The Lazy Girl's Makeup Cheat Sheet

In the coming days, you’re likely to be bombarded with holiday makeup ideas, tutorials, and inspirations. This is great news for your Pinterest boards, but what’s the real takeaway from any of these alleged “how-tos”? For most of us, watching a YouTube makeup tutorial is more likely to make us reach for another bag of chips instead of a makeup brush.
Enter Beau Nelson, red-carpet makeup artist to some of the chic-est purveyors of effortless beauty, including Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba, and Kristen Stewart. Nelson was kind enough to lend us his expertise on achieving high-impact makeup that doesn’t take an expert — or someone remotely good at makeup, even — to do.
The best part? All it’ll take is a few products and these examples are all evening-clutch-friendly. You’re so welcome.
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Match Points

At Helmut Lang’s Spring 2014 show, makeup artist Hannah Murray used the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan to create a flush on the cheeks and a bitten lip. It made perfect sense for the girl whose wardrobe consists of leather jackets and slinky jersey — it's a no-brainer. (Who has time to think about coordinating lip and cheek colors, anyway?)

“Fat pencils are great — it would take 45 seconds to do your lips and your cheeks,” Nelson says. “But, try to look for a pencil that isn’t so chubby that you can’t control the lip line.” Nelson loves the tapered tip of the Surratt Automatique Lip Crayon. Try it in an oxblood shade for a moody look. “Apply the color all over, but then press it in with your fingers so it has a lived-in quality,” Nelson says. (That’s right, messy lips are actually trendy, so don’t worry about Olivia Pope-ing that bottle of Merlot you brought as a hostess gift.)
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A No-Fuss Smoky Eye
You know when you buy an eyeshadow kit and it has that cute little diagram that shows you where the different colors are supposed to go on your eyes? Nobody really does eye makeup like that.

Instead, Nelson insists you need just one product for an instant smoky eye — and we guarantee you already know how to line your eyes. It couldn’t be easier: “Use a black kohl pencil,” he says, noting to choose one with a creamy texture. “Rim the top and bottom of your eyes and squeeze your eyes shut extremely tight so it bleeds. Then, use a small brush or your fingers to smudge the liner on the top and lightly on the bottom,” says Nelson. He uses Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners (but K. Stew’s been known to snatch MAC Eye Kohl in Feline from him before hitting the red carpet).

Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil, $19, available at Urban Decay.
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Eyeshadow For Dummies

We know what you’re thinking. Eyeshadow? Now you’ve gone too far. But, not so fast! After a long day and many long nights of drinking, your eyelids are bound to be dark, purple, and saggy. That means your whole eye area (which dictates your whole beauty look, FYI) will read tired and sad. So, don’t skip the shadow!
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The Ultimate Lazy-Girl Mascara

Every lazy girl knows her mascaras. Isn’t it true? We see you applying it on the subways. Here’s a little hint from Mr. Nelson: You’re sort of doing it wrong.
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Gimme Gimme Spot Treatment

“Lazy girls love powder foundation,” Nelson groans. “But, it can look so trashy when it’s done wrong!” Take it from the makeup artist: Powder foundation — especially with all the complexion innovations to hit the market this year — is not your pal when you’re in a hurry.

Instead, Nelson recommends grabbing a compact cream foundation (Giorgio Armani Maestro is a game-changer) and spot-treating like a concealer on the go. (You can also use the sponge for all-over coverage.) This is also a great opportunity for stick foundations — Traceless by Tom Ford is everything — or even Josie Maran’s Argan Creamy Concealer Crayon for the real rookies. How you apply your foundation is up to you, but remember to focus on the center of your face and work the excess into the perimeter. For spot-treating, tap gently with your fingers and don’t overdo it.
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