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Cute in Carpool℠: Your 5-minute makeup routine


Do you look in the mirror in the morning and wish you could paint your face with the snap of a finger? Obviously, that is unrealistic but finding 5 minutes is not. In this blog post I will explain how you can look polished, awake, and effortless.

About 10 years ago, a client came to me at Laura Mercier and said, "Show me how to look cute in carpool." Sheri was a mother of three and never wore a ton of makeup. Anytime she had a wedding or event she would have me apply her makeup. For her daily application she wanted quick and easy without looking overdone. To help her achieve her goal I rounded up 6-8 items that I knew she would love and showed her how to apply. It was quick, easy, and made her look fresh and bright.

Years later, I started a brand of my own and knew that what I had come up with for Sheri needed to be available for masses. So many women just wanted EASY! Yes, YouTube and IGTV makeup tutorials are fun to watch, but nearly impossible to duplicate by the non-makeup artist. I created tutorials, wrote an article for a Parenting Magazine, and went to the first day drop-off at a private school to show the moms how to be cute in carpool. It picked up momentum quickly. So quick, that other artists were catching on and doing the same. I got wind that a few others were coining my phrase at events for moms, so I quickly called a trademark attorney and started the process to make it mine. In 2017, it was official. Cute in Carpool (CIC) was finally trademarked!


The problem most women struggle with is how to look natural and not like they tried. They find themselves nailing their nighttime look but have no clue on how to apply daytime makeup. If they apply powder without a heavy foundation they look dry. Or when they apply eyeliner, it looks funny without also applying eyeshadow or mascara. Finding exactly which items look best together to whip on in minutes can be challenging. So, I made it super simple!

The most important part of a simple look is getting the skin-tone even without looking cakey. Half of the 8-step makeover are products used for the face to even skin-tone. Once you perfect that, you don't need many items on the rest of your face. You will see! So what is this magical makeover and what does it include?


Step 1: Tinted Primer SPF 20

Obviously, you should never leave the house without sunscreen. How about speeding it up and adding primer AND a sheer foundation all in one tube to save time? Can I get an AMEN? This product has four shades since I believe there is never a one-size-fits-all tinted SPF. Each shade reads up to 4 skin-tones and dries down to your tone. If you go out for the weekend and gain a tan, one weekend won't warrant a different shade. Unless you go from lily white to Brazilian beach babe, you can wear the same shade when your skin-tone gradually moves up and down. Also contains Hyaluronic Acid to bind moisture and give the skin a glow.

Step 2: Concealer

This is the main item that "wakes up" the face the second you apply it. When applying, tap the product onto the skin with a brush and go upwards towards the end of the brow to create a lift. Most people focus towards the obvious inner corner to hide the blue green vein but on the outer corner concealer can also make the biggest difference. Tap with your finger to give a skin like texture and melt down the product.

Step 3: Powder

Anytime you apply liquid/creamy products to your skin, they must be set with powder to keep them from transferring or creasing. We have two types of setting powders. Smooth Suede Powder for someone who needs a tad more coverage but doesn't want to look too matte, or Mattifying Oil Blot Powder (MOB for short). MOB is a white, translucent powder that contains cornstarch to help absorb shine. I call it the "Magic Powder" because it instantly reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines, and texture. When you apply any powder you should only us a light dust and tap, tap, tap on the skin before buffing for the most flawless look.

Step 4: Bronzer

For CIC, I chose the most important step for each category. If you are choosing between blush, bronzer, and highlighter your best choice would be bronzer and I'll tell you why. It is most important to use the bronzer because it is the item that ties the entire look together. You want the chest, neck, and face to all flow and become one believable tone. By adding a matte bronzer under the jaw and down neck it creates a shaded "neck lift" and brings the tone of the chest into the neck. Also, shadow below the cheekbones and around the ear to blend and give more dimension to the face.

Step 5: Lip Gloss

Using a a neutral shade just a hair deeper than your skin will give a hydrated pop of color without looking too defined. For a simple makeup look, you never want one feature to pop way more than the others giving an unbalanced look. So no bright, intense lip colors or frosted glitter. Select a shade that enhances your natural lip making it look more believable. Our customer favorite is the shade Thanks a Latte.

Step 6: Brow Lift

This is our signature item in the line, and what every client needs to create brightness around the eye. Brow lift comes in one shade and the texture is creamy. When applied to the outer 2/3 of the underside of the brow it creates a more lifted, brighter look. A little goes a long way, and it is best applied with a synthetic brush to carve under the brow In order to lift the brow bone.

