If you don’t already have a stash of office beauty products for emergency situations or touch-ups, it’s never too late to start one! You never know when a last-minute meeting is going to pop up, or even an impromptu date or meet-up with friends after work.
Being able to put a fresh face on when you need to is a godsend. It was tough narrowing this list down to just five options, but here are the must-haves we think give the greatest result in the shortest amount of time.
#1 Face wipes
Keeping your skin feeling fresh throughout the day takes work, even if you aren’t wearing makeup. The grime and buildup over the day can clog your pores and leave your skin looking greasy, and piling on additional skincare or makeup products without cleaning your face first is an absolute no-no (this can introduce bacteria and cause breakouts). An ideal face wipe isn’t too harsh on your skin (alcohol-free is best), too ‘dry’ (in terms of the actual ‘wetness’ of the sheet), or too drying on your skin. We love the coconut face wipes from Sephora if you have dry skin; another good drugstore option is the cleansing wipes from Simple that you can get at any Watsons or Guardian.
Getting rid of dark under-eye circles instantly brightens your face and makes you look refreshed. Avoid messy pot concealers and choose something that’s easier to apply on the go. If you aren’t already wearing eyeshadow, use your concealer as a makeshift eye primer and shadow in one. Opt for a brightening concealing pen like Yves Saint Laurent Beaute’s Touche Eclat or the Maybelline Dream Lumi: These do double duty as a subtle highlighter and concealer, which means you can use it all over your face to brighten up and even out your skin tone.
#3 Tinted lipbalm
The office air-conditioning is going to dry out your skin and lips, so you should be using a lip balm anyway. In the event you need something with a little more colour and find lipstick too much of a hassle to apply perfectly, a tinted lip balm is a happy medium. Kiehl’s has a brand new range of buttery lip treatments that come in tinted shades and boast an SPF 25 rating so your lips are protected from the sun. We also love the Volupte Tint-in-Balms from Yves Saint Laurent Beaute and the Two Tone Tint Lip Bars from Laneige. And in a pinch, you can even dab some on your cheeks for a pop of colour if you’re missing out on blusher.
#4 BB Cushion
There’s no need for multi-step foundation applications or extra layers of hydration when you have a BB cushion on standby. We love how much of a punch this skincare-coverage hybrid packs for such a compact product; they also come in a range of coverage and finish options depending on your needs or preferences. Plus, you can find one to suit almost any budget. Innisfree has some great options for a lower budget, and you can choose between a lighter coverage product with more moisture or something more mattifying with higher coverage. Laneige has several different types including a Pore Control cushion that dries semi-matte and is great if you have oily skin and large pores.
If I had to choose between eyeliner or mascara for a quick fix, eyeliner would win every time. A quick cat eye has a much bigger impact on your look than mascara might, especially if you have straight or stumpy eyelashes. Going with a pointed brush tip liner makes it easier to draw a quick and smooth line. We recently rounded up the best long-lasting liquid, gel and crayon eyeliners for every budget and colour preference, so take a look at our list the next time you’re shopping for beauty.
READ MORE: How do celebs like Fan Bingbing, Park Shin Hye and more look like without makeup? On a budget? 7 local labels that will save your wardrobe...and wallet