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Makeup Tips and Tricks

“5-Minute No Makeup-Makeup” Lies You Shouldn’t Believe

By May 17, 2018May 22nd, 20187 Comments

I almost fell over when I saw a photo in a major magazine showing a model next to an article proclaiming that her look was a “5-Minute No Makeup-Makeup” and could be achieved in just a few simple steps.

Total B.S.!

While I can’t show that model here because of copyright, I can tell you that she had at least 35 minutes of makeup done on her by multiple top makeup artists before that shot was taken at a big fashion week show.

I know, because I was one of the makeup artists at that specific show.

No-Makeup Makeup can take a long time, and often does

The model pictured here, by comparison, is a beautiful teenager who I photographed after discovering her at a park.

At the time Natali was 17 years old with unbelievable skin!

Even with her flawless skin our makeup and hair session took about 1.5 hours to prep her for these photos.


Not everything beautiful and well-crafted can happen in 5 minutes.

Also, I was taking my time getting to know her, helping her feel at ease and I wasn’t in a hurry.

Here’s a before shot Natali graciously let me take before we began the makeup/hair process.

Natural makeup is one of the hardest looks to pull off

Every single makeup artist I know cringes when a client calls saying what they want is “simple” — just “a natural look that shouldn’t take too long.” Often they use that as a way to talk down our rates too. [insert massive eye roll]

Unless the model comes in already in pretty great condition (and most don’t), it takes serious skill, precision and an ability to work with the details of the face to create a natural effect.

Doing natural makeup well is much harder than paint-rolling on a thick layer of foundation, ten pounds of contour, over drawn lips and sticking on a pile of eyelashes.

I promise you.

What’s really possible in 5 minutes?

It depends. What kind of canvas (AKA skin) are you starting with and what is your skill level?

What I can do as a professional artist, with over 20 years of experience, in 5 minutes is far more efficient because I know where and how to spend my time to achieve maximum results, and which mixture of products I should use based on the individual face I’m working on.

Don’t get down on yourself

Take any anything that requires a special skill…then give a professional in that area 5 minutes to show what they can achieve. Yes, the results will be amazing, but you shouldn’t expect them for yourself.

For example, if you’re not running a 5-minute mile and someone tells you it’s possible because many others can do it, then do you instantly feel inadequate because you are slower?

Probably you’d rationalize that these “5-minute mile people” (unlike you) train for many hours a week and have finely tuned their bodies to be able to achieve that goal.

The same is true with makeup. It’s a skill one must practice to be good at.

So next time you feel down on yourself because you can’t manage to achieve some “flawless face of no-makeup-makeup in under 5 minutes using 3 things,” just know it’s not your fault. You were simply lied to about the reality of what went into creating the image.

If you want more of the truth, keep in touch with me here as I put out more makeup articles and videos.

And if you’d like a personal consultation to teach you how to get the most out of the time you put into doing your makeup, I offer amazing virtual and in-person makeup lessons that are really worth the investment to save yourself a lot of frustration being spun in circles by lies.

Learn More About Makeup Lessons

So what do you think? Did this article help you? Tell me in the comments below!

Makeup, Hair and Photography © Kristen Arnett 

Kristen Arnett

Author Kristen Arnett

A makeup artist and green beauty educator helping you find the very best safe cosmetics. Teaching pro secrets for enhancing your natural beauty at every age, so you can be empowered to make healthier choices, and radiate confidence every day.

More posts by Kristen Arnett

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Jody says:

    I have always been caught up in the makeup ads and anything to do with makeup in the fashion magazines. Not anymore since I went green about three years ago. Going to an Intergrative doctor also helped me when he told me everything I use on my face and body goes right into my bloodstream. I got onto every website I could find, that’s how I found you, Kristen. I read about green washing before and now know what ingredients to stay away from. I happen to love and use all of Mineral Fusion’s EWG Verified cosmetics and love them. I use Badger non nano sunblocks and organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and rosehip oil on my face at night. I am 64 with very few lines as I have always used sunscreen. I used Clinique for years not knowing about parabens back then and the dangers of all the chemicals in the products and perfumes I was using. No more perfume for me unless it’s totally natural. Your articles and videos are wonderful and so helpful. I love the ones you did for Mineral Fusion. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us. I love your new website!!!

  • RC says:

    Thanks everso Kristen for telling The Truth about what we see in all these 5-Min. Makeup magazine editorials! I only use plant-based organic makeup & I do have a routine 5-Min. beat that gets me out the door in the morning, so I know it can be done. But I don’t use contour, highlighter, eyeshadow or eyeliner except on my lower eyelids. I have seen many 5-Min. Makeup challenges on YouTube that were shot in real time, using regular crappy commercial products that yielded attractive results. I just wish more professional MUAs like you who use organic cosmetics would post on YouTube to show the world that you really CAN create a great makeup look that lasts all day without using industrial chemicals your face.

  • Kim says:

    This article reminded me of Meghan Markle’s wedding look; looked so incredibly natural but obviously took a whole ton of expert work to achieve it! Plus she’s a beautiful young woman so doesn’t have all the issues we over 50s have to deal with……!

  • Roma says:

    I really want to know what makeup to buy for me(68yrs) and how to apply it. I have an inherited smokers lip even though I didn’t smoke. I feel really discouraged about how I look now. I wear makeup but never been taught how to use it. I hope your articles will help me. I’m looking to you because I think you really care about how women look and feel about themselves.

  • Alexandra says:

    Good copy! I remember it took quite a while to have my fairly natural-looking wedding makeup done. Frankly, I’m glad I was able to find a career that inspires me and *won’t* “require” makeup~! I like to occasionally wear some for fun, but mostly I’m happy to be blessed with good skin, and “oh well” about the purple undereyes from allergies! 😛
    I love reading your articles!

  • Mimi says:

    Hi Kristen, love your site. I worked in Hollywood as a photo editor for years. A really good friend of mine is a makeup artist. She went to India to shoot an ad for one of the big, big make-up companies. It was so hot they didnt even use the make-up that was being advertised!

    • Kristen Arnett says:

      What a great story to share, Mimi! Especially because you also worked in the industry and know exactly how this sort of thing goes. In fact, my article next week is about how the products recommended are also usually lies too. Stay tuned!

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