8 Steps to Pretty Makeup in 4 Minutes Or Less

Sure, it's fun to plan out your Saturday night makeup and put time into perfecting your cat eye and crafting a lip look. Most days, though, you’re probably throwing cosmetics on at warp speed before you leave home, or you become that girl applying a full face on the subway or bus. Here's a secret: no matter how pressed for time you are, your makeup doesn't have to show it. If you can find an extra four minutes in the morning, you can pull off a flawless look. Read on to find out how.

Perfect Your Skin

Getting your skin to a smooth, even state is half your morning battle. Celebrity makeup artist and founder of her namesake collection Sonia Kashuk says that if you already have that routine down pat, you're ahead of the game. “If you aren’t trying anything new in the morning, once you perfect your skin you’re already halfway there,” she says. “Skin plays such an important role, so getting your foundation application down can be truly transformative.”

Have Your Basics On Hand

It’s like your classic wardrobe, says Kashuk. “Understand what your core basic products are, and then you can pair them with a trend-based or fun product,” she explains. “That’s going to cut your time down dramatically.”

Use an All-in-One Palette

Margina Dennis, makeup artist to names like Lea Michele and Jane Lynch, relies on one does-it-all product to get her out the door on time. “I use Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Palette because it has everything I need to quickly apply to my face: bronzer, highlight, eye, lip and cheek colors,” she says. “I swipe one of the sheer veil colors onto my eyelids and on the top of my cheekbones. The cheek colors work for blush and lips.”

Or, Focus on the Big Three

“When you are rushing around, rely on the big three: concealer, bronzer and mascara,” says founder of BeauTeaBar, Marissa Waller. “It’s amazing how easy it is to look gorgeous with just those products: cover up your dark circles, create a bronzer glow, and throw on mascara.

Embrace the Cream Gleam

If you don’t have time for fancy eye makeup trickery, Waller says that cream products are a faster bet. “When you are in a rush, you can apply them quickly and easily with your fingers, and they don’t require a lot of blending,” she says. “Plus, they are easy to clean up if you make a mistake when applying.”

Choose a Double-Duty Mascara

Dennis also nabs It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara as the ultimate multi-tasker. “It gives lash length and the look of eyeliner all in one,” she says.

It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara, $24, Ulta

Divert With A Lip

The classic I-overslept beauty maneouver! “Clean your skin up and add a little brightness to your face with blush, before applying a bright lip,” says Kashuk. “It doesn’t have to be red, try anything that’ll bring focus to your mouth. It gives you a statement look without having to do much at all.”

Choose No Makeup Makeup

The model off-duty look: a nude, natural face. “It’s a speedy look, as you just have to add some neutral eye shadows that go on really quickly, a hit of blush and hint of subtle lip color,” Kashuk says. Try Kashuk’s Eye Couture Palette for a bevy of shades to choose from.

Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Palette, $20, Target