Young woman applying powder makeup

5 steps to pretty

One look on internet forums or in beauty magazines will have you convinced that you're not doing enough with your makeup. You've likely heard of complicated cut creases, contouring and more highly skilled makeup steps — but really, it's as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5! Here are five quick ways to look your best every single morning, even when you're running behind.

Step 1: Concealer

Most skin doesn't need full foundation every single day. Besides that, extended use of foundation doesn't mesh with all skin types. Find a great, long-wearing concealer that matches your skin perfectly and use it to mask any and all blemishes — from sun spots to under-eye circles. Dab a few dots under your eyes and pat to blend, then put a small amount on the back of your hand and push it into blemishes with a concealer brush or a clean finger. This will ensure that your skin looks flawless but not cakey, as it sometimes can with foundation.

Step 2: Blush

Find a fabulous, glowing blush that will make your cheeks look multidimensional. Matte blush is great, but when you're just trying to look bright and natural, iridescent blushes are the way to go. Simply dust it across the apples of your cheeks for a simple, naturally pretty look that never goes out of style.

Step 3: Eyeliner

Whether you choose liquid or pencil, a bit of eyeliner swiped along the upper lash line instantly enhances tired peepers. Hold your hand steady and slowly stroke the pencil or liquid liner outward along your upper lash. In most cases, it's best to skip lower liner — unless you know what you're doing. Lower liner done wrong can actually make eyes appear smaller, especially if it's applied in the waterline. Make sure you choose a color that suits your coloring. Not all redheads can pull off jet black liner. Likewise, if you have dark coloring, you might want to skip light colors.

Step 4: Mascara

Is there a better way to get an instant hit of prettiness? Mascara widens your eyes and lengthens your lashes for a perfectly simple and feminine look. Look for a mascara that will achieve your desired effect. Many formulas promise long, volume-packed lashes, but it's best to look up reviews of mascaras online at forums like That way, you can make sure you don't spend your hard-earned cash on flaky, dull mascaras.

Step 5: Colored balm

If lipstick is a bit too done up for your taste and lip gloss strikes you as just too young — colored lip balm is the perfect compromise. You can get a touch of color without going overboard. Plus, lip balms are often considerably more comfortable on the lips than are sticky glosses or dry matte lipsticks.

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