My 5 Minute Make Up Essentials


Style Theory: I have a super quick 5 minute make up routine, it is really basic but after years of trying different products I always return to these ones. I am no expert and really not great at applying make up (although I could do my liquid eyeliner on a roller coaster - have had 26 years of practice!) but I do have a few fail save products that I swear by and here they are..

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish £15.50
I love this cleanser, such an easy quick way to give your face a good cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. A couple of minutes and your face feels fresh and thoroughly clean. The only pain is washing the muslins but I guess you feel like you are getting your money's worth as you can use them again and again. I have combination skin and have without a doubt found this to be the kindest and most effective cleanser.

Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator £15.75
I use this exfoliator a couple of times a week, it is really gentle on my skin, gives it a really good cleanse and leaves it looking brighter. It smells pretty good too, really clean and fresh, I have not got super sensitive skin so I would be cautious if your skin is really sensitive. The exfoliating jojoba beads are soft and gentle, they do not scrape your skin as I have found other exfoliators to be too harsh.

Clinique Moisture Surge £34
I love this, make sure you buy the gel version, it is light as a cloud and absorbs into the skin in seconds. I have quite greasy skin over my nose and chin so this is perfect as it is not heavy and does not give me spots (so many moisturisers do) It does not have an spf in it which is the one thing I would really like them to add as I should be wearing an spf every day.

Now for my make up, I do not wear any foundation, I really really should but have not found one that I love so I just go straight from moisturiser to Clarins flash balm then bronzer, I feel my skin can breathe more without foundation but as I am getting older I feel I really do need a good one so any suggestions would be welcome.

Clarins Flash Balm £29
My mini facelift in a bottle, I use this when I am off out somewhere and need to look less than 100 years old (ie I dont bother with any make up for the school run etc) I use the tiniest amount over my face to make it look smoother and less tired. It makes bronzer go on flawlessly and evenly.

Rimmel Hide the Blemish £3.99
Basic but effective. This does a great job covering my spots etc.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick £33
Love this bronzer, this takes me from looking grey and washed out to alive and glowing (but not a sweaty glow) I always use with a huge bronzing brush and sweep along my cheeks, over my eyes and a little across my nose and forehead and down onto my chest. I also use it as eye shadow, the colour second from top all over my eyelids and colour strip at the bottom in my eye socket for definition (just use an eyeshadow brush)

Rimmel Exaggerate Eyeliner £5.29
I find this the best eyeliner, it goes on smoothly, creates a great thickness of line and never smudges, cheap and cheerful!

The Mascara
Max Factor 2000 calorie mascara £7.99
I have tried so many mascaras and this one is the one that never runs, smudges or ends halfway down my face. It creates thick eyelashes - I use only on my top eyelashes never on my bottom eyelashes as they are quite long and I end up looking like Aunt Sally!

Rimmel Lipliner £3.99
I used to always use the Clarins lipliner but have now just started using this cheaper Rimmel one in 'Indian Pink'. It matches my lipstick well and as long as I keep the liner sharp it does a pretty good job. I always, always use a lipliner, it stops my lipstick bleeding and keeps everything in place. I apply it pretty heavily and blot a few times on tissue.
Mac All Fired Up Lipstick £17
This is a deep shade of pink (more on the purply pink side than orange pink) It is a super matte lipstick so I always put this on after my lipliner, two applications (blot on tissue after each application) then a layer of the Rimmel lipstick below to stop my lips feeling dry and adds another dimension of creamy pink which makes my lips look fuller.
Rimmel Kate Long Lasting Lipstick 020 £5.49
This is the lighter pink lipstick, it is really creamy and glides on perfectly over the matte Mac colour. 
Lipcote £3.69
I am a hardcore fan of Lipcote, I have been using it since I was 16. I love it and use it every time I wear lipstick, it keeps my lipstick in place through multiple glasses of wine and dinner. I know lots of people find it dries their lips out, I think the formula is kinder now than it has been in the past and to be honest I have been wearing it so long I think my lips are used to it!
Dior Nail Glow £19.50
I bought this after Susie SoSo featured it on her Instagram, it is such a easy nail polish to wear and makes your nails look like they have had a very light french manicure, easy, simple and effective, completely up my street!

So there is my very cheap and basic make up routine, I do definitely need to find a really great foundation or tinted moisturiser so any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. What are your favourite products, which ones can you not live without? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Fran xxx


  1. A good selection of products but you shouldn't use the hide the blemish under your eyes as it is designed to dry out spots. Try the Rimmel wake me up concealer or the Maybelline Eraser concealer, both really good and a reasonable price.

    1. That is such s good tip, probably why my lines under my eyes are getting worse, I will try one of the ones you recommend thanks xxxxx

  2. Estée Lauder double wear light is a lovely every day foundation. Provides really good coverage but doesn't feel too heavy on the skin. They will colour match for your skin tone.

  3. Love this, thanks Fran. I'll definitely pick up the bronzer, been looking for a good one. Also a huge fan of max factor mascara! No better. Feel the same about foundation but I've recently started using No.7's Beautiful Skin BB cream and love it. Very light, good coverage and never feels 'claggy' at the end of the day x

  4. I'm no make up fashionista but I love Mac foundation: I think I use the mineralised one, they'll give you a wee drop to try at hone first too!!

  5. I think I could put on liquid eyeliner on a roller coaster too! I agree that rimmel eyeliner is excellent, Boots No 7 Stay Perfect liquid eyeliner is really good too and comes in lots of colours if black is too harsh for you.

    I have just started using their BB cream too, which is just a bit more cover than a tinted moisturiser. The woman at the No 7 counter said the tinted moisturiser only lasts a couple of hours! I have also used Bare Minerals powder foundation and concealer powder. Both really good. I love touch eclat concealer and Aldi do a really good cheaper version too.

  6. Best foundations and tinted moisturisers are by far Laura Mercier. Slightly pricey but last for ages and loads of combinations to try. Like the look of Dior Glow nail polish. Off to buy that one!

  7. Thanks for the mention Frances - I'm just doing catchup on my blogs as I've been up a ladder the last couple of days. That Nail Glow is pricey but worth it.

  8. I have tried soooo many foundations but the very best for my skin is Georgio Armani designer lift.