Ever envied women who look pretty and flawless from 9 am to 5 pm? You can, too, in just five well organized minutes daily. Five minutes in the morning can give you a face that lasts all day. Five minutes in the evening can create a makeup that keeps on glowing as long as you do.
The knack of applying flawless, believable makeup is something that any woman can learn easily. Part of the trick is in preparation, before you face the mirror. The rest is in the deft application of easy-to-use cosmetics.
Before you're ready to start, three things must be taken care of so that there will be no time-consuming stops to slow you down. Know what you will be wearing, have your dressing table well organized, and take care that your eyebrows have been groomed.
The brows should never be tweezed just before you are to do makeup, because of the redness that occurs. Foundation will not always cover it.
Your clothes and all accessories should be chosen before you attempt makeup in minutes. You should feel free to concentrate on your application when you face the mirror, without having what-to-wear on your mind.
No matter what the time of day - whether this is a morning or an evening makeup - your face deserves a bright new canvas for the picture you are going to paint on it. A new vision of yourself should always begin clean and healthy.
Whether it's to freshen your face in the morning or to remove your old makeup in the evening, you should use cleanser and lotion before you begin, to prepare your face for the moisturizer.
The best way to apply your moisturizer is to dot it on your forehead, cheeks and chin. Then, with long strokes of a sponge - which has been previously moistened and wrung out until barely damp - draw it smoothly and evenly over the skin. Stroke the sponge gently over your cheeks, toward your temples. Always stroke upward, being careful around the delicate eye area.
Your lips and your eyelids, too, can benefit from this wonderful cosmetic, which we call the foundation's foundation.
It is made even more terrific by the use of the sponge, not only for time-saving makeups but for the most elaborate ones as well. Sponges can distribute moisturizer and makeup evenly, picking up excess, which fingers cannot do.
Thanks to the moisturizer, the application of the foundation is quick and easy. Place a large dot of foundation on nose, forehead, chin and each cheek. Pick up the second sponge and go!
Work smoothly and evenly, watching carefully to see that you are creating an even blend of color on your face. Because the foundation contains color pigments and other ingredients, it requires more skillful application than the moisturizer did. Use your fingertips or the edge of the sponge to smooth out any tiny areas that the full sponge can't reach. Work the foundation over your lids and lips, too.
The most important technique in applying foundation, and all other cosmetics, is ensuring that your technique doesn't show. The foundation must be sponged on so smoothly that it seems to become part of the skin itself.
Check to see that there is no foundation line around the contour of your jaws and hairline. Make sure that there is none inadvertently clinging to your hair. If you wear your hair short or pulled back, be especially careful of the areas that are exposed. See that the foundation blends in at the top of your neck.
If you have dark circles under your eyes, cover these with a second coat of the same foundation. Any blemishes or unevenly pigmented areas of the skin can also be concealed by this coat, applied lightly with the fingertips.
Remove any excess carefully with a tissue. Then quickly pat all over with with your fingertips, touching to be sure that the color is where it belongs. This patting action is very important. When the amount and the texture of the foundation feel right to you, you can move on to coloring the cheeks.
If you have the kind of skin that seems to absorb everything, if your makeup disappears almost immediately after applying it, use a cream rouge. (Later on, you can even brush some extra blusher over it.)
Take the same sponge and apply the rouge from the cheekbones upward. The first application should be made from the front, looking straight into the mirror. Then, when you blend, you should look sideways, making sure you go all the way to the temples, and blend, blend, blend into the foundation so that you cannot tell where one color ends and the other begins.
If you look at the glorious streaks of light in a tropical sunset or the variations of color on a flower, you'll understand this totally natural effect we're striving for. Colors in nature melt imperceptibly into one another, and this is how the colors of your makeup should work into each other.
At first it may seem as if you're using too much rouge. This is because your other features have not been made up yet. Later on, after the mouth and eyes have come into the picture, you'll find that the rouge looks less obvious. You may even want to add more.
You might like a touch of rouge at your hairline and on the bridge of your nose. I think this gives a very healthy and alive look. Just a faint hint of color applied with a fingertip.
