What Are Your Three Biggest Tips for Faster Makeup Application?

Published in: Just For Fun

Tips to do your makeup faster

Here are my three…


1. It’s timer time

Use a timer, and place it right within your line of sight (where you can’t possibly ignore it).

I use the timer on my iPhone (and I disable the screen lock feature, so the display doesn’t go to sleep), but a good old-fashioned kitchen egg timer works, too. Anything with a countdown timer or an unmistakeable alarm… Just watching the clock doesn’t work for me. I guess it’s too easy to ignore, LOL!

2. As Spock would say, “Organization is logical.”

Keep all of your most important makeup essentials together, organized and accessible, in a way that makes sense to you.

I keep my most-used products in a clear tray with different compartments. That way I’m not wasting time rutting around in different bags and drawers trying to find my everyday essentials like primer, foundation, concealer, etc.

3. Let’s keep it clean, people

Clean your brushes after every use so they’re in good shape when you need them.

Hourglass No. 2 Brush

Seriously, I don’t even want to think about how much time I used to waste looking for clean brushes while getting ready. Now, whenever I’m done doing my makeup — if not right then, then later that night — I thoroughly clean my brushes (or at least give them a quick once-over with Wet Ones Wipes).

Your turn! What are your three biggest tips for faster makeup application? Time-strapped minds want to know…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Agata says:

    The timer tip is very useful! And for me eyes take the longest so when I am in a hurry I reach for a cream eyeshadow or an eyeshadow stick to make things faster. If I use powder eyeshadows there is no way in hell I can limit myself just to one shade… Then I start adding more and blending and I find myself 15 mins later running late!
    Agata recently posted … By: Agata Piestrak

  2. kwmechelle says:

    Great ideas. I only clean my brushes once a week and I’m super impressed that you clean your brushes daily, as in after every use. Sometimes I’m afraid that if I clean some of my brushes too enough, like my MAC 217 blending brush ( I think that’s the number), then it’ll lose some of it’s effectiveness.

    Anywho, whenever I see a new look that I’d like to try, I’ll give myself a “trial run” when I’ve got tons of time. That way, whenever I do want to wear the look out and have less time, I’ve already practiced the look. 🙂

  3. Rachel P. says:

    For a rushed morning, my key tip would be to skip any personal non-essentials. I usually prefer to go all out, but in a pinch, I can go without primer, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip liner, brows, or a highlight. My basics are foundation/bb cream (I have lots of blemishes and need some type of coverage), a setting/mattifying powder (if it’s summer and I’m super oily, like now), and mascara (always. it just makes me feel more feminine), with ideally a little blush (to balance everything out and give some color to my face). I have so many lip products in my purse, I can just apply those on-the-go/when I arrive at my destination. I also try and save time by using fingers for skin and eyes (9 times out of 10 in a rush, I’ll choose a BB/CC cream and just apply it in 30-60 seconds, and then a one-color-wonder cream eyeshadow is easy with fingers, too). I find my blending time for cream and powder blushes is about the same, so I choose either one as the clock allows.

    Oh, and the biggest thing I skip/skimp on is hair. Even on a normal morning, my makeup routine takes top priority, and by the time I get to hair, I’ve got 2 minutes before I need to leave, lol! Lots of side braids, buns, and ponytails. Although this morning, I managed to curl it for loose waves in about 15 minutes and still get my makeup done- a rare accomplishment!

  4. Alison M says:

    If I’m pressed for time, I try and pick a small eyeshadow palette. Less choices means less shades to consider. I’ll get to application much faster and will likely stick to 2-3 shades instead of adding more (and more, and more, and more…)
    Alison M recently posted … ARDENCY INN MODSTER Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments

  5. Divya says:

    Definitely organization! I have been trying to keep only the bits which I use separately in a smaller box, which gets swapped out after a couple of weeks! Its been working well so far! Not much thinking and choosing involved! 🙂
    Divya recently posted … Too Pretty To Use

  6. Allison C says:

    BB or CC cream instead of foundation. And yes, organization. I have the stuff that I use most days in an MU bag on my countertop, and my brushes are in a pretty glass container as are my most often used pencils. Still need more organization however!

  7. Ruchita says:

    I am interested in reading the tips, because this is definitely an area where I could use some help! I agree that one of the biggest things is organization. I know sometimes I find myself digging through drawers trying to find what I want to use.

    I need to try the timer trick so I can better streamline my process. Saving time means a few more minutes of sleep or kitty cuddles in the morning. 🙂

  8. Rachel R. says:

    1. Organization – have a place for everything, and put it back again right after you use it.

    2. Have two easy, “standard” looks – one for day, one for night – that are not too complicated but look great. If you’re pressed for time, you won’t have to think about creating a look, what products to use, etc. You’ll make less mistakes, too.

    3. If you’ve got 5 mins. to get ready – know what you can do without, and what you can’t.

  9. Tasha says:

    I’ve been using Becca “One Perfecting Brush”, I was able to put on my foundation rather quickly!!! Price is the only thing but it did a good job!!!! I was able to use it for countour and blush.

    But I agree organization helps!! And also I have my fave eye brushes, so I tend to have 2 or 3 of the same ones. MAC 217 baby!!! if one gets dirty.. I have 2 more :D.

  10. Ruta says:

    Eye cheek palettes is a big one. I tend to do my make up while I commute so I just keep a palette with blush and my usual eyeshadows (neutral with extra taupe).

