The Three Minute Makeup Routine

I am wholeheartedly a beauty person.

In a world where my life is dictated by two little ones, beauty is something that makes me feel like I’m giving myself a little treat. I can do it from home and is an activity I can spend five or fifty minutes on, depending on what those little ones need from me in that particular moment. It’s not something you need to be an expert in to enjoy, and if you fancy reading about it online you’ll find reams and reams of information. I feel more alive when I spend time on myself; looking polished is important to me and, as I don’t often manage a full night’s sleep (again, those little ones), spending time on my beauty routine helps me achieve that.

I’ve always waxed lyrical about the importance of skincare (go here for a beginner’s guide: it’ll change your life) and in the years since having kids I’ve realised just how essential make-up is to my daily routine, too. My early-thirties mumface is a feast of eye bags, uneven complexion and the odd wrinkle, and though fake tan hides a multitude of sins in the summer I prefer to go a little more natural in the winter. Which is annoying, because being natural makes me look rather knackered and older than my 31 years ;)

But time is something all of us as mums struggle with and I don’t have the hours to spend in front of my mirror daily, carefully crafting contours from bronzer. I did this once, following a YouTube tutorial, and ended up looking a bit stripy and being very late.

In the mornings I have a maximum of three minutes to ‘do my face’, in between hunting down school socks, dishing out Cornflakes and refereeing squabbles. You might think it’s impossible to pop on a face of make-up in this  time, but it’s really not. This quick application of make-up sees me to the school gates and beyond, and then for a transition from day to night (or from school run to office) I slick on a bit of eyeliner and lipstick. It’s as simple as that to go from the ‘mum dragged through a hedge backwards’ look to ‘actual human being polished enough for meetings and dates’. Phew!

Natural Collection from Boots must have heard I am the master of the three-minute makeover, because they recently sent me a selection of products to re-create my ‘look’ with. One of the brands I remember clearly from my youth (a lot of my pocket money went their way back then), their range is really easy to interpret for all ages and skin types. And nothing is more expensive than £1.99! I talk you through how I do it here:

I’ve been most impressed with the products I’ve used so far; it’s the perfect range for busy women like me. There’s no faffing around with layers of messy liquids or hundreds of powders, just a very straightforward system that can be tailored to your preferences and lifestyle.

My three minute look before the school run consists of tinted moisturiser, powder, blusher, eyeshadow and mascara. This sets me up for the day, making me feel more awake and alive before I face my school gate friends, teachers and most likely the man at the M&S bakery. For a more polished look or an evening transition I add a little eyeliner, brow powder and lipstick – easily done on-the-hoof: usually for me this means in the car or on the train en route to London.

First things first, here’s how I look first thing sans make-up. A bit tired, a bit uneven, a bit bleurgh:

three minute makeup

And then, after a quick three minutes application of make-up plus an extra one at the end to slick on some eyeliner and lipstick and we have this. An altogether much happier and less scary-looking face:

three minute makeup

Ahh, isn’t make-up magical?

Altogether this lovely polished face took me less than five minutes and less than £20 to achieve. Here’s a run-down of the products I’m wearing…

three minute makeupNatural Collection tinted moisturiser in Natural
Natural Collection coverup stick in Fair
Natural Collection pressed powder in Cool
Natural Collection eyeshadow in White Opal
Natural Collection waterguard mascara in Black
Natural Collection blusher in Rosey Glow
Natural Collection eyeliner in Black
Natural Collection brow kit
Natural Collection lipstick in Crimson

three minute makeupThe absolute hero product for me has been this Moisture Shine lipstick which is truly a delight to use. It’s very moisturising yet has amazing pigmentation; I’ve worn it all week and plan at going back for more colours. At £1.99 I’d be silly not to! three minute makeup

Tell me about your make-up routine: how do you squeeze it into the school run? Have I inspired you to re-visit good old Natural Collection?

I’m working with Boots and BritMums in a paid relationship, showcasing the Natural Collection makeup, the simple, affordable and easy-to- use line. Find out more at


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  1. Your make-up look is lovely – very polished! I think the lipstick sets it off beautifully and I’m glad you have found that the lipstick doesn’t dry out your lips. At these prices, we could get one in every colour!

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  2. That lipstick LOOKS AMAZING ON YOU! I think 2017 needs to be the year I try on a little bit of lippy! I am always too scared! x

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Disclaimer: it’s taken LOADS of practice and i have spent a fair amount of time sporting lipstick on my chin ;)

      Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  3. jenny wrote:

    You look gorgeous my lovely. I love that lip color on you. Perfect for winter time festive season too! I wish I could pull off that deep color. It’s lovely to be able to pamper ourselves in such quick time isn’t it? lol :) You look stunning as ever! Happy Holidays!

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  4. Fritha wrote:

    Loved your video Alice! More videos please! You’re a natural on camera xx

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  5. HelpfulMum wrote:

    Your look is fab! I have been so impressed with the lipstick too. Will definitely have to go and check out the rest of the range.

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  6. You look lovely Alice with and without makeup. I absolutely love your video too, I definitely think you should do more chatty videos, I really enjoyed watching you. Haha that sounds totally weird! x

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  7. AMAZING! Definitely off to investigate the lipsticks! And you’ve inspired me to take 3 mins in the morning to put some make-up on before I leave the house for the school-run… let’s see if I can manage it! You look gorgeous lady, bravo xx

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  8. Great tutorial!! School run makeup needs to be quick and easy, and this perfect.

    Posted 11.28.16 Reply
  9. well, you look GORGEOUS without make up, but love the routine… my morning one has to be quick {else beastie comes and pinches my makeup} x

    Posted 11.29.16 Reply
  10. Keri-Anne wrote:

    I love your video SO much and you are such a beauty! I have been so excited looking at everyone’s posts about this collection and i cannot wait to go and pick out of items myself. I really want to get the tinted moisturiser as i get such dry skin in the winter so it would be great to have that on x

    Posted 11.29.16 Reply
  11. SarahLou wrote:

    Super quick, super cool! X

    Posted 11.29.16 Reply
  12. Wow, that lipstick really pops out of the screen! I do love browsing Boots for makeup. It’s a bit like an old friend, I’ve been visiting since I was 11 or 12. You look great!

    Posted 11.29.16 Reply
  13. Alison wrote:

    You are ROCKING that lippy Alice! Love it. (Did I hear you say in your video you use avocado oil on your face? Tell me more…)

    Posted 12.1.16 Reply
  14. Oh hun you look gorgeous! That lipstick is such a gorgeous colour on you. Such a great range x

    Posted 12.1.16 Reply