15-Minute Morning Makeup: Easy Peasy Neutrals with Urban Decay and MAC

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Lately my morning makeup’s been like Switzerland (neutral). πŸ™‚ I know it’s just a phase, but I haven’t been wanting to spend the time, ya know? Here’s a simple eye that only takes about 15 minutes to do. It features black liner and shimmery brown shadow with just a bit of blending and smudging.


I’ve been wearing it with nude lips, but you could always punch it up with a brighter pink, fuchsia or coral gloss. Most of the products here are from Urban Decay and MAC (with some Hourglass sprinkled in for good luck), but any similar colors from other brands would also work.

The recipe I used…

From left: Urban Decay Eden Primer Potion, Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog, MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters, Urban Decay 24/7-Glide on Eye Pencil in Zero, Urban Decay Skyscraper Mascara

Hourglass Cosmetics Creme-to-Powder Blush in Sunset and Creme-to-Powder Bronzer in Bronze Light, Too Faced Perfect Lips LIner

Eyes (I do one at a time)

  1. First, dab and blend a thin layer of the eyeshadow primer over your entire eyelid with a finger.
  2. Then, using a flat eyeshadow brush (this time I used Dolce & Gabbana’s), pat the shimmery brown eyeshadow directly on top of the primer and along the lower lash line. Concentrate more of the color on the lid and fade as you move toward your brow; blend away any harsh edges with a fluffy domed brush like the MAC 217.
  3. Next, with the same fluffy domed brush, sweep the shimmery peach eyeshadow along your brow bone and at the inner corner of your eye.
  4. OPTIONAL: You can sassify the look by lining your upper an lower waterlines with some black eyeliner…
  5. Also with the black liner, draw a very thin line along the outer lash lines. Thicken the line ever so slightly as it moves toward the ear. Then, soften it with some smudging. I used a pencil brush (I like the MAC 219).
  6. Still using the pencil brush, pat the shimmery brown shadow on top of the smudged out liner, and blend out the edges (try using your fluffy domed brush if you have one).

Finish the eyes by curling your top lashes and applying two layers of your favorite black mascara (to the tops AND bottoms).


Cheeks and lips

  1. Almost done, hon! Here, grab your blush brush (I like the MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush because the synthetic fibers handle cream products well), and sweep the pink blush on the apples of your cheeks.
  2. Wipe the brush head against a towel to clean it somewhat before using it again to apply the bronzer along the lower curve of your cheek (just below the apple). Then, swipe it horizontally across your forehead before coming down the bridge of your nose and back up the jawline.
  3. Finish the look by lining and filling in your lips with your nude lip liner, ending with a layer of nude gloss on top.

Last, but not least (and this step is VERY important), take a moment to admire your work in the mirror (I like to blow myself a kiss for a job well done). πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 75 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Rae says:

    Haha, I love your last step, Karen! πŸ˜› It’s definitely the most important.

    (Also, I totally lol’d at your Switzerland comment — cheesy, but I hadn’t heard it before!)
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… Fragrances: the quick ‘n dirty beginners’ guide, part one. =-.

  2. Tatiana says:

    love the look on you Karen!

  3. Keerthi says:

    gorgeous look, and one i think i might actually be able to copy! suits you beautifully!
    .-= Keerthi’s last blog post… swatch: opi cajun shrimp =-.

  4. marisol says:

    I really like this look. Sometimes you gotta let your inner beauty shine. You look great! Very fresh faced in a sorta freshman in college kind of way.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Products I am Loving =-.

  5. Lindsay says:

    Lol you are way too cute! I blow kisses to myself as well.
    .-= Lindsay’s last blog post… MAC Pret-a-Papier Haul =-.

  6. Nika says:

    I am inlove with the color of that Urban Decay lipgloss! I’m also lovin the look! Thanks for the great tips! πŸ™‚

  7. Catherine says:

    This is a really pretty and sophisticated neutral look! Smog and All That Glitters work so well together!! I’m gonna have to try and dupe that look with my collection. I’m thinking Museum Bronze and Melon could be close…? Which is really funny because I’ve been wearing Melon on the lid and Museum Bronze in the crease/outer corner (& UD Underground instead of Zero) like the entire last week, hahaha. Less neutral but really glowy!

    That Hourglass duo looks amazing on you too! Reminds me I have to reach for my bronzer more often. =)
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… tokidoki Inferno Bronzer in Diavolina =-.

  8. Aparnaa says:

    awesome look – this is totally something i can wear to work! and i need to start blowing myself kisses, instead of scrutinizing myself like an alien…hah.

