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Start to Finish 5 Minute Face

I get lots of questions on instagram about my ‘no-makeup makeup’ and what I use. It’s been a while since I decoded my current everyday makeup bag so i thought I’d do a little step-by-step from start to finish, all of which take less than 5 minutes on an average, blear-eyed morning.

To me, makeup should let your skin shine through while covering up the bits that take away from the good stuff (zits, bags, red around your nose etc). I’v normally got all of the above to deal with and while I rarely wear makeup at home or just for running errands, until I have a few freckles or a bit of a tan, fake or otherwise, I feel much better with a little bit of slap. Don’t we all? So this is what I’m using to add a bit of life to my face on a daily basis right now….

Meet 100% barefaced me. This is me totally unedited just after I’ve taken off makeup (in order to start again for this) with just Avene skin recovery cream and Tom Ford Face Protectorant SPF 50 all over me. If I’m doing something a bit more done I might use a primer or a base illuminator but right now, this is about ease and speed so these two are all I need. I like to clip my hair back to do makeup to save any kinks by putting it up but also avoiding any mascara-in-hair situations.

Next up, I use a light layer of Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in St. Moritz all over my face, minding my eyebrows, top lips and blending extra carefully around forehead and jaw. This is a tiny bit more tanned in colour than my actual skin right now but it as it’s so light it actually helps add a bit of colour and glow without being obviously too dark.

I call this ‘face mapping’ and I use three, yes three, different types of concealer. I use the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger (again, I should really have a slightly lighter shade but this was good when I as slightly more tanned after Jamaica) for my eyes and around my nose, the Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth Infusion stick concealer (in Light Medium (warm)) for pimples and redness (I use a cotton bud if I’m applying directly to a spot) and YSL Touche Eclat to add light and luminosity to areas of darkness like around my mouth, my cupid’s bow, under my eyebrows and the lines around my nose.

I then use a beauty blender of foundation buffing brush to blend it all in. I don’t like to cover everything those so I leave a bit of natural darkness around the eyes to come through. After this you look a bit weird and flat but that’s what the next steps are for…

A quick sweep of Nars light-reflecting setting powder helps set it all and take away a bit of shine/dewiness without adding any colour or making it too thick.

Unless I’ve just had a bath or I’ve just attempted to run for the bus, I rarely have colour in my cheeks and have the tendency to look really sallow so a bit of pink really helps. I love creamy blushes like the Nars multiple stick in Potrofino or Bobbi Brown cream blush. Smiling creepily is mandatory to help find the apples of your cheeks and then I just blend it in with my fingers.

You known me, I like a bit of warm colour so a good bronzer is a must, as is a delicate touch when using it. Right now I’m using the Victoria Beckham X Estee Lauder bronzer in Saffron Sun and just add a little bit to cheeks, nose and forehead and I also sweep over my eyelids. Don’t forget your neck too…


We all want to be ‘glowy’ right, so highlighter is always a nice little extra. A little bit of Hourglass Ambient Strobe lighting hihglighter or the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess palette on the tops or cheekbones and brow bones adds just enough shimmer with zero sparkle. I also like Nars Radiance Primer dabbed on cheekbones too for the same effect.

Brows are really important to me and while mine are very dark, they can be a tiny bit patchy. I fill them in with a subtle tiny like the Eyeko brow liner. If I’m not wearing makeup on holiday, a good brow is the one thing I like to still do. Again though, I would never want them to look sharp or perfectly outlined, so I only add a bit of colour to the insides of them, never the outer edges. And yes, my brows are not perfectly plucked but that’s the way I am… I like them to grow out a bit before I attack them with tweezers. Plus who has time or the inclination to remove every errant hair on their body?! Not I.


Lastly, mascara. I might sometimes go without this but if I want to feel a bit more polished or look more awake, I ‘ll always finish with this. If I’m going to be out all day, I go for Eyeko as it really sticks and doesn’t crumble but if I was length and a bit of drama, this YSL mascara is a favourite. And the new one has stars all over it so I kind of love it just for that too.

Lastly, a bit of lip balm really well rubbed in to get rid of any cakiness on lips from the makeup I’ve been putting on and to add a tiny amount of shine with zero colour or gloss. I’m obsessed with By Terry Baume de Rose and the Creme de la Mer lip balm for this. Both are I’ll concede, very expensive for lip balms but they are amazing and I have a weakness for overpriced, indulgent lip balms.

TA-DA. And that’s me done. Take out the clips, muss up the hair and I’m good to go.

I always look dewier immediately after finishing my makeup and then it soaks in and settles a bit, so I try and resist the temptation to over-powder and be too matte. I like a bit of natural shine to come through as I think it’s what makes people look healthy and awake and if I ever wonder why I don’t like my makeup, it’s normally because it’s become too flat.

