My 15 years of Army life has definitely taught me a lot. It’s taught me that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, I actually like some MREs (cheese tortellini is the best), and it’s truly taught me the value of hard work.

What I have YET to learn–believe it or not–is how to truly be a morning person. True, my alarm goes off at 0530 every day. But, does that mean I instantly wake up bright-eyed and energized? Definitely…not. 😴 I’m a full-fledged snooze-button addict. Which means, more often than not, I end up seriously short on time. Many mornings include a serious debate between the merits of showering or getting to work on time. (All hail dry shampoo!) Add a make-up routine to that time crunch? ABSOLUTELY!! 😉

There is a whole arsenal of beauty products aimed to help us all “save face” in as little as 5 minutes. Here are my 4 Must Haves to achieve a bright-eyed, fully-rested look (even when you’re working on zero sleep).

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Eyelash 👁 Curler

Of all my musts, this is the must-must-MUST have of them all! Curl them lashes, girl. Even if I only have time to do one extra thing in the morning…this is it! A few 5-second pumps with a good eyelash curler instantly adds brightness and openness to tired eyes.

This fancy rose gold one is pretty to look at but good ol’ Tweezerman brand gets the job done just as well!

If you have a little extra “splurge money” in the budget, then you’ve gotta spring for a lash lift at your local salon. It’s basically a mega eyelash curl that can last up to 2 months. You can even add tinting for a mascara effect without needing makeup remover at night! It’s a fun treat, for sure. Check out my first-ever lash lift experience!


Genetics + early Army wake-ups make under eye concealer a MUST for me. I’ve tried the whole spectrum, from boutique brands to cheap-o drugstore brands. These are my three faves so far. (Let me know if you have another great one I should try).

Eye liner

Eye liner for a 5-minute cheat? Yes! Don’t worry, we’re not talkin’ detailed cat eyes with messy liquid liners. This is an extra bright liner especially for the inner rim of your lower lid. Gently apply this super-easy pencil liner and watch your eyes brighten instantly!


If I’m feeling just a little “extra” on a Monday, I’ll play with a light eyeshadow stick or highlighter to add a bit more brightness. There are several options out there, but this is my latest go-to. I especially love the hint of shimmer (so go easy or you’ll look like you came straight from a night at the club 🤩 )

Final touches

These four steps are my top recommendations for an easy, basic eye cheat.

If you have a little extra time, prep with a cooling eye mask or 10-minute dry face mask. I’ve organized all of my top make-up essentials right here for ‘ya. Happy pampering, friends!


Life Out of Camo Brooke
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