How Long Beauty Editors REALLY Take To Get Ready

Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Mornings are sacred for most people. It's a time to stretch, catch up on news, and slowly sip a cup of coffee — all while gradually waking up and mentally preparing for the hectic day ahead. But if you're a beauty editor, a majority of those precious hours before work are usually spent doing something else: primping.

At the most, it's when we prep our skin, face, and hair for the world to both gawk and adore. At the very least, we use it to make ourselves look mildly presentable to our colleagues. Either way, our getting-ready process is probably a bit more involved than that of the average person.

Ahead, we asked six editors about the specifics of their daily morning routines. Click through to see exactly how long it takes each lady to primp in the a.m., the products they love, and what they use them for. What might surprise you the most is that all of the routines clock in at under an hour. Psh, us, high-maintenance? Says who?
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Annie Tomlin, Beauty Director at SELF
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Hair: 2-10 minutes

"I usually shower at night and go to bed with damp hair, which makes mornings quick. If I like how my hair looks when I wake up, I comb it, and put a small amount of Kérastase Elixir Ultime on the ends. If my waves are uneven, I use a Sultra Bombshell wand to add in a few extra curls. I don't like a really 'done' look, so this works well enough for me."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Skin: 5 minutes — if that

"I am somewhat lazy with my hair, but I'll spend time trying to make my skin look smooth and glowing... I've been washing with Honest Beauty's gel cleanser and I like it — it's quite gentle and not drying at all. I then mix one drop each of Drunk Elephant vitamin C serum, Pestle & Mortar hyaluronic serum, and Kypris Antioxidant Dew. After pressing the mixture all over my face, I apply a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher. I was using Cosmedix's SPF 50, but now I'm looking for one that has a little more weight for winter."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Makeup: 5-15 minutes

"Mostly, I just want to look like I have healthy skin. Unsurprisingly, breakout days require a lot more time. I start with NARS Creamy Concealer around my eyes and on blemishes. If my dark circles are seriously purple, I'll apply Tom Ford concealer — this stuff is the proverbial big guns of concealing. Either way, I use YSL Touche Éclat around my eyes and on the (slight, I think) frown line between my brows. It just makes everything look a little brighter, less tired.

"If I need to reduce redness, I use a Beautyblender to apply Hourglass Immaculate foundation, but only where necessary. I use an eyelash curler (always!) and lately, Touch In Sol Stretchex mascara — it doesn't clump, and it also doesn't look overly dramatic. If I wear eyeshadow, it's usually Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Bone. I'm pretty fair, so I add a bit of Stowaway lip and cheek cream on the apples of my cheeks, and then I press any excess into my lips. I used to experiment more, but having a makeup 'uniform' just makes sense for me now."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Gabrielle Korn, Digital Deputy Editor at Nylon
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Hair: 5 minutes, with an extra 20 minutes on Sunday

"In my current bleachy state, I wash my hair once a week with silver shampoo and twice a week with conditioner. I use a conditioning cream afterwards and some oil on the ends if it feels dry. I let it air-dry to its natural wave and change my part throughout the day to keep it bouncy. Once a week, I use an Olaplex mask for 20 minutes, which is a miracle."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Skin: 5 minutes

"If I don't stick to this routine, I break out instantly. I do this morning and night: I wash my face with Mario Badescu's Enzyme Cleansing Gel. I tone with Mario Badescu's Glycolic Acid Toner, patting it on with my hands. I use a pea-size drop of Obagi Nu-Derm's Exfoderm Forte while the toner is drying. It's an exfoliation lotion, so it sloughs off dead skin without irritating anything: This clarifying cream saved my life, I use it right after the exfoliating lotion. Then I gently use a tiny bit of this Algenist eye cream, which is super-powerful without making my eyes burn."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Makeup: 5 minutes

"I've gotten this down to a science. A very, very fast science. I do this pretty much every day, and then — if I have to be fancy — I just add a little eyeshadow or eyeliner, which makes a big difference if your go-to is minimal.

