Let's be honest: Finding the time to put on a full face of makeup isn't always in the cards—especially when you're running late for a doctor's appointment or hopping on a last-minute video call. On the days when you need a polished look, and you need it fast, a five-minute makeup routine can make life a whole lot easier. All you need are a few multi-tasking formulas to get you there.
When it comes to streamlining your routine, opting for buildable, blendable formulas like cream concealers, balm-based blushes, and liquid highlighters are key for quick application. Plus, they help you achieve a natural look in no time at all. And while we love a gorgeous cat-eye as much as the next person, it's best to skip those beauty essentials that require patience and precision and opt for hero products like mascara and brow gel that can make you look instantly put together. Ahead, our favorite products that make applying makeup fast—as in, under five minutes!—and easy.
Bridging the gap between skin care and makeup, this product combines the smoothing power of a primer with the firming benefits of a serum. Formulated with soothing, moisturizing, and smoothing ingredients, it leaves skin prepped and utterly radiant.
Shop Now: Ilia "True Skin" Radiant Priming Serum, $52, dermstore.com.
This fluid, serum-like primer is super lightweight and easy to apply. Its oil-free formula is great for acne-prone complexions and sinks into the skin almost immediately. This multi-tasking primer can be worn on its own or under makeup.
Shop Now: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $5.90, sephora.com.
We love this tried-and-true foundation that will have you looking Zoom-ready in a matter of seconds. Its lightweight formula goes on like a moisturizer with a foundation-like finish and provides sheer, luminous coverage.
Shop Now: Revlon "PhotoReady Candid Moisture Glow" Anti-Pollution Foundation, $6.99, target.com.
"The Minimalist is a multi-tasking concealer-foundation hybrid that you can use to micro-conceal for natural coverage," notes the MERIT team; they recommend applying the product under your eyes or where you might have redness or hyperpigmentation. To get even and natural-looking coverage, use a foundation brush to gently blend the creamy formula in with your skin.
Shop Now: MERIT "The Minimalist" Perfecting Complexion Stick, $38, sephora.com.
From concealing to contouring and sculpting, this foundation stick does it all. The versatile product is formulated specifically for darker skin tones and comes with a soft brush for quick and flawless application. Plus, it's the perfect size for stashing in your purse or touch-up bag.
Shop Now: Black Radiance Perfect Foundation Stick, $8.99, amazon.com.
Honest Beauty's Magic Balm is incredibly hydrating and delivers a dewy finish that isn't overly sparkly or shiny. For a natural and fresh look, a highlighter should always be applied where the light hits your face, like your cheeks and brow bones. Pro tip: Magic Balm can also be worn as a beautiful pearlescent eyeshadow in a pinch.
Shop Now: Honest Beauty Magic Balm, $15, ulta.com.
While stick and liquid highlighters are great for controlled application, powder formulas can be a little faster—especially if you're really pressed for time. This golden powder from Becca is designed to instantly warm up and illuminate your face and can even be dusted on your collar bones and shoulders for a sun-kissed glow.
Shop Now: Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter, $30.40, dermstore.com.
All it takes is a couple of swipes of this illuminating stick to look radiant and well-rested (even if you're not). Apply this cream formula to your fingers to warm it up and gently tap it onto your cheeks, brow, and even Cupid's bow, for all-over warmth.
Shop Now: Maybelline "FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick" Illuminating Highlighter, $8.49, ulta.com.
This multi-tasking blush practically melts into your skin, leaving you with a beautifully flushed complexion. Since its formula is balm-based, it's a great choice for drier skin types, as it won't cake or stick to dry patches. Wear it on its own or blended on top of your foundation.
Shop Now: MERIT Flush Balm, $28, sephora.com.
Beloved by makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts alike, Benefit's Lip and Cheek Stain delivers soft, gorgeous color for all skin tones. Simply dot the product along your cheekbones and gently blend for a natural and long-lasting flush.
Show Now: Benefit Cosmetics Lip & Cheek Stain and Tint, $18, ulta.com.
This cult-favorite pomade is popular for a reason: it works. Unlike other sticky brow-enhancing products, Boy Brow uses a brush-able creamy wax to deliver fluffy, sculpted brows. If you're looking for a subtler look, opt for the clear formula that grooms without leaving any trace of color.
Shop Now: Glossier "Boy Brow" Grooming Pomade, $16, glossier.com.
If you only have time to put on one makeup product, choose mascara. Just a couple of swipes make your eyes look brighter and more awake. This one from Charlotte Tilbury creates gorgeous volume in an instant and uses a precision brush to lengthen and separate lashes.
Shop Now: Charlotte Tilbury "Mini Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes" Volumizing and Lengthening Mascara, $15, sephora.com.
Leave it to L'Oreal to create a mascara that not only delivers dramatic and voluptuous volume, but is budget-friendly, too. Its smooth glide formula goes on like a dream and doesn't clump or flake.
Shop Now: L'Oreal Paris "Voluminous Lash Paradise" Mascara, $9.99, target.com.
Diorshow Iconic mascara is easily one of the best-selling mascaras out there. That's because it creates long and feathery lashes and boasts a smudge-proof formula that lasts all day. If you're looking for a mascara that will take you from an early morning meeting to date night, this one won't disappoint.
Shop Now: Diorshow "Iconic High Definition Lash Curler" Mascara, $29.50, nordstrom.com.
And finally, lip color. The last—and probably easiest—step is applying your favorite trusty balm or lipstick. For the perfect finishing touch, we love this tinted oil, designed with a lightweight and nourishing formula that feels like next to nothing (and is great under masks).
Shop Now: lilah b. "Lovingly Lip" Tinted Lip Oil, $30, sephora.com.
If your lips are dry and sensitive, opt for tried-and-true Vaseline to seal in moisture and protect delicate lip skin. This version comes in a pink tint for those who prefer subtle color.
Shop Now: Vaseline Rosy Lip Therapy, $1.99, target.com.
This Clé de Peau product looks as good as it sounds and provides beautiful color via a hydrating and long-lasting formula. If you prefer lipstick to lip tints, this one is for you.
Shop Now: Clé de Peau Lipstick Cashmere, $65, nordstrom.com.