TLP beauty essential: my super-easy make-up routine

If there has been one common theme in everyone's comments in the last few weeks, it's been about my make-up... Lots of lovely readers have written in to comment on how nice it looked and so I'm finally writing a little post about my make-up.

To be fair, I must give a disclaimer up front: whilst it's true that my make-up smooths my complexion tremendously, I feel my skin is more translucent lately as a result of a packed work-out routine (at least four sessions a week, mixing personal training, reformer, power yoga and swimming) and a very streamlined diet (virtually no refined sugars except for the odd treat). I feel this is key.

Second key point for me: I wake up each morning at 5:30am. I don't have time to spend one hour on my make-up, period. At most, I have 15 minutes to get my face on, and on to my kitchen to pack a thermos of lemon water for the ride to work and my Nutribullet breakfast smoothie.

Now, what do I do during those 15 minutes, you ask? Well, it's all about trying to get as perfect a complexion as possible, one that actually makes people forget I function on five hours of sleep per night, tops.

Step 1: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize... I use a glycolic acide enhanced moisturizer by PH Advantage, and absolutely no primer, as the silicone particles can make even the best foundations curdle.

Step 2: Bring on the concealer salad. Over the years, I've decided that my skin doesn't like just one shade and one texture of concealer, instead it prefers a mix of concealers. Under my eyes and to smooth out my smile lines, I use either By Terry's Touche Veloutee or YSL's Touche Eclat as highlighter (the latter is more watery so I prefer it for days when there is less sins to hide), and for the imperfections, little stress pimples etc, I dab on a mix of Eve Lom concealers, to achieve the good shade for my skin. By the way, I find fingers outperform any possible tool you can use at this point, as it means you are working everything into the skin, not just painting it over...

Step 3: Foundation time! I've been in love with Bare Minerals' Bare Skin foundation for a while now, it is like a magical film which comes with a little round brush to stretch it to the corners of your face, before settling into a powdery smooth finish. It comes in loads of tints as well, meaning it works for lots of people. The only thing I don't like about it? The bottle is quite fidgety and sometimes it takes a little long for me to manage to get a drop out (one drop is all you need to cover the whole face!) On days off, I replace this by mixing some tinted SPF from Kiehls into my moisturizer, for speed.

Step 4: I said glow, not shine. Some mornings my skin feels like it will turn shiny before I've driven my Smart into Chelsea, so I tend to top up my foundation with a mix of Eve Lom mineral powders (again, I mix for the perfect shade). I don't do it all the time, but it does help set everything.

Step 5: Now, Photoshop! I'm kidding, don't worry. To add glow I swipe some of my Hourglass highlighting powder above my cheekbones (or where they should be), over the bridge of my nose, and in the middle of my forehead. And finally, I pat some YSL blur over the T-zone to avoid any unsightly shine for the whole day, and this, my friends, is exactly like Photoshop, right there in the palm of my hand.

Step 6: Finishing touches. I don't wear eye shadow all the time, but when I do I always turn to muted shadows, and these days I'm loving my Bare Minerals palette. I have a few blushers on tap, depending on how bright or muted I want to go, and same goes for my lipstick or gloss. It's all about having fun, isn't it?

My shopping list:
- Touche Veloutee concealer, By Terry
- Touche Eclat highlighter, YSL
- Brilliant Cover concealer, Eve Lom
- BareSkin foundation, Bare Minerals
- Mineral Powder,Eve Lom
- Ambient Lighting palette, Hourglass
- Touche Eclat Perfector Powder, YSL

So there you have it, my make-up routine during the week... It took a while to find one that works, and it does hinge on mixing and matching, but it's really easy.

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