"I use Clinique's Even Better foundation as a spot concealer for zits and acne scars, and around my nose to kill redness. It looks more fresh and natural if I do it this way, instead of applying an even layer to my whole face. Then, I use this NARS concealer under my eyes. And then, a water-resistant mascara, which I like to wear pretty clumpy. If I'm going out or to work I put lipstick on; this fall either NARS Audacious or something from Bite's Frozen Berry line."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Jane Larkworthy, Beauty Director at W and Founder of The Fraudulent Chef
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Hair: 30 minutes, "But it's a two-parter. And only on Mondays."

"I wash my hair every Monday morning, after which, I pull it back into a twist, then don't take it down until I get to my 9:30 weekly blowout appointment with Bricel at DreamDry's 21st-Street location. This has become my routine, ever since my friend Marcy commented that my self-blow-dried bangs looked like buck teeth. She was right. They did.

"Each Monday I try out new shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. I recently used Label-M's Organic Moisturizing Lemongrass Shampoo and Conditioner, and could not BELIEVE how soft my hair felt after the blowout. I save Philip B's Russian Amber Imperial Shampoo and Paul Lebreque Straight Condition Gloss Cream Conditioner for red-letter days, and I will always be a Pantene conditioner fan. I also must give a shoutout to my current root cover-up: Oribe Root Touch-Up in Light Brown. It's the perfect shade for my current hair color, and it imparts NO gunk or powder or any weird texture to deal with.

"I'd been managing to extend Monday's blowout for a week, especially since my daily exercise consists of no more than a lot of walking, so sweat doesn't come into the equation until the weekends. And by then, I'm up in the country, so I'm pretty lax about how the locks are looking. However, I really rely on dry shampoos to maintain the blowout's appearance, especially after day three. Klorane is my go-to. Jen Atkin gave me a sample of her dry shampoo from her upcoming line (which I cannot wait for) and I really like it, too. Too often, I've tried a dry shampoo that ends up being overly fragranced or makes my hair feel gross and sticky, thus ruining my blowout's chances for seven-day survival, so I always come back to Klorane. As the saying goes: 'Fool me twice, shame on ME.'"
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Skin: 3 minutes

"After spending the first 35 years of my life fighting my over unctuous and blemish-ridden complexion, pulling a complete 180 and fighting dry skin has been a strange and confusing trip, littered with a wide range of radically opposing advice that's resulted in turning my face into one big test lab. Not a great plan for skin that also happens to be super-sensitive. That said, I have yet to discover the perfect formula, so I continue my quest by testing different products or programs on one half of my face.

"Currently, Chanel owns my left cheek, while Amanda Lacey has my right. The specific regimen: Cleanse with Amanda Lacey Cleansing Pomade (on both sides) Chanel Sublimage L'Essence and La Creme (on left side) and Amanda Lacey Miracle Tonic on blemishes, then her Oil of Provence (on the right). Yes, I really — and often — do this."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Makeup: 8 minutes

"I've never been a makeup junkie. Moreover, I am the worst at makeup application (the smoky eye will always be a dream beyond my grasp). Continuant to my complaints about landing the ideal skin care, finding a foundation that miraculously Zambonis my flawed complexion has become an elusive hunt. I vacillate between about three: cushion foundations from Laneige and Sulwhasoo, Kjaer Weis Foundation, and Omorovicza's Complexion Perfector.

"On eyes: Armani Shadow Tint in Green Iron, NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Aigle Noir to line upper lids, Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer, then either Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara or Benefit They're Real Mascara.

"On flaws and under my eyes: Bobbi Brown Corrector or RMS concealer.

"Cheeks: NARS Orgasm blush: I use the powder formula in the summer, and the Multiple stick when the weather is colder and dryer. Then, I finally dab a bit of Hollybeth Organics Face & Neck Elixir on my cheekbones. It imparts a bit of a nice, dewy glow."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Julie Schott, Senior Beauty and Fitness Editor at Elle.com
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Hair: 30 seconds

"I use zero hair products, just a hat and hair perfume. Either Dior Miss Cherie, or Kilian Back to Black (which isn't made for hair, but I spray it EVERYWHERE).

