Have months of wearing hardly any make-up left you barely able to remember how to apply it — or why you used to spend ages doing so each morning?

If so, rest assured you’re far from alone. According to Mintel researchers, 72% of Covid’s first-year members spent less on makeup.

Experts say that women will demand a pre-pandemic-preparation look.

Innovative new products, that are quick and easy to use on different areas of your face, have come to our rescue.

Do you still need to buy separate eyeshadow, lipstick and blusher? Products can now do the same job as all three.

FEMAIL challenged five top make-up artists to create an elegant look that any woman can do herself in just two minutes. Pictured: Date night red lips by Bryony Blake

FEMAIL challenged five top make-up artists to create an elegant look that any woman can do herself in just two minutes. Bryony Bryony Blake – Date Night Red Lips

These hi-tech heroes often do away with the need for brushes or sponges altogether, leaving those in the know with what beauty forecasters are calling the ‘two-minute make-up bag’.

The idea is that you can be ready to go — to work, a party or a date — in the same time it takes to brush your teeth.

Clare Varga, Head of Beauty at forecasting company WGSN, says the two-minute make-up bag will be one of the year’s top trends.

‘Consumers now want easy-to-apply, multi-tasking products that create a look in just minutes,’ she says.

In essence, we want to look as glamorous as we did in the good old days — but simply cannot be bothered to spend all that time in front of the mirror, especially after nearly two years of a lower-maintenance daily regime.

So Clare predicts a surge in the launch of ‘smarter beauty [products] that deliver better results but with a lot less effort, cost and commitment’.

Can we have both our cake and our eats? We challenged five top make-up artists to create an elegant look that any woman can do herself in just two minutes — then put their routines to the test with a stopwatch.


By Bryony Blake (bryonyblake.co.uk)

Bryony was a makeup artist on Strictly Come Dancing. She is also a Beauty Expert on This Morning. If you’ve missed bold lips while in a mask, you’ll love her smudge-proof solution.

  • Code8 Seamless Cover Skin Perfecting Concealer (£27, codeeight.com)
  • Code8 Bronze Summer Glow Powder in Positano (£35, codeeight.com)
  • Missguided Cosmetics Slick Flick Eyeliner in Double Espresso (£6, superdrug.com)
  • Sweed Lash Lift Mascara (£22, spacenk.com)
  • Tropic Skincare Lip Stain in Bitten Red (£14, tropicskincare.com)

1. Apply concealer on the undereyes and around the mouth.

1) Add warmth to your face by applying bronzer on the cheeks and forehead.

3. Use the same eyebrow bronzer for depth.

4) Accentuate the lash line with a dark brown eyeliner — before using black mascara to lengthen lashes.

5) Apply several layers of lip stain to create a bold wash of colour — and dab on the cheeks with fingertips for a fresh look.

TIME: 2 Mins 25 Secs


By Caroline Barnes (carolinebarnes.co.uk)

Caroline Barnes applied five cosmetics using only her fingers to create a night-out look (pictured) within two minutes

Caroline Barnes created a night out look using five cosmetics she used only her fingertips (pictured).

Caroline designed a look for night out that can be applied with your fingertips only.

  • Trinny London Eyetallics in Minerva (£18, trinnylondon.com)
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Whiskey (£16, urbandecay.co.uk)
  • It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara in Black (£22, itcosmetics.co.uk)
  • Nars Audacious Sheer Matte Lipstick in Sylvie (£26, narscosmetics.co.uk)
  • Bare Minerals 16-Hr Full Coverage Concealer (£24, bareminerals.co.uk)

1) Apply Bare Minerals concealer and brighten around the eyes, nose, and lips.

2) Eyetallics Minerva is suitable for all skin types. All over your eyelids.

3) Use kohl — Caroline swears by Urban Decay — along the lower and upper waterline.

The Superhero mascara is two-strokes effective at thickening lashes.

5) Apply lipstick then use your ring finger to dab lips and transfer to your cheeks to avoid getting too much colour — eyes should be main focus.

TIME: 2 Mins


By Bobbi Brown (jonesroadbeauty.com)

Make-up legend Bobbi Brown used a selection of products from Jones Road Beauty for a fresh-faced and natural look (pictured)

Make-up legend Bobbi Brown used a selection of products from Jones Road Beauty for a fresh-faced and natural look (pictured) 

Bobbi Brown, a legend in make-up is known for her natural and sophisticated look. She also created the most-sold eponymous line (since sold by Estee Lauder).

