The two-minute makeup

Lazy girl beauty: the 2-minute face

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 42 Comments

All my lovely new blog photos may give the impression that I spend every waking hour devoted to my appearance.


I have already confessed here on the blog to my lazy girl beauty ways but if you’re new here, then welcome … let me put you in the picture.

I am a crazy, busy mum (I don’t know any mums who aren’t). I have two beautiful teenagers who require a fair bit of taxi-driving about the place (don’t even get me started on the Saturday night party pick-up and how it’s cut into my wine time). I also have a six-year-old, so my paid work is sandwiched between the hours of 9am and 3pm, with leftovers served between 8pm and midnight most nights.

Time is this precious commodity I wish I had more of but realise that is a stupid wish as there are only 24 hours in the day; it’s what you do with those hours that makes the difference.

If I really wanted to save time on my beauty routine, I wouldn’t actually have one. A routine that is.

No, I’d jump up, do the lunches, sort breakfast, check in online with my work mates an hour ahead of me, jump in the shower and run out the door for the bus and school drop-offs at 8am with nary a thought as to what I actually look like.

But I’m vain.

There I’ve said it.

I like to get my face on. I like an even complexion. I like a bit of colour on the lips.

It makes me feel good.

And that is why I scrape back two minutes of my time each morning to prioritise that feel good feeling. To get my face on.

Are you ready for a before and after? These are from two days ago – you might have seen them on Instagram or Facebook. They were photos I did for the March Photo A Day Challenge.


The two-minute makeup

Please note: no foreheads were tattooed in the making of this image

Ok, so the two-minute thing does come with practice but it also comes with having key products on hand that work for you – products you know you can quickly and easily use to give yourself a bit of a spit and polish with the minimum of fuss. I don’t use the same products every day – mainly because I have to trial a lot of new stuff (I know, cue violin music here) – but this is typical of what I’ll put on most work days.

two-minute makeup

In order of application: 1. L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream  | 2. Bare Minerals Original SPF Foundation in medium beige | 3. Ere Perez Arnica Concealer in Medium Light | 4. Jane Iredale bronzer in Rose Dawn (available April) |  5. Elf cream eyeshadow in Dawn | 6. Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear eyeliner in Rue St Honore | 7. Maybelline NY Volum’ Express One by One Satin Mascara (limited edition available May to celebrate Maybelline’s inaugural partnership with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2012) | 8. Clarins Gloss Prodige Lip Gloss in Raspberry

Probably the two key “get out the door with a face on” products above are the BB Cream (I use my Garnier one as well), followed by the Bare Minerals mineral foundation, which I apply and buff in with the Bare Minerals foundation brush. For me, if the complexion is even, then my “go” face is 90% there.

The rest is just optional icing.

Except lip gloss or lip colour. I feel naked without something on the lips.

What about you? Do you have a super quick morning makeup routine? Do you mix it around a bit? Or stick to the tried and true?

Comments 42

  1. If my skin is good then I use sunscreen followed by cover stick, mineral powder and the ususals. If not, then Garnier BB, coverstick, mineral powder, the usuals. Usuals are eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush and lipstick. I keep a pink and a red lipgloss in my bag in case I forget the lipstick, but I usually don’t.

  2. Nope, I don’t! That’s because I don’t leave the house often and I hardly ever wear make up. In fact, i’ve been foundation-less for around a month as I smashed my last bottle. I need to figure out a make up routine, or actually, a beauty routine as I don’t have one. I apply moisturiser twice a week, but my T-zone is getting dried out. I’m thinking, as I’m about to turn 26 I better start looking after my skin better.

