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Mika's makeup artist: How to look ready to conquer the world in 10 minutes

“Especially during the daytime you want to look healthy, clean and fresh,” says Wilbert Ramos. “And you don’t need a ton of time to achieve that look.”
Wilbert Ramos does Mika Brzezinski's hair and makeup.
Wilbert Ramos does Mika Brzezinski's hair and makeup.Courtesy of Wilbert Ramos.

On-the-go women may have only a couple of minutes in the morning to get ready for work. But 10 minutes is plenty of time to put together a professional, daytime look, said Wilbert Ramos, who has done “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski's makeup for the past 11 years.

“Less is more with makeup anyway, especially during the day,” Ramos told Know Your Value in an interview. “It’s about focusing on the key areas and using the right products.”


Ramos said it’s important to start with your eye makeup for two key reasons. First, fallout from shadow can drop onto your cheeks, making it hard to remove if you’ve already applied foundation. Secondly, it helps you keep the rest of your makeup balanced: “When you have nothing on your eyes and you start in on the face, you tend to go heavy with foundation and everything else.”

He recommended picking up a practical, smaller eyeshadow palette with six to eight neutral shades that’s easy to throw into a purse. He prefers MAC shadows, which you can use to build your own custom palette. Start by brushing a color close to your skin tone over the entire eyelid. On the inside corner add something “peachy or copper — light but fun” and place a deeper brown in the outside corner. “Then blend, blend, blend, always using a brush rather than your fingers, because your body’s heat and oil will make the product oxidize over the day,” Ramos said. Skip frosty, metallic shadows if you’re looking to reduce emphasis on wrinkles.

Further define your eyes by using eyeliner on the top lid, and a liner brush to apply a soft brown shadow to the lower lid. Pro tip from Ramos: “If you want eyes to look open and bigger, never apply pencil liner inside the lower waterline, as that closes things up.” Finish the eye with a coat or two of mascara; Ramos likes Make Up For Ever’s for a daytime look that isn’t overly dramatic.


Ramos loves a tinted moisturizer product for a quick daytime look. “You have everything there in one step: the moisturizer, the sun protection and the hint of color,” he said. “It’s great when you’re in a rush and when you’re traveling.” His favorite is Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer, again applied using a brush rather than fingers.

Next, use a brush to skim a small amount of bronzer under your jawline, near your hairline, under your cheekbones and on your nose if you have time. Ramos prefers Make Up For Ever’s Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer to “brighten everything up and give you a healthy color.”

Finally, pop a bit of blush onto the apples of your cheeks only — Ramos likes Nars in the color Orgas — and go easy on the amount. “Whenever I see a woman with too much blush on, it just really stands out,” Ramos said. “Plus, keep in mind that as you’re walking around during the day the oils on your skin will turn the blush a bit darker.”


Ramos generally prefers to keep focus on the eyes, so he tends toward “lighter, softer colors” for lips. Tinted lip balm is great for a healthy, super-quick flush of color.

He also likes Make Up Forever’s lip liners, which can be used not only to define the outside of the mouth but can also be applied all over the lips like lipstick to keep the color lasting long. Leave that as is, or add a swipe of lipstick or lip gloss on top. Ramos likes MAC lip gloss in the color Cultured.

“Especially during the daytime you want to look healthy, clean and fresh,” Ramos said. “And you don’t need a ton of time to achieve that look.”

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