Fast Editorial Makeup: How I Mastered 4 Looks in 30 Minutes or Less

Hi Bellas, 

In the fast-paced world of editorial makeup, time is often of the essence. Yet, the demand for beauty and precision remains high. I recently was put in a position where I had to creating four distinct editorial looks in under 30 minutes each. The experience was challenging and taught me invaluable lessons on efficiency without sacrificing style or quality. Here are some tips and tricks I discovered along the way:

1. Embrace the "Less is More" Philosophy

Probably the biggest takeaway was the power of minimalism. Editorial makeup doesn't always mean layers upon layers of products. Instead, focusing on key features can create a striking look that speaks volumes. This approach not only saves time but also highlights natural beauty.

*On my model I chose to focus on beautiful skin with a color theme - a deep red to enhance her skin tone.

2. Choose Between Blush, Highlight or Contour

When under time constraints, deciding between blush, highlight or contour can be a game-changer. When you think about it, they can all serve the same purpose to create bone structure, but choosing one allows you to define the face without overcomplicating the makeup. Opt for blush for a fresh, youthful glow, or contour for a more sculpted, dramatic effect.  Or go for a highlight to create a glass skin look.  This simplifies the decision-making process and speeds up application.

*On my model I chose a rosey blush placed at a diagonal to lift her cheekbones and add a flush of color at the same time.

3. Simplify the Eyes

The eyes are often where makeup artists spend the most time. However, when time is limited, simplicity becomes your best friend. A single, well-chosen eyeshadow can create depth and interest, especially when complemented with a coat of  mascara. This approach can make the eyes pop without the need for intricate shadow work or eyeliner.  I will usually place a bronzer on the lid up to the crease for a shade that creates depth yet adds warmth at the same time.

*On my model I placed the same blush from her cheeks on her lids to prevent me from having to grab too many products and to keep the look monochromatic.

4. If Brows are Great, Leave Them Be

Brows can frame the face and influence the overall look, but if your model has naturally full and well-shaped brows, minimal effort is required. Simply brushing them up can add structure and definition without the need for filling or extensive concealing and shaping. This not only saves time but also maintains a more natural, effortless appearance.

*On my model I simply brushed her brows up to give that feathered look.

Final Thoughts

Achieving editorial 30 minutes was both a challenge and a revelation. By embracing a minimalist approach, focusing on key features, and understanding when to simplify, it's possible to create beautiful, impactful makeup looks in a fraction of the usual time. Remember, in the world of fast editorial makeup, sometimes less truly is more.

If you're looking for a Makeup Artist for your next editorial shoot or you are interested in one on one makeup lessons to take your artistry to the next level you can find more info at

*Makeup by Renelyn Thomas
*Photography by Caitlin Tabilog
*Agency - AIM Model Management