How to Get Ready in Five Minutes


Five minutes until your date shows up and you’re still sporting a bathrobe. Ten minutes to get ready for a class that’s an eight-minute walk away. Time is just one of those weird things— there’s an infinite supply, but never enough when you need it. Worry not! You may never have the kind of time you want, but you really have all the time you need. That’s why we’re here to provide you with: What To Do When You’re Late…unless you’re pregnant, in which case there’s nothing we can do. Scenario No. 1: Late night, early morning. Want to look awake like Blake? You slept in after getting just two hours of sleep, and you’ve got a Mount-Vesuvius-sized zit and a lecture in 15 minutes. That hot rugby player you’ve been eyeing will inevitably be sitting next to you. Now what? Unless you’re like Cher from “Clueless” and have a computerized closet to coordinate your clothing, save some time by putting on an easy outfit you know looks good. (A dress > jeans and a top, since it’s just one decision instead of two.) Bloomingdale’s make-up artist Anna Briggs suggests splashing your face with cold water to liven the skin and using a caffeinated eye cream (yes, cream that contains caffeine) to wake up your face and take down any puff. As for the zit, no matter how big, go easy on the concealer because its main purpose is to mask the color, not texture. The more cover-up you heap on, the more you’re going to draw attention to the mountain. Skip the eyeliner, but brighten up tired eyes by putting a little white eye shadow in each corner and curling your eyelashes. And remember: you’re never in too much of a rush to deodorize, wash and brush. Never. Scenario No. 2: *20-20-20-24 hours to gooo* … except not really.

Underrated. Good song, but in real life, you get back from the library Friday evening and only have ten minutes before your friends leave for dinner and a party. Also, your hair is greasy. FYL. Now what? You probably smell like books, so rinse off with a speedy shower but bust out a shower cap because you’ve got no time to wash your hair. For times like these, God and Sephora teamed up to create dry shampoo. Spray in this waterless wonder, quickly brush it through your hair and you’ll be greaseless and good to go, according to John Dellaria Salon hairstylist Gerald Carrara. Also, Chanel make-up artist Esther Klahne warns against trying to salvage the make-up you’ve been wearing all day. She suggests quickly cleansing your face with a make-up removing towelette — even if you don’t have time to reapply everything. Clean, vibrant skin beats oily, old make-up. Throw on jeans and a cute top or a simple dress and you’re ready for dinner. Scenario No. 3: Wet hair and nothing to wear.

She’s pretty sexy, and technically speaking, her hair is always wet. You’re getting ready for a date and spent too long shaving/fantasizing about goodnight kiss possibilities. Too bad you have wet hair and 15 minutes before he shows up at your place. Now what? You’ve already screwed up and gotten your hair wet, but lucky for you, the loose ponytail is back in style. Let a few pieces fall out and quickly blow-dry them, or pin your hair up with bobby pins and spray in some leave-in conditioner. As the night goes on and your hair dries, take it out, and you’ll have soft, wavy locks. Admittedly, it will still be a little damp, but it’ll also smell nice, like your shampoo. As for your face, Briggs stresses the importance of addressing skin care needs first; color is merely the accessory. Skip steps by finding the products that multitask and tackle two features with one brush, like tinted moisturizer to even out and freshen up your skin. If your date is at the door, don’t make him wait awkwardly while you apply eye shadow and lip liner; just put on some mascara (which, according to Briggs, does even more than eye shadow by adding a border and definition to your lashes), stick a lip gloss in your bag and you’ve got your three major bases (skin, eyes and lips) covered. Some last minute tips:

  • Blast pump up music. It’s energizing and will speed you up.
  • Don’t forget to eat. If it’s before class, you’ll be dumb. Before a dinner date, you’ll be too obsessed with eating to have fun. Plus your stomach might growl before your food arrives. Awkward.
  • Take off old make-up and do what you can to smell nice. No matter how pretty you are, being smelly=problematic. A one-second spritz of perfume will only add… one second onto your getting-ready routine.

Sources: Anna Briggs, make-up artist, Bloomingdale’s Gerald Carrara, hairstylist, John Dellaria Salon Esther Klahne, make-up artist, Chanel Check out more from

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