  9. lexi says:

    Loving it girl – i’ll try my own version of this tomorrow morning but I’ll use Benefit’s Birthday Suit as a base since I don’t own UDPP. Or I’ll use Groundwork – depending on my mood I guess. I’m so happy you used eye shadows that I own! I’ll use either Bobbi Brown Peony or Nars cream blush in Lokoum – again depending on my mood.

    I love this casual sexy smokey eye!

    • Karen says:

      Well, how did it go? Did you end up going with Birthday Suit or Groundwork?

      • lexi says:

        went with BIrthday Suit. I didn’t have time to blend the black eyeliner so my eyes came out more black-smokey and not shimmery brown like yours. I’ll have to have a “do-over” when I have more time to blend the smog with the black liner.

        popped BB Peony on cheeks/albatross to highlight
        Chanel liner in Natural/Glossimer in Wild Rose

        I like this look – thanks so much for reminding me about the hidden gems in my makeup stash!

  10. amy says:

    The Hourglass blush looks gorgeous on you and compliments the bronzer eyeshadow and black liner really well.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… Once and Again NOTD with American Apparel Nail Lacquer in Office =-.

  11. aiyu says:

    Hi Karen,
    Long time reader, first time commenter here πŸ™‚
    I love the blush on you, and the eye makeup, very classy and elegant.
    I have to say your skin looks very supple and bright these days, I definitely noticed a difference.
    What have you been doing?!

  12. Oh you look gorgeous. I love this look! A simple sexy smokey eye, I’d like to try this one! πŸ™‚
    .-= Princesa Livia’s last blog post… Essential Eye Makeup Brushes; My Must-Haves! Γ’β„’Β₯ =-.

  13. Kathleen says:

    This came at just the right time for me, Karen! I’m starting a new job on Monday and have been pondering how to do my makeup. I’ll be practicing this look this weekend!

  14. em says:

    Love this look! It looks really good on you…i’ve been looking at and really want to try all that glitters and that palette from urban decay, and besides i have way too many purple/green/blue e/s and not enough neutrals! really awesome tutorial as well… thanks for explaining it all so well! the hourglass duo suits you v well too…it’s a shame i don’t think we get it here x

    • Karen says:

      You need All That Glitters in your life, ASAP! πŸ™‚

      Do you have a lot of UD eyeshadows? The Summer of Love Palette would be a great way to get to know the line.

      • em says:

        Haha, an order to buy mac, i love it! πŸ™‚

        I don’t think urban decay is as big a thing here as it is in the US, so i got a palette for my brithday years ago and was a bit like, what is this and why have i never heard of it before?? i haven’t got much in the way of e/s but i love how pigmented they are. recently i got the original primer potion which obviously is amazing, and i got the set with all the mini eye pencils and it’s made me fall in love with the brand πŸ™‚ and i’m lusting after the summer of love and get baked palettes just need to find them here as i think only the bigger stores have them! i would so love a shopping trip in the us!

  15. beth says:

    I love smog. and I love how you swatch what youve used so the look can be duped even if all the products can be owned. And i love/hate how we are the same skintone because I have like a million things on my lemmings list from your blog.

  16. gio says:

    Love this look! It’s sophisticated and it suits you well. πŸ™‚
    .-= gio’s last blog post… Product Review: Wet n Wild Kabuki Powder Brush =-.

  17. Van says:

    Love it, Karen! You look gorgeous!!! Have a great day πŸ˜›

  18. Nina says:

    Heya Karen — awesome look using awesome products! I love the liner!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks. πŸ™‚ It’s my favorite go-to look as of late.

      How’s your Wednesday treating you?

      • Nina says:

        Wednesday is flyin by and im happy it is. Got an issue w/ one of our drama queens (hes a guy) here @ work tho. Irritatin to say the least!

        It will all pass, that im sure of. Almost to the weekend whooohooo!!! πŸ˜€

  19. Scientific Housewife says:

    Looks great and I feel you on the short makeup application time. Sometimes, you don’t want to sit in front of a mirror for 30 minutes!

  20. Ruchita says:

    You look great! Thanks for the tutorial. I’m going to try this with the colors from the Too Faced Neutral Eye palette.

  21. Christy says:

    Great look! I’ve been in the mood for neutrals now too lately. Or just bright cheeks at the most. We’re in the middle of allergy season, so eye makeup just gets in the way.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… Make Up For Ever One Too Many HD Microfinish Cream Blush Review & Swatches =-.

