Unknown woman applying makeup in the rearview mirror of the car

15 Makeup Hacks for Busy People

What do you do when you don’t have time to apply a full face of makeup, but still want to look your very best? 

It’s simple…

Just follow some of these makeup hacks, which have been put together with busy people in mind! 

Shape Your Brows with Lip Balm

If your brows need some shaping, but you really don’t have any time to spare…

Lip balm could be your saviour here.


Simply apply a generous amount of a lip balm onto your eyebrows. Then, use upward strokes to brush your eyebrow hairs into place, after which the lip balm will hold them there.

Fuller Lips in Under 30 Seconds

Looking for a quick way to make your lips appear fuller? 

Try this: 

  • Apply a coat or two of your regular lipstick
  • Use a lip liner that is a lighter shade than your lipstick to color in the center part of both your upper and lower lips 
  • Use a brush to blend this outwards, to create a subtle gradient that will give your lips a fullness
  • Top it off with a layer of lip gloss to plump your lips up even more 

Use Baby Powder for Thick Eyelashes

Thicker eyelashes can really add so much definition to a look, and false eyelashes are often the best way to achieve this. 

Of course, these do require a fair bit of time, as well as an extremely steady hand. 

If you are lacking in either of these, here is a hack to try…

  1. Apply a couple of coats of a volumizing mascara to your lashes. 
  2. Then, brush some baby powder over your lashes, taking care to coat each one without getting any of the powder into your eyes. 
  3. Top this off with a couple more layers of mascara, until the powder can’t be seen. You will notice that your lashes appear much fuller and thicker. 

How does this work? 

Because the baby powder acts as a natural thickening agent, and the mascara helps to hide it, while holding it in place. 

Use Makeup Setting Sprays

While the thought of adding an extra step to your makeup routine may seem impossible, hear this one out…

Makeup setting sprays literally take just a couple of seconds to apply, but have some long-lasting advantages.

They work in a similar way to hairspray, but for your makeup instead of your hair. They help to keep your makeup looking fresher for longer, while ensuring that your makeup doesn’t budge as the day progresses.

For those of you who don’t have time during the day to keep touching up your makeup, a makeup setting spray could be exactly what you need. Just use it once in the morning, and your makeup will be ready to take on the entire day.

Use a Bobby Pin to Apply Eyelash Glue

Applying eyelash glue to false eyelashes can be a fiddly job, and can often take more time than you would expect.

Fortunately, there is a quick way to do this…

Try dipping a bobby pin into your eyelash glue, and then running it over the strip on your false lashes.

You will find the glue so much easier to accurately apply, thanks to the small tip of the bobby pin.

Go Nude to Brighten the Eyes

If you didn’t quite manage to get enough sleep last night and your eyes are looking tired and dull, this hack will help to wake them up and brighten them up at the same time. 

Sound too good to be true? 

It’s easy – all you need is a nude eyeliner.

Applying nude eyeliner to the lower waterline

Use this to trace your lower waterline, and your upper waterline too if you want to emphasize the outcome even more. Try to use a shade that mimics the natural color of your waterline, as this really helps to create the illusion of wider-looking eyes.  

Try Multi-Functional Products

There are some makeup products out there that do more than one thing, which saves you so much time when it comes to application.

The perfect example of this would be a tinted moisturizer that also contains SPF.

This covers three steps (your moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation) all in one go.

A micellar water is also great, as these not only remove makeup, but also cleanse the skin. Best of all, they’re gentle enough to be used by all skin types.

Want a multi-functional product to give your face some color?

A blush not only adds color to your cheeks, but can also be used on the lips and eyelids as well.

Add Facial Oil to Your Foundation

This hack is especially useful for the winter months, when the harsh weather tends to dry skin out, leaving foundation looking cracked or caked up. 

To avoid this, try mixing a few drops of a facial oil into your foundation before applying it to your face. 

What does this do? 

It has a few benefits, including: 

  • Gives your skin an instant glow 
  • Moisturizes skin and prevents it from drying out beneath your foundation 
  • Most oils will contain antioxidants and other skin-boosting ingredients to give your skin some extra nourishment 
  • The oil will enable your foundation to spread more easily, resulting in you using less product. It will also be much easier to blend

Need a matte finish? 

Just top this off with some translucent powder. 

Is there anybody who shouldn’t use this hack? 

Yes, those who have oily skin may find that their oiliness is exacerbated by adding oil into their foundation. Of course, you could always opt for an oil that helps to reduce the amount of sebum your skin naturally produces, such as jojoba oil. 

