By Devon Abelman
I have three alarms on my phone for workdays: one for the earliest possible time I should be awake, one for the time I should definitely be awake, and one for the last possible time I can get up. Some (but really, most) mornings, the thought of waking up when the first alarm goes off nauseates me. (I recently had to set an alarm for 4:56, and I woke up with the same feeling one would have after going on a boat during a hurricane.) I find comfort in that second alarm, and a morning or two every week, the third alarm is the only thing that makes me feel like I can deal with the rest of the day.
When I choose that third alarm, I have to make some sacrifices. Twenty more minutes of sleep means no wings, no flaw-free foundation, and no curated lipstick that perfectly matches my outfit. But I’ve mastered the art so no one realizes I’ve forgone such steps. Let me demystify my quick-routine magic for you.
What to listen to:
I like to keep myself accountable for time. Lately I do so with podcasts. Lore is my morning fave. Something about Aaron Mahnke’s robotic voice is weirdly soothing and
eases me into the day. The episodes are about 25 minutes long, so I listen to half while I do my makeup and the other half while I wait for the G train.
What to do:
With clean hands, rub a pea-sized amount of alphabet cream all over your face (like you would with moisturizer) to even out your skin tone. I like bareMinerals Complexion Rescue because it’s super hydrating and forgiving when it comes to this sloppy application.
In a half-circle motion, brush the top of your cheeks and temples with powder highlighter on a fluffy angled face brush. My favorite at the moment is Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in Starlight because it makes my cheeks look like little orbs of light all day long. Then, apply a bronze or rose gold blush on the hollows of your cheeks. Without dipping into your blush again, sweep the remaining product on your brush along your hairline. My go-to is Urban Decay Afterglow in Kinky. This is basically a speedy powder version of contouring to bring light and color to your face.
Apply the same highlighter to your whole lid (below your crease) and inner corners with an eyeshadow brush. Then, add some depth with the blush. Pop it on the outer corners.
My eyes look super small when I don’t use eyeliner, so I like to use a tightlining mascara like It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Primer. The short bristles help lashes look falsie-full by filling in any gaps with an eyeliner effect. Just press the brush against the roots of your upper lashes, and then use it lightly on your lower lashes. Finish off with a couple coats of your favorite mascara. (If it isn’t Benefit Roller Lash, you need to reevaluate your life choices.)
My brows are bold and beefy (just how I like my men) to begin with, but I like to make
sure everyone knows they are there when I don’t wear liner. Plus if you bring attention to your brows, no one will notice your under-eye circles. Chosungah 22 Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker is perfect for lazy statement brows because the applicator and brush are
I always like to keep a good neutral lip color in my purse for days like this. That way, I can apply it when I get to the train platform. My low-key fave is Revlon Matte Balm in Fierce. Of all the liquid and matte lipsticks I’ve tried, this drugstore balm outlasts them all. Plus it’s a really nice ‘90s brown that doesn’t look like you’re trying to be trendy.
And that’s it! When you’re done, you’ll look something like this:
Devon Abelman was voted Most Likely to Give Moms Beauty Tips in high school. OK, not really, but she might as well have. Her work has appeared in Parents, American Baby, and Prevention. She’s currently the assistant editor for FamilyFun and founder of the beauty blog #beautyblessed. If you ever need podcast, TV, or movie recommendations, you can subscribe to her newsletter DEVFLIX. Or if you’re in the mood to listen to women talk about things they love, check out her podcast Less Than Three.