No Time For Love, Dr Jones: Here’s a Quick Bold Lip Makeup Look For When You’re Tight On Time

You guys! Reader and friend of the blog, Liz, wrote to us today to ask a question that I can 100% relate to:

I don’t usually wear makeup to work, because I have to leave the house by 6:45am, and I am NOT a morning person. I’d love to wear bold lipstick to work, but I feel that if I’m wearing lipstick, then I should probably put makeup on the rest of my face.

Do you have advice for how I might QUICKLY do makeup for myself? Like, what are the quickest and most effective ways I can look put-together enough that a bold lipstick will make sense? I’m talking between two and five minutes of application. I worry that if I slap makeup on, it looks too fakey. I also am getting to a point where I want to focus on minimizing the look of wrinkles and under-eye circles and other evidence that I’m in the latter half of my thirties.

Giiiirrrrrrlll, I feel this! I EXTRA DOUBLE suck at mornings. They are the worst, and I usually waste more than a little time staring into space, wishing an “oh no! A water main broke and the whole world is closed! Please go back to bed!” email would come in. So far that has not happened, so usually I also only have only 2-5 minutes to apply makeup on my early morning days.

Here’s the thing though: my all time favorite, go-to look on mornings like this is exactly a bold lip. I firmly believe a bold lip on a Monday morning makes you look- and feel- way more awake and on top of things than you actually are.

While a 30 minute, super made up, full on face of makeup can be beautiful and ultra glamorous, it isn’t really practical on a day to day, nor is it appropriate for most work environments. Here are my favorite tips to rock a bold lip AND speed through my makeup routine so that I can get out the door while also eating a waffle:

Everything you’ll need

First Thing First: Skin

I tend to keep my face-makeup pretty easy and light during the week so I don’t look, like Liz said, “too fakey”. As soon as I get out of the shower, I moisturize and tap on some eye cream (I also need to deal with my impending wrinkles), then get dressed while it absorbs. Next, a BB cream or tinted moisturizer to freshen me up without the look or feel of a “foundation mask”. It applies quickly and easily (with your fingers!) without having to worry about much blending, will knock down any redness, and blurs my lines. A little concealer gets dotted under the eyes and on any areas that need more help. I like to set this with a quick, light dusting of powder with a huge, fluffy brush.

Face time: one minute, thirty seconds.

Eyes and Brows

A simple but polished eye can really wake you up and balance out a bold lip. For eyes, I like to sweep the lid with a color that is simple but can hold it’s own, usually a matte neutral (Latte or Pink Mauve in this palette by Lorac are current faves), or something a little more special like Urban Decay’s Easy Baked (a soft gold), or E&N favorite and ultimate lazy-girl product, Maybelline’s Bad to the Bronze. A quick coat or two of your favorite mascara finishes the look. Easy!

Now, for bonus points, I really feel that eyebrows are key with a bold lip, but they don’t have to take forever either. If I have 30 extra seconds, I’ll fill them in with a brow pencil. I like this one from NYX because it is a little on the stiff side and is just the right amount of pigment, so you don’t have to be ultra precise or afraid of making big mistakes. If I only have 10 extra seconds, I’ll skip the pencil and groom my brows with a sweep of Boy Brow (or this Loreal version that is pretty similar).

Eyes time: two minutes, because mascara takes a shimmy.

Choosing The Right Lip

Here’s the thing about wearing a bold lip during the day without it being scary: choose an easy color and formula. What do I mean by this? Go with colors that are maybe a notch down from shades you would wear on a glam night out- go with a more berry shade of fuscia over a neon, or a deep red rather than a fiery red. Mrs. Mia Wallace looks good on everyone, and wears great through the day. You might also try a formula that is a little more sheer/forgiving, like a balm stain (I like this Revlon one or Tarte’s LipSurgence) or a comfortable matte, rather than a high maintenance liquid lip or gloss. If you are prone to feathering, you might need to allow an extra 10 seconds to apply a clear lip liner.

Lips time: one minute, and make sure you brush your teeth first!

good morning! face, eyes, lips, done!

So that’s it! If you have 30 more seconds you could add a little bronzer, but no need to worry about it either if you’d rather use that time to throw your hair in a ponytail. For me, nothing beats a bold lip- whether its paired with a fancy dress or a white t-shirt and jeans. 90% of making it look good is, well, just owning it! Because you look simply amazing. No really! You do!!


Liz, I hope this helps you out, and please post pictures to our Facebook page if you try it!! BTW, that’s my real face in these pictures using my real makeup that I bought with my own money that I earned at my job where I sometimes like to wear a bold lip. I actually did give myself more time today just to take pictures, but was too sleepy to realize I was crinkling my forehead all over. Oh well. Please please please send us more questions- we love to help, and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find out!

5 thoughts on “No Time For Love, Dr Jones: Here’s a Quick Bold Lip Makeup Look For When You’re Tight On Time

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