Look fabulous in five minutes with this clever makeup routine

Gillian MoodyBeauty 41 Comments

Editor’s note: Please welcome today’s guest blogger: Gillian Moody from Champagne Cartel. With an extensive background as a professional makeup artist, she is sharing her tips on how to save time in the morning with a five minute makeup routine.

I used to be one of those people that would love taking my time to get ready for work in the morning. Before I had kids, my standard was to allow an hour to get ready.

Hahahahaha, an HOUR!

It seriously makes me LOL just thinking about that. What on earth was I doing with myself that could even take an hour, I ask you?

Anyway, these days I have my makeup-in-minutes routine down pat and I know that as long as I have five minutes to spare I can be sorted and looking my best.

Before you start

Give your skin the best preparation by applying your serum or moisturiser immediately after you get out of the shower while your skin is still damp. Do this straight away and let it sink in as you finish drying yourself and get dressed.

Then put on your moisturiser (with SPF!) and you are good to go.

Minutes 1 & 2

Pulling together a smooth base is the focus of your first two minutes. Having lovely smooth foundation will give you a professional finish that no one will ever guess you did in two minutes!


1. Apply your foundation. I use a BB or a CC cream as they are very easy to apply and most forgiving. Do your eyelids as well, this will prep them for later when you do your eyeshadow.

2. Use a foundation brush or a makeup sponge and blend, blend, blend. Go all around the hairline, the corners of your nose, under your chin and around the eyebrows.

3. Get out your Touche Eclat or whatever is your preferred concealer and cover up any blemishes and then paint a downwards triangle under your eyes. Use your ring finger to pat very gently and blend it, remember that your under eye area is very delicate like tissue paper, and if you are rough you’ll stretch the skin and it won’t go back into shape (no-one wants an under the eye area like a foreskin EEEK).

4. If you use powder or bronzer, apply it now but don’t go too hard at it, you don’t have time to fix mistakes, so err on the side of caution with the amount of product you use. You want to be naturally radiant not all scary and Geordie Shore.

Professional Tip: Invest in a very good quality large powder brush. It will make application very fast and you won’t have to waste time picking unsightly black hairs off your chin that fall out of your cheap brush.

Minute 3


1. & 2. Apply your eyeshadow using colours that you know and love (and ones that love you too!). It really is best not to start experimenting with the latest looks when you only have a few minutes.

3. Find your go-to colour palette. I love my old L’Oreal one (similar to the L’Oreal Colour Riche Quads in Forever Bronze) which contains a light coloured base I apply all over my eye, then a smoky khaki colour for shadow effect and a bronzey coloured tone to blend everything together.

Professional Tip: After you’ve applied your eyeshadow, grab a light slightly shimmery colour and apply a dot in the corners of your eyes near the nose – this will really lift your brows and make your eyes pop. This is a technique makeup artists use all the time, if you lighten the inside corners, the whole eye looks bigger and brighter.

Minutes Four & Five



1. Put on mascara, and eyeliner if you think you’ll have time. Colour in your brows with a pencil and finish with some brow gel to stop any stray hairs flying about.

2. Apply your lipstick. Give it a little rub around with your finger to ensure you don’t have any visible edges or harsh lines.

3. Apply the excess lipstick as blush. Look in the mirror and smile, where the apple of your cheeks form, just put a dot of lipstick right in the middle and blend so it isn’t a circle of colour.

4. You’re done! And looking fabulous in five minutes.

Final Professional Tip

My best advice is always to just enjoy yourself and have fun with makeup, it should never feel like hard work. If you feel too stressed to put on makeup in the morning, just bloody well give it a miss, who cares!

Do you have any other tips you can share with busy women to save some precious time in the morning?

GillianMoody_Headshot_Web-150x150Gillian Moody is a Napoleon trained make-up artist who has styled, art directed and produced numerous fashion, editorial and corporate photographic shoots over the last 15 years. She is absolutely passionate about style, make-up, fashion and beauty. She loves to share her knowledge on how to look good and feel great through her blog Champagne Cartel, that she writes with her business partner Carolyn Tate. Gillian runs group makeup and skincare workshops and individual coaching for women of all ages.

Comments 41

  1. Thank you! I’ve gone back at work part-time this year and more than once the kids have been almost late to school because I have to put on makeup before we leave!

  2. Hi Gillian I read this post a couple of days ago, I need fast makeup, and the tip about applying colour to the apple of your cheeks is perfect. I’m using blush rather than lippie, but it looks so much better than the short swoop if blush around the top of my cheek bone. I’m loving it! A simple but amazing tip. Thanks!