    Only using two eyeshadow shades (a good crease colour can multitask like nobody’s business) saves me an awful lot of time.
    I tend to skip eyeliner as well and just do foundation, eyeshadow, brows (same dark brown shadow), blush, mascara, and lipstick.
    Packing my brushes into a single bag the night before is a big help so I suppose having your essential brushes in a separate jar somewhere on your vanity is the at-home alternative. Also, have your go-to mascara for particular weather or activity is a big one. I could spend ages trying to decide on mascara otherwise!

  11. Cathy says:

    Organisation is definitely the key. I clean my brushes every day, though if for some reason I haven’t managed to, then I’ll use a brush cleaner (spray) for a quickie in between proper washes. I’m not a quick maker-upper! But on those days requiring a speedy application, it’s a quick Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser compact with a brush of powder, blusher, lippie and wash of colour on the eyelids, upper waterline, mascara. Not my favourite look, but I never set foot outside the house without make-up, so it’s better than nothing!

  12. Fancie says:

    1. Definitely keep your essentials organized. I love having organizers because I can just grab and go. I also keep my clean and dirty brushes separated.

    2. Start off with your basics. Fill in your brows and apply foundation or powder first. That way you can add from there if you have extra time. If not, you still look fresh faced at least lol

    3. Use palettes and multi-use products. That way you’re not wasting time finding and pulling individual products out. Just makes things simpler!
    Fancie recently posted … Mini Purple Sephora Haul

  13. Annie says:

    I don’t wash my makeup brushes daily because I thoroughly spray them with alcohol and rub them clean on my hand before each use. Alcohol will kill all the bacteria. Never let a brush touch my skin before doing this – I think this has really helped reduce breakouts! I even disinfect the back of my hand with alcohol before using it as a palette for foundation – I was starting to worry about aging my hands with all the alcohol! Haha luckily these days I only wear makeup a couple days a week and have invested in a steel makeup palette and spatula (no more disposable plastic spatulas – why didn’t I think of that sooner?!)

    When I do wash my brushes (about every two weeks) I use my acne.org face wash which is amazing at cleaning them and follow up with anti-bacterial hand soap to be sure I’m killing the germs.

  14. christina says:

    I actually like doing this: the night before, I pick out from my make up stash what I want to wear the next day, and put it in a small makeup bag, ready to go for the morning.

    Before I wash my face at night, I do a quickie brush spray cleaner to my makeup brushes.

    Have 2 or 3 eye looks that are simple and you know you can do quickly when you need to.

  15. meghan says:

    My brain and time as a literal and abstract thing do not play well together, so boy do I have tips!

    1. Instead of a timer I use a playlist. I know the songs have the same approximate length, so I give myself a certain number of songs to get ready. i.e. If the songs are about 4 minutes long, and I have 20 minutes, I give myself 4 songs with the extra time as wiggle room.

    2. Get the essentials done first! I’d love to do a pretty eye makeup look every day but it just is not happening! So instead of jumping into an eye look when I’m iffy on time, I do my brows first and evaluate from there. So at least my brows are done, and I don’t have to worry about being half way through one eye, almost needing to leave and still having no brows! Let’s be real: my eyebrows are essential, always and forever.

    3. Combine when possible to eliminate steps when needed. Lately I’ve been mixing bb cream and primer to give my skin a little color correction and a nice finish; it’s definitely not my most flawless look, but it gets the job done. If I have time, I’ll add foundation where I would usually conceal (undereyes, redness, etc.), or full foundation, or foundation and concealer. Or if I have no time I do the bb + primer with powder foundation on top.

    4. Get it to go: I always keep a blush (Benefit Sugarbomb), mascara, perfume and medium bright lip color in my makeup bag. That way I can apply them at work if I had no time to do it at home.

  16. Gillian Pidler says:

    I’m lucky in that I don’t usually have to rush, but on a day when I am pushed for time I would say my routine is kept quick by;
    1,Being organised, everything to hand and in it’s place on or in my dressing table.
    2, Using cream shadows for speed, these can be applied quickly with fingers and if I’m in a super hurry I just use one base colour all over the lid and up to the brow.
    3,Skip eye liner and contour/bronzer/highlight if I’m in a major rush.

  17. Monal says:

    Organization is key. I keep everything close by so I can grab what I need. I don’t worry too much about using a foundation or BB cream since my skin doesn’t need it. I use mac prolongwear concealer that’s the same shade as my skin tone to cover up my insane dark circles and any redness. Then I apply mascara and depending on how much time Is left I’ll put on blush, highlighter, eyeshadow, and/or liner. I always take lipstick or gloss with me so I can put it on in the car. My hair ends up going in a ponytail.

  18. Tiera says:

    Organization really is key. Most of my makeup is organized in drawers, but I keep my most used items in one of those clear acrylic makeup organizers for easy & quick access.

    And learn what you can live without so you can get ready with a “less is more” philosophy. I naturally have a lot of redness, so I find that I can live without blush. I also have oily skin, so I can live without highlight. And I’m almost never trying to look flawless, not on a daily basis anyway, so that brings my everyday face routine down to just three steps — a primer that camouflages redness, powder to add a bit of coverage and mattify, and a bronzer for a little bit of color & warmth. Sure more products & a little more effort would help, but I’ve realized that this is the kind of coverage/look that I can throw on easily & quickly and still feel comfortable, looking a little more put together/polished than nothing at all and that I actually made an effort. The rest I’ve learned to live without.

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