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How can I simplify my makeup routine and still look polished?

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The question

My mornings are hectic. Can you describe a quick beauty routine that will cover the bases and make me look polished at work?

The answer

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A great quickie makeup routine should concentrate on a few key areas. Wear foundation every day? Skip it or opt for tinted moisturizer instead; there is less colour to blend and your skin will thank you for it.

Dark under-eye circles? Grab a liquid highlighting concealer and apply it in the inside corners of the eyes, where shadows fall. Set it with a dusting of powder.

Look a little pale in the a.m.? A dual-purpose product for lips and cheeks is your best friend. It will deliver colour and you can apply it using your fingers; no need for a separate blush, lip liner and lipstick.

If your eyebrows are sparse, use a coloured brow gel to add definition and hold in one step. This frames your eyes and leaves you time to devote to your eyeliner and mascara. A dark brown shadow is universally flattering. Take an angled brush and apply a soft line across the lashes. Use an eyelash curler to open the eyes and apply two coats of mascara. That should have you out the door and looking pulled together in five minutes flat. And for midday touch-ups, you only need to pop a few things into your bag.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty specialist who has appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV. Follow her on Twitter: @baharniramwalla. Have a beauty question? E-mail

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