The beauty report: quick fixes

If you have even 10 minutes, you can face the day looking your best

 

The time a woman takes to apply her make-up in the morning can often be the only interval in the day when she takes time for herself.

I relish the minutes I take to paint on the mood I feel like expressing before the day starts. I find the process of applying make-up, and the ritualistic motions involved, entirely soothing.

Make-up is, of course, a wonderful frippery rather than a necessity, but it bolsters confidence. A well-made-up face can make a woman feel equipped for the challenges of the day.

Some days, there isn’t time. Those are the most challenging days; the ones on which you know from the start that there won’t be a moment for you to devote to yourself. On those days, make-up is a coping mechanism. There’s no need to go without your morning ritual if you’d rather not.

If you can take 10 minutes before the day begins, you can apply those essential products which will disguise the crazed rush that’s stressing you out, and make you look like your best self.

When stuck for time, opt for a natural look and forgiving, low maintenance products. A light, water-based foundation such as Lancôme’s Miracle Cushion Foundation (€38) leaves a fresh, natural-looking finish with just enough coverage to disguise the worst and keep skin looking like skin. This looks as nice applied with fingers as does with a brush, and though the foundation-soaked sponge in this Asian-inspired base is a touch gimmicky, it looks great on skin.

For a quick eye look that still holds a touch of drama, throw on a liquid eyeshadow such as Giorgio Armani’s Eye Tint (€32).

These can be blended with fingers, and application is the work of moments. The shade range is varied enough to find one suitable to use in a rush, day or night, and they work as a base for powder shadows or as a full eye look in themselves. Finish eyes with your most reliable mascara, and marvel at the fact that all that took about two minutes. A touch of blush rebalances the face, and something fresh such as Clarins Blush Prodige in Sweet Rose (€33) gives a deliciously soft flush to cheeks, making your whole face appear more vibrant.

Busy, stressful days when you won’t manage to get to a mirror are not the days for lipstick, or indeed anything that you can’t fire in the general direction of your lips while running down a busy street holding a heavy bag, and possibly a child’s hand. A classic gloss will work well. Even better, a more modern lip oil will nourish lips while giving the impression that you’re more polished than panicked. Yves Saint Laurent’s Volupté Tint-In-Oil (€27) is my favourite lip product of the season. Mango scented and softening, it comforts lips and looks great, without any stickiness.

A natural, low-maintenance face that will last through the day won’t eliminate your stress, but it will make you feel more ready to face the day. Whatever helps, I say.

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