Is it really possible to do one's makeup in five minutes?

A few weeks ago, the news feed at my service provider flashed a story about 5-minute makeup. As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of What Not to Wear knows, make up artist Carmindy (of the U.S. version of the show) is a huge proponent of wearing as little make up as possible and applying it in only five minutes.

Since I am so completely NOT a five-minute-make-up type of woman, I went off to the library to get Carmindy’s book The Five Minute Face (Harper Collins, 2007). In about 200 pages, Carmindy not only outlines the steps for her daily routine, she also offers advice on looking good at any age, and simple steps to follow for special occasions like weddings and perfecting a classic smoky eye.

Carmindy

Carmindy's book, The Five-Minute Face

My morning make up regimen goes something like this: sunscreen; take 10 minutes to put on 2, 3, 4 or more eye colours and lots of mascara; then put on foundation (with my fingers) from the nose out; lightly dust on powder; and add lip colour. If I’m pressed for time, the eyes can go on in five minutes because I still do a shadow/liner/mascara combination no matter what. I always do foundation last because I don’t like to take a chance at having my eye shadow fall on a freshly-made-up face.

Carmindy’s routine starts with foundation or tinted moisturizer applied with a sponge all over the face, including across the eyelids, and she suggests a second layer stippled over the areas that need more coverage. Step Two involves applying under-eye concealer with a brush and blending it with your finger, while Step Three is applying concealer on all other spots you think need it.

A light dusting of powder over most of the face, again including eye lids, comprises Step Four. This step is followed by the judicious use of highlighters, preferably in powder form. Anyone who has seen Carmindy on television knows that pearlescent shimmer powder or liquid is part of her signature look. In addition to putting it on the brow bone, she also recommends sweeping it across the cheekbones, and, of course, at the inside corners of the eyes.

Step Six is blush application and is followed by light applications of eye liner and mascara for steps seven and eight. Carmindy suggests applying a thin line of chocolate brown pencil smudged into the lash line as much as possible and one coat of black mascara.

At the end is lip colour — for the sake of fitting into the last few seconds of your five minutes, Carmindy recommends tinted lip balm or your favourite gloss instead of applying lipstick with a brush.

I tried to follow Carmindy’s routine — not on a work-day — and found that it did take me longer than five minutes to follow all the steps. However, I do have skin that needs more coverage due to a lot of redness. And I really do prefer to have a little more colour on my eyelids.

But the book is great for makeup newbies and those who want a quick and easy routine to follow. It is also worth the purchase price for the instructions for all the special occasion looks and product recommendations.

Finally, Carmindy’s sense of fun comes through, and that’s part of what makeup is all about!


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