eye with exaggerated makeup on it including text glittery butterflies glitter and pearls

Brows, Blush, Balm: Lo-Fi Makeup For When You CBF

It’s the eternal quandary. Sometimes you don’t want to bother with makeup because you cbf, don’t have time, and conforming to standards of self-presentation is low on your to-do list. 

On the other hand, sometimes makeup helps us feel more put together / cute / professional / powerful / insert your adjective of choice here. Playing with makeup can even be a mode of self care for some.

Do I really have to do this… again… every day… forever

Until we manage to completely disentangle ourselves from societal standards of beauty (thanks society, always got ma back), this is the routine that I usually do to make myself feel a little bit more at ease facing the public. It requires minimal products, works for any and all genders and can be done in about three minutes or less, I promise. 

You can also… do this on public transport. But that’s a whole other kettle of fish.


Eyes window to soul blah blah blah etc. Defining the stuff above your soul-windows is a super quick way to add a bit of definition and structure to your face. Depending on how you like your brows, you can use a variety of products to achieve this look but uh, throw your dip brow out the window, lol, we don’t have time for that. 

If you have full, thicc brows already, combing through them with a little spoolie and making sure the hairs are in place how you like them could be it for you. To add a bit of extra hold, you can opt for a clear brow gel (or even something like a tiny bit of coconut oil, aloe vera gel, or hair wax on aforementioned spoolie if you have that lying around).


Next level up is a tinted brow gel, simply brush through for some colour and hold. Choose your shade based on your hair colour, but one tip: brows are nearly never warm-toned, so look for a colour with a slight cool or ashy tone. If your brows are a little finer and you want to add some volume try a brow gel with a bit of texture or fibres that will help thicken the hair. 


Before there was highlighting, strobing, contouring, baking and whatever else people are doing to their faces these days there was blush. The O.G. “I am not a corpse” product, used for centuries, still gr8 today. Blush can make you look healthy and happy to be here, even when you’d rather still be in bed. Is it underrated now? I don’t know. But I do know, but like the above, it’s easy and quick to apply and can be infinitely variable to suit skin tones and skin types. 

A quick run-through: for those of us who enjoy finger painting, cream blushes are the go. Whether you go for a compact or a multi stick style, choose your formula based on your skin type. Some are quite dewy and hydrating, some are a more creamy finish, and there are also cream-to-powder formulas on the market that are great if you want the ease of slapping on with hands but want a more matte finish. You can also use pretty much any lipstick as a blush, if you believe.

Powder blush is also a good option, but it does require a brush—unless you’re one of those people who apply powder blush with your fingers. Not my tempo but you do you, baby.


Blush placement and colour can change your look up a lot too, it’s one of the most easy makeup additions with the most impact. Go full Bowie-styles and wrap it up and around your cheekbones, focus on the upper plump part of your cheek for a chill wholesome glow or throw it across your nose for a full sun-kissed ~glow~. 

You can also skip this step, or swap it for your bronzer of choice, similar outcome but more sunshine-y vibes. 


How many words have been spilled on the internet about lip balm? Too many. Let me add more anyway. Moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty. Keeping ya lips hydrated also keeps them smooth and healthy-looking. And also, it’s just comfortable? Having super dry or chapped lips feels bad, yo.

Choose your fighter: untinted, tinted, glossier, matte, sheeny, covered in gold foil because you’re bad and bougie. There’s a lip balm for everyone at every price point and you can also just use a bit of multipurpose salve or moisturiser too. 

I don’t need to tell you how to put on lip balm. That’s all.


Now, go forth about your day with your five-minute easy makeup on lock: browed, blushed, balmed and unbothered. 


Lead image via @zendaya.

Monisha Rudhran (@monishamay) is a writer and chronic Pisces. Formerly at Syrup, she's now a Digital Content Producer at ELLE and marie claire Australia. She’s into trying to be a better person and sparkling water.

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