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Beauty Products for Impatient People

For when you’re sprinting out the door or just can’t be bothered.

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A photo collage of a woman in a bathrobe applying lipstick in the reflection of a toaster Photo: Tempura/Getty Images

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I’m a busy person. You’re a busy person. Or maybe you’re not. But in every life, a little time-crunch must fall, and for those times, it helps to have beauty products that will do in a pinch what others might do overnight. Because for every Saturday afternoon you can lounge in a three-hour hair mask, there’s a morning where you’re rushing out the door, late for a meeting, and in need of a top coat that dries... gah! Five minutes ago!

Below are a few products that can help when you genuinely don’t have a minute to spare (or when you just can’t be bothered with that whole “patience” thing).

Klorane Dry Shampoo

Klorane Dry Shampoo ($20)

I believe in Klorane with all my heart. The way some people believe in Santa Claus. The way Justin Bieber believes in the Hillsong Church. It is the best dry shampoo because it’s the simplest dry shampoo. This one, which comes in a non-aerosol bottle, requires no muss and very little fuss. A few poofs will do ya, and the powder doesn’t require time to dry the way some aerosol versions do. Just get it in your scalp, muss up your hair to blend, and brush (if you can spare the minute). Voila! Perfectly non-greasy hair to see you through your day.

If you insist on getting the spray version and ruining the environment a little bit more, here are a few other options you can try:

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($18.39)

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo ($23)

Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo ($44)

Bonus: They all smell amazing, so you don’t have to spend extra time tracking down your perfume.

Nail Polish Remover Pads ($4.79 for 10)

For times when your polish has been chipped for days and you’re about to head into an important meeting or just don’t want to look like you’re starring in the angsty teen drama of your life, these nail polish remover pads are a lifesaver. I’m not ashamed to tell you I have used these on the subway, in the bathroom at work, at my desk, in the locker room at the gym, in cabs, and even walking down the street.

Here’s a trick that I have learned the hard way: Keep the pad inside the little envelope and put your nails in there, rubbing the polish off with the pad. If you take it out, the remover on the felt pad dries out too quickly and you’ll be left with your last three or four nails — or worse, a full hand — still polished and a dry-as-the-desert pad that is now useless. Don’t make my mistakes.

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Mask

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Mask ($37)

Say you’ve been laying around all weekend and suddenly remember you have to go to a dinner party. Maybe your ex is going to be there and you want to look fresh-faced and glow-y but you also maybe only have 30 minutes to shower AND get out the door. This mask only takes 10, so by the time you figure out what you’re going to wear and get the shower running, it’s time to wash it off.

Blum Naturals Daily Normal Skin Towelettes ($7.49)

Having enough time in the day for a 12-step skincare routine is the dream, obviously. But even the most careful P50 devotees among us have nights when we get home with only enough energy to change out of our work pants before zonking out on top of the bed. For those trying days, keeping a pack of makeup wipes by the bed will be the smartest thing your overly exhausted self can do. I love these ones because they smell nice, don’t leave a weird film over my face, and have never caused a breakout. I can occasionally find them at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls, but you can also order them from Amazon.

Moroccanoil Hair Oil Treatment

Moroccanoil Hair Oil Treatment ($34)

If you’re coloring your hair and think that it’s perfectly acceptable to go around doing the same old thing you used to do when you had virgin hair, please learn from yet another of my mistakes and just don’t. Know that it needs constant attention and moisture and come correct. Sometimes that means five hours in a deep conditioning mask, preferably under a wrap or a shower cap while you watch Drop Dead Diva until 1 a.m. Other times, it’s literally one minute and no more.

The first time I went blonde, I thought my life-long healthy hair could handle it. It did not, breaking off and leaving me with brittle and decidedly unhealthy hair. Thankfully I have friends who insisted that oil is a game-changer, and I’m here to tell you that indeed it is. I now use a little bit to add moisture to my ends (a dime- to quarter-size amount, depending on dryness) before bed or in the morning before I shove it under my winter hat. It takes no more than a minute and makes hair look glow-y and fantastic.

If the Moroccanoil brand isn’t for you (I especially love it because it smells divine), here are a few others I’ve tried and liked at various price points:

Ouai Hair Oil ($28)

Hask Argan Oil ($1.99)

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil ($69)

Eyelash Curler ($7)

The only thing an impatient person needs is a damn eyelash curler. Yes, it still looks like a medieval torture device. No, it doesn’t seem to have been improved upon over the years. And the ones that look like a curling wand for your eyelids are definitely not how I’m trying to start my day.

Of course we’ve seen that The Devil Wears Prada clip about the Shu Uemura. It’s iconic. Meanwhile, makeup artist guru site Violet Grey says the Utowa Eyelash Curler is the best of the best. And most of us are using something in the $2-to-$10 range from our local Target.

But whatever one you choose, it will be your favorite thing for days you only want to spend 45 seconds getting yourself ready. To prove my ultimate devotion to curled lashes and zero time wasted, I have two: one in my makeup bag at home and one in my makeup bag in my purse. I curl my eyelashes as often as the good Lord Cher and time permit me — usually twice a day.