Since I'm an engineer at heart, something about spending a half an hour doing my makeup every morning seems very inefficient. So I've come up with a scheme that you can do in under 5 minutes, with just your hand (or the tool of your choice), and in any location (your car, the work bathroom, wherever). I don't pretend to be a makeup artist so it's not exactly a model grade style, but it is clean, natural, professional, and fast. I would include photos, but that would kind of defeat the anonymity of this blog- so some drawings will have to do. If you've ever applied makeup before, this is may not be helpful. But if you don't know where to start, then here are some makeup basics!
Step 1: Apply a Primer
I am incredibly hard on my makeup at work. Hours of looking at the screen mean that I unintentionally end up rubbing my eyes, and extreme temperature causes my eyes to water and makes most makeup run. Without applying a primer, I end up at the end of the work day with my makeup smudged around my face like a raccoon instead of where I carefully placed it that morning.
Apply the primer to your eyelid where you will be applying makeup. It isn't actually purple, I pick a clear color normally and purple was just the easiest way to show it.
Step 2: Apply First Color Eye Shadow
Apply a light neutral color of eye shadow on your eyelid starting at the inside corner of your eye, and about 75% of the way to the outside corner. You can do this with your finger, or with an applicator (my mother told me to remind you that you should wash your hands before touching your eyes). If you have a darker complexion, you can apply this across your entire lid so the next color will pop a little more.
But Vanessa, how do I pick a color? I recommend going to a nearby makeup store, find a makeup artist whose makeup you like, and ask her to help you pick some natural colors that match your skin tone.You can also get a kit with a variety of neutral colors, and experiment on your own. You can use something with a little shimmer, as long as it isn't heinous.
Step 3: Apply Second Color Eye Shadow
Use a different finger or brush, or the other side of an applicator to apply a darker but still neutral color of eye shadow (you don't want the colors to mix into a single muddy color). Starting as shown on the picture, bring the eye shadow close to the corner of your eye. I mix it up between keeping this in a solid line, or bringing the darker shadow in the crease of my lid.
Step 4: Blend
Blend the line between the two colors of eye shadow with a third brush, finger, etc. with small strokes towards the darker section. Then blend the outside of the dark color so that there isn't a stark line where your eye shadow ends.
Step 5: Apply Eyeliner
Apply eyeliner to your upper lid. You can continue just past your eye and sweep up slightly at the corner. If you are having problems applying it, lift your head up slightly so you are looking down towards the mirror. This helps your eyelids lay a little flatter and the eyeliner will apply smoothly. If you haven't applied eyeliner before just take some time, and continue to apply and take off until you get the feel of it or your eyes become too irritated.
Step 6: Apply Mascara
The best trick I know of is to put the brush at the base of your eyelashes, and wiggle it from side to side a couple of times before bringing it up. This helps separate the eyelashes a little and creates a fuller look.
Step 7: Clean up Mistakes
When you do your makeup quickly, stray marks around are totally normal. Use a damp towel, or makeup remover pad to clean up any stray makeup, especially under your eyes. You'd be surprised how this can turn a terrible mess into beautiful makeup!
Step 8: Apply Lip-Something
I say a "lip-something" because there are several totally legitimate options here. Choose to apply a lipstick, or tinted chap-stick that matches your natural coloring at this point. If you are looking for tips for how to pick a color, a lot of people are calling this My Lips But Better (MLBB). You can also choose a regular chap-stick to provide moisture and bring out your natural beauty. Avoid sparkles and lip gloss as these will make you look more like a pre-teen than a responsible young woman.
And that's all! It seems like a lot of steps, but compared to calculus and matrix algebra this is very easy. Let me know how you like this, or if you have any makeup tricks of your own!