9 Time-Saving, Life-Changing Beauty Hacks

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If only we had this many pairs of hands to do our makeup in the morning...

“I’ll just be another ten minutes” is the biggest fib in the beauty book but did you ever stop to think how much time you actually spend getting ready to face your public (even if that’s just the woman in the corner shop)? According to a study by Vaseline we spend on average 722 days on our health and beauty regimes in our lifetimes (one in ten women spend up to two hours a day getting ready) totting up a whopping £12,645 on beauty products. So next time your boyfriend rolls his eyes when you make that final tweak in the mirror, well, he may just have a point (sorry).

But surely there are better things we could be doing with our time? (Like spending an extra 15 minutes in bed for example). According to the same study over 76% of women would welcome daily short-cuts if it doesn’t compromise on how they looked (there are still selfies to be had, the office hottie to impress and frenemies to upstage, afterall). Here are our tried-and-tested hacks to make getting ready that little bit quicker – as they say, every second counts.

1. The 10 Second Eyeliner

Aka the credit card trick. We get it. Eyeliner can be particularly tricky to master but that’s when your Mastercard comes in handy (and no, not to pay for a make-up artist to do it for you). Simply apply your eyeliner along your lashline as usual. Then, when you get to the end, place your credit card at a 45 degree angle from the outer corner of the eye towards your hairline and use it as a template to etch-in the perfect wing. If even that is testing the realms of your Blue Peter badge skills, apply your liner as messily as you like and instead use some small q-tips dipped in make-up remover to perfect the shape and clean everything up.

TRY: Muji Cotton Buds, £2.50

2. Mascara Made Easy

The thing about mascara is that it tends to go everywhere and once it has it quite likes to stay there too. Avoid any messy clean-up operations by placing a tea-spoon over your eyelid as you apply.

Straight lashes? Ditch the curlers and go for a dedicated curling mascara such as Rimmel’s Supercurler Mascara, £6.99 (coming soon!). Modern formulas mean that once the polymers have set, those curvaceously lifted lashes aren’t going anywhere (whereas they tend to drop throughout the day with eyelash curlers).

3. Get Multi-Tasking

“Invest in products that give multiple effects,” says make-up guru Ruby Hammer. “For example a cheek and lip stain or a radiance product to apply on the tops of cheeks, the inner corners of the eyes, the cupids bow and the collabones.” BB creams are of course the kings of doing it all offering a daily SPF and other skincare benefits as well as coverage.

TRY: Bobbi Brown BB Cream, £29.50

4. Lickety Split Nails

This genius tip was given to us by Rimmel London nail guru Adam Slee; “Forget spending ages labouring over perfectly straight edges on your polish. Instead, whack it on any old how (even if that means – shock horror – going over the edges) before jumping in the bath where the hot water will mean you can simply rub away any polish that’s strayed onto your fingers to reveal perfectly painted nails.”

No time to remove chipped polish? Simply paint on some glitter polish over the top – it covers a multitude of sins.

TRY: Nails Inc Electric Lane Top Coat, £15

5. Spa-tte To Go Please

Face masks are like a mini-break for your skin but who has time trying to wash off green mud after it’s fused to your skin for 15 minutes (Not to mention the aftermath in the sink)? The answer is in the leave-on mask. We love Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF30, £55, as although it’s totally invisible it gives your skin a nourishing facial as you go about your day. For night-time we love Sisley’s Black Rose Mask, £95.50, which feels and smells gorgeously pampering and can be left on overnight.

6. Wash ‘N Go

In-shower products are the most time-effective way of getting the most out of your bathing. Fake-tan addict? Try St Tropez’s In-Shower Gradual Tan Lotion, £14.50, for a beautifully natural hint of colour without the faff. For sumptuously soft skin, ditch the pots and pumps and go for Nivea’s In-Shower Body Moisturiser, £5.09, or if you feel like you need a bit more moisture, try Vaseline’s ultra-speedy Spray And Go Cocoa Body Moisturiser. £3.32.

7. Bed Hair

Make the most of your beauty zzz’s by creating your hairstyle in your sleep. A great backstage trick is to wash your hair the night before, towel-dry and divide into two plaits. By morning you’ll be left with gorgeously tousled waves that just need a spritz of salt spray to finish.

Don’t have time to wash your hair? Go with the grease instead of fighting it by adding some wax for a sleek catwalk-inspired pony.

TRY: Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz Spray, £11.67.

8. Tidy Up

“A little organisation will save time in the long-run as will having the right tools/brushes,” says Ruby. “Dividing your make-up bag into different areas of the face is always a good idea and grouping make-up products into colour families will also help you to co-ordinate shades when you’re short on time so that you don’t end up clashing. I always keep my tools such as brushes and tweezers in a smaller pouch within my bag to avoid spending ages rummaging around for them.

Finally, keep brushes clean so that there’s no build-up of colour is always a must and it means that you can repair any mistakes easily.”

9. Go Pro

We spend over £10,000 on hair removal in our lifetime not to mention the hours devoted to waxing, epilating, shaving and sugaring. The solution? Shave (geddit) a whole lot of time off your de-fuzzing regime by going for a long-term solution such as IPL. Ok, we admit, it’s rather pricey as an initial outlay (Ministry of Waxing charge £1284 for full legs) but it’s a lot cheaper than £10,000 and imagine the joy of never having to pick up a razor again or listening to your waxer regail you with her latest love-life disaster. We’re sold.


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