Your spouse hogs the bathroom in the morning and you need to take the kids to school. Or, maybe you’re in the backseat of an Uber and running late for a party. We’ve all been in situations where we're forced to put on makeup without the help of a mirror — and it can be scary.
YouTube makeup artists like NikkieTutorials, Desi Perkins and LustreLux have been slaying the “no-mirror makeup challenge," but the average woman may feel intimidated at the thought of putting on cosmetics without a reflective surface. Some days, however, you may have to go at it completely blind — so how can you accomplish the task without looking like a hot mess? (As Amy Schumer jokes, there's still pressure to wear some makeup.)
“I do my makeup without a mirror more times than I should probably admit,” says Mally Roncal, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty. “I’m a busy wife and mother to three daughters, so I actually keep my makeup in the kitchen for easy access.”
So, what's her secret for looking flawless? Keep it simple.
“If you don’t have a mirror, it’s not the time to attempt an Instagram-worthy winged eyeliner or try to make your ‘brows on fleek,'” she says. “Keep it simple and soft. Choose universally flattering colors, like peach and pink and you can even do an orchid lip if you’re feeling bold.”
Roncal says the right products will take away the guesswork. “Everyone can do a fast face — no mirror required,” she promises.
TODAY’s YouTube Social Star, Angela Cruz, tries it out for herself and shares some do’s and don’ts she's learned along the way.
“Powder foundation is a no-brainer,” says Roncal. Use a big, fluffy brush like BECCA’s The One Perfecting Brush. Dip it into a powder foundation, such as Rimmel London’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder, and then dust it lightly all over your face.
“You can buff foundation in with circular motions,” Roncal explains. “Just make sure you spend extra time on either sides of your nose and down your jawline. If you don’t have the product applied correctly, it’s especially obvious on those spots. And be sure to blend.”
Try a shadow stick with a built-in primer, like Neutrogena’s Crease Proof Eye Shadow, for a longer-lasting look. “Glide the shadow stick across your lid, then take your ring finger and wiggle it over your eye to push the product down to your lash line. You can use your finger to feel where your eye crease is and run the stick against your eye socket for a deeper, defined look. Then, just blend it out,” she says, adding that shimmery shadows are easier to blend than matte shades.
For a fierce evening look, try lining the inner rim of your lower eyelid with a black liner, like the e.l.f. Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Black/Smoke. “It may sound scary to line your eyes without a mirror,” Roncal says. To make it less terrifying, “use the stick sideways to draw the line, instead of holding it straight down on your waterline.”
Applying blush can be simple: just smile and swirl onto the apples of your cheeks. Roncal suggests using her “cinnamon bun method” to apply it perfectly. “Work outward in a circle, until you hit the top of your cheekbone,” she says.
A cream blush, like the Color & Contour Blush Stick by trèStiQue, can give you more control. Neutral shades are less likely to look obvious and streaky.
It can be tough to get a precise lip without a mirror, so definitely skip the liner. Roncal suggests applying color to only your bottom lip as an easier way to get it right. “Press your lips together and say, ‘ma ma ma’ to distribute color to your top lip,” she says. “Then use your ring finger to pat it across your lips. That will take away any lines that aren’t forgiving and create more of a stain.”
Lip balm or gloss, like the Butter Glosses by NYX, are quick and won’t show smudges around the edges of your lips. “A nude shade always works when it comes to lips,” says Roncal.
Once you're finished, just spot-check with a cell phone camera and nobody will be able to tell you put on makeup without a mirror.