  3. Hi Nikki,
    Love this post, it’s great seeing what others are doing.
    My daily 2 minute routine consists of olay complete care moisturiser with a touch of max factor (they’re tinted moisturiser/foundation) with some nars pressed powder foundation buffed over. For my eyes I use an brown liquid eyeliner and a nude eye pencil on the inner corners (makes me look brighter than I feel). I quick dab of benefit coralista blush on the apples of my cheeks, a slick of rosebud strawberry lip balm (the BEST-i’ve used it for years) and i’m all set. If my skin has gone a bit blotchy (read: acne) I also use some bobbi brown concealer on top (it has great sticking power and good coverage). I don’t use mascara as I got sick of the next-day panda eyes (worsening my genetic black rings I already have), and am looking for suggestions. I use Benefit’s they’re real when going out. I’m also going to try the l’oreal BB cream next, I found the garnier one too oily for me. I’ve tried the l’oreal one in store and love how the colour appears, just have to find a place that has my colour in stock!

    1. Have you tried the Mirenesse mascaras? They solve the Panda Eye issue because when you wash your mascara off, it just comes off in tubes off your eyelashes. There’s a whole range of different kinds. You can buy them online and wait for the sales before you buy anything. I think Clinique has begun to sell a similar one as well. 

  4. I LOVE Garnier’s BB cream and use it any time I know I’m going to have to leave the house that day.  I’ve also used Olay’s moisturiser with a touch of foundation with great success.  Add Almay colour match concealer as needed.  Curl the lashes and apply Maybelline Soft Lash (or Great Lash – it depends on which one’s been on sale!), brush my brows into place, swipe on some Covergirl Colorstay in a pinky shade or a slick of my fave Nivea tinted balm and I’m good to go.  2 minutes tops 🙂

    If I feel I need a little more glam or I’m off to the shops – after all, you never know who you might run into – I add a dab of Benefit cream blush (admittedly a sample that I have made great use of), a swipe of Covergirl powder across the nose, fill in the brows with a Bloom pencil and hit the lips with a hit of bright red lippy (currently loving my Maybelline).  Adds about another 60 seconds to the routine, so why not?

  5. I’m a morning face slacker.

    This post got me thinking about my bare minimum routine.   I’m hoping to blog about it soon and link back to this post.

    SSG xxx

  6. I think I have mine down pat and under 2 mins. I put the garnier bb cream onto fresh clean skin out of the shower. Then I dust over some jane Iredale mineral base. On the top of the eyelid I use either the paint on BLINC eyeliner in a very fine line or the Glominerals or Jane Iredale eye pencil smudged into eyeshadow then I have a little line smudged along the bottom. then I use the Blinc mascara. and if time permits a bit of bronzer on the cheeks forehead nose and chin and a squirt of the Jane Iredale Spritz!!
    tee hee= I also have a fan on my bench which dries it all on ever so quickly, especially in summer so I can get it on before perspiring it off, and it just feels great!!

    1. whoops forgot that the lipstick, glominerals, goes on when I get to work on the walk in the gate or in the car.

  7. I really would like to see a two minute YouTube video of this magical beauty routine! I take the same amount of time, but I only use moisturiser, concealer, blush and lipgloss!

  8. For days I can’t be bothered – homemade moisturiser (vegesorb, plus jojoba and whatever essential oils seem good but always including rose!).  Brush tangles out of hair and apply lip balm.

    For days  I CAN be bothered – moisturiser and hair as above.  Napoleon Perdis pressed powder in dark brown (no, not getting up to get the exact details!) over the eyebrows for better definition, and as liner on the top lids.  Zuui pressed powder in a soft slightly greenish brown over the eyelid.  Eve Peres waterproof mascara.  Napoleon Perdis blusher and then Lanolips in soft pink.  That’s the standard.  Sometimes I’ll use black kohl, a different eyeshadow or lip gloss, but yep, that’s about it.

  9. Sure do ,i put on mousturiser of course ,then depends on where i’m headed if its nowhere spesh use maybeliene or olay age perfect foundation or if its a bit spesh i use my Estee lauder posh one ,but the only things that stay the same is primer ,if i am staying home i skip that step if not then that first foundation smashbox brow tech for my sparse brows ,note do not leave home without it,mascara another must and some stay matt powder and blush either Estee lauder bronzer or smashbox lights up blush ,a spritz of my favourite scent ,some lippy or gloss and i am good to go,I never go nude faced unless i am literally dying ,i am VERY vain and i don’t care who knows it,its just me ,if i look good i feel good. 

