My Five Minute Make-up Routine

My go-to makeup routine for those days when I need to make an effort

WHERE — New York
PHOTOGRAPHY — Sam Flaherty

Glowing skin without too much effort (or products) is my MO. This is my go-to beauty routine for when I’m headed out and want to feel natural, but also like I made an effort.

I definitely demand a lot from my makeup. Basically I want flawless, glowing skin that still super natural, doesn’t require lots of tools or wizardry to apply, and I can perfect in ten minutes or less. Is that too much to ask? Ha.

There was a time when I often found myself in a bit of a make-up rut, always relying on the same routine when I was headed out, always topping up the same products when they run out. But over the past couple years I’ve gotten better at branching out and trying new products – which usually ends in me discovering a new magical product that I apparently cannot live without. Enter Code8 – whose range I’ve only been using for the past few months – but their Beauty Balm has quickly become my everyday staple, and their bold fuchsia lippy is easily my favourite product in my makeup bag.

So here’s a quick run down of my current beauty routine, for either day or night, when I’m headed out and want to look natural, but still like I made an effort.


For years I used to layer on foundation to create a flawless base, but now I actually find I get a much more natural, even finish if I use the Code8 Radiate Beauty Balm in shade W20 (which has an SPF) all over, and then dot the Code8 Seamless Cover Perfecting Concealer in  shade NW15 where needed.

The Beauty Balm is super easy to use – just a nice tint that evens out skintone. And then I usually dot the concealer under my eyes, edges of my nose and wherever I have any pesky spots.


I used to avoid blush like the plague, thinking that as a petite blonde woman, it would make me look even more girly. But it turns out, blush is the secret weapon to making you look awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I prefer liquid blush – for me it feels more natural and dewy – so I’m all about Code8’s 5 secs Express Hydrating Lip Colour in Miss Saigon. I literally just draw a line across each cheek, and then blend with my fingers along my cheekbone for subtle rosy cheeks.


I’m all about looking like I’ve just come back from holiday, even when I haven’t. So I always have a good bronzer in my arsenal – I generously brush Code8’s Summer Glow Powder Bronzer in East Hampton all over my face, paying extra attention to the cheeks, ridge of the nose and chin (where the sun would naturally hit) and then blend down onto the neck. And voila, I have a tan (minus any sun damage).


Next up I apply the Code8 HD Highlight Palette in Between Two Women, although I have to say using a highlighter is pretty new to me, and I definitely prefer to keep my makeup routine simple, so I just apply the highlighter along the obvious points I want to highlight (cheekbones, ridge of the nose and perhaps the chin). Nothing too technical!


To keep everything in it’s place, I finish up with Code8’s Matte Velour Powder in Medium – I simply sweep it all over the face, using large thick brush to gently set the base and ensure it stays put all day.


Next up, one coat of Code8’s Lash Sophisticate High Definition Mascara in Black to open up the eyes – it’s the kind of mascara which you can lightly apply, or build up to make a statement. I also find that if I use the setting powder on my eyelids, the mascara doesn’t transfer (aka no panda eyes).


Last but certainly not least, my go-to makeup product when I want to feel as though I’ve made an effort is 100% a bold lip. Classic red has been my usual shade for eons, but lately I’ve been mixing things up with Code8’s Matte Velour Lipstick in Mambo. It’s the perfect finishing touch, especially if you want the option to dress up a more casual look (dressing up jeans and a tee with a bold lip and heels will forever be my favourite way to feel chic without risking feeling overdressed).

You can purchase the full range from

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