Images by Jane Houle
4-Minute Face

Taking your bare face up just a notch with makeup doesn’t have to take more than four minutes. And if you’re a busy lady like me, if it takes longer, it ain’t happenin’.

Here’s my own personal everyday routine that I challenge you to time yourself and try. I’m showing the look on my beautiful best friend Rachel who, like me, is a working mom. On a day when breakfast is burning, the kid is running around pants-less and she’s in the midst of dry-shaving her legs when it occurs to her that she is being filmed today and she can’t turn up without makeup, she has to weigh her options as to what makes the cut.

This regimen is quick enough to do in the car just before walking through the door.

Step One: Smooth Skin

Step One: Smooth Skin (30 Seconds)
Exfoliate! These Dermalogica finger cuff thingies are amazing! Soaked in gentle alpha and beta hydroxy acids, they remove flaky skin in seconds flat. Shown here: Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer, $68.

Step Two: Even Out Skintone

Step Two: Even Out Skintone (30 Seconds)
Skip foundation and use a tinted primer or moisturizer. You know my favorite is this handy sucker (because I mention in in almost every column!), which makes skin look ever-so-slightly glowy and protects your face from the sun. Shown here: Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF 30, $48.

Step Three: Cover Spots

Step Three: Cover Spots (One Minute)
Spot conceal under eyes and on that red splotchy stuff around your nose or on blemishes. I love concealer duos like this one from Nars because you can adjust coloring in case you are lighter or darker based on time of year. Plus, blemishes that are giant conceal better if you use a shade slightly darker to diminish highlights from the raised area. Shown here: NARS Duo Concealer (currently unavailable in the U.S. so also see Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $33).

Step Four: Get Wide-Awake Eyes

Step Four: Get Wide-Awake Eyes (One Minute)
Curl lashes and apply mascara. This mascara is my own go-to, leaving lashes separated but intensely black and thick. Shown here: Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash, $23.

Step Five: Look Alive (30 Seconds)

Step Five: Look Alive (30 Seconds)
Cream blush is great for adding life and youth to the face. I like to apply mine with a fluffy blush brush. Shown here: NARS The Multiple in Portofino, $39.

Step Six: Brighten Lips (30 Seconds)

Step Six: Brighten Lips (30 Seconds)
Dot a pigment-heavy lip color in the center of your lips, and then press and roll the color out to the edges and blend it down with your pinky. This formula is so versatile, you can build for a stronger finish or sheer down for a gentle flush. Shown here: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Lacquer in Riot, $24.

5 minute makeup
4-Minute Face

Tell us your own four-minute makeup favorites!