Fast Beauty - The Busy Womans Beauty Guide

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Fast Beauty - The Busy Woman's Beauty Guide

No time? No problem! Rustle up a glamorous look in half the time with our speedy beauty tips.

 Katie Campbell

Katie Campbell

Beauty Editor

Published 1st October 2008

No time? No problem! Rustle up a glamorous look in half the time with our speedy beauty tips.

Short on time? Busy with baby? Working all hours? Fear not! With our insider info you can press snooze on laborious hair and make-up routines and look gorgeous in half the time. Here’s how.

Fast Beauty: Cheat 'Time Intensive' Make-up

A polished make-up result no longer requires meticulous application and a spare couple of hours. With the right products and a little expert help you can look primed and perfected with surprisingly little effort.

The Five-Minute Face
Good grooming only takes five minutes but pays dividends. Start with a dewy-finish foundation, “to bring lacklustre skin to life,” suggests Urban Retreat make-up expert Daniel Sandler. “Then, sweep a delicate highlighting blusher over cheekbones and eyelids (try Urban Retreat Brush on Blush in Pretty in Pink).”  Tidy brows, curl lashes and add a sweep of mascara to top lashes. “Next, buff lips to slough off dead skin using Urban Retreat Lip Exfoliator and add a clear lip gloss for a high-vinyl sheen.”

The Lip Colours that say, ‘I made an effort’
For quick, instant impact, it’s all about flattering deep wine lip colours, says Daniel. “It’s a fashion look that’s easy to create. Apply a sheer dark gloss or berry for a modern twist a la Liv Tyler, Angelina Jolie or Anne Hathaway,” he says.

Try Jemma Kidd Make-up School Lipgloss in Currant or YSL Lip Twins lipstick and gloss in No.7.

The Speedy Smoky Eye
The good news? Speedy smoky eyes are very easy to perfect, says Daniel.  “Apply a soft, black pencil close to the upper and lower lash line (we like Urban Retreat Seriously Black Kohl) then smudge with either finger or a brush for a sultry look.  Next – go over both upper and lower lash line again, this time without smudging.  To add a sex kitten touch, flick eye liner up and out at edges.  For extra smoky drama, line the inner lower lid with either dark grey or brown eyeliner.” Time to spare? Finish with a generous sweep of Chanel Exceptionnel Volumising Mascara.

Fast Beauty: Hair in Half the Time

Sometimes the simplest style is the most effective when time is in short supply. You don’t need an army of stylists for these speedy hair dos:

The Under Ten-minute Do
“A simple, elegant ponytail is the quickest way to achieve a polished, chic look in minutes,” says King of effortless-look styling, James Brown. “Use a bit of James Brown London Serum to scrape hair back into a tight ponytail just above the nape of the neck and secure with a matching colour band from the Goody Colour Collection.”

Maximum Impact (but minimal effort)
Been wearing your hair in a ponytail all day? This look is super-speedy, yet sophisticated. “Simply swing the pony into a chic bun for instant elegance,” says James. “Twist the hair around and pin in place with colour matching bobby pins. The key is not to make the bun look too neat - if flyaway pieces fall out leave them, as they'll only add to the overall effect.”

The No-Time-To-Wash Hair saviour
Soak up any grease with a dry shampoo. “James Brown London Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo gives instant refreshment to less than perfect hair,” says James. “Apply by lifting the front sections of the hair and spraying at the root, then using your fingers scrunch into the scalp to give instant lift. It smells amazing too.”

More Fast Beauty Fixes:

  • Caught out for time? Vaseline (or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream) doubles up as lipgloss, highlighter and eyelid glosser.
  • Wayward hair? Smooth straighteners over just the top sections of your hair to cheat a smooth ‘n’ sleek result.
  • Go Ionic –invest in an ionic hairdryer, the show pros love their speedy drying action. Try Toni & Guy 200W Retro Hairdryer with Ionic Technology.
  • Speed freshly-painted nails dry by dipping in ice cold water or use Urban Retreat Quick-Dry Spray.
  • Curl your eyelashes. A curled lash opens the eye and magically makes the face look more polished. Try Mister Mascara Eyelash Curler.
  • Try a tinted lip balm. It will add a fresh bloom of colour without the careful application lipstick requires. We like Korres Wild Rose Lip Balm.
  • Lazy/busy/both? Cleansing wipes are great for by the bed, on the move or in your handbag - no sink necessary.

Featured products: Urban Retreat Brush on Blush in Pretty in Pink, Urban Retreat Lip Exfoliator YSL Lip Twins lipstick and gloss in No.7, Urban Retreat Seriously Black Kohl, Chanel Exceptionnel Volumising Mascara, James Brown London Hair Serum, Goody Colour Collection, James Brown London Hair Reviving Dry Shampoo Vaseline, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream,Toni & Guy 200W Retro Hairdryer, Urban Retreat Quick-Dry Spray, Mister Mascara Eyelash Curler Korres Wild Rose Lip Balm.
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