  22. mkdallas says:

    This is one of the prettiest looks I’ve seen on you, Karen…suits you perfectly!! Very fresh and natural, but polished. Thanks for the eye tuturial; I’m such a moron with smoky eyes that I need a step-by-step PowerPoint presentation so as not to look like a vampire. I will definitely try this look next time I get gussied up.

    • Karen says:

      It took me a long time to figure out smokey eyes, and I still feel like I have a lot to learn. Keep practicingÒ€¦ soon you’ll have it down pat!

  23. Sarah says:

    I love the look, I took inspiration from it this morning and did basically the same eye with smog and chopper. Except what looks like a neutral eye on you looks full-on smoky on me because I’m so pale and smog looks so dark on me. It is pretty nonetheless and it helped me out of a makeup rut I’d been stuck in for a few weeks. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Karen says:

      I love smokey eyesÒ€¦ your look sounds hawt! πŸ™‚ What did you end up using for the lips and cheeks?

      Oh, and for next maybe next time go for a lighter shimmery brown? That’ll probably help to take it down a notch.

      • Sarah says:

        I wore the pink blush from the barbie loves mac collection (I can’t think of the name) on my lips I wore viva glam gaga with 2n lipglass on top for a nice pink neutral, I’d never paired the two before but I liked it.

  24. Katie says:

    I have been very lazy with applying makeup. I’ve just been using Armani Face Fabric, eyeliner, mascara, and lipgloss!
    .-= Katie’s last blog post… I have really long hair. =-.

  25. Frances says:

    Great look! I love your how-tos! Γ’β„’Β₯

  26. Vonvon says:

    Nice look! I have been ‘neglecting’ my eye makeup lately, always rushing for time…..

    So what I do is brows, liners(sometimes plain black, sometimes colored, and mascara). Sometimes Stila Kitten eyeshadow or similar shades on the lids. Then, blush, and gloss/lipstick (usually pink or berry shades).done! πŸ˜€
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Review: Lancome Renergie Morpholift R.A.R.E(TM) Lifting Mask – By The Intrepid Beauty =-.

  27. Diva Style says:

    Beautiful natural look!
    .-= Diva Style’s last blog post… :SATC 2 Interiors: =-.

  28. Tatiana says:

    Smog is sooo my go to when I’m having a rushed morning! My last step is similar and also I sing to the mirror, “Could you be, the most beautiful girl in the world? The reason why God made a girl.”

  29. Millie says:

    Love your FOTDs! Would you please include what foundation/powder you are using in your FOTDs? We have the same skin tone and would love to try what foundation you are using. Thank you!

  30. Ms. B says:

    Karen, I wish I looked that good in 15 minutes! Love this look on you πŸ™‚

    I don’t have Smog.. is there any shade on the UD Book of Shadows Vol II that’s similar? Or do I have to go to Sephora today and haul? LOL

    Thanks in advance! Hope you’re having a lovely week so far!

  31. Robin says:

    Loving this look Karen! I’m wearing those same leaf earrings today πŸ™‚

  32. SARIA says:

    YOU LOOK GORGEOUS!!! everything about it is love πŸ™‚
    what foundation did you use bc it looks very natural?

  33. INO says:

    You look amazing!
    .-= INO’s last blog post… ONE. =-.

  34. Molly says:

    Karen, I love it when you wear warm, neutral colors. They look SO good on you.

  35. mill says:

    wow this is so pretty, these colours look great on you!

  36. I luv this look,I’m such a natural girl,I think it’s time to add some color to my collection!!
    I always go for nudes.I so luv the hourglass blush,Can’t wait to get my hands on it!
    .-= HouseOfAccessories’s last blog post… Red and White Fringed Baby Hammock Afghan Throw Blanket Photo Prop is 28×59 with Peppermint Stripe Tassels =-.

  37. chibu74 says:

    loves it!!

  38. Toni says:

    Beautiful look! I am going to try that with either my NARS Kalahari duo or Glamour Doll Eyes in Boyfriend Sweater with my All That Glitters. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Cas says:

    I reckon this look REALLY suits you the most πŸ™‚
    .-= Cas’s last blog post… Impromptu Malacca Food Trip =-.

  40. Mary says:

    I did this look today- modified it to fit my stash, of course. Really easy! Whole thing, including foundation/powder, really did take 15 minutes!

  41. Amy says:

    I love that gloss! *adding to my wishlist* Very pretty look on you!

  42. Morgan says:

    You look gorgeous in this picture!

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