Beauty Guru: 7 Steps to a Faster Makeup Routine

Sometimes women will obsess over perfection, especially when it comes to makeup application. But with the right brushes, the right products and a little practice, applying makeup can be a breeze. Here's how to cut down the time it takes to apply your makeup.

Step 1: Consolidate Products

Get yourself a 3-in-1 powder foundation. Typically, a mineral powder product can be used in so many ways. First dab your makeup wedge in the powder, then dab on any red areas of skin. Dabbing applies more product then brushing. So treat this as your concealer and/or prep. Dab under the eyes, on red areas, or any blemishes. Follow up with powder all over your face that also acts as your foundation.

Step 2: Powder Application

Use downward strokes from under the eye to the neck to eliminate making face fuzz more noticeable. Go side to side on the forehead and over the eyelids. The beauty here is: as long as you invest in a high-end mineral powder, you only need to do a few swipes because high-end powders are more finely ground and have a reputation of containing better ingredients. No need to swirl the product around on your face. The powder, when ground finely enough, sits on the face perfectly with minimal effort. Total time-saver.

Step 3: Set It With A Toner

A couple sprays with a hydrating toner literally takes seconds. This sets the powder, sets the concealer, and eliminates the need for a primer altogether. This is a forgotten step but will make a huge difference in how long your powder will stay. You will have better coverage with longer lasting results and will spend less time to get it.

Step 4: Get A Nude Eye Shadow Palette

When you have all your needs on one palette, you save time. Use the lighter matte colors to cover any extra areas as concealer (yellow undertones for blue skin, pink undertones for olive skin). Use the darker nudes as a bronzer on the cheekbones, and/or on the lower eyelids. To create a smokey effect, use the darker colors on the lower outer edge of the top eyelid, and use the lighter colors on the inner eyelid. Contouring the face is the name of the game here. There is usually one color with a pearlescent effect. Save that for directly under the eyebrow to highlight and enhance the eye arch.

Step 5: Use An All-In-One Brush

This is really part of step 4 but demands its own attention so I have chosen to give it that due justice. Save time by using the same brush to contour the nose and eyes. If you have just used a darker color, swipe the brush a few times on your wrist to remove then go back for your lighter color. You can get away with this when playing with nude shades.

Step 6: Give Your Eyebrows the Attention They Deserve

If I see another blonde who looks like she does not have eyebrows, I'm going to scream out loud. Well, maybe not, but eyebrows can make or break the face. How many times have we seen someone with hardly any eyebrows? Ouch. Give your eyebrows a boost with a slanted eye brush, using an eyeshadow from your palette (Step 4) to save time or find a perfect match. Choose a matte finish eyeshadow that is 1-2 shades darker than your hair color. The goal here, for those who have good fuller eyebrows, is not to fill in the eyebrows more than it is to enhance them lightly with some shape.

Step 7: Learn The Art of The Pinky

Speed up the process of applying mascara or eyeliner with a little help from your pinky finger. Use your pinky to steady your hand in order to make a straight line on the eyelid. This will help you master liquid eyeliner. People run in fear when I say "liquid eyeliner" but soon you'll be a pro. Use the pinky for leverage, resting it on your nose or cheek while you apply your mascara or eyeliner, and watch what happens. Also, if your eyes tend to blink too much, just stick out your tongue. Your eyes will steady and stop with the blinking.

Hey...what about the lips?

Some of you may be asking right now...what about the lips? Here is my take on this. Choose your battles. If you want to save time and look amazing, choose either focusing on lips or on eyes. For this tutorial I chose eyes. The other way around would be simple too. Skip Step 4 & 5, and insert a simple light blush/bronzer for cheeks, and add lipliner/lipstick for Step 6. Then follow with eyeliner and mascara in all instances.

So what is your time-saver techniques when doing your makeup? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Mel B. is a Yahoo! Shine Beauty Guru, a writer of all things beauty, and CoFounder of www.AskASalon.com, where Beauty Pro's connect, network, and answer questions for savvy women wanting the best beauty information. When she's not working, you'll find her hanging with her family in Pacifica, CA, or just contemplating life with walks along the beach, typically with a Rockstar energy drink in hand. Email her at mel@askasalon.com.