Smear of make-up (mascara) Image Credit: Getty Images

Everyone has an outfit they pull out of the closet when they want to look effortlessly chic — whether it’s a sharply cut white button down with blue jeans, or a little black dress that oozes style. There are also equivalents for make-up, when you want to look done up, but without much fuss and preferably quickly. Here are tips to help you along;

1. A taupe grey eyeshadow: No, this is not an attempt to get you to channel your inner goth; greyish brown eyeshadow is a universally flattering shade that makes you look polished and goes with any outfit. I prefer a slightly shimmery shadow, but nothing too glittery or it veers into clubbing territory. Build up the colour slowly over the lid, blending each layer well so there is no patchiness or harsh edges. Take it slightly above the crease if needed, but only with a whisper of colour — if it’s too dark you’ll end up with panda eyes. The beauty of a taupe eyeshadow is that you don’t need to apply eyeliner after, and in fact can double as an eyeliner if you don’t want to wear eyeshadow that day. Apply a little shadow under the lower lash line too, if you fancy.

2. Matte concealer/foundation: Dewy skin is so in right now, but nothing is as classy looking as a flawless matte base. My current favourite thing to do is use a matte concealer only where I need it — around the eyes, mouth and some scarring — and leave the rest of my skin as bare as possible. If your concealer is the right shade, it will be seamless and you’ll be left with a fresh-looking face, albeit with some blemishes showing through. If you need more coverage, use a matte foundation starting from the centre of the face going out and buffing it into the skin with a dense foundation brush like your life depended on it. Take your time to ensure your foundation looks like skin.

3. Mascara: This simple step makes such a big difference to the face and when you’re going for an easy going make-up look, you can’t skip it. Pick one that works best for your lashes; either a lengthening or thickening formula. Start by curling your lashes and then apply your first coat of mascara; I call this the foundation layer. After a dries for a few seconds, build the second layer, rocking the brush from side to side to prevent clumping. Be brave and go up to three coats for the fluffiest lashes ever.

4. Cream blush: For that straight-from-a-run glow, a cream blush is the way to go. A mistake people make when picking a cream blush is going too bright, which makes it hard to work with and looks clownish. It’s OK to pick a shade that’s more flesh toned or muted, which gives a more natural flush. To apply it, I prefer a fluffy brush or sponge using dabbing motions for an even application. Build up the colour slowly, and don’t be afraid to go a little concentrated with the colour. Keep it to the apples of the cheeks and extend to the ears a little bit. Blend, blend, blend, and watch out for harsh edges.

5. Coloured lip balm: A matte shade would work well in this kind of make-up look, but a little bit of shine from a lip balm wouldn’t be amiss. Use a peachy shade that complements your natural lip colour and apply generously to get an almost wet look. A lip gloss or a moisturising lip crayon would also work, but a balm is easier to reapply and will nourish the lips through the day. In a pinch, the cream blush can be mixed with a dab of Vaseline to use on the lips.