Now for your eyes. For only the quickest makeup, I favor pencils, the thick crayons that are available today. However, you should use them very carefully. The eye area is the most delicate on your face. Anything but gentle, tender application of the color pencils can hurt this fragile skin.
Select a color that complements your eyes. Look down into a hand mirror and stroke the color on, using little light touches. Blend these strokes with a fingertip or a cotton swab. Make sure that the entire area from the lash line to the crease of the lid is covered, that the color at the outer corner blends into your foundation.
Now look up, straight ahead into the mirror, your chin slightly lowered. Again, with little strokes, color from the outer corner of the eyelids to under the bottom lashes, midway to the inner corner, for a sweep of color almost completely around the eye - a very flattering look that opens the eye and brightens it.
If you want to make your lashes look fuller with eyeliner, now is the time to use it, not in a straight line but with tiny dots.
Looking down into your hand mirror, apply the liner with a fine-tipped sable brush in small dots, going from the outer corner of the upper lid three-quarters of the way toward the inner corner where the lashes actually start. Then, with a fingertip or a swab, smudge the dots, blending one into the next.
The best way to apply mascara is with two hands, one to hold the wand and the other to keep the eyelid taut. This gives you more control.
With the middle finger of the free hand, gently urge the outer corner of your eye upward, causing it to slant slightly. This will enable you to bring the wand closer to the roots of the lashes and each individual lash.
First mascara the top of the upper lashes, from the inner corner out. Then, raising your brows slightly, look straight up into the mirror and mascara the under surface of the upper lashes, coating them thickly with an upward sweep.
In this same pose, do the bottom lashes, stroking sideways as well from time to time to add fullness.
When the mascara has dried, take your brown pencil and stroke back and forth in the crease over the bone. After you have accumulated a good amount of color, blend it all the way up the brow, very carefully and completely, covering the entire area. The immediate effect of this browning is to push back the bone and bring the eyes into greater prominence. It is one of the most beautifying things you can do.
If your brows need color for thickness, brush them upwards. Then, with light strokes of your brown pencil, fill them in. The little strokes will simulate little hairs and avoid giving the look of one line of continuous color. Don't add at the inner corners, just at the arch.
Run your finger lightly over the brows to remove any stray or harsh strokes. By now your mascara is fully dry. A second coat will make the lashes even more lush and sexy.
I love the medium-blue pencil to make eyes even brighter. Carefully line the inner rim of the lower lid with the pencil; the effect is magical. The whites are so white they gleam and the blue color is not even noticeable.
Your lips receive attention next. With a lipstick, color your mouth fully, but never go outside or deliberately inside the natural contours of your mouth. Add a touch of lip gloss after the lipstick. Twist lips slightly, without actually blotting them, to even out gloss.
If you like the finishing touch of face powder, powder your nose lightly with either loose or compact powder. If your nose, chin and forehead - the "T" zone - tend to become highlighted and oily during the day, powder that area, leaving lips, eyes and cheeks shiny.
It is now time to re-evaluate your rouge. Just a drop more at the tip of the cheekbones and . . . voila!
Because of all the details I have included, reading this has probably taken you more than five minutes - much more, I am sure, than the actual application will take.
Soon the five-minute makeup will go smoothly and the results will be lovely. Moisturizer, 20 seconds; foundation, one minute; rouge, half a minute; eyes, two minutes; lips, 20 seconds; powder and cheek touch-up, 20 seconds. It is just that simple and easy, and quick.
Remember, as with anything else, the more you practice, the more proficient you will become.
It's always a good idea to experiment when you have a few minutes. But don't wait to do your first five-minute makeup until you have only five minutes to spare! Learn to do it at leisure so that it is a skill you can use when it's needed.
Your success with the five-minute makeup will depend on the attitude you bring to it. If you are pleased with the results - which you will be if you approach it with a bright outlook and ease - it will show on your face.
A five-minute makeup is a small investment that pays off in hours of good looks. Any investment you make in yourself will yield both dividends and interest.
Skin: Inside The Outside Story
How To Tell Your Hairdresser What You Want
Girls' health matters!