"Hair regimen: Put on a hat, because my hair looks like I brought Jennifer Aniston’s Friends-era Rolling Stone cover to my stylist and said, ‘Do this.’ It’s a #tbt every day — not chic. I won’t say who’s responsible. The best haircut I ever had was from Jen Atkin — she does all the Kardashians. Women in Dubai spend like $1 million to get their bangs trimmed by Jen — she’s that good."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Skin: 5 minutes

"My approach to getting ready is more slow cooker than microwave. On a perfect day, I wake up and go to a workout class — without washing my face. After class, I rinse with just water and use Dr. Dennis Gross' 2-step Glycolic Alpha Beta Peel. People are afraid of glycolics, but this is the one product that really makes my skin look better immediately — more so than any in-office treatment or prescription that I’ve tried. After that, I put on eye cream or serum. Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Eye Sorbet just arrived in this month's GlossyBox, and I’ve been meaning to try it since Kristen Crawley wrote about it in her Elle.com column. Texture-wise, it’s more pudding or Jell-O than sorbet — made with hyaluronic acid that plumps up under eyes instantly. Then, I (begrudgingly, because I’m convinced it makes my pimples worse) put sunscreen all over my face and neck."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Makeup: 6 minutes

"I don’t always do my makeup in the morning. Not in a model ‘I don’t need makeup’ way — I actually look very unstable without concealer, like I've been crying! — but skipping makeup saves time, and also means I can try new products throughout the day, and find out how they really work. If I layer foundation over foundation, for example, how will I know?

"When I need to look pulled-together for a meeting or something, I wear Lancôme’s Cushion Compact or Armani Maestro. One thing I’ll never do is translucent powder because ‘dewiness,’ a.k.a. shine, is the secret to springy J.Lo skin — it tricks people into thinking you look healthy. But obviously, no one wants a greasy forehead or chin. Shine moderately. For concealer, I use Giorgio Armani or Kevyn Aucoin, depending on how much coverage I want. The Aucoin one is really intense — you only need a pinprick under each eye. I don’t really put concealer on pimples, because it’s the makeup world’s combover; everyone knows you’re hiding something.

"Lashes are next. When I don’t have fake ones, I curl my eyelashes before mascara with the new Maison Kitsune X Shu Uemura gold one, then I fill in the gaps between each eyelash with liquid liner because they’re pretty sparse now, probably from years of lash-glue abuse. NARS Audacious is the best daytime mascara — because it’s subtle — that I’ve tried this fall. It’s got the perfect combination of medium-sized rubber bristled brush and non-clumpy goop, plus it slides off at the end of the day with minimal lash loss.

"Almost done: If my eyebrows are patchy, I’ll do Eyeko Brow gel — it’s tinted brown with tiny shimmer flecks that translate to believable fullness. Last step: I usually just wear Glossier coconut balm dot com. My lips are really red, so if I wear lipstick, it’s just to neutralize the color. MAC lipstick in High Tea is the only beige that gets my lips to match my skin."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Kathleen Hou, Senior Beauty Editor at New York Magazine's The Cut
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Hair: 15 minutes

"I spend far too much time on skin care, so if I don't want to be more than 15 minutes late for anything, hair has to fall by the wayside. And day-to-day, my hair only has two modes: Down or up in a ponytail/bun. I try to pretend that doing nothing to it gives me natural 'bedhead' hair, especially since I shower at night.

