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The bare-bones essentials for a polished face.

By Madeleine Burry
April 04, 2018
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You wake up and move into sun salutations, followed by meditation. After a long shower and a healthy, homemade breakfast, you have all the time in the world to select an outfit and accessories, and do your hair and makeup.

Sounds like an absolutely blissful dream—but far from the usual AM reality. For most of us, mornings are hectic and rushed. Foundation is applied in front of a steamy bathroom mirror, and on particularly chaotic days, you may wield a mascara wand during your commute. But even the pros aim for a trimmed-down morning routine. "I'm a working makeup artist that favors sleeping over spending a lot of time in the morning doing my makeup," says makeup artist Margina Dennis. "I can get a face on in five minutes, ten if I am looking to do a bit extra."

A five-minute makeup routine? Yes! With a little bit of prep, and a streamlined routine, it's totally doable. First, it's important to do some essential prep. Start with your makeup bag—fumbling through an overstuffed one will slow you down. Slim it down to essential products (more on those later). "Lay out the products you want to use the night before," says Hillary Kline, a Minneapolis-based makeup artist and beauty blogger. Or, lose the bag entirely. "I have my makeup on a vanity in Lucite organizer instead of in a makeup bag where you have to dig around to find everything," says Dennis.

Make sure you have tools, too. It's tempting to use your fingers to put on makeup, but most experts say it's an ill-advised shortcut. "I tell my friends, family, and clients to use some sort of tool to apply makeup," says Kline, since fingers can have germs and bacteria. Use brushes or a Beautyblender to apply makeup instead.

Finally, make sure your face is clean. Your canvas matters! Apply moisturizer and SPF if your foundation or BB cream doesn't serve those needs. "Skin prep is essential to making my makeup look good and long wearing," says Dennis.

Here are the products and tricks that makeup artists recommend to clients—and use themselves—for applying makeup in a flash.

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