Five minutes from knackered and sunken to healthy and ‘have you been on holiday?’. Hurray!

Shop the products below:

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2523471″]

Top | Vince
Jeans | ReDone
Necklace | Lucy Williams X Missoma 
Choker | Cat Bird

Ph and Gifs by Frances Davison 



  • I have a similar routine! I also use Nars foundation and concealer. They are just to perfect and lightweight but have such good coverage. I “set” with a Chanel powder but now you’ve made me add that Nars one to my Sephora basket haha… I’m too easy to convince when it comes to beauty.

  • Great makeup tips, thanks for sharing!

  • Zoe

    This was fun to watch Lucy! Love the gifs too.

  • WOW – you’re make up is so beautifully done and all in 5 minutes too! I swear by the Bare Minerals BB Cream but I want to try this NARS one as well because the coverage seems a bit stronger! Plus the blush looks great!


  • Laura

    Is this sponsored? Just confused,as so much Nars! Anyway, I love your ethos of less is more, Lucy , and it’s definitely something I’m now trying to embrace as I get older. You always look beautiful, with or without makeup!

    • Nope I just bloody love it. I always declare when posts are sponsored. Xx

  • Such a beautiful makeup! Just perfect :)

  • Loved this post, the gifs are so fab. Love it

    Mel x

  • I think I would always say that I’d pick NARS if I had to only choose one makeup brand! the tinted moisturiser is definitely next on my list.

    Love the use of gifs in this post! So fun

    Heather x |

  • WOOOOW, Nice the gif ideas, and super natural make up. liiiiike

  • The Gold Lipstick

    Absolutely love it!

    Mireia from TGL

  • Lea H

    Love your “no makeup” makeup look. It’s my favourite go-to look. Also the pictures are great and love the gif’s.
    Lea, xx

  • This is my kind of make up routine! Simple yet effective!


  • All the photos in this are fab, I love how you took up step by step rather than just photographing all the products you use and only writing about them. The gifs were such a good idea!

    Dalal //

  • Sian Hunter

    this was so great, i love the gifs!!

  • Stunning simplicity

  • Great post. I need some new products to get my ready for Spring and Summer!! I think I will get the Nars tinted moisturizer again.

  • This is such a perfect look!! Everything is on point and I’ve heard so many good things about Avène! Loving the image edits! Thanks for sharing babe x

    Millie x

  • Liv

    Super post! Mightily impressed that you are able to do all this in just 5 mins ;-) I realise this really is not the focus of this post, but where’s your top from? I think it’s kind of awsome in all its simplicity.

    • Liv

      Sorry to be such a retard, I just saw the already existing link. No need to answer this obviously :-)

  • Amelie

    This is so impressive – I take so long to adjust concealer until it looks exactly right.


  • Jovita Antanovich

    Nice look dear. I love these small videos you made, really great idea, thanks! I love your jewellery ;)

    Jovita from Black Vanilla

  • MariaDejanova

    Ahh ! This post was amazing !! My makeup routine is very similar, but I’ve been struggling to find great product recommendations as most blogposts about beauty aim for a much more polished look. So thank you :) and the gifs are great !!

    xx Maria

  • Pandora Sykes

    Love the gifs! Forever a fan of gifs

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I am a big fan of this post.
    It’s so honest – you’re bare faced and I love the transformation.
    For me – I don’t do any covering, foundation or contouring so I find the 5min time hard to believe but I guess you are used to your regime.
    I love the animated gifs too! :-)

    Set to Glow: Skincare, Beauty and Wellbeing

    • Thanks for the kind words. I don’t do any contouring either and yes, 100% takes 5 minutes. Scouts honour! xx

  • great post, love the little gifs
    and but you wrote “lastly” on 2 paragraphs, sorry I can’t help it, I should be a proofreader haha


    Inspirations Have I None

  • Love this post! Tell me about your bracelets – they are gorgeous!

  • skbn113

    That takes only five minutes!?

  • allthesmallthings

    hi :) which shade of the touché eclat do you use? thanks! xxxxxx

  • I love this post, thanks for sharing. I always struggle with a natural look and I’ve realised it’s because I don’t spend enough time on the base, so this step by step is super helpful. I’ve also never tried NARS products but I really want to give them a go now! Love your blog as always xx


  • Really nice to see your beauty regime and to see so much Nars!

  • great post :)

  • This is definitely my kind of makeup, really easy and simple, love the gifs!! x

  • This is such a helpful post! Thank you!

  • sO COOL POST! I AM NEW HERE, BUT I THINK I WILL STAY FOR A WHILE… I like your style too! I think because i am on the same “stage” :)

  • Sacha

    This post is super helpful! Just one question about the Hourglass powder… was the shade you used called incandescent or iridescent? Thanks!