An Average Morning

The thought for this post came to me while chatting with my lovely sister-in-law the other evening.

One of the truly wonderful things about makeup is that there is no one right way to do it.  In spite of what some beauty gurus and influencers would have you believe, there is no “one true way”.  However you do it, it works.  If you spend 2 hours on your makeup of a morning, using 50 different products, that’s right.  If you swipe on mascara and lip gloss either on the tram or while trying to get out of the door in the morning, grabbing your handbag, your travel mug and your car keys and rounding up your children with your third pair of hands, that’s right too.  If you don’t wear any make up at all, guess what?  That’s right as well!

There’s absolutely no one right way with makeup, and I will never judge any person harshly on the basis of when, where, why, how, how much and for how long they do their makeup.  At all.  (Unless they never wash their brushes.  Because that’s gross.)  So this week’s post is about my makeup routine – about how I do it.  On an average work day, what happens from the moment I walk up to my vanity desk in the morning and sit down?

Taking the photographs for this was surprisingly difficult, I tried to think my way through an average morning and do it in order, but kept forgetting things and having to go back!  Anyway – in each case I’ve taken a photograph of my most-used items at each “step”.  It doesn’t mean that I always use all the items in every photograph every day, very far from it – with the exception of the skincare picture, it means that I shall probably use one of the items in each photograph on any given day.

And one more time before I start – there is no one right way of doing any of these things!  This is just how I do it.  🙂


First things first, skincare!  Always, always skincare first, or there’s no point in anything else if you have skin like mine.  And along with skincare goes:


Lipcare. Exfoliator if needed, and then a good slick of either one of the two balms.  Lipstick of any kind, but especially liquid lipstick, goes on far better and lasts much longer on smooth, well-hydrated lips.


Next, primer.  Pick a primer, any primer!  The one in the middle (Younique Touch Glorious Face Primer) is my day to day one, the one on the left (Estée Lauder The Smoother) is in testing, and the one on the right (Benefit The Porefessional) is for really, really bad pore days!  I usually attend to skincare first, then put my primer on and leave it to settle in while I dry and straighten my hair before going back to my makeup.


Next up – base.  Either foundation or tinted moisturiser, depending on the weather, my mood and how much I can be bothered.

Left to right are NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, Estée Lauder Doublewear Stay-in-Place Makeup and Younique Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation.  At the front are my current two favourite foundation brushes, Real Techniques’ Expert Face Brush and Spectrum’s A02 Angled Foundation Brush.  Again, it depends on my mood which one I go for.


Concealer next.  The one on the right, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is my day to day choice.  I have been testing the Too Faced Born This Way Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer (Could there possibly be a longer name for a concealer?  Answers on a postcard…) for a couple of months, and haven’t been impressed, so I shall be sticking with the NARS one for now.  I do have a concealer brush, but I inevitably find myself falling back on my Beautyblender, it’s quicker and gives much better results.


Eye Primer.  NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base, MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  I almost always use the MAC Paint Pot, it gives by far the best results on my oil-slick eyelids!  I use a Real Techniques Medium Shadow Brush for application, it’s exactly the right size and texture and gets the job done quickly and efficiently.


Ah, one of my favourite things of all: powder.  Loose on the left (Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder) and pressed on the right (Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish).  It’s nothing more than personal preference as to which one you use.  I find loose works better with some bases and pressed with others.  I also tend to use pressed when travelling, for ease and convenience.

My current powder brush is the Real Techniques Brush Crush Volume 2 Powder Brush.  It’s the softest, silkiest, fluffiest powder brush I’ve ever found!  It works equally well with loose or pressed powder.


Once base, concealer and eye primer are set, it’s on to eyeshadow.  That I have rather a few eyeshadows is well known, I just picked three of the palettes I reach for most often for the picture!  At the back is Urban Decay’s Born to Run, at the front is the Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette Toasted, and in the middle is my Tarte Cosmetics magnetic palette, which currently has 4 Younique Moodstruck Pressed Shadows in it, I’m pretty confident they are (left to right) Fervent, Agile, Trusting and Gentle.

The jar has a selection of my most-used eye brushes, I won’t list all of them, but they’re a selection from Real Techniques, Spectrum and Sigma, plus the Younique Blending Brush.


