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F is for Fast Lane: Speedy Makeup Tricks to Look Great with Little Effort

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Fast Lane Makeup

Makeup on the move has to be simple -- big impact in a few deft gestures. It isn't date-night makeup, or rocker-chic hot. It's about looking fresh, awake and healthy in a flash. I have it down to an easy, speedy routine, one I shared at a two-day Mark's Work Wearhouse event attended by lots of lovely busy women earlier this week. (If you're on Twitter, check out #Marksover to see who was there.)

Here's the what and how-to:

1) Green Beaver Après Ski Winter Lip Balm, $3.99 Load lips up with this all-natural balm before you do anything else.

2) Dermalogica Total Eye Care SPF 15, $56.50 ( A light-diffusing eye cream takes the edge off dark circles so you won't need as much concealer. Olay Regenerist Eye Serum also has light reflective qualities, as does Olay Definity Illuminating Eye Treatment.

3) MAC Select Moisturecover, $20 Use a shade that matches your overall skintone. With the tip of your ring finger, tap-blend concealer into dark shadows that lurk in the inner corners of your upper lids and beside the bridge of your nose as well as underneath your eyes. Also press concealer into the skin around the base of your nose to hide any redness there, and into the crease under your lower lip.

4) MAC Mineralize Skinfinish/Natural, $31 Mineralize Skinfinish quickly gives skin a velvety look rather than a shiny glare. Use a powder brush to apply one that matches your skin to even out tone, and one that is two shades darker as your bronzer -- you'll get a natural, athletic sunkissed look rather than a Kim Kardashian bronze-aholic effect. (Should I have referenced that Snookie character there as the "don't"?)

5) Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $22 (Holt Renfrew, Sephora) If you aren't already in the habit of curling your lashes, get into it now. It takes only seconds and makes eyes look bigger, brighter and more alert. Start at the base of your lashes, hold for a few seconds, then repeat halfway up.

6) Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eye Pencils, $19 (Shoppers Drug Mart, Sephora) You want matte black (0L), black sheen (1L) or dark brown (2L) and a shimmery white (14L). The first move with dark pencil will take practice, but the payoff is amazing if you have sparse lashes: squint and work the pencil tip along the upper inner rim of your lid, at the underside of where your lashes grow.

To add further definition, line along the base of your upper lashline, this time from the topside (where you would ordinarily line), and extend the liner with a little upward tick at the outer corner. Line only the upper lashlines -- dark liner underneath makes eyes look smaller and, if you're tired, more tired.

Use the shimmery white (14L) Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes pencil to line the lower inner rim of your eyes. I line from the inner corner and trail off about halfway along the rim for a subtle glimmer effect. If you have medium/dark or dark skin, a better colour choice for you is GOSH Velvet Touch waterproof liner in Bananas, $11 (Shoppers Drug Mart).

7) CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara, $8.99 Big impact, little effort. Right here. Use black -- the contrast helps make eyes look brighter. This mascara is my go-to because, unlike fat wire-bristle brushes, this wand doesn't bully my fragile little lashes into a cowering clump. I get great volume and definition fast. Plus, it doesn't smear into my oily lids or under my eyes the way many others do because of the Asian-esque way my face is built. (My other fave mascara is Clinique Lash Power -- its staying power can't be beat, but it takes a bit more time to get the lushness I like.)

8) Mary Kay Cheek Glaze in Pomegranate, $20 I geeked out overCheek Glaze earlier this week -- it gives lips and cheeks a beautifully natural glow that makes you look like maybe you were just making out with a hottie. Application: dab it over the balm on your lips and tap-blend it on the outer curve of the apples of your cheeks. Yes, you can apply it over powder; it gives cheeks a subtle dewy sheen. And Pomegranate looks wonderful on all skintones, from fair to dark. No exaggeration. One thing: it's limited-edition, so get it now and start hollering for more until Mary Kay makes it permanent.

This may look like a long list of things and a lot of steps, but it really isn't. You can skip the tinted eye cream if your shadows are slight, and the liner if your lashes are naturally thick. Some lucky women whose lashes are naturally curved can skip the Shu, too. All you need is a little practice, and suddenly you'll find you look refreshed in five minutes, ready for that fast lane.

Green Beaver and CoverGirl are both available at -- note their price for LashBlast is less than certain other retailers.