It’s 5 p.m., and you’re about to leave work to go out for the night. You check your makeup in the mirror, and wow—what happened? Even if you’re wearing a primer and just sitting at a desk, your makeup can get a little worse for wear by the afternoon. Rather than starting completely over, follow this simple three-minute routine to look refreshed without the hassle.
1. Dab on Foundation
Even with primer, foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB Cream rubs off within a few hours. In warm weather, you’re fighting against the effects of sweat, and during the colder months, dry air zaps out all of the moisture out of your skin, which can cause your makeup to flake off. Even blowing your nose swipes product off. When the afternoon rolls around, fix an uneven complexion by lightly dabbing foundation with a sponge like the beauty blender ($19.95, sephora.com). By wetting the sponge first, you only need a dime-sized amount to cover your face. To avoid any streaks, dab the sponge along your face as opposed to swiping.
2. Touch Up With Concealer
Now for those trouble spots—undereye circles, blemishes, etc. Add another coat of protection with concealer. The trick to concealer is applying the correct color for your specific issue. When covering undereye circles, use a concealer that has a yellow base in a tone that is just a tad lighter than your complexion. When covering blemishes, use a concealer that matches your skin tone. Concealers with a green tint have been said to neutralize the redness of a zit, but this is only true in photographs. The green will actually be visible under natural light.
3. Enhance With a Brow Highlighter
Looking a little tired this afternoon? Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, take attention from your eyes to your brows. A swipe of the highlighter just below the brow (directly on the brow bone) will bring the focus up and add a pretty shimmer.
4. Brighten With Shadow in the Crease
Instead of redoing all of your eye makeup, add just a swipe of shadow to brighten your entire eye. Apply a white or cream shadow to your brush and lightly dab it in the inner crease of your eye.
5. Pop In Color With Lipstick
Nothing freshens up your face instantly like a pop of color on your lips. Light colors—any nudes or soft pinks—will soften all of your features, while bolder colors—reds, fuchsias, magentas, purples—will brighten your entire face. Think of a bold, bright lipstick as your 30-second fix to a fresher complexion.