    1. Oh WOW Kathryn that is FANTASTIC! I am so pleased you got something useful from my post. Thank you for the feedback. xx Cheers Gilian

  3. One last question – I knew I would get some use out of this tute…….what eyebrow pencil would you recommend. I am fair coloured like you – but get my brows tinted a sandy brown

  4. Absolutely love the look, and really great tips! Can I ask which bb and cc cream you use? It looks great on your skin

    1. Hi Jess oh thank you so much. I used Revlon CC Cream for this shoot but I often use Garnier BB Cream. Xx Gillian

  5. Love this………….even a makeup doof like me could almost do it. Can you tell us what ‘shimmery’ thing you use in the corner of your eye near your nose? Us amateurs need specific deets!!!!!

    1. Hahaha fantastic Amanda! I use a Mac Sized to Go Pigment in Naked. But there’s loads of other highlighters on the market like Benefit Watts Up or the Napoleons Radiant Reflections Eye Colour. Or you can just buy a light white or cream coloured sparkly eye shadow and give that a go! Cheers x Gillian

  6. I must get on board with this!! I mostly get about bare faced and I’m rarely seen in photos because of it.
    Thanks for your tips pretty lady!

  7. I must get on board with this!! I mostly get about bare faced and I’m rarely seen in photos because of it.
    Thanks for your tips pretty lady!

  8. This is a great little tutorial, much needed, thank you. Can you please tell me how to stop my mascara ending up under my eyes? Even using waterproof mascara, not putting it on my lower lashes, I still end up with mascara smudging. I feel naked without mascara, so I would appreciate any advice.

    1. Hi Sue, thank you very much! So there’s a few options for you. 1. You could try tube mascara, I haven’t personally used it that much but apparently it’s fantastic as it coats the lashes in a rubber tube or sorts and won’t easily smudge. Clinique and Blinc are a couple of brands that make tubular mascara 2. Use a mattifying concealer or a light powder under your eyes to keep oil to a minimum, if you have oily skin it could be causing the smudging issue 3. Put primer on your lashes. I haven’t used primer myself but I know that Estée Lauder and Blinc brands do primers. I hope that you have some luck with one of these options!! Cheers Gillian x

  9. What a gorgeous look and something that is easily achievable for someone just getting started with makeup! Now that I have hit 30 I feel like I need something on my face but have no idea so this is very helpful.

  10. Pretty much my work makeup routine. I use brushes for powders and faking my non-existent brows but I can never be bothered faffing with the foundation brush or sponges, so these just sit on the shelf mocking me. I think it’s the cleaning part that stops me using them, so I’m wondering if you have any tips about quick cleaning of brushes if you do use them daily for foundation?

    1. Thanks Johanne, hahaha you’re very funny….. so to answer your question I use a proper brush cleaner spray on a daily basis then I shampoo them weekly. You can buy brush cleaner from Priceline, I know Manicare do one. Spray it on a tissue then rub the brush backwards and forwards in it, don’t spray to directly on the brush. Once a week get your brushes and put some warm water in the sink with a bit of baby shampoo. Wash them gently, then rinse and then let them dry on a paper towel. Hope that helps!! Cheers Gillian

  11. I never thought I would read foreskin in the same sentence as makeup application. I love the Internet 🙂 Thank you Gillian. Genital references aside this was super helpful. I would love to hear your picks for products and tools too.

    1. Hahaha thanks Nellie! Glad to be of assistance. I will definitely keep you posted on products I recommend. Thanks for your comment!!! Cheers Gillian

  12. I never thought I would read foreskin in the same sentence as makeup application. I love the Internet 🙂 Thank you Gillian. Genital references aside this was super helpful. I would love to hear your picks for products and tools too.

  13. Wow Gillian. That’s my long makeup routine! (The quick one is BB and lip gloss). I’m hopeless at doing it quickly – always stab myself in the eye with the mascara or something dumb like that – but willing to give it a go.

    PS you look stunning both before and after – gorgeous skin. x

    1. Hahaha Cheryl that’s funny. Can’t tell you the number of times I’ve ended up with mascara in the eye too. Thank you so much for your kind compliment! Cheers Gillian x

  14. good tips, thanks Gillian!
    even if I don’t do anything else, I put lippy on and some bronzer with a brush!
    I like an extra brush that takes of any excess! I’m older and I err on the side of less is more! have a good day! love m:)X

    1. Thank you Merilyn! That’s my fast routine too, love a lick of bronzer! You have a great day too. Cheers!

    2. Thank you Merilyn! That’s my fast routine too, love a lick of bronzer! You have a great day too. Cheers!

    1. Hi Angela, I have a Mecca brush which is fantastic, but expensive. In terms of more affordable I have one from Nude by Nature and a Priceline one that both work beautifully too. Thanks for taking time to comment Angela! Cheers Gillian

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