Beauty How-To: Holiday Makeup, Fast And Easy

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While it certainly is the season for sparkle, our simple approach to makeup is pretty much the same all year—in fact, nothing we do requires makeup brushes. Given all the holiday bustle, we’ve noticed our barely-there beauty routine is serving us better than ever, so we thought we’d share. Here’s how we’re getting ready in no time flat.

20 Seconds For Your Face. Chalk it up to a general distaste for feeling and looking, well, overly made up; we prefer our skin naturally luminous. One way to mimic that dewy summertime glow in the colder months is to pat a few drops of face essential oil directly onto the skin. (We like Rodin’s Olio Lusso for its hint of jasmine scent and remarkably sheer—not heavy—feel.) On days we want to keep things lighter, we’ll mix a drop of oil with a dollop of our everyday moisturizer.

30 Seconds For Your Cheeks and Lips. Yes, this has become a two-in-one step. Because the color of your natural blush is so close to the color of your lips, the same shade looks great on both. A water-based lip stain goes on sheer for a buildable, can’t-overdo-it hue (we like Josie Maran’s Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain in Mambo, a supersheer toasted beige). The trick to faking a fresh-off-the-slopes flush is to dab the color onto your lips and cheeks with fingers instead of applying it directly—you’ll get a blurred wash effect instead of a doll-like puncher of pink. If we’re having a truly minimalist morning, a simple swipe of lip balm (like Smith’s Rosebud Salve or French cult favorite Caudalíe’s Grape-seed Lip Conditioner) will leave lips with a healthy pink tinge.

30 Seconds For Your Brows. The simplest way to define eyes without using much makeup (or time) is to define your brows. An eyebrow tint in a pencil or a mascara-like applicator (like Blinc’s Eyebrow Mousse, which comes in eight shades) leaves brows looking subtly shaped. For very special occasions and those parties where friends will be Instagramming the night away, a swipe of highlighter (like ILIA’s Beauty Illuminator) over the brow bone and cheekbones is like a full night of beauty sleep in a stick.

Finishing touch. Want an even faster trick? For an instant pick-me-up or to add dewiness after a few hours of staring at a computer screen, mist a botanical spray over the face. (We stash Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater in our desk drawers and stock Caudalíe’s Beauty Elixir in nightstands and cabinets.)