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8 Quick Makeup Tricks to Speed Up Your Morning Routine

Consider this your excuse to hit snooze just one more time.

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Keep things organized

If you find yourself wasting time hunting for your favorite mascara in your mounting pile of makeup, it’s time to organize. “In the morning, it can be frustrating with all that in there,” says Jessica Mae, founder, creative director, and makeup artist of WarPaint International Beauty Agency. “No matter how much makeup you have, make sure you have a designated spot for it.” If you’re a minimalist, toss those five or ten products in a pouch instead of letting each piece loose with the toothpaste and tweezers in your drawer. Use dividers if your beauty products take up the whole drawer, or buy a makeup case that has drawers and sections so you know exactly where each item goes. (Find out how to squeeze more into storage space here.)

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Don’t use your fingers

You might think applying makeup with your fingers will save you time digging out brushes, but using tools will actually quicken your routine. Fingers don’t apply makeup as smoothly as brushes do, so you’ll probably end up spending too much time trying to fix makeup mistakes, says Mae. Plus, you’ll end up wasting precious moments washing the excess off your hands. As long as you’re organized, finding the right tool shouldn’t waste much time. “If you have your routine down, you can just grab your brushes and go,” says Mae. 

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Swap brushes for blenders

A spongelike beauty blender is a makeup lover’s best friend. The egg-like shape helps apply an even coverage of foundation quicker than ever. “Thanks to the shape, I can apply product into the skin in faster time and with a flawless finish,” says Neah Williams, makeup artist at Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge Upper East Side.

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Finish your face in one step

Save time on face prep and coverage by adding two-in-one products to your routine. A multitasking primer like Stila One Step Correct can combine moisturizing, priming, and color-correcting into one step, says Williams. “It helps me avoid applying so much product to my face and reduces the appearance of any discoloration on my skin before my foundation,” she says. Stick with premixed products rather than trying to combine the primer and foundation you already own, says Mae, because the chemicals might not blend well and create beading that doesn’t sit nicely on your skin.

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Get double duty from your products

Keep one product out for several uses so you can avoid the time suck of taking compacts out and putting them back. For instance, your highlighter doesn’t have to stay on your cheekbones—sweep it on your lids as eyeshadow, or dab it over lipgloss for a bit of extra shimmer. You can also dab cream blushes on your lips or eyelids for color. Creamy products might slip right off oily eyelids though, so consider your skin type before ditching your powder shadows. “If you have more oily skin, those cream-based products on your lids won’t always be long-lasting on you,” says Mae. (For a better complexion, quit believing these myths about oily skin.)

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Skip eyeliner

If you’re in a hurry, don’t bother lining your eyes before you head out the door. “That’s something that can easily be added later if you feel like it’s something you need,” says Mae. In fact, saving eyeliner for later makes it easier to switch your look from day to night if you have evening plans. When you have more time, try these makeup tricks for eyes that pop.

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Avoid bold looks

If you can’t go without eyeliner before you head out the door, pick a simpler look that doesn’t require much precision. For instance, a winged cat eye could involve a lot of redoing, so stick with a simple line instead, says Mae. This also isn’t the time to try a bold lipstick. “A red lip is pretty high-maintenance and takes a steady hand and patience,” says Mae. “It takes five to ten minutes to make sure it’s symmetrical and inside the lines.” Stick with a sheer lip balm, which looks fine when quickly smudged on. Try these other “no-makeup” makeup tricks.

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Pare down your products

Skip the full face of makeup when you’re in a rush, and stick with these three basics: Mascara, blush, and lip balm. Just those few products can make you look put-together in just five minutes. “Mascara is going to help make eyes look more awake and open because it’s darkening those lashes,” she says. Meanwhile, the blush and lip balm give you a bit of color to pull the look together. Have some trouble spots? Here’s how to fake flawless skin.