Whenever you wake up, there’s no time to waste in the morning. Ten busy women share the art of getting ready in 10 minutes or less
Samantha Silver, Stylist’s beauty director: 3 mins
Tip 1 Hybrid products streamline my make-up bag. I mix a little of Tom Ford’s new Waterproof Foundation/Concealer [£64] with my moisturiser to tackle skincare and base in one. Benefit’s genius They’re Real Big Sexy Lipstick Set [£24.50 for three] has lip liner built in to the bullets for perfectly defined lips in one swipe.
Tip 2 Any make-up in stick-form really cuts back on time. Clinique’s Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm [£19, below] makes creating a soft flush a doddle, and their Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes [£17.50] gives me a full lid of colour without the faff of using a brush.
Tip 3 I wash my hair on a Sunday night, straighten it, then tie in a loose bun with an Invisibobble [£4.75 for three] so it doesn’t kink. On Monday, I wear it straight, and on Tuesday, I quickly tong large sections for soft waves. By Wednesday, my hair has a dishevelled texture, while Thursdays are for top knots. Then, that night, the cycle starts again.
Jo Jones, Senior divisional director, The Communications Store: 8 mins
Tip 1 Before bed, I put on a generous layer of Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Night Cream [£100, below]. It contains retinol and red algae so when I wake up my skin looks like I’ve had a facial. No further skincare required. If it’s a particularly tiring week, I switch to Vita Liberata’s Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask [£30] for a healthy, realistic warm tint, which means I can skip foundation in the morning.
Tip 2 Concealer and two coats of mascara will make you look more awake but eye drops can do the same job. I use Optrex’s Eye Brightening Drops [£3.79] every day to fake a few hours of extra sleep.
Tip 3 I don’t wear much make-up but I make the products I do use work harder by doubling up their uses. I dab a little lipstick on my cheeks instead of blusher and brown mascara works really well at keeping my brows tidy.
Shannon Peter, Stylist’s beauty editor: 8 minutes
Tip 1 It’s a bit of a cheat, but I set four alarms every morning to fit my skincare regime in, snoozing between each one. On the first alarm, I run a wipe over my face. On the second, I apply serum, giving it nine minutes to sink in, before moisturiser on alarm three. Clinique’s Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer [£24.50] contains blurring particles so there’s no need for primer. On the fourth alarm, I spritz on a facial mist (a slightly less invasive version of a water bucket over the head) and I’m up.
Tip 2 A hairdryer is like kryptonite to my curls, rendering them flimsy and sad-looking, but Aquis’ Lisse Luxe Hair Towel [£30] is a true game changer. It’s made from a super absorbent microfibre that soaks up 68% more water than a regular towel. By the time I leave the house, my hair is almost dry.
Tip 3 Laura Mercier’s Velour Powder Puff [£12, below] is my saviour. After foundation, I wrap it around my fingers so it acts as a buffer between my hand and face, stopping me from smudging my base as I apply mascara.
Neelam Gill, Model: 9 minutes
Tip 1 Doing the majority of my routine in the shower dramatically cuts the time I spend getting ready. It’s even got to the point where I wash my face with one hand and my body with the other. I even brush my teeth in there.
Tip 2 I swear by products that don’t need a mirror to be applied, such as The Body Shop’s super-sheer Fresh Sorbet Blush [£12] (the colour is so soft, it’s impossible to go overboard) and Blink’s Clear Brow Gel [£17]. I brush it through my brows as I rifle through my wardrobe. As there’s no colour pigment, there’s no risk of odd dirty-looking marks even if I smudge it.
Tip 3 Rather than massaging lotion into my legs, I sweep a few drops of Sarah Chapman’s Skinsesis Overnight Body Treatment [£49, right] upwards along my shin bone with my fingertips. It’s the ultimate shortcut. As the light hits my legs, the sheen gives the illusion the whole leg is moisturised. Plus, the formula is so light and non-greasy I use the excess as a hand cream.
Victoria Buchanan, Trend analyst, LS:N Global: 9 minutes
Tip 1 I add Alex Carro’s genius Exfoliating Powder [€48/approx £42.80] to my cleanser, cutting my at-sink skincare regime in half. It contains pineapple and papaya enzymes to break down dead skin cells and coconut shell powder to lift them away.
Tip 2 The key to looking like I’ve spent 30 minutes doing my make-up (instead of 30 seconds) is coloured eyeliner. After my base, a slick of NYX’s Retractable Eyeliner in Deep Blue [£5] on my upper lash line has the magical effect of making the whites of my eyes look brighter. And because it’s a bit more unusual than the expected black, it looks more laboured.
Tip 3 Products with a great scent negate the need for fragrance. The smell of R+Co’s Outer Space Flexible Hairspray [£27, right] is incredible (a blend of wild fig and tonka bean) and it somehow clings to the hair all day – the scent lasts far longer than any perfume I’ve tried.
