Reese Witherspoon’s Former Makeup Artist Tells Us How to Perfect the 5-Minute Face

Throughout his career, celebrity makeup artist James Vincent has glammed up everyone from Reese Witherspoon and Chrissy Teigen to Lady Gaga and—wait for it—former president Barack Obama. He worked with Rihanna to launch her Fenty Beauty and he now serves as creative director for the clean, pharmaceutical-grade beauty company TwinMedix. Suffice it to say, his reputation precedes him.

When we caught up with Vincent for a Celebeauty Sit-Down, we asked for all the deets on how to create an everyday makeup look that can be achieved at home in five minutes, because let’s be honest—that’s all the time we have. He was more than happy to oblige.

1. Prep Your Skin

“Start with skin and then choose a feature to focus on, because makeup is about balance,” he advises.

Vincent says the key to creating a glowy look begins with the right skin care. “Start with a gentle toner and moisturizer,” he explains. “Choose a toner with essential oils like a rosewater and a moisturizer that provides a glow that looks like your own skin at its best.”

2. Mix Up Your Foundation

He notes that “you can [then] mix the moisturizer into your foundation for a sheer tinted effect and then use your foundation on its own in the areas where you need more coverage.” We’re feeling that little hack, especially in the dead of summer when the last thing we want is heavy foundation.

3. Set Your Base with Toner

From there, Vincent says we should “moist the face again with toner, as it will refresh and provide a bit of set.”

4. Make Your Eyes Pop

With your skin looking all sorts of dewy, it’s time to move on to the next step: highlighting your eyes. “A brow gel is an easy way to add shape and structure to the brow. Black mascara on the top lash from root to tip does the trick,” Vincent suggests. “Brush mascara up from the bottom and down from the top to coat the lash and then wiggle through the center for added dimension.” Um, OK. We’re never applying mascara the same way again.

5. Highlight and Enhance

After that, Vincent recommends using a multipurpose pencil and gloss to enhance: “Try a cream-color pencil that can do triple duty as an eye, lip and cheek color. I love NARS Multiples ($39), Stila Convertible Color or Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Flush ($20). Next add a balm or gloss on the lips and the highest point of the cheekbone for highlight and shine.”

6. Lock Your Look In

With your full face glammed up and ready to go, Vincent encourages another spritz of toner to lock it all in. Then, there you have it: “Effortless and modern makeup that works well for any skill set or lifestyle.”

We definitely agree.

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.