(A guide to waking up/dragging out your inner morning person)
Seeing as we are already at the end of the holiday period and (unfortunately) many of us have returned to the monotonous early mornings of work/school life, I thought this would be the perfect time to offer out a few time-saving makeup tips I have learnt over the years. Truth be told, I often have that feeling of sheer panic in the morning when I realise I have hit the snooze button one too many times (why even offer us that option?!) So, I can confidently assure you that these techniques have been tried and tested for speed and effectiveness more times than I'd care to admit.
1. A cold face wash works every time
Nothing can force away the sleep from your eyes quite as forcefully as a splash of ice cold water over you face. Additionally, it gets your skin clean and smooth, ready for any rushed makeup application that may follow. At the moment I am using Garnier PureActive Anti-Imperfection Gel, mostly because it is currently on offer in Superdrug. However, I have to say I am,so far, impressed with the results. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and squeaky clean. I also like that it has a pump applicator. Perfect for people, like me, who are far too lazy for a screw cap in the mornings.
2. A good concealer is your best friend
I am a firm believer that it is possible to skip the foundation step as long as you know how to work a bit of magic with your concealer. Apply to the centre of your face (especially under your eyes, around your nose, your chin and on the centre of your forehead) and blend out. I like to use a shade which is slightly too light for my skin tone to give more dimension to my face. Also apply to any blemishes or areas of redness. My all-time favourite concealer is Collection Lasting Perfection. It is great coverage and very good value for money (stay tuned for a full review on Friday!) I use the lightest of the shades.
3. Nude eyeliner: the secret superhero
I sometimes find that my eyes can look a bit red and puffy in the mornings. To brighten them up I use a nude eyeliner on my lower waterline which helps to create a bright, wide-eyed effect. This step only takes a few seconds and will make such a difference to the appearance of your eyes. It is more natural than using a white liner which I think can look a bit harsh. I use Rimmel's Scandaleyes Waterproof liner in 'nude' which lasts very well on the waterline and is inexpensive.
4. Give your lashes a lift
A quick squeeze of some eyelash curlers and a few coats of mascara before you leave the house will just add to that wide-eyed effect we have already begun to create. The brand of the eyelash curlers really isn't of particular importance. Just ensure you hold them for at least 10 seconds on each eye so that the curl holds. If it's of any interest, I am currently using a Revlon eyelash curler which I purchased at Superdrug. Then, wiggle your favourite mascara as close to the roots as possible to help to thicken up the lashline. A tip I find very useful when I am applying mascara is to have a mirror directly under my face, angled up to the ceiling. It may not be a very flattering position but it helps to stop mascara getting on your eyelids, especially handy when you're in a bit of a rush.
5. The cherry on top: a flush of colour
You may wish to apply a little colour to the apples of your cheeks in order to give your face a bit off depth and also the illusion of a youthful and healthy appearance. A cream blush will always give a more natural look. Topshop have some nice cream blushes and, for a cheaper option, Collection do a beautiful blush and highlight duo. Or, opt for a stain which can be used on both the cheeks and lips. I always like to finish my morning look with a slick of tinted lipbalm which I can then throw into my bag to top up during the day. My favourite of the moment is Maybelline's Baby Lips in 'Cherry Me'. It is buildable so you can either wear it sheer or apply a few layers for a more intense look.
I hope these tips have been useful to those of you who have as many problems with time management as I do. On the plus side, since the fresh face, natural makeup look is going to be a big trend for Sprimg/Summer '14, you'll be fashionable as well as on time!