On days when eyeshadow seems like just too much trouble, I take the cheat’s way out and use bronzer (NARS Laguna), swirled over my lids with a fluffy brush (Real Techniques Bold Metals Tapered Blush), instead.  It’s enough to give a little colour and shaping but takes virtually no time or effort.


After eyeshadow, eyeliner.  I’m not a massive fan of eyeliner generally, partly because I have very little patience, and partly because black liner tends to make my already small eyes look smaller, so I almost always use Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ‘n’ Kohl Eye Cheat, which is a cream coloured liner that has the nifty effect of making me look far more awake than I actually am!  On the rare occasion I want a coloured liner, I go for the bronze coloured Barbara Daly one at the back – the range was for Tesco and has long, long since been discontinued.  That’s how rarely I buy eyeliner!


Eyes done, it’s on to blusher.  Always one of these three, all by NARS.  Exhibit A on the left, Deepthroat on the right, and Orgasm (which you can’t see but I’ve photographed it for the blog before now, it’s similar to Deepthroat but paler and with more gold.)

The brush is the Real Techniques Blush Brush.  (I really do like Real Techniques brushes, can you tell?)


Highlighter!  Shiny things!  I don’t always use it, it depends on the day, what I’m up to, what mood I’m in and whether I can be bothered.

On the left is Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, on the right is a new Estée Lauder one that I haven’t got round to testing yet (received as part of last week’s “Gift with Purchase”), and at the back is Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, which I use as a liquid highlighter when wearing tinted moisturiser (it doesn’t work as a highlighter with either of the two liquid foundations, it pulls them straight off).

For applying to larger areas (cheekbones, collarbones), I use the Spectrum B08 Magic Wand, and for smaller areas (tear ducts, cupid’s bow), the Real Techniques Essential Crease Brush.  For the liquid highlighter, the Beautyblender does the job very nicely.


Eyebrows.  No help for it, when you have brows like mine they have to be tidied up and kept in check!  I fill in any gaps with the Younique Moodstruck Precision Brow Liner, then Glossier’s Boy Brow finishes the job nicely.

With only lips and mascara left to do, this is the perfect time for:


Setting spray.  What’s the point of going to all the effort if it doesn’t stay where you put it?  Urban Decay’s Chill is great for the summer, Mac’s Prep+Prime Fix+ is a good all rounder.  I have the coconut scented one.


A quick squidge with the eyelash curler (Kevyn Aucoin), then on with the mascara.  Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash on the top and Clinique Lash Power on the bottom.  The Hourglass one is fantastic, but it’s just a bit too over the top for bottom lashes.  The Clinique one gives colour without too much “va va voom”, and it doesn’t smudge.

Last, but by no means least, lips!


Lipliners – an assortment from Charlotte Tilbury, MUA, Too Faced, Urban Decay and Younique.  the lip brush is from Charlotte Tilbury.  These I choose solely on the basis of what goes with the lipstick I’ve chosen for the day.  The clear MUA one is very good for keeping liquid lipstick in its cage during the day, and stopping it wandering off around my mouth.  As evidenced by the fact that it’s well and truly worn down, my favourite here is Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, which goes with almost every nude type lipstick in my collection.


Lipsticks, liquid lipsticks, lip glosses.  I honestly just grabbed a handful for the picture, I don’t really know which colours are there!  The brands are Charlotte Tilbury, Urban Decay, Chanel, Younique, Too Faced, Stila and LA Splash.  In the mornings I just pick a colour depending on what I’m up to for the day, what I’m wearing and what I’ve done with the rest of my makeup.  When I’m done, the lipstick goes in my handbag for touch-ups later in the day.

And that’s it!  All made up and ready to go!  This takes around half an hour from the point I finish straightening my hair if I get on with it with minimal faffing, and don’t try to do anything too clever with my eyes.  By this time I have one eye on my watch and am usually running for the front door, grabbing bags, keys and coat as I go. 🙂

Wow – probably the longest blog post I’ve done to date.  Hopefully it will be useful to some, and interesting to others. 🙂   I always love the opportunity to have a nose at other people’s routines – I hope you did too!

All photos taken by me, the mirrored jewellery box in the photos is by Fox&Ivy for Tesco.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned within it, and I have no affiliation with any of them.  I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for this post, and I (or my very generous husband) pay for every product I review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

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