5 must-haves for when you absolutely have 0 time for makeup

5 must haves for when you have 0 time for makeup | Emily Gets ElegantYou’ve seen the videos on YouTube:

  • “How to do your makeup in 5 minutes”
  • “Do your makeup when you’re running late”
  • “Look made-up when you’ve just woken up!”


With 5 minutes, you still have time to actually sit at your vanity/stand in front of your bathroom sink.

You have a freakin’ MIRROR.

Some of us can’t afford those luxuries when you decide to commute with your husband to work and you woke up at an ungodly hour. Did you even get time to shower? … And FORGET the hair. But luckily you somehow managed to grab a few makeup items on the way out.

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup at 70 mph on the highway (disclaimer: in the passenger seat, y’all)

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup in the parking lot.

And by now I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my makeup super-fast and still look decent.

So ladies, pull down your visor or aim your rearview at that pretty face. Here’s how to do your makeup when you are squeezing every moment out of the 0 time that you have.

What’s in the bag?

1. Spare sponges

Do yourself a ‘fave and the next time you’re at the store, purchase those triangle-shaped makeup sponges.

They are useful for EVERYTHING. You can use and throw away and not feel bad, because they start at $2.

2. Light coverage foundation — preferably with its own applicator

Last thing you want to be doing is applying anything with your hands or touching your face in this unsanitary environment (I am SO against touching the face with hands. Oil, dirt, grime and God-knows-what-else can be on your hands).

Makeup with its own applicator is a win. Plus, less to carry.

I prefer L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation because it goes on with a nice, light coverage, makes you look fresh (see: Lumi), and comes with its own super soft sponge applicator.

If you want to use a different foundation without its own applicator, grab one of those spare sponges you bought and blend away!

3. Eyelid primer

Eyelid primer will ensure a smooth color on your eyelids, whether or not you have time to dust on eyeshadow or not. A quick swipe with a sponge on both eyelids and you’re good to go.

ELF’s Eyelid Primer is one of my makeup essentials. And it’s about $2, found at most big box and drugstores.

4. Gel eye liner

In my extensive experience with eye liners, I’ve found that a gel-based eyeliner works best as far as easy application and staying power. Once it’s on, it can essentially be smudge-proof. Just let it dry thoroughly after applying (fan your eyes a bit).

Coupled with the eyelid primer (and maybe some eyeshadow, if you have some, you lucky dog you), the eyeliner will frame your face nicely. If you try to use eye liner without primer, you can end up with an oily eyelid and smudgy lines. Yuck.

DO take a bit of time on applying this as you MUST have even lines, otherwise you’ll look like you had 0 time to put your makeup on (see what I did there ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

I’ve been using Marc Jacobs High Liner Gel Crayon in Black that I got as a sample from Sephora.

5. Tinted lip balm

There’s NO time to make sure you get the perfect pout (maybe after lunch?), so glide on that tinted balm, like CoverGirl’s Oh Sugar!

You’ll get a hint of color, moisturize those lips, and no need to worry about lipstick on the teeth or bleeding color ’cause, ****, by this time you’re already late! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Ok, so you need at least 30 seconds to 1 minute for this makeup routine…

But anyone can do this while sitting in their car, at a red light, or running to the bathroom before being seen by co-workers!

Do you often find yourself doing your makeup at the last minute? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • These are awesome tips! I totally agree with this quick routine, and my must-have go to is mascara!!

    • Thank you – Mascara would also be a great thing to have! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Shannon Biggs

    This is literally me every morning! In the car struggling to put on eyeliner straight! Good tip about tinted lip balm though!

    • Thanks! It’s too bad we can’t create an extra 30 minutes in the AM to really focus on our makeup!

  • These are some great tips! I never thought about tinted lip balm, I think maybe I’ll have to get some!

    • Thank you! Yes, Covergirl’s Oh Sugar! is one of my favorites! Maybelline’s Baby Lips are also good ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Good tips. What lip balm do you recommend?

    • Thanks! Covergirl’s Oh Sugar! is one of my favorites! Maybelline’s Baby Lips are also good and come in a wide variety, some even with SPF ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Katharine

    I use a full-on lipstick that just happens to be exactly the color of my lips. Not too hard to find, but prefer Loreal, b/c it doesn’t make my lips itch. Ha. Gives that smooth, ready look, and does not look ridiculous if you get outside the lines.
    Also, I love me a makeup stick that is similar to a blush stick or lipstick, but is foundation. Just dab it on and smear. With sponges, of course. :-
    Lastly, I use a dark eyeshadow powder instead of eyeliner. I like the mysterious look, and I can apply without even a mirror. In fact, I can apply the entire get up without a mirror. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • A nude lipstick is a great idea Katharine! I haven’t been able to find my perfect nude yet, still searching for that gem. And you can apply without a mirror? Now that’s a true talent ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!!

  • Great tips, now any tips on how to nail that eye-liner!!!!

    Lennae xxx