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How-To: The Six-Minute Face From Bruce Grayson

"I've done full makeup in less than six minutes," Bruce Grayson said when I interviewed the head of the Emmys makeup department. While many among us are used to doing our makeup in under six minutes — sometimes in a car mirror with screaming children — I thought you might like to know how a pro accomplishes such a thing. After all, unless you've got the paparazzi in the car behind you, your rush job isn't getting splashed across weekly tabs like Bruce's.

For a minute-by-minute plan based on his ideas,


  • Minute one: Cover any pimples or red spots with a concealer.
  • Minute two: Apply eyeliner. "I use a gel eyeliner," Grayson says. "I know I can just make one dash across the eye. Maybe use a Q-tip to blend if you have a second."
  • Minute three: Sweep on an eyeshadow. "Don’t get into shading the eye or getting in the crease," he advises.
  • Minute four: Rub in a gel or cream blush. "I prefer them because they don't sit on top of the skin, they blend in," he explains.
  • Minute five: "You get really fast about mascara," says Grayson. Just sweep one one coat and forget it.
  • Minute six: Lip balm. Dunzo!
chaimaretto chaimaretto 8 years
I think everyone is being a little harsh on the guy. He's talking about a 6-minute face for EVERY day, not those days that you want a little more "oomph." As a very soon mom-to-be and an already busy high school teacher, I think this sounds like a great "full face" of makeup for every day -- full face meaning to me that I have on more than just powder, lip balm and mascara. When you're really busy and seriously only have 6 minutes (or probably even less than that), this amount of makeup can be quite the accomplishment. And if you're worried about counting out foundation, all you have to do is modify the time a little bit. This is how I would/want to modify the 6-minute routine to work for me AND include foundation. Minute one AND two together: Concealer and foundation. Minute three: Eyeliner. Minute three: Eyeshadow or eye brightener Minute four: Blush -- this definitely does not take a full minute. (I either use cream blush or cheek stain... if I do cheek stain then I apply that when I apply concealer and then layer foundation over it.) Minute five: Mascara Minute six: Lip balm -- also does not require its own minute. Lip balm is my on-the-go step. Definitely think that if you break it down more in line with the order that works for you, 6 minutes is more than enough time for a quick version of the full face.
luv2bsilly luv2bsilly 8 years
I do this every day in the car on the way to work - some days it works great other days, not so much
anakiya anakiya 8 years
I put on my makeup on the train on the way to work. It takes me 5 to 10 minutes and sometimes 10 minutes because I have to keep stopping when the ride gets really bumpy...... And no...... for those of you who are wondering, I do not look like a clown, hahahahaha. When you are on the train at 6:00 a.m. every second counts.
pink-elephant pink-elephant 8 years
sounds like what I already do when I'm in a rush...of course i always spend more time on my eyes..with my blond lashes they simply disappear without a little work.
98769876 98769876 9 years
I'm one lucky girl. I don't use concealer or foundation. I apply a light lotion, kohl eyeliner on top lids, light coat of mascara, red lipstick, or nude, and go.
weirdy weirdy 9 years
Cadi Con Carne... i love bobbi brown's cream blush... :)
Isista Isista 9 years
Wow, my daily makeup (eyeshadow, mascara, light bronzer, lip balm/lipgloss and blush) takes all of 6 or 7 minutes. I don't think that just running errands or going to class necessitates a full face of perfectly done makeup o.O And since I've learned to do it in that time, it looks natural, with just hints of makeup, instead of looking like I spent hours on my face. I have more important things to do with my time than spending that much time on makeup, sorry to say. Now, going out? That takes longer of course :P
ecogirlie ecogirlie 9 years
I do a 6 minute face all the time when I'm running late for class...tinted moisturizer, curl eyelashes, under eye concealer/brightener, champagne eyeshadow/highlighter, powder, blush, mascara!
