You get to a point in your life where even the thought of having more than 20 minutes for yourself in the morning seems smug and unrealistic. God what you wouldn’t give for another ten minutes to snuggle your pillow!
So if you’re one of the lucky ones who has more time than that, enjoy it. But for the rest of us with kids to make breakfast for, traffic to dodge or a mountain of work on your desk to sort, you’re probably desperately in need of a quick and simple morning routine.
So here it is: our top tips for getting you out the door in twenty minutes flat.
Regular weeknight maintenance means less to do in the mornings
Twenty minutes, when spent well, is actually plenty of time to get ready. But the trick to having a twenty minute routine is to do as much as you can before the timer starts. Preparation is key. And the more “maintenance” you do for yourself, the less there will be to do in the mornings.
That means having your eyebrows done so that there’s less product needed to make you look like Cara Delevingne, your hair washed the night before and your nails all looking the same colour. They’re either all fully painted, or they’re not at all. A true sacrifice for time but it’s gotta be done!
Essential skincare products
The goal is to have a well put-together canvas to work on when your alarm clock goes off. Sleeping in make-up is the biggest beauty no-no; it will cause breakouts, dehydrate and prematurely age the skin.
When you’re removing make-up at night, use a micellar water. You used to only be able to buy them from fancy French companies but nowadays you can pick up a bottle in any pharmacy for about €6/£4.50.
Once every last bit of your make-up is removed, use a face wash or cleanser to deeply clean the skin. Tone and moisturise and never forget to apply an eye cream. If you don’t, those fine lines will appear sooner than you had hoped. Laughter lines, eh?
Five minute make-up routine
In the morning, all you have to do is give your face a quick cleanse to remove any oil or sweat that built-up overnight. Using a cleansing toner on a cotton pad is convenient and refreshing. Next, moisturise.
Try to do this before you brush your teeth or make your bed to give the cream time to set in to the skin. At least ten minutes is best. Then you can move on to your make-up for the day. Sure, you mightn’t have time to do a full face, but most women find that wearing even a small amount of make-up boosts their confidence for the day.
Good hair day
Unless you’re blessed with perfect “wash and go” hair that requires no hot tools or styling, it’s unlikely that you’ll get your hair done in the morning. Instead, wash and style your hair the night before. By morning, all it will need is a quick going-over with your hair straightener and a teeny bit of product.
And remember ladies, dry shampoo is your friend. Let it help you.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Invest in a proper shower cap, don’t just use one of those flimsy ones you ‘borrowed’ from a hotel that one time.
Tuck all of your hair underneath and get going with the scrub-a-dub-dub. Even a sixty second shower is enough to wake you up for the day and leave you feeling more put together. When it comes to dressing, don’t let it be something you only think of on the morning-of.
At the very least, mentally locate items and have a basic idea of what you’re going to wear for the day. That's the easy part of beauty uniforms or medical uniforms - pop them on and you're ready to go. Not to sound preachy, but the more organised your wardrobe is, the easier life will be for you. No one wants to spend ten precious minutes looking for their other shoe!
Breakfast of champions
While leading health and wellness experts (and many Instgrammers) would suggest a whole variety of activities to include in your morning routine one thing that’s absolutely non-negotiable is a healthy breakfast.
Skip the journaling, the yoga, and the Pilates until the evening if you’re struggling with time.
Irish cook and food blogger Donal Skehan and self-confessed health geek Susan Jane White have some fabulous nutritious recipes that you should try out. For weekday mornings when you’re really in a rush, why not whip up a properly nutritious smoothie? Chomping it down while you’re stuck at a red light isn’t ideal, but it’s better than nothing!