Use a Face Mask in the Shower

It goes without saying that clearer and healthier skin, which has its own natural glow, will require less makeup, and therefore less time spent applying makeup. 

Of course, there isn’t a quick and easy way to get perfect skin, but one way to really brighten up and soften your skin in no time at all is with the use of a face mask.

For busy people, the 15 minutes that a face mask requires can seem like far too long, which is why you should try using a face mask while you are in the shower. 

This actually has a couple of benefits:

  • Prevents the hot water from drying your skin out 
  • Deeply nourishes your face while you are doing something else 

Once you are done in the shower, remove your face mask and enjoy the healthier skin that lies beneath. 

Don’t forget…

In order for your face mask to really work to its full potential, you need to make sure that your skin has been cleansed first. 


Because all of the dirt, sweat, oil, bacteria and other unwanted substances that lie on the surface of your skin prevent the ingredients within the face mask from properly penetrating into your skin. 

By cleansing all of this away first, your pores will be clear and the beneficial ingredients from your face mask will be quickly absorbed into your skin, where they can then work their magic. 

Turn a Pencil Eyeliner Into a Gel

There will always be those times when you could really do with a gel eyeliner, but only have a pencil to hand. 

If you need an instant fix and have a flame, such as from a lighter, available, your problem is solved…

All you need to do is hold the flame over the tip of your eye pencil for a second or two, before waiting for another 15 seconds for it to cool. As it does so, you will notice its consistency changing from a hard pencil to a softer gel, making it so much easier to apply and smudge. 

Set Your Eyeliner

If you don’t wear that much makeup, and choose just to concentrate on your eyes, then a setting spray that targets your whole face won’t be necessary.

Instead, you’ll need something that helps just your eye makeup to stay in place.

Try this:

  • Apply an eyeliner pencil to your lower lash line
  • Apply an eyeshadow that matches your eyeliner color over this, to set it in place
  • Apply a setting powder underneath your eyeliner

This will help to hold everything in place, and will save you from having to touch up your eyeliner throughout the day.

Alternatives for Oil Blotting Papers

For those who have oily skin, being on-the-go a lot means that you likely go through quite a few blotting papers.

Young woman using oil blotting paper on her face

Whether you happen to have run out, or have left yours at home by accident and are not near a shop where you can buy some more, don’t panic! 

Here are some suitable alternatives that may be more easily available: 

  • Coffee filtersthese are actually made from the same materials as blotting papers 
  • Old wrapping tissuesthese are surprisingly effective at absorbing shine 
  • Thicker napkinsthese absorb oil without wiping away makeup 
  • Cigarette rolling papersa cheap and easily-found alternative 

Try Nail Polish Remover Wipes

Do you wear nail polish often, but also forget to remove it when you should? 

If your answer is yes…

Then you are likely well familiar with the experience of realizing that your nail polish is chipped, right before stepping into an important meeting. 

If this sometimes happens to you, it is time to take some preventative action! 

The answer here is to purchase some nail polish remover wipes.

These are so easy to use, as all you need to do is swipe the wipes across your nails to remove any polish, before discarding the wipes. 

Try to keep a pack in your office, as well as your car or bag, so that you always have some to hand in an emergency. 

Konjac Sponges to the Rescue

Want to know how to apply a smooth and flawless coat of makeup? 

Exfoliation is key. 

You are probably thinking…

I don’t have time to exfoliate! 

Well, just give it a try once and see what a difference it makes. The amount of time you save on blending and re-blending your makeup will make the time spent exfoliating worthwhile. 

Wondering what the quickest method of exfoliation is? 

Give a konjac sponge a try. 

These are special sponges made from the konjac root, which is a vegetable that grows in Asia. 

The sponges are extremely gentle, meaning that they can be used on a daily basis before applying makeup. 

Simply soak the sponge, give it a squeeze, and then run it over your face, either with or without a cleanser. 

Want to give one a try? 

They come in a few different colors, and this signifies different active ingredients have been mixed into the sponge formula: 

  • Dark Graycharcoal 
  • Green green clay 
  • Whitekaolin clay 
  • RedFrench red clay 

One more thing to remember is that konjac sponges only have a shelf life of around a month, so you will need to replace it regularly. However, they are completely biodegradable, meaning that they can be composted.

Makeup application doesn’t have to be time-consuming, so long as you know the right hacks. Whether you’re looking for a way to fatten up your lashes, or need to know how to get your makeup to stay on for longer, these hacks will no doubt save the day on multiple occasions, so keep them in mind! 

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