Step 7: Eye Base

Most of us have a darkness, redness, or veins on the lower part of the lid near the lashes. This product doubles as a canvas for the discoloration and also acts an eyeshadow base. You do not have to apply eye shadow on top but when you do it grabs the pigments and creates a much cleaner look after blending. If you have oily eyelids and do not want to wear eyeshadow, lightly dust MOB powder over the Eye Base to set.

Step 8: Mascara

I am so picky about my mascara. Most of us are. The applying, the removing, and the smudging throughout the day but you truly need it to complete the look. Two years ago, I created the perfect mascara to solve all first world mascara problems. It is easy to apply and comes with a stiff wand to avoid the lashes sticking together, doesn't smudge or flake while wearing it, and is easy to remove with facial cleanser. Most mascaras turn into tar, stuck to your skin, during the removal process. This one slides off the lash in a tube. No, your eyelashes aren't falling out! When applying mascara do 1-2 simple coats only to tint the hair. Avoid applying several layers of mascara for a day look.

Just like that, in minutes, you are ready to roll! See the Before + After below. The photo on the left, client is not wearing makeup. In the photo on the right, the client only has on the 8 steps mentions above for Cute in Carpool℠. Watch the application process on Lexi HERE.

Client: Lexi Killion with Alexandra Killion Interiors


In case you didn't know we have online artists that can assist you with a color match. You can submit a selfie HERE and in the body of the email mention that you are interested in CIC. An artist will then reply with all of the suggested shades needed with instructions on how to get a sample . This way you can test the color before you try the full-size item.

Cute in Carpool℠ can be purchased as a set by selecting your shades in the drop down menu, or you can purchase each item separately to complete the look from either the app or website HERE. When purchased as a set you will receive the makeup bag pictured on the left for FREE! We printed the order of application directly on the bag to simplify the process. Look how nice we are. Finally, makeup made easy!

If you are more of a kinesthetic learner you can always book an appointment to meet with an artist in person. With the purchase of Cute in Carpool, your lesson is FREE at either of our branded locations in Houston. You can call Houston Central or Memorial West to find a time that works best for you, or book online for OPTION 2 by clicking HERE. We would love to show you in person.


Primer + Foundation Brush: This brush helps to apply Step 1 of CIC. We do not recommend using a sponge. Sponges absorb too much of your product and. your investment ends up down the sink. Plus, the synthetic brush hair helps to buff into the pores and areas with texture for a smoother application. First, swipe to add a sheer veil of coverage, twist with the tip of the brush to fill in, and tap from the side of the brush to add a little more coverage in areas that need extra lovin'.

Brow Lift + Concealer Brush: Wait for it... This brush applies not one, not two, but THREE of the CIC steps. Yes! One brush that applies Steps 2, 6, and 7. Holy Smokes! Simply wipe off the excess of each product before moving to the next with a tissue or baby wipe.

NEW! Concealer Setting Powder Brush: Per customer request, we created this little heifer. She is the cutest, tiniest fan brush every made. Perfectly shaped to get right up to the base of the bottom lash-line to set your concealer to keep it from wet creasing. We recommend using the Mattifying Oil Blot Powder to set the concealer but you can also use a light swipe of the Smooth Suede Powder as another option.

Clean Sweep Brush: For Step 3 you actually have three brush options. Powder brush, Kabuki brush, or the Clean Sweep. We highly recommend the Clean Sweep since it is the option that applies the sheerest coverage. Since we do not want our clients to look over powdered for a CIC look, we believe this is the best option for a softer look.

Sheer Buffing Brush: This brush is for softly applying bronzer in Step 4. It lightly grabs pigment from the compact and very naturally adds color to the skin. Remember to apply on and below the cheekbones and around the ear, then use this brush to apply bronzer on the neck to tie the look together (face-neck-chest). The only time I would grab the Flat Contour brush instead is on a medium to dark or deep skin-tone to enhance the color.

All tools needed to apply this look can be purchased from the bottom of page at THIS LINK.


Do not fret! The first few times, as you get acclimated to your new routine, it may take you closer to 10 min to apply. Be patient and each time you go to put on your makeup, you will speed it up. I can actually do CIC myself in 3 minutes, but I am a professional makeup artist. Ha! You'll get there. Please reach out to customer service if you need any assistance. We are here to help!

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