Now she’s launched another — Jones  Road Beauty, featuring clever multi-tasking products that she describes as ‘the make-up equivalent of a Swiss army knife’.

This is her easy to achieve weekend look. She uses Miracle Balm for lips, cheeks, eyes and the entire body.

  • Jones Road Miracle Balm in Tawny or Dusty Rose (£34, jonesroadbeauty.com)
  • Jones Road The Face Pencil (£23, as before)
  • Jones Road The Brow Pencil (£20, as before)
  • Jones Road The Mascara (£24, as before)

Miracle Balm can be used on your entire face for a fresher, more awake appearance. Apply to your entire face with one application.

1) Apply the oil to the cheeks. Use any leftover on your forehead, neck and chin.

3. Apply another coat of Miracle Balm on your lips in order to moisturize them.

For quick coverage, the Face Pencils can be used as a portable option. Use your fingers to lightly tap the skin under the eyes. Alternately, wrap your nose.

To create a natural look, you can use the The Brow Pencil. Bobbi’s top tip is to start with a lighter shade and work to darker if necessary to add dimension. Make sure to finish the look with mascara.

TIME: 2 Mins 


By Lisa Eldridge (lisaeldridge.com)

Lisa Eldridge suggests doing away with a fistful of eye products when trying to look polished for the office (pictured)

Lisa Eldridge suggests doing away with a fistful of eye products when trying to look polished for the office (pictured) 

Keira Knightley and Kate Winslet are big fans of Lisa Eldridge. Fashion brands like Gucci and Prada also love Lisa Eldridge.

She suggests that you ditch all eye makeup and use a multi-tasking palette to create a simple, professional look. Her clever and easy trick to perfect your blusher has no brush required.

  • Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin foundation (£44, lisaeldridge.com)
  • Suqqu 3D Control Eyebrow Palette (£39, cultbeauty.co.uk)
  • Lancome Lash Idole in black (£23.50, lancome.co.uk)
  • Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (£26, lisaeldridge.com)

1) Use Seamless Skin foundation as both foundation and concealer to save time — it’s heavily pigmented and will even out red areas in less than 15 seconds.

2) The Suqqu eyebrow palette comes in three shades. It can first be used for filling and shaping the eyebrows.

3) Use the palette’s mid-tone to line the eye socket using a fluffy brush, then the darker shade to create a smoky line along the upper lash line. As a wash on the lower lashes, you can use the lightest shade.

4) Finish eyes with a smudge-proof mascara — Lancome Lash Idole is a favourite.

5) Apply lipstick — Lisa’s True Velvet ones can be used as a light stain or to give full lip colour.

To create a pull-together look, tap your lips with your fingers.

TIME: 2 Mins


By Joyce Connor (joyceconnormakeup.co.uk)

Award-winning make-up artist Joyce Connor recommends blending eyeliner for a dramatic effect in seconds

Joyce Connor is an award-winning makeup artist who recommends blending eyeliner in seconds for dramatic results. 

Joyce Connor, a renowned make-up artist and award-winning photographer has been working on magazines shoots for over 25 years. A smoky cat’s eye can prove fiddly, requiring an expert hand and a list of products. But Joyce’s clever take is a cinch — simply blend the liner for a dramatic effect in seconds. 

  • It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (from £14, itcosmetics.co.uk)
  • Barry M Bold Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Black (£3.99, barrym.com)
  • Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge (£23.50, bobbibrown.co.uk)
  • Max Factor Divine Lashes Mascara in Black (£11.99, superdrug.com)

1. Use CC cream with your finger to conceal blemishes or brighten the eyes. Blend it well, there is no need for powder.

2) Draw the outline of the cat’s eyes with an eyeliner pencil. To draw a smooth flick, hold your forefinger in your other hand and place it next to your eyes.

After you are satisfied with your outline use a blend brush to create a softening effect. The upper lid can be blended as well. If you make a mistake, take a cotton bud dipped in CC cream to erase anywhere you don’t want colour.

To make your eyes pop, apply mascara.

To add a touch of color to the lips and cheeks, use a balm.

TIME: 2 mins. 10 secs