"On days when this is not believable (often), I scrunch my hair using Oribe's Dry Texture Spray, Bumble and bumble Surf Spray, or Sachajuan Volume Powder to muss it up, and put a tiny bit of Kérastase Oleo Relax on any flyaways. If it's truly stick-straight and I feel really luxurious with time (a.k.a. I’ve already texted my friends letting them know I am running late because of who I am as a person), I'll loosely tong a few pieces with Sarah Potempa's Beachwaver."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Skin: 15 minutes

"Every makeup artist I know swears by a vigorous face massage and I try to do the same, doing a light lymphatic drainage massage on my face to reduce puffiness. I think it’s working? It doesn’t look worse after massaging my face. If I'm particularly tired, I'll do it while using the Clarins Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum, which is their best-selling serum in Asia, which I learned about through makeup artist Robin Black who told me to put it in the fridge. (It also happens to be conveniently located next to my Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter.) Or sometimes, I’ll do it with a splash of SK-II Essence on my face because they have these really beautiful holiday bottles that I hoard.

"Recently, I've also been loving this new Korean product called a pressed serum, which the girls at Glow Recipe introduced me to. It's the Blithe Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum, which basically means it's a serum in more of a butter-meets-moisturizer consistency, made of mushrooms. I hate mushrooms in my food, but I love them in my skin care. Then, I follow up with a moisturizer which is a cream nowadays, because it's getting colder. I've been liking Elemis's Pro-Collagen Moisturizer, which I put on as I check Instagram and any new cute dog videos my friends might have tagged me in overnight. It's super-creamy and absorbs quickly into the skin, and acts as a nice, smooth base for makeup that doesn't pill. I’m still waiting for the Koreans to develop a skin-care robot that can do all these steps for me while I press snooze."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Makeup: 10 minutes

"My makeup routine takes this long because I tread a well-worn path between my bathroom to my window to make sure my makeup looks good in natural light. I start with sunscreen like La Roche-Posay or Tatcha's Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen, both of which don't make me feel like I am wearing anything at all on my face. Then, I use a wet Beautyblender and blend Cover FX's CC Cream Time Release Tinted Treatment all over my face — inevitably, if someone tells me my skin looks really good, it's when I am wearing this product. It does a great job of gliding over pores and giving natural coverage that doesn't look chalky or become oily throughout the day.

"My dark eye circles are next, with Charlotte Tilbury's Miracle Eye Wand, which has this amazing glidey consistency that pats in super-smoothly and never settles underneath my eyes. It's also a two-in-one, since the other side is a super-luxe eye cream. Sometimes, I find undereye formulations too pink, but this one is perfect. While I check Twitter, I'll then draw in some slight cheekbones using Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow. I then curl my eyelashes using either the Surratt Beauty or Chanel eyelash curler. I've been skipping mascara during the day for a cleaner look. Since going to brow rehab with Kristie Streicher and Bob Scott, I've barely had to fill in my brows, but I'll use the Surratt brow pencil to fill in a few spots because it's the best, and is so fine that it feels like a brow pencil disguised as an art pencil. Then I pat RMS Living Luminizer above my cheekbones, because I hate matte skin."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Megan McIntyre, Beauty Director at Refinery29
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Hair: 10-20 minutes

"I usually shower in the morning, but I only wash my hair every two to three days. If I am air-drying my hair, I just pop in some Reverie Milk treatment and then scrunch my hair. Done, done, and done. If I'm feeling fance and want to actually look like I gave it some effort, I'll spray my wet hair with Pureology's Color Fanatic Hair Treatment and work that through, then wait a few minutes and spray Kérastase Fluidissime Spray and work that in — the Pureology protects my color-treated hair from heat-styling, and the Kérastase smooths down frizzies without weighing down my fine hair.

"I blowdry with Harry Josh's Pro Dryer — it costs an arm and a leg, but it is so worth it. I'll do an all-over rough-dry with my fingers, then use Shu Uemura's Small Round Brush to smooth through and straighten out/curl under the ends of my hair — it tends to do an outward, Gidget-like flick that I hate with the fiery passion of a thousand flaming suns.

