

    – Jouer Moisture Tint
    – Mac Mineralize Skinfinish
    – Mascara
    – Smashbox Brows to Go (pencil on one end, brow gel on the other)
    – Blush

    This is too limiting though – in reality, for my 5 minute face days, I’d use undereye concealer, concealer over blemishes and redness, and at least a cream eyeshadow.

  36. StrayCat says:

    Easy Peasy! Concealer around the eyes, brow pencil, mascara, blush, lipstick. This is my usual “fast” face with the addition of a dusting of Jane Iredale powder.

  37. Amanda says:

    Let’s see…
    1. Foundation
    2. Powder
    3. Bronzer
    4. Blush
    5. Mascara

    Not too bad!

  38. TJ says:

    This one isn’t too hard since I lean towards minimalism on a daily basis anyway. LOL

    I NEED:

    1) Anastasia Brow Wiz brow pencil
    2) dark brown or black automatic eyeliner pencil (waterproof)
    3) lip gloss or tinted balm (Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is good!)


    4) shimmery neutral cream or pencil eyeshadow (MAC Paintpot or equivalent)
    5) powder foundation

  39. Vanessa says:

    I agree with TJ, my normal routine is usually less than 5 products. But if I had to use exactly 5, I would..

    1.) (Gel) eyeliner.
    2.) Brow powder.
    3.) Powder to set eyeliner.
    4.) Tinted lip balm.
    5.) Concealer if I have pimples.

  40. Elizabeth says:

    I would almost certainly go into cardiac arrest without my:

    -Shiseido The Makeup Corrector pencil in “Light”
    -Anastasia Brow Powder duo in “medium brown”
    -Burberry eyeshadow in “Midnight Brown”
    -NARS blush in “Gaiety”
    -NARS lipstick in (what else?) “Heat Wave”

  41. Rachel P says:

    Okay. I really tried to operate on the key word “morning” for this makeup routine selection, meaning I’ve interpreted touch-ups being allowed at lunch, after work, and a new look being allowed for going out in the evening. Am I being sneaky giving myself that loophole? 😛
    1. Medium-to-full coverage foundation (making my skin look normal is probably my biggest concern any given morning, and a foundation with more coverage would let me skip concealing the *many* individual blemishes and strange pigmentations)
    2. Mascara (always. always. ALWAYS mascara! the va-va-voom factor is in my lashes)
    3. Highlighter (I’ve got super deep-set eyes, so bringing a little shine to my brownbone, cheekbones, inner corners, etc, makes me look friendlier, glowier)
    4. Blush (any blush. coral, pink, red, I don’t care what shade, just a pop of something!)
    5. Tinted lip product (and when I say tinted, I mean as long as it has some color, whether it’s a sheer tint or full-pigment lipstick. Just something more exciting than clear balm.)

  42. yelena says:

    assuming we’re talking makeup and not skin care:]
    1. concealer
    2. bb cream
    3. eyeliner
    4. lip balm
    5. bronzer

  43. Allison says:

    1. Lumene CC Cream
    2. CoverGirl Lashblast Mascara or essence I Love Crazy Extreme Mascara
    3. one of my many random lipsticks
    4. essence I Love Stage eye foundation
    5. eyeliner for tightlining: either Too Face 3 Way or any of my liner pencils
    Allison recently posted … Crown HD Brush Set

  44. Kylie says:

    So hard!
    – Smashbox green redness reducing primer
    – Laura Mercier silk crème foundation
    – Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On eyeliner in Perversion
    – Benefit They’re Real Mascara
    – Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface

  45. Jae says:

    Mac studio fix powder, concealer, mac peaches blush, loreal voluminous mascara, and nars Honolulu honey lipstick!

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