When it comes to
, many of us take a less-is-more approach, applying just a few standbys—blush, mascara, lip balm—before we leave the house. But taking a few more minutes to apply face makeup first will make you look way more polished. We don’t mean going full-on Kardashian: it’s easy to achieve a flawless finish with just a few products that you can find on Groupon, and you can switch it up for day or night.
For Busy Mornings
If the thought of spending more time applying makeup before leaving for work makes you want to run for the hills, fear not: just two products will do the trick. First,
concealer is a must
for hiding blemishes and under-eye circles. Then, in order to keep it from creasing or fading throughout the day, follow it up with a setting powder. The latest type of setting powder to make waves is called banana powder. Made famous by
, which specializes in theatrical makeup, the yellow-tinted powder not only creates a smooth, matte surface, but it also contours features. Magically, it works on a wide range of skin tones, too. Apply it with a powder brush or kabuki brush (just don’t forget to
clean those makeup brushes regularly
), then run through your normal makeup routine and you’re good to go.
For Nights Out
This is when things get a little more complicated—but you still have options. If you’d like to try your hand at contouring, start with a cream contour kit from the likes of
. These kits include all the products and, sometimes, the brushes you need to achieve a camera-ready look. Airbrush makeup takes things a step further. While they may seem intimidating, airbrush makeup kits, such as the popular ones from
, are actually fairly easy to use and typically include thorough instructions, which you can always supplement with a YouTube video or three. And while applying primer, foundation, bronzer, and highlighter via airbrush may be too time-consuming for anything but a very special occasion, it’s sure to your features pop on that big date or ladies’ night out.