5-Minute Makeup Routine


The Go-To Products

Daily use of a state-of-the-art skin-care routine reduces the amount of time a makeup routine takes because clear, healthy, skin requires less makeup to look its best. Before applying your makeup, be sure to prepare your skin. No matter how much of a hurry you're in always take a minute to wash your face with a gentle cleanser, prep skin with a soothing toner and apply a daytime moisturizer.

After that, it's time for makeup!

Foundation with Sunscreen or Tinted Moisturizer

First, apply a light layer of tinted moisturizer or foundation with sunscreen all over the face. Be sure not to forget your eyelids! The ideal product should include a mineral-based sunscreen of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Each is non-irritating and gentle enough for use around the eyes. To save time it's okay to skip the brush and blend with your fingers.

A buildable coverage foundation like Revlon's Nearly Naked Makeup SPF 20 ($9.99) will help reduce the appearance of redness and even out the skin tone over all. Using buildable coverage foundation allows you to get the benefits of concealer without the extra step—simply dot on more foundation over any blemishes or imperfections.

Pressed Powder

After blending foundation, dust on pressed powder. Check out our list of Best Powders for our current picks (some even have sunscreen!).


Next, dust a sheer bronzing powder over the T-zone for added warmth. In lieu of an all-over eyeshadow, you can also apply bronzer to lids for a neutral eye design. Try either Rimmel's Natural Bronzer ($4.29) or Kat Von D's Everlasting Bronzer ($25) in a shade one or two darker than your natural skin tone.


Follow with a few coats of Volumizing Mascara to emphasize the lashes and wake up the eyes. Two of our favorites are Hello Lashes! 5-in-1 Treatment Mascara ($24.00) by IT Cosmetics or Define-A-Lash Volume Waterproof Mascara ($7.49) by Maybelline—you won't believe how well both of these work.

Lip & Cheek Stain

On you way out the door, finish up with the lip color option of your choice. We like Soft Matte Lip Cream ($6) by NYX Cosmetics or Semi Matte Lipstick ($24) by NARS. Lip color comes down to personal preference but choosing a color that is one to two shades lighter or darker than the natural lip color saves time because the color can be applied without the precision that is required for more vibrant colors.

That's all there is to it! Easy, right? The biggest trick to doing one's makeup in a hurry is having a strategy and key products ready to go. With this go-to makeup routine in mind, any woman can put her best face forward faster than ever before.

Recommended Products

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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