How Can I Get Ready Quickly for a Night Out?

As a busy woman always on the go, I know how challenging it can be to look put together for an evening out when you only have a few minutes to spare. Over the years, I’ve perfected my 5-minute evening makeup routine that takes me from frazzled to fabulous in no time flat.

The key is having a streamlined routine using multi-tasking products. I stick to the essentials that make the most impact – even, glowing skin, defined eyes, and a pretty lip color. With a little practice, you’ll be able to pull yourself together in a flash too.

What Are the Must-Have Products for a 5-Minute Face?

Before we get into the step-by-step, let’s talk about the MVP products that make this quick routine possible:

  • Tinted moisturizer or BB cream
  • Concealer
  • Cream blush
  • Highlighter
  • Tinted brow gel
  • Mascara
  • Tinted lip balm or lipstick

I keep this curated collection of products together in a small pouch so I can grab it and go. Invest in good quality items that are easy to apply. Cream and stick formulas are great for fast application.

What’s the First Step to a Polished Look?

Start with a clean, moisturized face. I always prep my skin with a hydrating moisturizer to create a smooth canvas. If you’re really in a time crunch, look for a tinted moisturizer that provides hydration, sheer coverage and SPF all-in-one.

After moisturizing, apply a light layer of tinted moisturizer or BB cream all over your face using clean fingers. I like to warm the product between my fingers first to help it melt into the skin. Focus on the center of your face and blend outwards. The goal is natural, even-looking skin, not a full-coverage mask.

Use our Moisturizer to get a Glowing Skin

How Do I Quickly Cover Dark Circles and Blemishes?

Next comes concealer. I use a lightweight liquid concealer one to two shades lighter than my skin tone. Using my ring finger, I gently tap the concealer under my eyes to brighten any darkness. Then, I dab a tiny bit on any noticeable blemishes or red spots around my nose and chin.

The trick is to use a small amount of product and blend, blend, blend. I use my fingers to melt the concealer into my skin for a seamless finish. If you prefer more coverage, you can use a damp beauty sponge to tap and blend the concealer.

What’s the Fastest Way to Add Some Color?

For a healthy, natural-looking flush, I love cream blush. It adds instant life to your complexion and is practically goof-proof. I dab a small amount on the apples of my cheeks and blend backwards along my cheekbones using my fingers. If I’m feeling extra glowy, I’ll tap a bit of cream highlighter on the high points of my face – cheekbones, brow bones, and Cupid’s bow.

Blush and highlighter are the steps that pull the whole look together. They add dimension and a youthful radiance to the skin. The cream formulas are so blendable and easy to use, even when you’re in a rush.

How Can I Make My Eyes Pop in a Pinch?

When time is of the essence, I focus on opening up and defining the eyes. I start by brushing a tinted brow gel through my eyebrows to groom them into place and fill in any sparse areas. Brushed up, fluffy brows instantly make you look more awake and pulled together.

Then comes mascara. I wiggle the wand at the base of my lashes and blink it through to the tips. I focus on the outer lashes to create a lifted, wide-eyed effect. If I have an extra 30 seconds, I’ll tightline my upper waterline with a brown eyeliner pencil to subtly define my eyes.

What’s the Best Way to Finish Off the Look?

To complete the look, I swipe on a tinted lip balm or creamy lipstick in a natural, rosy shade. A hint of color on the lips pulls the whole face together and makes you look polished. I prefer hydrating, balmy formulas for a soft, blotted look.

If I want a bit more impact, I’ll layer a lipstick or lip crayon in a brighter shade over top. A bold lip is an easy way to elevate the look for evening, even if the rest of your makeup is minimal. Finish everything off with a few spritzes of setting spray to lock in your handiwork and add a final shot of glow.

How Long Does This Routine Actually Take?

You might be thinking that this sounds like a lot of steps for a 5-minute face. But once you have the right products and a bit of practice, you can fly through this routine.

I timed myself and I can consistently get it done in about 4 minutes flat. Of course, some days it might be more like 7 minutes if I’m really savoring the process. But the point is, it’s quick, easy, and makes a big impact.

