Five minute morning hair and makeup: It CAN be done, and I have the video to prove it!

BlogHer Original Post

I am not a morning person. I never have been, and a full-time job (for which I leave quite early) and two small children have done nothing to change that. All that those factors have done is force me to become more creative with my morning routine so I get the MAXIMUM POSSIBLE NUMBER OF EXTRA MINUTES blissfully nestled in my so-comfortable-it-should-be-illegal-or-at-least-heavily-regulated bed.

I've carefully pared down my morning routine so that I sleep those precious few extra minutes (they make such a difference, don't they?), but still have enough time to avoid leaving the house looking like a ghost. A ghost whose hair was styled by a myopic, ill-tempered rodent.

So what do I do? For starters, I shower at night. I realize that not everyone can do this, but if your hair is anything like mine, and requires minimal styling, I highly recommend it. You CAN blowdry it at night too, but I prefer to fall asleep with it wet. Primarily because I am lazy, but also because, well... nothing beats the excitement and anticipation of walking to the mirror the first thing in the morning, and seeing if your hair miraculously dried nicely, or if it appears that it was styled with some sort of evil hybrid of Flowbee and egg beater. NOTHING wakes you up faster than that, people.

The second part of my routine involves actually getting hair and makeup done in under five minutes. Mornings are run with an almost surgical precision in my house, and that's the maximum amount of time I can devote to getting myself vaguely presentable while still having enough time to greet my husband and children, feed said children, and get dressed before walking out the door. "But Metalia!," you're thinking, "You really apply a full face of makeup AND do your hair in under five minutes? It can't be true, can it? Also, you look like you deserve pretty new pink shoes, no matter how impractical they might be! Can we buy them for you? And then perhaps get you a massage at a nearby spa?" The answers to these questions are yes, yes and YES, but for purposes of this post, let's just focus on the first one.

As with any speed-related activity, effectively implementing a quick morning hair/makeup routine requires practice, and forethought. I read a lot of articles in magazines touting the DEFINITIVE morning makeup routine, but I notice that most of them read pretty much the same. The difference with what I do is take into consideration the feature you most want to highlight, and spend the most time working with that.

Step 1: Take stock of your features, and divide your time accordingly

I am an Eye Person. I believe they're my best feature, so I devote most of my makeup time highlighting them. Lips? Cheeks? Maybe 20 seconds, tops. But eyes are key for me. I invite you to do the same; take a good look at yourself, and figure out what on your face really pops. Gorgeous cheekbones? Focus on blush and perhaps some glow/light shimmer. Lips? Balm, lipliner, fill in, and top with a rich gloss/lipstick. The important thing is not to spend time highlighting everything. If you're going all out on your lips, just apply concealer and mascara. If you're making your cheeks the focus, just top your lips with neutral gloss.

Step 2: Choose your weapons wisely

Once you've figured out what part of your face you want as the focus of your morning makeup routine, dump out the contents of your whole makeup bag. First pull out the absolute must(s): concealer (and foundation, for some people). Next, select all of the items you'll be using on the feature you're highlighting. (In general, for quick morning makeup, I love blendable creams and sticks. They make things so much easier.) For me, this involves eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow, and for my hair, Frederic Fekkai Hair Plump (...which I got as a sample, and will weep when said sample runs out, because NO WAY IN HELL am I paying $95 for hair product, unless the product will also magically cut my hair for me). Then, pull out the remaining products you want to use on the rest of your face, and place them all in a small bag. Leave the bag in front of the mirror where you'll be applying your makeup in the morning. Trust me, much like a surgeon or a chef, you'll work so much faster and more efficiently if you have what you need (and ONLY what you need) in front of you in the morning.

Step 3: Showtime!

And I do mean that literally. What, you didn't think I'd go on and on about my elusive five-minute makeup routine and not show it to you, did you? I've reached a new high (or low?) here, and actually recorded the routine, so I can: (a) prove that it can be done; and (b) actually remember the process. Because I'm basically on autopilot at that hour of the morning. Here we go!

Morning Makeup and Hair in Under Five Minutes (No, for reals!) from metalia on Vimeo.

You will note that I do not speak at any point during the video. That is because the sound of my own voice on a recording of any kind makes me want to rip off my ears. Anyway, the process is as follows:

1. Cleanse your face. If you wash your face at night, there's really no need to wash it again in the morning. So sayeth my dermatologist friend. As noted, I'm sort of lazy, so a medical professional offering this guidance was all I needed to hear. What I do instead, as demonstrated in the video, is simply give my face a once-over with a face cleansing cloth. A baby wipe can also be used. In addition to shaving off a few minutes of face washing time, I also keep the wipe with me so I can effortlessly clean up stray mascara marks (or whatever else) as I apply my makeup.

2. Apply face lotion/cream- I use one with SPF in it to save suncreen-application time. (I would apply a tinted moisturizer instead, but I haven't found one that doesn't make me look like a Cheeto. So if you have a suggestion, by all means, let me know.)

3. Do your hair- For me, this involves applying the OBSCENELY EXPENSIVE HAIR CREAM THAT IS CLEARLY CRAFTED FROM BOTH UNICORN TEARS AND WEAPONS-GRADE PLUTONIUM, JUDGING FROM THE PRICE. If you have fine, straight hair like mine, I recommend applying the product starting from underneath your hair, so you don't end up with a heavy, Crisco-like concentration on top of your hair. I then pull the top half of my hair into a super-cool, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-style half-ponytail for volumizing purposes. TEMPORARILY, don't worry.

4. Apply concealer- I'm not even going to go into my product of choice or Pointillism-inspired technique, as I did that all a few weeks ago. However, I will say--and you'll see here--that after applying the small dots of concealer, I let it "set" for a few minutes, moving on to other things before I go back and blend it in.

5. Eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara- Like I said, the majority of my time is spent doing this.

(5.1 Lip balm- In truth, I usually do this right after applying my face lotion, but I forgot. And seeing as this really and truly IS my morning routine, I didn't have time to go back and redo it. So just take my word for it, m'kay?)

6. BLEND-After doing my "main makeup," I blend in the concealer.

7.Blush and Powder-I adore this blush stick, which I wrote about a while back, and the powder sets everything perfectly.

8. Gloss and allover color-I use a neutral, sheer gloss (any one of my million shades will do) and the allover color (I use Benefit's Dallas) makes everything seamlessly mesh together; I don't need to even think about reapplying anything for the rest of the day. Score.

9. De-fugify hair- At this point, my hair has a little more volume than it did before. I brush it and smooth it out.

10. JAZZ HANDS! (Why? WHY?? I seriously shouldn't be allowed in front of a video EVER AGAIN.)


What about you? What are your quick-and-easy morning makeup tips? (COME ON, PEOPLE. SPILL 'EM. I DID JAZZ HANDS FOR YOU. INVOLUNTARILY, BUT STILL.) Share them here, or feel free to post your own BeautyHacks in the Community Posts section!

Metalia also blogs at



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