Beauty Hacks

Quick desk-to-date tricks for that last-minute Zoom

Desk-to-date currently looks a lot different, but whether you’ve scheduled a digital tryst or have just got the dreaded professional summons (“let’s jump on a call to discuss!”), equipped with our tricks you can turn things around in a jiffy – from scruffy-bunned hun to the actual goddess you are (no Fairy Godmother required). One of these steps is sufficient to make it appear like you’ve made a vague effort, while two or three give you a serious, Zoom-ready leg-up in just a few minutes.


A sure-fire way to look perfectly polished, eyeshadow makes an immediate impact – and few palettes rival the truly transformative powers of Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Luxury’ edits, which boast a quartet of compatible shades that are made to facilitate easy transition from (virtual) boardroom to boudoir. With ‘Prime’, ‘Enhance’, ‘Smoke’ and ‘Pop’ shadows, each seamlessly blended to dial up the drama, the {Hollywood Flawless Filter} edition is perfectly pared-back for daytime, with smouldering hues that are great when you need an immediate ‘tszuj’.

The quickest window-dressing you could wish for, mascara will widen your eyes with a flick of its magical wand, so choose something blacker-than-black with a full-on, lash-fattening formula (something that’s sure to show up when you’re frantically batting your eyelids). A formidable, fibre-laced fluid for utterly fluttery fringes, Smashbox’ {Full Exposure Mascara} allows you to seamlessly generate breath-taking length without clumps, flakes or fall-out. Just make sure to reach for the curler beforehand – Kevyn Aucoin’s {The Eye Lash Curler} is ‘the one’.

Few things spell ‘groomed’ like immaculate brows and the latest weapon in Anastasia Beverly Hills’ expansive arsenal is {Brow Freeze} – a clear, glossy wax that facilitates effortless sculpting for full-bodied brows with a laminate look. Flexible, non-sticky and easy to use, this lifts and provides lasting hold (without stickiness).


The ultimate pick-me-up, Shiseido’s new (exclusive!) {Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation} behaves like a bra for your face – creating a firmer appearance while scattering light to bestow a ‘soft focus’ effect (like a flattering filter). Beautifully buildable – from medium to full coverage – the featherlight fluid diffuses with ease for the most realistic effect, and it comes in a spectrum of 30 incredible shades (use {MatchMe} to find the right ‘fit’). Think: luminous, well-rested skin in a bottle – just blend with your fingers to ooze ‘put together’ with seconds to spare.

A versatile stick that is readily stashed in your pocket for frenzied attempts to appear more presentable, Milk Makeup’s {Mini Lip + Cheek} will lend a fresh, outdoorsy flush that’s next-to-effortless – just daub from the bullet and blend with your fingers for dewy-hued radiance. We love the peppiness of ‘Flip’ – a neon coral-pink – which melts on application for a pinched-your-cheeks effect.

If you’re looking decidedly sun-starved (who isn’t?), lend warmth to an ashen, post-winter complexion with IT Cosmetics {Bye Bye Pores Bronzer} – a pan of pure, buttery sunshine that blurs the appearance of pores (and fine lines) thanks to silk, peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamins A, C and E. Gloriously golden, it ‘lifts’ your complexion – and spirits – while helping you look slightly less like you’ve spent the last year in your home/office/gym.


With its crystal clear formula, BECCA’s {Zero No Pigment Glass Highlighter for Face + Lip} is much more than a gloss (although you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a lacquered lip to elevate your naked face). Perfect for visually plumping your pout, this non-sticky formula’s great for bestowing a chic, dewy sheen to your cheekbones, your eyelids… anywhere that stands to catch the light and make you look like you’re professionally lit (who needs a ring light?).

And because nothing has quite the immediate, ‘dressed-up and ready for action’ effect of a lipstick, entrust SUQQU’s {Comfort Lip Fluid Glow} to detract from your myriad sins (nobody’s going to notice your under-eye bags if your kiss packs a punch). Opt for a knock-em-dead red to exude the chic, pulled-together professional/off-duty model vibes you fantasise about… it doesn’t matter that you’ve slopped your morning coffee on your jogging bottoms.


Haven’t washed your hair since Monday (it’s Friday)? Keep Slip’s {Pure Silk Head Band} within easy reach for emergency grease-concealment. Everyone knows that accessories symbolise effort, so donning this elegant, knotted creation will act as the perfect diversion – just add earrings and a smile. 

Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…