Of all the fibs I’ve ever been told by a women’s magazine (many), the claim that a swipe of bold lipstick is all you need to look more pulled together in a flash is among the worst. (Other contenders include the infamous Cosmo sex “tip” that encouraged making two fists around a man’s shaft and twisting them in opposite directions as fast as you can. What the hell?!)
The truth is that, unless you’re Kendall Jenner or something, you can’t roll out of bed bare-faced, put on a little bit of red lipstick, and trick people into thinking you made a concentrated effort to put your best face forward when your lips are chapped, your brow hairs are askew, your skin is flaking, and you weren’t even able to color inside the lip line.
Like most things in life, getting your shit together when you have very little time to do so just isn’t that easy—in fact, it’s easier. Here’s my secret: A touch of something does wonders, but it’s not lip color that will transform you from hungover to hireable in a minute. Rather, all you need is a tinted eyelid primer; no fussing with shadow, no completely botched cat-eye attempt, just the flesh-toned primer that covers up discoloration, hides veins and redness, and makes you look better. Cleaner. More polished. I don’t know how it’s so effective, but it is.
Here, 10 tried-and-true primers that work on all skin tones to conceal, correct, and generally make you look like you tried. Add a little bit of gloss on top to brighten things up and give you the effortless appeal of a dewy-eyed ingenue, and you’re good to go. Leave the lipstick at home.