"If I'm feeling SUPER-fance, I'll grab ghd's Eclipse flat iron to create a deconstructed wave. Think Rachel McAdams in True Detective, only less druggy. If I'm lazy, I'll just place the iron in the center of a one-inch section of hair and press it to create a bend. If I'm feeling yet fancier, I'll create an S-wave by running the iron through my hair. I run my hands through the waves to break them up, then spritz Olivine's Love & Salt texture spray — the absolute BEST texturizer I've ever used — and use my fingertips to artfully eff it up."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Skin: 15 minutes

"I start by washing off the nightly oil slick with Context's Daily Facial Cleanser. I then spritz on Whamisa's Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist. Pro tip: You should spray on a toner or essence immediately post-cleansing (preferably while your face is still damp) to make sure the dry air doesn't start sucking out your natural hydration.

"Next comes Kypris Antioxidant Dew to get my daily antioxidant dose and treatment in one. I pat that on because rubbing it in doesn't distribute the product evenly or allow it to sink in. Then, I add a generous layer of Shiseido White Lucent All Day Brightener, which is my sunscreen, moisturizer, and dark-spot defender, all in one. I sometimes switch this out for Dr. Dennis Gross' Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50, depending on how sunny it is, and how much time I anticipate being in the sun."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
Makeup: 20 minutes

"First up is a swipe-on and dab-in application of the eye cream side of Charlotte Tilbury's Mini Miracle Eye Wand. To get my covered-up-but-still-glowy complexion, I use Iope's Air Cushion XP. I dip the sponge in the cushion, then press and dab it on my skin. The result is a medium coverage that manages to look like my skin, only way better. Then, it's on to the concealer end of the Eye Wand to make my eyes look perky. I brush this on under the eyes, but also down the edges of the nose and up to the top of cheekbone in a mini triangle shape. This brightens up the whole area. Next up is Tom Ford 's Concealing Pen — hands-down the best concealer. And it has this little sponge-tip applicator that makes it easy to apply and blend for an airbrushed finish, no brush required.

"My eyeshadow look changes about as regularly as my mood shifts, which is to say, a lot. But one go-to in my vast catalog of makeup looks is this cool mauve-y purple eye, NARS' Velvet Shadow Stick in Oaxaca. I start by drawing an outline on my lashline and crease, then color it in, and use my finger to smudge it out. I just started playing with these brand-new cream-gel liners from ColourPop, and I am beyond impressed. They are the perfect size for tightlining and deliver some pretty intense color. Then, comes my secret weapon: By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock. I can't say enough good things about these amazing little pigment sticks. This shade is a metallic lilac that I line my lower waterline with and then place a small dab on the inner corner of my eye, extending the shade just past it on the top and bottom lashlines to create a diffused, metallic haze. It amps up any look and gets me SO many compliments. I love it so much and have it in four different shades.

"I curl my lashes with Troy Surratt's Lash Curler — curled lashes are integral to making my eyes look awake and not like I zombie-walked into the bathroom. I wiggle Shu Uemura's Lash Petal Mascara on my lashes. I love this because it's not a gloppy, thick formula — more of a viscous gel — so I can swipe it on in last-minute haste while I am frantically trying to get out the door to catch my train, and I don't have to worry about ruining my carefully applied eyeshadow. It also does not smudge, so I don't have to spend time in the afternoon cleaning up raccoon circles.

"Eyeko's Brow Liner is next up. It's like a magic marker for your brows, but in a flattering way. The dummy-proof eye pencil is a liquid liner-type applicator that makes it easy to draw on feathery strokes to mimic brow hair. Plus, it can be done in under 10 seconds (I've tested it, believe me) and not look like you got into a fight with Cara Delevingne's brow stylist.

"To round off my purple-haze gaze, I like a nice plum lipstick like Shiseido's Shimmering Rouge Lipstick in Sugar Plum. I press it into my lips using my fingers to create a semi-matte stain, focusing the color in the middle of my lips. This gives me the bold color I want, without overpowering the rest of the look."
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Illustrated by Tristan Offit.
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