Lucky for us, pro makeup artist Benjamin Puckey knows a thing or two about getting a major beauty return on a minimal time/effort investment. First up: Faking perfect skin — fast. The key to smoothing things out on the fly? Skip the foundation altogether, and work with a thick concealer, like Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, and a dense natural-bristle brush, such as Shu Uemura's Kolinsky Brush 11. "The combination of a dense natural-bristled brush and a full-coverage concealer works well, because this kind of brush deposits a finer layer of concealer than a synthetic brush." The result is flawless-looking skin and less spackle on your mug.
Another beauty move that gives you major bang for your buck — er, time: highlighter. "When you're in a rush and you look tired, a Champagne or gold highlighter is the way to go," explains Puckey. "It instantly makes you look fresher and more awake." Simply use your fingers to apply a cream highlighter above your brows, on your eyelids, to the inner corners of the eyes, along the cheekbones, and at the cupid's bow. (Puckey likes Jouer's version, which comes in three shades.)
Brows might be the last thing you feel like dealing with when you're in a rush, but, as Puckey points out, that's 20 seconds that will totally transform your visage. "When you're in a rush, grab an automatic (no sharpening!) brow pencil, such as my favorite Expressioniste brow pencil by Surratt; draw feathery strokes to fill in any sparse areas; and fix your brows in place with a clear brow gel." Puckey also swears by another Surratt favorite, the Smoky Eye Baton, to create a superfast smoky eye. "Line your eyes with the pencil, smudge, and then use the sponge-tip applicator on the other side, which is already dipped into shimmery smoky shadow, to add extra drama." Don't sweat it if you go overboard with the smoke, though — simply use your Champagne highlighter to soften any hard lines.
To finish off your lazy-but-still-lovely look, Puckey recommends a DIY lip stain. "Simply apply a dark berry shade, and press your lips together to absorb the excess color. Blot the excess, and either add a layer of translucent powder or a bit of lip balm, depending on the look you're going for." See? Who needs fussy brushes and annoying lip liners? You'll have a perfect pout that will last all day — plus, now you've got the time to grab your almond-milk latte in the morning. That, friends, is called #winningatbeauty.
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