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Now that makes sense to me CYL. That's my routine almost, I do brows last and don't wear fake lashes but must do mascara b/f shadow so my lashes stay curled (but not for long).
CYL CYL 9 years
I do my full face in about 30 minutes to 45 minute (depending on if I stick on fake eyelashes and if I am doing something special with eyeshadows/shimmer). Full face = Wash, toner, moisturize Primer Concelear Mineral Powder foundation Finishing powder Conditioner for eyelashes Curl Eyeliner eyebrows filling in eye shadow usually using two to three colours including shading and higlighting (insert fake eyelashes, or extras, aka shimmer, or speical blending or eye looks) Blush highlighting of cheekbones mascra (two coats) One sweep of a large brush to blend everything in.
WiCkeD_LaDy WiCkeD_LaDy 9 years
that sound good, but instead of the eye shadow i think i go with powder.
plasticine1 plasticine1 9 years
6-minute makeup CAN be done, and well
tundrababe tundrababe 9 years
Uh, yeah, that's not full makeup, dude. The comments are right. If I'm in a hurry I skip the mascara and concentrate on foundation, blush and powder. Lipgloss or lipstick you can put on in motion anywhere, you can do that later.
Daisie Daisie 9 years
"full makeup in 6 minutes or less"? What's described is not full makeup. I can do a full face in 6 minutes or less if I'm using soft, neutral shades and a look I've done a ton of times before. Honestly, I would not go without shadow primer like UDPP or a MAC Paint Pot these days. And yes, a good lot of us need some sort of tinted moisturizer, foundation and/or powder to set it or calm the shinies. And honestly, liner before shadow? Only if you want your shadow covering that liner, unless of course it's lower lash only or waterline only.
shafiii shafiii 9 years
this can be done. maybe concealing your face takes longer, but lip balm also doesn't take a minute. i think us women are over obsessed with primping sometimes and we think we need it to perfection. but we shouldn't have to spend an hour putting on make-up yeah, maybe less than six minutes is extreme, but i think it proves a point that it doesn't have to take forever.
Cuppitycake Cuppitycake 9 years
"Daily" makeup takes me 30 min...tops. "Going Out" makeup takes me like, 45.....and 20 for hair. I don't know what this guy is smoking, but it's probably good....or there are some FUGLY girls walking around in his "6 minute" face! YIKES, it can't be done, sorry buddy....quit your day job!
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Sorry, this stuff has been printed and reprinted forever. Not gonna work on me - a 6 minute makeup job looks like a 6 minute makeup job. Just my opinion.
writerjenna writerjenna 9 years
What? And skip foundation/powder?? No way! I'd rather skip the eyeshadow and spend extra time putting concealer over my dark circles and on my eyelids (it really makes me look awake). I'm going to time myself tomorrow morning.
brown_eyed_grrl brown_eyed_grrl 9 years
My skin is pretty clear most days, but I still need my pressed powder! I'd give up concealer before I'd give up that.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I can do all of that (minus the blush) in about two minutes on those mornings when I wake up fifteen minutes before a lecture... but I generally prefer a bit more time/care spent on my makeup and grooming (between my hair and my makeup, I can take like an hour some days... *sigh*)
details2 details2 9 years
Blackwidowchick - I totally agree. My complexion requires a full face that takes minimum 10-15 minutes... I wish it didn't take so long to cover my redness and acne - but I have to take my time or it looks awful.
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 9 years
I can't sweep on mascara for one lashes are so short, it takes about three minutes.
emalove emalove 9 years
I like to spend a little time on my eye makeup too, Em1982. I like my liner and mascara to look just right...
em1282 em1282 9 years
I have decent enough skin, but I like spending time on my eyes. Gotta get my money's worth on all of my MAC shadows ;)
barbara-24 barbara-24 9 years
I hate to say it but I learned nothing new from this article! I was hoping to read some secrets I don't already know. Also, what about the foundation step? I can't get away with just using concealer!
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