Recently I took a nine day California road trip. Friends and I began in San Francisco, threading our way through Big Sur, San Simeon, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Montecito and Los Angeles. Most days, I was sans makeup most days but despite this, packed two makeup bags of options in preparation for a wedding I was attending the last two days of the trip. Turns out, I didn't use 75% of the makeup I brought with me, which began this challenge to adopt a pared down makeup routine.

When I returned to the concrete jungle of New York, I discovered the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette: The 5-Minute Face On the Go Palette ($75). I first saw the palette used in this Pixiwoo tutorial and was astounded by the results. I was skeptical because without Charlotte Tilbury to apply the 5-Minute Face, would I be able to come close to recreating the look? The answer is, yes.

Of course, you need to apply your normal skincare/foundation/concealer/powder routine to create the perfect canvas. Once that is complete, you begin with the eyes, conveniently embossed in the shadows. Eye 1 and Eye 2 can be messily washed over the entire eye area, with Eye 3 placed in the crease for added definition and a bit on the lower lash line, should you choose a subtle smoky look. To righten and open the eye area, Eye 2 can also be placed in the inner corners of the eye. Step 4 is to apply the bronzer in areas sun would normally hit your face (on me its my forehead, bridge of nose, and my cheek bones and also the neck and chest area (my personal pet peeve mismatched skin). Next Blush 5 is applied to cheeks, making sure to sweep upwards towards the ear. After finishing, smile and add Blush 6 to the apples of the cheek for a pop of color, a trick Bobbi Brown made famous.  Step 7 is the magic highlight powder that Charlotte Tilbury is famous for. The makeup artist at Bergdorf Goodman covered my face in this which was beautiful, but flashy. I prefer a subtle wash of this on my cheekbones, bridge of nose and cupid's bow. 

I curl my lashes, apply mascara, chapstick up and call it a day. You. Cannot. Mess. This. Up. lessens your makeup bag load, which would have been very helpful on my road trip. Available for a limited time at Nordstom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Charlotte