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In my personal opinion, the only redeeming factor in makeup is the fact it covers up the acne I’m dealing with in my mid-twenties. If I could get away without wearing it, my life would be complete. I’m not the type to get all giddy over Kylie Jenner lip kits, spend hours trying out elaborate eye shadow colors, or even wear your typical liquid foundation. You’ll never catch me perusing the Sephora aisles. I want to be in and out of the makeup bag in 7 minutes (that’s my legit time limit).
That being said, I do still wear makeup. I want to look nice, hide my breakouts as much as possible, and cover up my chronically purple under-eye circles. And of course, mascara makes me feel like I have my life together. In the 12 years I’ve had trying to balance hating makeup with looking like I give a shit about my appearance, I’ve found a few easy makeup hacks to make it all easier.
Choose Your Favorite Products and Stick With Them
About 70% of the products in my makeup bag have been in my arsenal since I was in high school. That might seem silly to some, but I don’t like to spend money on new products I’ll probably hate (this is why I’m the only person on Team ESL that doesn’t receive multiple makeup subscription boxes each month). My best makeup hack is to find one item in each makeup category that you like and stick with it.
Find a Lipstick That Lasts
I can’t stand to reapply lipstick throughout the day. I don’t like that it comes off with every little sip of water and bite of food. I usually just stick to mentholated lip balm to keep my lips hydrated and lightly flushed. Thankfully, the last few years have been big for long-lasting lip color. I’ve tried a few different brands, but not a lot because I refuse to spend the money.
However, the best I’ve ever tried is Meet Matt(e) Hughes by theBalm Cosmetics. They have 18 color options available, and the color stays on better than most. I do have to reapply after lunch, but that’s standard. It’s moisturizing, has a vanilla-peppermint scent, and a matte finish. It looks great and feels great. I usually top it off with a plain lip balm for added staying power and a little sheen.
Keep Your Base Light and Natural
My base makeup hack is simple: use a powder foundation. Liquid foundations leave my skin feeling suffocated. They also make me break out even more than I already do. Powder foundation, in contrast, is weightless on your skin. I’ve been using BareMinerals powder foundation for 10 years, and still love it just as much now as I did when I discovered it.
Swipe a light layer of powder over your skin at the start of the day is the easiest thing. All you have to do aside from that is apply concealer to your trouble spots (for me, that’s usually my chin and those under-eye circles), dab a little extra powder on top of those spots, and you’re done.
In fact, on days when I’m just hanging out or running errands, I skip the concealer entirely and use a concealer brush to apply extra foundation to my trouble spots.
Wake Up Your Eyes
My best advice for making eye makeup easier is to have two go-to looks. For me, that’s my work look and my social life look. I do the same eye shadow every single weekday. It makes my mornings simpler, and means I always look professional and consistent at the office. I apply the same light brown base and bronze crease shadow, no matter what.
My social look is very similar, but I add a little more mascara and sometimes a simple, black liquid liner. That’s it. And on my errand days, I swipe on one layer of mascara and call it good.
Contour the Lazy Way
I don’t like makeup, but I’m not immune to the benefits of contouring. Instead of using a bajillion creams and sponges though, I use a powder bronzer and a blush brush. All I do is swipe a light line of bronzer underneath both cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, underneath my jawline, and on each side of my chin. It takes me about 30 seconds. I finish with a little bit of blush along my cheekbones.