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How To Do Your Makeup Fast And Still Look Fabulous

Elise Marquam Jahns April 2022

Beauty Thought Leader: Elise Marquam-Jahns

Today we’re going to talk about something that’s most likely happened to all of us.

We’ve overslept or the dog threw up or we got an important call from our sister—so we’re running late for a meeting, or an event. Life just happens, right? But we still want to look our best. So what can we do to speed up, multi-task, or pare down our makeup routine. So we can stay cool, calm and unflappable?

“Well, I have some tips today that I think will definitely help.”

Or, maybe we just want to spend less time on our makeup in general. Well, I have some tips today that I think will definitely help. And I’ll be using some of these products in the accompanying video.

Maximize Our Look With Makeup:

The first thing we can do to minimize the time it takes to maximize our look is to use products that work double duty. Products that will work on two or more areas of our face. The most common makeup products of this type are products for our lips and our cheeks. Many companies make products like these, but let me highlight just a few that I think are especially good.

If you’re interested in clean beauty products, Ilia makes a great multi-stick that can be used on lips and cheeks. It comes in 8 different colors including two I’ll show in the video: “Lady Bird” and “At Last.” Another clean beauty brand, RMS, makes what they call Lip to Cheek products which come in seven shades. The three in the video are “Demure” which is a light pink and “Modest,”—a salmon pink. And “Illusive” which is described as burnt berry with a hint of plum.

Many other brands make similar products: there’s Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge, Milk Makeup’s Lip and Cheek, Clinique’s Chubby Stick Cheek Balm, Nars’ Multiple and Pixie’s Sheer Lip and Cheek Gel. 

“Several works well as contour and blush and two also can be used as under eye brighteners.”

Tinted Brow Gel:

This next double-duty product can help with brows. If you need products to both fill in the brows and keep brow hairs in place. Instead of two separate products. We can use a tinted brow gel that applies color and holds brows hairs in place. In the video I’ll use the Almay Brow Styler tinted brow gel on my brows. 

The second thing we can do to make our application faster is to use a palette that includes several types of products in it. For instance, Dominique Cosmetics makes a “Transition Palette” which is primarily an eyeshadow palette. But it was designed to be a multi-purpose palette. So some of the colors can also be used to fill in our brows. Several works well as contour and blush and two also can be used as under eye brighteners.

Around the holidays IT Cosmetics offers a “book” type multi-purpose palette. Which is a combination of powder and cream products, but primarily powder. Two other smaller multi-purpose options are from RMS Beauty and Makeup Forever. RMS makes a quad of three cream highlighters and a bronzer and Makeup Forever has an all cream Pro Sculpting Face Palette  in Light, Medium, Tan and Dark.

“Less expensive stick cream eye shadow options are from Elf, NYX and Colourpop.”

Cream Eyeshadow Sticks:

Now let’s move on to the eyes. In the video I’ve already applied eye primer. But instead of using powder eyeshadow which takes more time to apply, I’m going to use my Tarte Quickstick cream eyeshadow sticks. Many different brands make cream eyeshadow sticks but probably the best known cream stick eyeshadow products are from Laura Mercier.

Her Caviar Stick Eye Shadows come in 43 different shades with 5 different finishes from matte to metallics to Intense. Other good brands include Bobbi Brown, Nudestix and Makeup Forever. Less expensive stick cream eye shadow options are from Elf, NYX and Colourpop.  

But, if you really love powder eyeshadow and don’t want to give it up, a color switch product can help speed the eyeshadow application process. It’s a dry, makeup removing sponge that allows us to quickly and efficiently switch colors. All you do is swirl the brush around in the sponge to remove any color on it and it’s ready to use for a different color. This saves on the need for multiple brushes during an eyeshadow application and it also saves time and money later since only one brush needs to be cleaned.  

“And if the eyeshadow sticks have tips that are small enough, you can use them directly as eyeliner.”

Definition To Our Eyes:

The quickest way to add some definition to our eyes is to tightline. But if that’s a technique that is not comfortable for you, another options is to rub an angled brush against one of the darker cream stick eyeshadows to apply it as eyeliner. And if the eyeshadow sticks have tips that are small enough, you can use them directly as eyeliner. In the video I’ll tightline with my Tarte eyeliner. 

For mascara I’m using my Honest Beauty mascara which is another great multi-tasking product since it has eye primer on one end and mascara on the other.  However, if I were really in a hurry, I’d skip the eye primer.  

Good Stick Foundations:

Now let’s move on to face products. First, foundation. Stick Foundations are definitely the quickest and easiest foundations to apply. In the video I’m using my Merit clean beauty product because it’s a combination foundation/concealer. But other really good stick foundations include Bobbi Brown, Bare Minerals, Milk Makeup, and Hourglass. Good drugstore stick foundations include Maybelline Fit Me, Wet ‘n Wild Photofocus and L’Oreal Paris Infallible.  

Charlotte Tilbury also makes a wonderful contour wand.”


For contouring in the video I’m using the KVD Mod Con Liquid Gel Contour. I’ve tried several different application methods with this product, and using a sponge to tap it in is definitely the best way to apply it. If I had the right shade, I’d be using Makeup by Mario’s sculpting stick in Light/Medium since it applies and blends so easily.

But unfortunately, it has been sold out for quite some time on both the Sephora and the Makeup by Mario sites. Other really good contour sticks can be found at Fenty Beauty and Wet ‘n WildCharlotte Tilbury also makes a wonderful contour wand. 

Stick Blushes:

Though I love the stick blushes from Ilia which I mentioned earlier, my favorite for the easiest, quickest application is one from Makeup by Mario since it glides like ice over the skin.  In the video I’ll use the color “Pale Petal.”

Highlighter is next and a huge number of companies make good stick highlighters, including Benefit, Ilia, Milk Makeup, Jane Iredale, ELF and Wet ‘n Wild.  But I’m going to use Merit because I love the soft glow as well as how quickly and easily it applies.

Another option is to skip lip liner altogether.”

Lip Liner:

And last but certainly not least: lips. One way to cut back on the time it takes for lipstick application is to just use lip liner to outline the lips and fill them in and then just add a touch of gloss. Lip liners that really glide on easily include Revlon’s Colorstay and Charlotte Tilbury’s lip liners.

Another option is to skip lip liner altogether and use a lip balm if you don’t have issues with lipstick feathering. And a third option is to use a long-lasting product like Cover Girl Outlast or Maybelline SuperStay which don’t require the application of a lip liner and come with their own handy gloss. In the video, I’ll put on my Maybelline 24-hour Superstay.  

There definitely are a number of different products and techniques that can really help us apply our makeup more quickly, but still get fabulous results.

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About the Author:

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. And, if you’d like to receive more inspiration each week, check out my weekly newsletter. To get your copy, just drop me an email at boomerandbeyondbeauty@gmail.com to let me know you’d like to receive it.