  10. My school drop off makeup :Dior Hydraction skin tint, MAC studio sculpt concealer, Face of Australia loose powder, Face of Australia curl mascara,Revlon bronzer, Gorgeous cosmetics brow pencil & Burts Bees lipbalm in pomegranate. And a ponytail…lol

  11. Hey Nikki, first of all , I love the new look as much as everyone else. I have been reading everyday, sometimes more if work gets too tiresome but i have been a bit of a lurker for a while.

    My question today is: I have been a fan of the bb cream since you advised us to try it but I have been on the lookout for the new nude one and have not seen it anywhere. Do you know who has it in stock yet?

    1. I love your lurking … now re the L’Oreal BB Cream … I’ve got a question into them about it as it *should* be in store now – I’ll find out if there’s been a delay and let you know.

    2. I’ve head back from L’Oreal and here’s what they say: “Start at Priceline as they carry the biggest L’Oreal Paris range, but it is also available in selected pharmacies, Target, Coles & Woolworths (only certain stores stock cosmetics), Big W, and department stores.”  Good luck on your hunt!

  12. The BB cream sounds amazing, however the sunscreen factor is just not high enough for me.  Do you know of any other similar products with a 30+?
    By the way I love your blog! 

    1. Hi Michelle, between the BB Cream and the Mineral Makeup, I find it’s enough of a sunscreen for me for everyday. If I know I’ll be out in the sun for longer than here and there, then I’ll include a 30+ sunscreen as well. If I’m going to the beach, it will be sportsbloc with no makeup! Thanks for loving my blog 😉

  13. well I do the BB Cream and foundation MINIMUM most days…but rare days (today was one) it’s just Benefit concealer in the scary places…of course guess who bumps into a blog reader today in this state…typical….got back to the car looked in the mirror to reverse and realised hair was also revolting…hahaha

    never without gloss though….and mascara is becoming more essential as I age I reckon 

    you are brave to do the before but then again you still look good…


  14. I have learnt about and now love many new things from reading your blog and Garnier BB cream is one of them.  On days when I just have to run a few errands and don’t expect to be seen by any one I know or out for early morning chai then I BB up but for days when I need staying power or to feel just that bit more polished its my Mac foundation thats the winner.  I always do a bit of mascara and something on my lips, but eye shadow, eye liner and blush are optional depending on how I feel my face is looking on the day or how fabulous I feel I really need to look!  Now if only the frizzy mop that is my hair was so easy 😉

  15. EASY!  Garnier BB Cream (what the fuck did I do without this?) Nars South Beach on the cheekeroonis, Benefit Instant Brows on my eyebrowaroonis and I AM SO INTO THAT MASCARA AT THE MOMENT!  How good is the brush???

    Oh and deoderant, but on my pits,  not my facerooni x

    1. The brush is spot on … loving it. And re Garnier BB … who’d have thought that tube I gave you back in September would have started a revolution … much like the condom dress 😉

  16. I have a basic quick routine in the morning.  I’ll do slight changes according to my day.  I have a lunch meeting today so I used a full coverage foundation instead of BB but I only take about 5 mins to do my face. Rachel

    1. Yes, I’m the same, Rachel … if I’m going somewhere that I want to be sure the coverage sticks, I’ll up this routine to include a liquid foundation and powder over the BB. Have a great lunch meeting!

  17. “Please note: no foreheads were tattooed in the making of this image” – That got me laughing big time!I guess I have a 30 second face and that involves moisturizing and lip-balm BUT that has actually changed this year.  Thanks to you, I am now in love with Garnier BB cream – surprised that I am not sensitive to it and am able to use it every day!   I actually ditched my $50 tinted moisturizer for it and it just adds that bit of glow…I guess what Im trying to say is that I totally trust your advice and love you recommendations for busy mammas – Thanks Nikki

  18. Wow you definately could leave the house without make up but I understand that terrible  naked face  feeling.Your after photo is amazing as you look so beautiful but still very natural.Love the tattoo humour cheeky lady x

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