We know that our Beauty in the Bag readers have a lot on their plates: from juggling coursework to managing children to leading meetings. Who has time to sit in front of a mirror every morning to pretty their face? Luckily, there are plenty of cosmetic solutions that match your busy lifestyle. Here, we choose a few of our favorite time-saving beauty products.
Before you even start your makeup routine, set up an area on your vanity or bathroom counter to lay out your makeup and tools. This way, when it’s time to put your face on, you won’t have to rummage around in an overstuffed bag or find a loose brush underneath your bed. When you brush your teeth, you can also brush your lips to remove flakes. Then, swipe on per-fekt Lip Perfection Gel ($24), a silky smooth color gel that can replace traditional lipstick, lip gloss, lip primer, and lip treatment. Formulated with rich conditioners, vitamins, and anti-aging ingredients, this velvety gel goes on evenly in one fell swoop without staining, caking or stickiness. Lip Perfection Gel comes in six shades including Melrose, a rosy nude, and Paramount, a bright pink. If you want something with a bolder punch, try Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick ($19), which works triple duty as liner, lipstick and plumper. Available in 20 shades, Big & Healthy will plump your lips to their full buxom potential. Created with antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, one application will give you softer and smoother lips. Plus, it also comes with a built-in sharpener so you can apply it anytime on the go.
When applying face powder or blush, choose big, fluffy brushes because they deposit a sheer wash of color that’s easy to blend. Or, you can choose Clinique Quick Blush ($23.50), a portable all-in-one blush and brush. In six colors, this unique color delivery system is convenient and easy to use. With a twist, the brush picks up color inside the cap for blendable, buildable, and natural-looking color appropriate for all skin types and tones.
For the quickest burst of sun on your face, skip foundation and powder and opt to dust bronzer on your cheeks, chin, and hairline. Not a fan of bronzer? Skip the powder and use a facial self-tanner every few days so you can gradually give yourself a healthy glow. Another option is a tinted moisturizer with SPF, which hydrates, evens out skin tone, and protects against UV rays—and it’s easy to blend. But what is the quickest way to get that sun-kissed look? Look no further than Kate Somerville 360° Face Self-Tanning Pads ($45). In a set of 12, these quick and easy-to-use pads create a glowing complexion in just two to four hours. Formulated with advanced moisturizers, the pads work with your body’s own proteins to gradually darken skin and develop a natural, complementary color. Containing peptides and age-defying actives, these pads decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and gently exfoliate, so that it goes on evenly without streaking.
For a quick-fix formula that firms and smooths, we like Peter Thomas Roth Instant Firmx ($35). Fact-acting, this product instantly tightens, firms, and smooths the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles so you can look years younger all day long. Softening skin creases, especially on the forehead, removing crow’s feet, and laugh lines, Instant Firmx temporarily tightens problem areas. In a consumer study, 93% of participants said that the product worked instantly and that skin texture looked smoother while 86% believed that their face looked firmer.
A pencil eyeliner is usually easier and quicker to handle than a liquid or gel. However, Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Liner ($22) in seven shades is created with a quick-dry gel formula that sets quickly and lasts all day. Plus, it’s waterproof and smudge-proof. Another eyeliner that bucks the pencil preference is Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner ($22). This quick-dry liquid eyeliner features a super thin felt tip marker, making it crazy easy to apply sleek lines or dramatic strokes. The formulation is infused with argan-oil, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids to hydrate, reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation, and help fight other signs of aging.
For mornings when you need a fast eye brightener, check out Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Flash Touch Wake-Up Eyecare ($44), a roll-on pen that visibly reduces signs of fatigue around the eyes. With one click, you can decongest the eye area and erase fine lines. Moisturizing, smoothing, and toning, it can easily be applied any time of the day when the area around your eyes needs a little pick-me-up.
When doing your own nails, don’t waste time soaking your hands and feet. You can simply file, brush on oil, and push back your cuticles. A foot file that effectively removes dead skin without cutting will work wonders for the calluses on your feet. If you don’t have any nail polish in a pen (easy application!) or a quick-dry polish, we recommend SEPHORA by OPI Nail Colour Quick Dry Spray ($12) to get a glossy, smudge-proof finish fast. Mist your nails 45 seconds after polishing and you can be out the door in minutes. And what if you want to change your nail color on the quick? Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go ($12) is a nail lacquer remover containing aloe vera to prevent dehydration and lavender to protect delicate cuticles. Forgoing the traditional cotton balls and bottles of nail polish remover, one mitt cleans all ten nails.
If you’re strapped for time and don’t have time to wash your hair, a quick spray with Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo ($21) will do just the trick. Formulated with natural rice, oat, and tapioca starches to absorb oil, dirt, and hair products, this powder effectively cleans hair and scalp with the fresh, clean scent of lemon verbena. To tame flyaways, add shine, and soften hair for a smooth and silky look, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($38) is your answer. The oil is lightweight and oil-absorbing to detangle and prevent breakage. Containing UVA and UVB filters to protect against sun damage, this oil also offers heat-styling protection.
From all-in-one products to quick-drying formulas, everything here will shave minutes of your day. Now you can use that extra time to do other things, like tending to your neglected garden or finally getting to that book everyone’s been talking about. Or, more importantly, it can give you a few more minutes to snooze.