Morning Makeup Tricks to Wake Up Your Face in Less Than 5 Minutes

February 8, 2016

Waking up looking like you barely slept happens to the best of us. Makeup to the rescue! But when you actually don’t get enough sleep, that often leads to extra snooze-button action, cutting primping time short, too.

That’s where these morning makeup tricks come in. Keep a few of these babies up your sleeve to get that fresh, wide-awake look in just a few minutes. Ready, set, go!


Any makeup artist worth their salt won’t even think about skipping the skin-prep step. And you shouldn’t either—the more you hydrate and prime, the less makeup you’ll need. Start things off with a splash of cold water, which can tighten skin and stimulate blood flow, increasing your rosy-glow factor in an instant. Then moisturize with rosehip seed oil, either on its own, or with your trustiest moisturizer layered on top. (Don’t have a favorite? Try this radiance-boosting lavender formula.) Then pat some brightening eye cream onto the under-eye area very gently with your ring fingers.
Active time: 1 minute


To address any dark circles, gently pat some concealer directly on them, and tap with your fingertip until fully blended. In order to avoid product getting trapped in and emphasizing lines, stop short of where the natural crease occurs just below the eye. Choose a shade that matches your skin tone exactly, or for a brightening effect, go just one shade lighter.
Active time: 1 minute

To offset any darkness around the eyes, apply a tiny bit of highlighter or lightening powder to the inner corners with a small makeup brush, then sweep the excess over the lids. Some eyeshadows can do the trick, too, like an icy taupe shade for fairer skin and a tan shade for darker skin—just choose one a few shades lighter than your skin tone.
Active time: 15 seconds

For decades, women have been using white liner on their waterline (that moist area just above the lower lashline) to “open up” the eyes—but it can actually look super unnatural. The better option? A nude pencil—invest in one closest to your skin tone and apply it to your waterline to make the eyes look bigger.  Gently pull down the lower lid with your ring finger and carefully apply. (It’s normal to tear up—it should subside. But if your eyes are super sensitive and this causes irritation, skip this step.)
Active time: 10 seconds

Then curl eyelashes (for even more eye-opening results) and lightly swipe on a coat of black mascara.
Active time: 40 seconds

Fill in brows with brow powder, which instantly perks up the face.
Active time: 30 seconds


Pucker up and make lips (and your whole face!) pop with a lip tint. It’s way easier to apply and wear than lipstick and looks more natural, too. We like a pinch of pink or a hint of red for a sweet “bitten” look.
Active time: 10 seconds


Even a tiny amount of pink- or coral-toned blush on the apples of the cheeks can do wonders for the face. To help figure out the right shade, literally pinch your cheeks and choose one that resembles your natural flush. Apply it wherever you blush naturally, and blend blend blend. No contouring needed!
Active time: 20 seconds

Finish with a light dusting of illuminizer all over. (Here’s a shade that works for medium and darker skin tones, and one for lighter skin tones.) Simply sprinkle a tiny bit of the powder into the lid of the container, pick some up with a large powder brush, tap off the excess, and very lightly sweep all over the face.
Active time: 10 seconds

Done! And with plenty of time to spare, you’ll have a moment to wake up your insides with a cup of coffee, too.

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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