Apply a full face of makeup during a frantic morning? Yeah, right. We’re lucky if we manage to slap on some concealer or swipe on a coat of mascara as we dash out the door. Happily, it turns out there’s no need to spend tons of time—or use tons of products—to totally transform your look. Check out these eight makeup hacks that will take you from blah to beautiful, stat.
1. Make the most of your mascara.
Sure, it can lush up your lashes, but that tiny tube can also double as eyeliner when you’re short on time. As you apply the mascara onto your fringe, work the wand all the way to the roots of your lashes. Wiggle it along the lash-line, so that a little bit of color gets deposited on the skin, and voilà, the look of liner in seconds.
2. Use foundation strategically.
Repeat after us: You don’t need a full face of foundation. Instead, focus on the center of your face, applying the product on in a T shape—a horizontal line stretching from one under eye area to the next, and a vertical line down the center of your face, from the bridge of your nose down to your chin. These areas are the most prone to discoloration (think dark circles, redness around your nose) and where most women typically need the most coverage.
After you make the T, use your fingertips or a damp sponge to blend the product outward. An added beauty boon: This technique also makes for a more natural end result. Applying too much foundation along the perimeter of your face and jawline can quickly end up looking fake and mask-like.
Source: Thirteen Thoughts
3. Get glowing!
Lit-from-within complexions are all the rage, but that “effortless” glow typically requires luminizer, highlighter, and more…or so you thought. Spritz a hydrating facial mist over your foundation to get that same dewy, hydrated effect in seconds. This is also a great way to revive and refresh makeup at the end of the day (when it’s starting to get cake-y or creasing), without having to start from scratch.
4. Create the fastest smoky eye ever.
Take a cue from social media and score a super simple smoky eye with this brilliant hashtag trick. First, dust on shadow from lid to crease (choose any hue you like; we’re fans of a silvery gray for this look). Next, use an eyeliner pencil (that’s one or two shades darker) to draw a small hashtag symbol on the outer corner of each eye, then smudge inward with a cotton swab. You get depth, definition, and drama, without having to use eight bazillion products or follow complicated instructions.
5. Make your lipstick last.
We love the look of a bold lip…until the color comes off all over our coffee cup. But there’s no need to painstakingly line your lips or apply layer after layer of lipstick when you need long lasting color. Swipe on your hue, then lightly cover your pucker with a tissue. Using a big, fluffy brush, dust a translucent loose powder over the tissue—the residue that passes though will lock in the lipstick, without looking chalky or dry.
6. Fake wide awake eyes.
Lacking in the beauty sleep department? Option 1: Load up on eye cream, color correctors, concealers, and highlighters in an attempt to counteract the effects of a late night. Option 2: Try this trick—a favorite of makeup artists when they’re working with jetlagged celebs—line both your top and bottom waterlines with a taupe or beige liner. The light hue brightens the entire area, making eyes look larger and more awake.
7. Go for glossy lids.
When you’re tired of the same old eye shadow, think beyond eye makeup. A tiny dab of any plain, non-flavored lip gloss (or even Vaseline or Aquaphor) layered over your go-to shadow adds a subtle sheen that completely transforms the look from everyday to super special. Try it anytime you need to quickly pep up your peepers, like when you’re going straight from the office to a night out on the town.
8. Heat up your lash curler.
Turn your lash curler into a hot tool for long lasting, mega-lifted lashes. Aim your blow dryer at the tool for a few seconds before you use it; the heat helps create more bend and lift in your lashes, without having to curl repeatedly or spend time swiping on copious coats of mascara.