If you had just 29 seconds to do your makeup, which product would you choose? Perhaps a slick of mascara to make you look more awake, or a swipe of foundation to blanket any blemishes. When tasked with exactly this, team R29 picked very different beauty buys. From petroleum jelly (which just so happens to be the ultimate speedy multitasker for brows, lips and cheeks) to bold liquid liner to emphasise small eyes, here's what happened when we tried to make ourselves over in just a fraction of the time it usually takes us to get ready in the morning. Always late? Take note, because these products should be your go-tos for a speedy morning routine...
Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
Contrary to summer beauty trends (and the advice every single makeup artist has given me over the years), I love a strong blush. I have light olive-toned skin which can sometimes look washed out without any makeup on, so I tend to go all out. Beauty guru Mary Greenwell gave me the idea to use Chanel's Rouge Coco Flash Lipstick in Temper, £31, as a subtle lip tint, eyeshadow and blush at a masterclass recently, and it really works for me, both in terms of convenience and the dewy but punchy finish it imparts. I enlist this product most mornings, but always after applying foundation, concealer, bronzer, mascara and highlighter like Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Highlighter & Balm Duo, £45. A full face is my thing. I am a beauty editor after all...
I was under pressure to properly blend the product in 29 seconds but if I had more time, I'd diffuse my lips a bit more using my fingertips and apply a little less product to my lids, taking my time to pat it on gently so that the glossy colour builds up nicely. I usually pop an X of product on the apples of my cheeks specifically, but because I had to skip my trusty contour, I went all out. It'll do, I guess.
Eni Subair, Editorial Assistant
My eyes are quite small, so I love eye makeup that makes them stand out. For this reason, I opted for Fenty's Baewatch Vivid Liquid Eyeliner in Hot Tub Club, part of the liner trio, £27. That said, I was torn between picking a liner and speedily defining my eyebrows, which I'm very particular about. Still, nothing beats a great liquid liner, especially when it's as bold as this! I get so many compliments whenever I wear it. It's super pigmented and doesn't really require much more than a single swipe. I don't usually apply mascara with it, so it was surprisingly easy to nail the look in 29 seconds. The colour is so vibrant, I didn't need much product. However, my attempt at an Instagram-worthy wing was a bit patchy, so I would have liked to go over it a few times to make it neater. If I had more time, I'd finish with a slick of lip gloss.
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Ellen Miles, Strategy Manager
Makeup in 29 seconds? A joke, surely. I asked friends for their thoughts on how it could be done. Pre-paint everything onto the inside of a mask and press it onto your face? Hold multiple brushes, liners and lipstick between clawed fingers and swipe on in a single flourish? Amusing but totally impractical. I tried to do my usual routine in half a minute, and the result resembled an enthusiastic but clueless kid let loose on their mother’s makeup drawer. I needed a simpler approach.
Enter the beauty Swiss army knife, Dr PAWPAW Original Multipurpose Balm, £6.95. Highlighter? Check. Brow gel? Check. Eyeshadow, lip gloss, mascara? Check, check, check. Chuck this unsung hero into your handbag, and you’ve got a cosmetic arsenal ready at a moment’s notice. If So Solid Crew can get the job done in 21 seconds, 29 is a breeze.
Rabeel Ijaz, Editorial Intern
You would think that after dealing with acne and acne scars for 12 years I would be a pro at blending concealer as fast as I could. Well, no. Judging by the unblended blob right above my cheekbone, I wasn’t able to complete my speedy makeup in 29 seconds, boo. I used Urban Decay's Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, £20, which I think is great for covering my acne scars while not feeling cakey at all. On a normal day I wear a little Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer, £28.50, paired with my Urban Decay concealer. I have textured skin so I don't like piling the base product on too much. I usually add some blush and highlighter to add colour to my cheeks, then spritz on setting spray. While my face dries, I finish my everyday look with lipstick and mascara.