Charlotte Mensah, Hair stylist and founder of Charlotte Mensah Haircare: 9 minutes
Tip 1 I maximise my sleep time. If I’m wearing open-toed shoes the next day, I rub shea butter on my feet before bed and cover with socks. This works like a mask and when I wake up, the skin is soft and my feet look groomed. And because the cream has had hours to sink in, there’s no sliding around in my shoes.
Tip 2 I never have time to moisturise my body, so before I get out of the shower, I stop the water and quickly rub body oil over my wet skin then lightly towel it off. The oil blends in quicker and does an even better job at hydrating than laboriously massaging in lotion.
Tip 3 My kettle takes a minute and a half to boil and in that time I give myself a mini facial. I mix L’Occitane’s Certified Organic Pure Shea Butter [£28, right] with Manketti Hair Oil [£42] and massage it using a circular motion to get blood circulation flowing and make my complexion brighter.
Emily Saunders, Beauty buyer, Selfridges: 10 minutes
Tip 1 I’ve transferred all my products into a Magnetic Palette [£11.50, below] by My Kit Co so I never waste time rooting through my make-up bag. I just click the metal trays of my powder, bronzer, blusher and eyeshadow out of their plastic casing and, being magnetic, they’re held in place in this palette. It’s life-changing.
Tip 2 I keep my moisturiser in the fridge and when I get the milk for my morning coffee, I put it on while the kettle boils. Not only does this mean I never forget my skincare, but the cream is so cold it helps bring down any puffiness around my eyes, so I can skip eye cream if I’m particularly short on time.
Tip 3 I get my eyelashes curled every six weeks at Blink Brow Bar [£65] so it doesn’t matter which mascara I use. If I’m really pushed for time, I can skip mascara completely because the lift and curl effect is already in place.
Florence Adepoju, Founder of MDM Flow Cosmetics: 10 minutes
Tip 1 To make sure I’m out of the house on time, I put on a GirlBoss Radio podcast when I get out of the shower. Each episode is ten minutes long so the end marks my warning signal that it’s time to leave.
Tip 2 I keep my make-up sponge in the shower so it gets damp and blends make-up far quicker and smoother. I’m obsessed with Barely’s Prep, Blot and Blend Sponge [£5.99, below] – it’s malleable and works with all sorts of textures. I use mine to apply foundation, concealer and blush.
Tip 3 To save time on laborious hairstyling, I apply a 10p-sized blob of Dr Miracle’s Style Edge Holding Gel [£2.99] to my roots, and pull a little Keracare Natural Textures Leave In Conditioner [£5.75] through the lengths. The magic comes when I wrap my hair in a silk scarf – the products set my Afro hair while I drive the 20 minutes to my office where I remove the scarf and my hair is neat and groomed.
Lynsey Alexander, Make-up artist: 10 minutes
Tip 1 Speedy mornings don’t usually allow for masks but Estée Lauder’s Stress Relief Eye Mask treatments [£28 for 10] work so fast, I can just about fit it in. I lay the two pre-soaked pads on my under-eye area while I rough dry my hair. Once done, I peel them away – the aloe vera and cucumber extracts seep into my skin, rendering any dark circles or puffiness invisible. No concealer required.
Tip 2 When I’m racing to make an early call time, I’ll do my make-up in the back of a cab, otherwise that journey is just wasted time. I always face the window so I can make the most of the natural light but if it’s dark, I pop my iPhone on my lap and angle the light from the torch into the compact mirror in my hand, so I can see exactly what I’m doing.
Tip 3 Eos Smooth Sphere lip balms [£6.50, below] have multiple uses. After applying to lips, I roll it over my eyebrows to tidy them. But my favourite trick is to sweep it along my cheekbones. It gives skin an ethereal sheen that looks as though you’ve plied it with multiple serums.
Ruth Crilly, Beauty blogger at A Model Recommends: 10 minutes
Tip 1 Instead of spending 20 minutes tonging hair, some dry shampoo and a tight bun can create a similar tousled effect. I spray Colab Dry Shampoo Extreme Volume [£4.49] onto the roots and then twizzle my hair tightly and secure it in a top knot. Just before I leave the house, I take the bun down and it leaves my hair in soft waves.
Tip 2 Quick make-up is all in the prep. I use a damp flannel to buff my skin while cleansing to loosen any dead skin cells. It’s not only quicker than exfoliating with a scrub, but it gives skin the smoothest surface that foundation clings too without too much thorough blending.
Tip 3 Who has time for a multi-step smoky eye with loads of brushes and eyeshadow shades? Not me. Marc Jacobs’ Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner [£19, right] is so malleable, I can scribble it crudely into my upper lash line and then blend upwards and outwards with a short, stubby brush for softly smoky eyes in 10 seconds.