Upgrade your 5-minute face

Every extra second in bed counts. Especially on weekday mornings, I’m a firm believer in the 5-minute face. Recently, I’ve discovered a few tweaks that make your everyday hair & makeup routine feel a bit more luxurious and give you a bit more bounce in your step. It doesn’t happen often around here, but these are all super-affordable fixes. Yes, drugstore beauty must-haves lie within. Without further ado…

Makeup in 5 Minutes best products


tame your mane


Get bouncier hair with staying power by “setting” your style while you do your makeup. I’ve been skipping this step for, well, ever but when I recently added it into my routine it made a massive difference in my hair.

How to Set Hair with metal clips - 5 Minute Face Stephanie Fusco

As you release your hair from the barrel of the curling iron, let it fall onto a finger then slide a metal clip up the centre of the curl and secure. Start from the crown and work your way down to the lower layers of your hair. Mist with hairspray (I swear by Elnett) and let it cool while you do your makeup. Release the clips, flip your head upside down and give it a shake before you head out the door for the bounciest curls.


smooth while you set


Get your lips ready for your lipstick by smoothing on a super-moisturising balm while you do the rest of your makeup. eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm is 99% natural and contains shea butter and vitamins C & E to make your lips immediately smoother. The new vanilla mint flavour makes my mornings (and afternoons…and evenings) brighter, to boot.

5 Minute Face - eos visibly soft review


do the V [then blend]


Step 1: get the best concealer in the world, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Step 2: Apply in a V-shape under your eyes for ultra-reflecting and dark-circle-banishing magic. Step 3: Blend with a pointed brush for a seamless finish.

5 Minute Makeup - best concealer V brush trick

Seriously – take the extra 30 seconds to blend with a brush like Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush. It’s gentler on the fragile skin of your under-eye but it’ll also give you an airbrushed finish. Bonus: these are some of the highest quality brushes I’ve ever tried, made even better by the low price point.


frame your face


When I only have a few minutes to do my makeup in the morning, the first thing I reach for other than concealer is my curler and a mascara the fattens up my lashes in a big way. I’ll never give up my iconic Shu Uemura curler – it curls like none other. For lashes that rival falsies, give Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara a try: the formula thickens, lengthens and is the blackest of blacks.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Review Swatch Photos

For extra credit, fill in your brows with an easy-to-use brow pencil like Lise Watier Double Definition Automatic Brow Liner. The double-ended automatic pencil makes it easy to brush your your brows, fill them in with short, light strokes, then brush and wiggle to blend.

Revlon SkinnyLiner review photos

Have time for liquid liner? Of course you do! Make sure to swipe it on before you curl your lashes and choose one that’s a cinch to apply, like Revlon ColorStay Skinny Liquid Liner. Yes, I’m still raving about this liner. It’s matte, quick & easy to apply and so pigmented.


smear, blend & match


The easiest blush upgrade? Use a creamy, super-blendable stick of cream blush, like Maybelline Face Studio Master Glaze. The drugstore miracle smooths on like a dream thanks to shea butter and leaves your skin dewy. You can blend with your fingers, but I love the diffused look I get when I buff it in with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

Maybelline MasterGlaze Make A Mauve - 5 Minute Face


Real Techniques Face Expert 5 minute Face blushFor a foolproof way to complete your look, pick a gloss/lipstick hybrid like Maybelline Color Elixir that matches your blush. I’ve been wearing Master Glaze in Make a Mauve and Color Elixir in Mauve Mystique for the perfect fall/winter look. I picked up both shades backstage at World MasterCard Fashion Week last month even though they looked too dark and I’m so glad I did. They’re so lovely.

Maybelline ColorElixir Mauve Mystique Swatch Review

Stephanie Fusco 5 Minute Face Tutorial


Full disclosure: that fully took more than 5 minutes, but I blame my intense eye bags from weeks of missed sleep and the fact that I had to take a million photos. I promise you’ll be able to power through this routine in no time and that the addition of the Real Techniques brushes will make all the difference. It feels like angels are lightly buffing your face every morning and they’re such an amazing price.



What are your go-to products for a 5-minute face?

[disclaim]Some of the products mentioned above were sent by PR for editorial consideration and review. In typical me fashion, the Real Techniques brushes were sent over a year ago…and yes, I’ve loved them this whole time.[/disclaim]