There are things in life I take my time with, but getting ready is not one of them. Women who spend an hour or more prepping for their day leave me perplexed, especially when they have kids running underfoot. Here is how I keep my beauty routine simple and snappy, without sacrificing style.

The basics


I cover the basics efficiently. Face washing and exfoliations happen in the shower. Hair is washed two to three times per week and air dries in a low ponytail coated in anti-frizz. I don't wash and blow out daily. If you do, kudos to you... but you clearly have more than 5 minutes.

The prep

The frills are fast and furious as my 5-minute timer starts ticking.

I start by giving my eyebrows a quick brush and pluck. It instantly cleans up the face and gives me a good canvas to work with. Thirty seconds, max.

Then I prep my lips with a quick dab of balm. Ten seconds on the clock.

The face

Foundation is next. I use a sponge and dab it on the triangle around the nose. If your skin is in decent shape, you shouldn't need more. This is the lengthiest portion of the program, but once you find the right shade and product, it should be 2 minutes, tops. Any longer and you are wearing too much. For nights out, I simply pile on a little more.

Next up is bronzer. A quick swipe takes up 20 seconds or so of my morning but injects a much-needed healthy glow. At night, I layer a glittery one on top.

The eyes

Onto the eyelash curl. Five seconds each. A face-changing 5 seconds.

A little brow gel holds my previously perfected arches in place. Twenty seconds, 30 if I obsess over a stray hair or two.

A big day of meetings or night out on the town calls for eyeliner. I use a smooth black and keep it simple at about 30 seconds or so. No cat eyes or smoky effects for me... I only have 5 minutes here. There's a kid crying somewhere.

Mascara. Two coats of black on each eye. I top off with an electric blue because I read somewhere that brown-eyed girls should always wear blue mascara. Maybe 1 minute total, if I throw in a wink or two in the mirror.

The final touch

I finish my lips with a gloss (pale and pink for day, berry and dark for night). Twenty seconds max.

Give myself a wink or two for a job well done... and time's up!

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