If I read another beauty column guaranteeing me a “five-minute make-up routine’, I’ll throw a bottle of overpriced serum at the author. Unfortunately, I’ve only got myself to blame. I always get suckered in by the promise of such articles. I want to look polished and put together each day. I want my skin to be clean and clear, my make-up soft and pretty and yes indeed, I want that to magically happen in the stolen spare seconds I actually have before work each day.
There’s a simple business rule, which is: You only get to pick two. That is for every product you might need there is one that can be delivered faster, another that can be delivered cheaper and one that delivers higher quality. You can’t have it all though. You can only pick two of those three options. No one product does everything and if it says it will, that’s just clever (and misleading) advertising.
During my early twenties price was the absolute non-negotiable. When you’re starting out in the workforce and not earning much, affordability is priority number one. Believing I was short on time, I also gravitated towards products that could be applied quickly. I was awfully busy with sleeping in, going to the beach and drinking mimosas, you see. Ten years on, working full time with a string of commitments and responsibilities – including a small person – and I’m willing to pay more if it means better quality and products that genuinely can be applied quickly.
So, when I heard that Jo Horgan, the woman at the helm of the Mecca Cosmetica empire, could apply her make-up with one hand, while dashing to work, with only a handful of products – I had to talk to her. Jo is the brains (and well-applied beauty) behind more than 95 Mecca stores nationwide, stores that are hugely successful and also hugely desirable places to work. This is a woman with one hell of a busy work day and a passionate love-affair with make-up and skin care. If she doesn’t know what products are truly worth investing in, nobody does.
Jo tells me that “a fast, on-the-go beauty look is all about finding the right products for you that require minimal technique”. My eyes light up. Minimal technique? I have minimal technique! “I am also a firm believer of good skin-care, as it really does make such a difference to your final look. If you skin is perfect and well-cared for, you can cut your makeup time down in half, as well as require less product,” says Jo.
It’s All About Skincare
Jo Horgan’s morning and evening skincare routine includes Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum (yes, a serum). She says it’s like giving her skin a drink of water, making it feel hydrated and refreshed, and looking plump and full. In the morning, Jo follows the serum up with Darphin Hydraskin Rich Cream and – sun safety first – Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen SPF +. In the evenings, she switches the cream for an oil, the Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Oil (Jo recommends rubbing 4-5 drops between your palms before applying) and on days when you skin needs a little extra self-care, the Mecca Cosmetica Fresh Faced face mask.
Making It Up Quickly
When it comes to her beauty look, Jo Horgan recommends brush-and-foundation-in-one options if you’re someone without a lot of time on your hands. Her favourites are By Terry Light Expert Click Brush foundation and Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Foundation Wand. “I love both of these foundations because they self-load and the product buffs onto the skin,” says Jo. “The quick application and no need for fingers makes them a winner in my eyes”.
After applying her foundation base, Jo adds Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light; a brand very close to her heart. “The warmth that it gives me is like a hit of health and the airbrush finish means less technique is involved. Plus, it’s also very quick to apply,” she explains. “For a soft touch of colour on the lips and cheeks that blends seamlessly into the skin, I can’t go past the RMS Lip2Cheek in ‘Paradise’. The formula is… rich in antioxidants and totally natural”. The two-in-one option also cuts down the contents of your on-the-go make-up bag for an added bonus.
Jo Horgan is a woman after my own heart, admitting to requiring a little help on the eyebrow taming front. She recommends Surratt Beauty Expressioniste Brow Pomade. On her eyelids its By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow stick in ‘Frozen Quartz’. These sticks, she promises, are easy to use. You just draw them directly onto the eyelids and buff the cream in with your finger. Jo completes the look with the best-selling Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara. “This mascara gives definition and separation which I love, and the tubing formula means it’s so quick and easy to remove at the end of the day,” she tells me.
Best Of Future Women
Your inbox just got smarter
If you’re not a member, sign up to our newsletter to get the best of Future Women in your inbox.