There's a lot of dreck out there right now about going all out for Valentine's Day, and that includes makeup. Listen, intricate cat's eyes and intense contouring have their place.
But if you've woken up today, V Day, with too much to do and you find you can't be bothered doing it, or you can be bothered, but you're running late with it, there is another way. Especially if you still want to look pulled together and fresh.
You might begin with mascara, so go ahead and use your favourite mascara. We're not going to reinvent the wheel here. Now, I like to begin with some sort of face cream. I don't use foundation, I prefer tinted moisturisers. Foundation takes too damn long to blend and if I don't blend it correctly I can end up with a telltale line around my jaw. Tinted moisturisers provide enough coverage to give you an even skin tone and they usually have an SPF. If you're lucky, they'll also have some sort of illuminising ingredient, so there's your sunscreen and general glow taken care of, too. I swear by Laura Mercier's one. ($65, available at David Jones). I really do swear by it. I've had strangers compliment me on my skin when I wear it and the truth is I have very average skin.
The next bit requires only that you're smarter than a five year-old because what you're basically doing is colouring-in. Yep, crayon style eyeshadows are back and bigger than ever. Well, thicker than ever. Numerous companies are getting in on the act and for good reason – they're hard to stuff up. I like to use Clinique's Chubby Stick, ($35). You can actually use more than one, as you would your eyeshadow, to contour and blend. But, not every night is Date Night. Or Ladies Night. Or Treat Yourself to Three Hours of Free Falling Makeup Experimentation in Front of a Full-Length Mirror to the Soundtrack of Solange Night. So, you know, one is fine.
I like to colour in my entire eyelid with one called Bountiful Beige. My contention is, if I colour outside the lines, so to speak, I look shiny as opposed to consumptive.
Next, get another crayon – a lipstick crayon with a light shade – and make two little tiny circles, slightly bigger than freckles, in the middle of your cheeks. Blend until you look nice and rosy. Then use the same crayon to run over your lips. Dab it a little and it should resemble a light stain, which is on-trend right now so good for you. I like to use Revlon Colourburst Balm Stain ($17.95) in a peachy shade called Rendezvous for three reasons. 1.Peach is hot right now. 2.The name makes me feel like I'm in an early 80s high class detective show like Hart to Hart, (watch the intro, it will transport you). (Now watch the parody with Adam Scott and Amy Poehler) 3. The balm adds a lovely shine to my cheeks.
Now, your brows. I'm including these guys because once you have them filled in, it won't matter that you're only wearing a smattering of cosmetics. As we all know, brows upgrade your face. Like, from economy to business class. At least. Use a brow pencil to fill in any hairless gaps and then use the other end of that pencil to brush all your tiny eyebrow hairs upwards so they look nice and full and yes, a tad bushy if possible. I use Benefit's Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil ($42, available at Myer) because as the name suggests, it's hard to stuff up. This is important because when I'm running late I get anxious and my hands tremble a little. Now, you could highlight under your brows with a nude pencil or even a pale one, but we don't have time right now!
OK. You already have your cheeks tinted so this next part is strictly optional. But, if you like, you can dust around a bit with a brush and a powder to contour your cheeks. But only if you can be bothered. You poor thing you've got so much on and only so many hours in the day to watch 80s TV show trailers.