Hands up—who wants a longer, more convoluted makeup routine? Yeah, that'll be none of us then. These days, we're lucky if we have enough time to have a shower, eat breakfast and catch up on the news before we leave the house, so adding in a 24-step beauty regimen is completely out of the question. We want quick, easy beauty shortcuts that don't look like shortcuts at all. For such information, I knew exactly where to head: Caroline Barnes. She's one of the industry's most renowned makeup artists and Max Factor's UK ambassador. But the reason Barnes's beauty approach resonates with me and so many makeup wearers worldwide is that everything she does is intended to be super quick and fuss-free.
In fact, Barnes even has a whole YouTube channel of makeup tutorials dedicated to speedy shortcuts and quick makeup tips under the franchise name #SpeedBeauty. And with that in mind, when I had the chance to catch up with Barnes after a special Max Factor makeup master class a few weeks ago, I asked her to share five makeup shortcuts we'd all benefit from nailing—from how to make your lips look fuller in seconds, to the quickest route to full and bushy brows. Here's what she had to say…
How to make lips look fuller
"To make lips look fuller, I like to apply liquid lipstick directly to the lips but use my ring finger to buff it in and remove the excess. That extra layer can make your lips shrink if they're fairly dry already," explains Barnes. "So I basically use it as a lip stain to give lips subtle definition and plumpness—it's the new way to shape the lips."
How to make eyes look brighter
"The easiest way to do this is to use an off-white liner on the inside of the lower lash line—the waterline," Barnes recommends. Rather than heavy, dark kohl, the lighter pigment gives the illusion of wider, more awake eyes. "I like to use Rimmel's Scandaleyes as it's super soft, super cheap and super effective."
How to make cheeks look plumper
Barnes was quick to answer: "Apply blush in a more rounded fashion. Look straight in the mirror, and apply blusher onto the cheek directly under your pupil in a rounded half arc shape," she suggests. "If you take your blush up and out at a slight angle, it will make your face look more angular, but this rounded approach will give a lift to your cheeks." I've always been a fan of cream blusher, but I'm really into Max Factor's Miracle Touch Creamy Blusher in Soft Copper (£7) now, after Barnes showed me the ropes at her masterclass.
How to make skin look dewier
"I always prefer a hydrated look, so I'll either use an eye cream or an oil on top of my makeup after I've powdered," Barnes reveals. "I'll apply it around the eye and on the bridge of my nose to create a kind of 3D, dual-textured effect. I don't want it too look like sparkly makeup or too much highlighter; I just want it to look hydrated." Barnes cites Willowberry's oil as her favourite.
How to make brows look bushier
Barnes recommends a twofold approach here: "Always use a fine angled brush in a dip gel, and paint onto the brows in fine hairlike strokes. I find gel formulas last so much longer than a kohl and look more realistic. Then I brush it out with a brow filler—something that has fibres and isn't too wet." Right now I'm enjoying Hourglass's Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel (£22).