These are the products I recommend for quick and easy applications.
1. Face: A good moisturizer that gives you a radiant glow like M.A.C.'s Strobe Cream. You can mix with your normal moisturizer if you need more moisture or your favourite foundation for a nice sheer dewy effect. I also love to use this as a highlighter on the cheekbones. *Tip: For darker skin tones I recommend mixing a gold highlighter with your moisturizer.
2. A really good eye cream to calm down those bags and puffy eyes after a night of broken sleep (I am happy to say that my baby boy is finally sleeping through the night!). I've been using M.A.C.'s Fast Response Eye Cream, however, I'm thinking about trying some other new ones - if I can afford it! I really do love this product though. The caffeine in it helps reduce the puffiness and the silicone base acts as an optical illusion to hide fine lines and dark circles. *Tip: The eye area is very delicate. Apply using your ring finger as it uses the least amount of pressure.
3. Tinted Moisturizer with an SPF. I love anything that makes my skin look dewy and fresh. Lately I've been using Stila's Sheer Colour Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 and I'm lovin' it! It's easy to apply and I almost feel like I'm not wearing anything. I don't need a brush and apply it with my fingers like I would a normal moisturizer. It was also featured as Sephora's "Best Of 2006" so that should tell you something.
4. For those that need a bit more coverage or have dark under circles (me!) I would definitely recommend a concealer. A few months ago I was on the hunt for really good concealer and I have found two great ones. The one I've been using currently is M.A.C.'s Studio Finish Concealer Palette SPF 35. It's a heavy duty concealer that comes in Light, Medium, Dark, and Deep Dark. You just apply it with your ring finger. It covers everything from blemishes to tattoos and doesn't crack under the pressure. I never have to retouch it at the end of the day. What I love most, and I'm glad they finally came out with something like this, is that you have 3 colours that you can match to fit your needs. No one has one undertone to their skin. Your under eye can have more of a blue undertone while your skin has a pink undertone. And with an SPF of 35 you can't go wrong. *Tip: Applying the concealer with your ring finger warms it up making it blend easier onto the skin. If you don't like using your finger I recommend the #194 brush from M.A.C.
Face Atelier's Camouflage Duet is another favourite of mine. It has more of a medium to full coverage and has a nice satin finish with a luminous sheen which I love using under the eyes. For you make-up artists out there that don't know (but of course you do!), they have a great pro discount program and it's easy to sign up!
5. Women on the run rarely have the time or energy to put effort into their eyes. The easiest thing you can do to bring out the eyes is highlight the brow bone, inner corner, and center of the eye. It'll make you look fresh and awake. Right now I'm in love with Nars' line of cream shadows especially their newest duo edition in Thebes. One side is a sheer platinum shimmer and the other side is a sheer gold. You can mix them together or wear on their own. Just apply with your ring finger. It is a perfect choice for highlighting the eye. They come in many gorgeous colours and have a lot of pigment yet they glide on sheer. You can also layer them with a powder shadow for a punchier effect.
Some other good ones to try are M.A.C.'s Eye Paints (also finger friendly) in Stilife (icy peach frost), Untitled (pale mauvy-pink shimmer), or Base Light (pale gold shimmer). These suckers are water-resistant and crease proof.
6. A good eye lash curler to open those peepers up. Opening up the eyes will also help you look more alive. My all-time fave is Shu Uemera's. This is a staple in every make-up artist's kit. *Tip: To avoid an unnatural lift, curl your lashes 3 times starting at the base of the lash, then the middle, and if you have long enough lashes at the tip of the lash. This will help give a more natural lift.
7. An amazing mascara. Right now I am obsessed with finding the best mascara for my short-barely-there-stick-straight lashes (damn my Asian genes!). The only ones that give me the lift are waterproof formulas which I don't like to use on a daily basis. I have a few in mind that I will have to try out. I have a few from Maybelline that I have sitting around that I'm willing to give a second chance since I can't afford to buy more right now. However, the one I carry in my kit and is a great all-purpose mascara is Maybelline's iconic pink and green tube of Great Lash Mascara which is celebrating it's 35th anniversary! Congrats! The waterproof one works great on me but like I said in the above. *Tip: Start the mascara at the root of the lash. This will help lift the lash and prevent it from drooping. As you work your way up, wiggle the wand back and forth. Avoid the "wiggle" if you have naturally clumpy lashes.
8. A little bit of blush goes a long way. It not only makes you youthful and healthy but it gives pale tired skin a much needed flush of colour. Anything that is cream-to-powder, gel based, or a stain I love and absolutely recommend when you're on th go. Nowadays, there are so many great products that fit the bill and all of them are blendable with your fingers. I also love multi-purpose products. My favs right now for cream-to-powder is NARS The Multiple in South Beach for a warm peachy hue or Malibu a pinky-brown shade. They have a beautiful shimmer to them that gives your skin a radiant finish. They can be worn on the eyes, lips, and cheeks although I only use mine on my cheeks. Actually South Beach is great on the lips paired with a gloss.
Gel Stains: I love all the Tarte gel Stains. I love the yummy smells and the sheer dewy effect it gives the skin. They're easy to blend and stay put all day. My favourites are Flush (berry-red shade) and Tipsy (a coral peach shade with a touch of shimmer).
Stains: I love Benefit's Benetint Pocket Pal. It's a mini version of Benetint and it's so convenient you can bring it anywhere with you. It has a nice rosy pink hue to give your cheeks a healthy glow. On your lips, it gives a "I've been kissing for hours" look and comes with a clear gloss to help keep your lips moisturized and shiny. *Tip: For creams, stains, or gel blushes always apply only on the apples of the cheeks. They're meant to give you a natural flush. For powder blushes you can extend to the hairline. To find the apple of your cheek, smile!:)
9. The product I'm most addicted to are lip products. I've had to cut myself off from buying glosses because I have too many and I rarely wear them now. Now that I have a baby, I can't help but smother him with kisses. Sticky gloss on his cheek does not go over well with him or my hubby for that matter. On special occasions when I'm going out for drinks or some other event I will slick on the gloss. Other than that tinted lip balms have been my best friend. I'm obsessed with normal lip balms at the moment as well. That's a story for another time. My favourites right now are M.A.C.'s Tinted Lip Conditioners with SPF 15 in Petting Pink (soft pink) and Fuschia Fix (deeper pink). They are super moisturizing and have a yummy vanilla scent to them. The colour is just the perfect amount and goes on sheer. The packaging has also changed and is oh-so chic!
Well, that rounds out my list for now. Stay tuned for my update on finding a liquid bronzer!