Is it possible to go from nought to fabulous in 5 minutes flat? However long you have to get ready, we show you the routine to adopt whether you have only five minutes, 15 or a full 30 minutes to get ready. What should you focus on and what should you skip?
Telegraph beauty director Sonia Haria shares all the tips she's picked up along the way.
If you only have 5 minutes...
Focus on the eyes. Make sure you don't have any existing mascara on your lashes (leave them bare that morning if you're going out straight from work). Apply a lightweight, brightening concealer such as the classic Touche Eclat by YSL Beauty under the eyes. Then take a chunky eyeshadow crayon - Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon in 'Amber Haze' is a beautiful golden-bronze shade that suits all eye colours and scribble it onto the eyelid, blending with your ring finger up to the eye contour. Curl your eyelashes (this makes such a huge difference in looking more pulled together, and takes seconds) and apply two coats of a lengthening, thickening mascara such as the Volume Infusion Mascara by Max Factor.
Brush your brows with a clear gel and rub a little tinted lip balm on lips and the apples of your cheeks (a quick cheat for a dewier, rosy complexion).
Finally, if your hair needs a bit of a lift, spritz the fantastic Cool Girl spray by Hair by Sam McKnight into the roots and lengths of your hair for a little lift, texture and grip. A simple metallic hair slide can make you look as though you've made lots of effort when you haven't, or failing that, hair pulled back into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck always looks chic.
If you have 15 minutes…
There are three key components: lips, brows and skin. Instantly perk up the face with a refreshing face mist and apply a top-up of concealer if you need it. The Power Play Concealer by Cover FX is excellent - the sponge applicator deposits just the right amount of product under the eyes so you can blend with ease. Put some colour back into your cheeks with blusher - Becca has the best range of pink and coral powders that all have a flattering golden undertone. The shade Flowerchild, suits everyone in my opinion.
Next up, fix your lashes and brows as above, but swap the clear brow gel for tinted (try Benefit's Gimme Brow) brushing up with the wand in short strokes to stop brows looking too dense or dark.
Finish with a swipe of bold matte lipstick: look for a red shade with a blue undertone, which makes teeth appear whiter. The new range by make-up maestro Lisa Eldridge includes a matte blue-red called Velvet Ribbon which is incredibly long-lasting. Apply straight from the bullet - the texture is so rich you don't have to worry about using a lip liner.
For a quick style for any hair length bar a close crop, wash it in the morning and rough dry. Twist it from the nape of the neck to the ends and then again twist into a knot, securing with a couple of hair grips. Before you head out in the evening, simply undo the knot and tease out the twist by running your fingers through your hair. Add a little hair serum such as Mending Infusion by Moroccanoil through the hairline and ends for a polished finish.
If you have 30 minutes…
If you're getting ready to go out from home, the best base for good make-up is freshly cleansed skin and brightening skincare. For an instant glow, smooth two pumps of a good vitamin C serum over the skin (C-Firma Day Serum by Drunk Elephant) and follow with a simple face cream (Rose Day Cream by Dr Hauschka). As long as your skincare is good, skip priming (too fussy) and go straight to foundation.
The best trick for a long-lasting base that doesn't look chalky or heavy is to use a medium to full liquid foundation applied with a damp Beauty Blender sponge. The Pro Filt'r Foundation by Fenty Beauty is particularly good. Start from the nose and work your way out towards the sides of the face (which seldom need much coverage). Dab a brightening concealer in an upside-down triangle under the eyes for peepers that look immediately more "awake".
Apply Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Glow all over the face with a large fluffy brush for a base that will last hours whilst still looking freshly applied. Once your skin is done, play up whichever feature you prefer - eyes or lips - either pairing eyeshadow and mascara with tinted lip balm or a full-on matte lipstick with just a slick of mascara.
If you have some time left over for a fancier hairdo, I'd recommend the clever Dyson Airwrap which makes curling and smoothing a complete doddle.