What If I Have Even Less Time?

We’ve all had those days when even 5 minutes feels like a stretch. In a pinch, I’ll do an edited version of this routine and just focus on four key steps:

  1. Tinted moisturizer
  2. Concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes
  3. Cream blush
  4. Mascara

It’s not as comprehensive, but it still makes me look fresh, awake, and put together. I can do this super quick version in about 2 minutes. It’s a lifesaver on those hectic mornings.

What Are Your Best Tips for Nailing a Quick Makeup Look?

Over the years of perfecting my speedy makeup routine, I’ve learned a few key tips:

  1. Use your fingers to apply products – the warmth helps them melt into the skin and saves time on brushes.
  2. Stick to cream and liquid formulas – they’re easier to blend quickly and look more natural.
  3. Focus on even skin, concealed under eyes, flushed cheeks, groomed brows and defined lashes – these steps make the most impact.
  4. Keep your go-to products together in one place so you’re not rummaging around for things.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. The more you do it, the faster you’ll get. Eventually it will become muscle memory.

How Can I Take This Look from Day to Night?

One of the best things about this quick routine is how easy it is to amp it up for the evening. If I’m going out after work, I’ll add a few key steps:

  • Swap the tinted lip balm for a bold lipstick
  • Add a smudge of shimmery cream eyeshadow
  • Pop a little highlighter in the inner corners of my eyes
  • Define the lash line with smudgy brown or black eyeliner

These small tweaks take the look from fresh and natural to sultry and sophisticated. And they only add a couple minutes to the routine. It’s all about working with the base you’ve already created and adding a few impactful accents.

Tinted Lip Balm for Long Lasting

What If I’m Not Confident Doing Makeup Quickly?

I totally understand the hesitation to attempt a full makeup look when you’re pressed for time. No one wants to end up looking like a hot mess. My advice is to start slow and build up your skills.

Practice the routine on a day when you have nowhere to be and can take your time. Get a feel for the products and the order of the steps. As you gain confidence, start setting a timer and see how quickly you can do it.

The more you flex this muscle, the easier it will become. And remember, the goal is not perfection. It’s about enhancing your natural beauty and feeling pulled together. Embrace the imperfections and have fun with them!


How long does this 5-minute evening makeup routine really take?

With some practice, you can complete this streamlined routine in about 4-5 minutes. The key is having your go-to products organized and accessible. Stick to cream and liquid formulas that are easy to blend quickly with your fingers.

Can I skip foundation for an evening look?

Absolutely! If your skin is in good condition, you can spot conceal as needed and focus more on playing up your eyes, cheeks and lips for evening. A tinted moisturizer or BB cream can also provide light, natural-looking coverage in a pinch.

What’s the best way to make my eyes pop for evening?

Concentrate on opening up and defining the eyes. Brush up the brows, add a wash of shimmery neutral shadow, smudge some eyeliner along the lash lines and finish with a coat or two of volumizing mascara. This will make your eyes appear bigger and brighter without requiring a lot of time.

Should I use powder products for a quick evening look?

Cream and liquid formulas, like cream blush and highlighter, tend to be easier to work with when you’re rushed. They blend seamlessly into the skin using just your fingers. However, a light dusting of translucent powder can help set your makeup and control shine in a hurry.

How can I prevent my lipstick from wearing off during an evening out?

Start with well-prepped lips by exfoliating gently and applying a hydrating balm. Then, define the lip shape with a liner before filling in with your lipstick. Blot with a tissue and reapply for longer-lasting color. For the lowest maintenance option, try a tinted lip balm or stain.


With this 5-minute evening makeup routine in your arsenal, you’ll be able to create a polished, glowing look even when you’re short on time. The most important things to remember are:

  1. Streamline your products
  2. Prioritize healthy, even-looking skin
  3. Play up one or two features, like shimmery eyes and bold lips
  4. Practice until it becomes second nature

By focusing your efforts and using multi-tasking products, you can easily take your look from day to night without spending hours in front of the mirror. I hope these tips help you feel confident and beautiful, no matter how busy your schedule gets!

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