(Bad) Makeup Advice

Welcome back to my Sunday chat about (Bad) Makeup Advice I have heard throughout the years. Today’s talk is about time.


You shouldn’t spend more than 5 minutes on your makeup.


I have heard this all my life. If I remember correctly, it was even a line from a commercial back in the day. People think women spend too much time in front of a mirror worrying about their makeup. True? Sure, maybe. (We are going to ignore the blatant judgemental undertones of a woman wearing makeup in the first place here. Focus on time, please. We’ll come back to the judgy bit in another post.)

What are they considering makeup in this 5-minute time frame? Maybe the commercial really meant just makeup. But every time I hear this from people, it almost always lumps the entire getting ready process together.

Here is my overly simplified morning timeline:

  • If I oversleep, I can usually get out of bed and out the door in about 10 minutes. Wash, tone, and moisturize my face. Clean clothes. Brush my teeth. Brush my hair. Mascara. Gone.
  • I can also get out the door in less than 30 minutes on days that I choose to sleep in. Wash, tone, and moisturize my face. Clean clothes. Brush my teeth. Brush my hair. Simple eye makeup. Lipstick. Gone.
  • But what about those days that I decide to do a full face? Um… I’m gonna need an hour for that.

My skin care routine is simple but it takes 5 minutes in and of itself because I want my moisturizer to have time to soak into my skin before I put other stuff on top of it. I don’t plan my outfits the night before but I keep all my work appropriate tops in the same place so I can grab one at random. My pants are almost always jeans so which ever pair I touch first goes on my body. I try to take care of my teeth so that means brushing for at least 2 minutes plus using mouthwash (Sorry Tooth Doc, I’m still not flossing like I should 😉 ). If my hair is clean, brushing it takes less than a minute. If it isn’t, I have to do the whole dry shampoo process which can take up to 10 minutes. Either way, it goes in a pony tail afterwards 9 times out of 10. I wear makeup depending on my mood, the state of my skin, and how much time I have left after all of that. If I still have 45 minutes, full face day! If I need to leave in 10 minutes, hmm… let’s play with some eyeshadow. 3 minutes until I need to walk out the door? Mascara it is.

For emergencies, I keep some stuff at work. Dry shampoo, mascara, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. It isn’t for vanity. The last thing I want while working in a professional environment is to look like I don’t care about how I portray the company. I may wear jeans and t-shirts to the office but I still want to look clean.

But enough about me. Let’s pretend that 5 minute rule really applies to makeup alone. 5 minutes. There is a YouTube challenge for that. Do a full face in 5 minutes. Er… How about no?

There are a lot of reasons why it would take more than 5 minutes to apply makeup.

  1. It is early in the morning and we need time to be functional. But we also are in a time crunch so multi-tasking is important. That means applying makeup while we aren’t quite yet bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
  2. We don’t all have the skills to apply makeup that freaking fast without it becoming a disaster.
  3. Some makeup looks just take time. Have you ever tried to do a detailed smoky eye that requires 5 different eyeshadow shades to really give depth? You can’t do that in 5 minutes, let alone do anything else.
  4. We want to apply makeup correctly without it being streaky or cakey or harsh. Proper blending takes time, effort, and skill.
  5. We want to do more than comb our brows, apply mascara, and throw on some lip balm. We might want to do a bold lip or a dramatic wing. Or, Heaven-forbid, go all out on a full face.

What is the deal with the time shame? Who cares how long the neighbor takes to put on her makeup? If someone is judging another person for this when it isn’t hurting anyone, they really need to reevaluate themselves and stop micromanaging those around them.

That isn’t to say that there are not times that a person’s getting ready time isn’t a problem.

  • If you are constantly late for work or appointments due to getting ready to go, jeopardizing your job or other well-being, there might be a problem.
  • If you are constantly making others late for work or appointments due to getting ready to go, there might be a problem.

I can understand the frustration of someone waiting for someone else to get ready to go somewhere.

Have you ever tried to get 2 teenage girls ready for school before the bus comes simultaneously while trying to get yourself ready at the same time? o.O

That is a different issue entirely. It isn’t someone micromanaging a person’s beauty routine. It is a threat to job security, social commitments, health, etc. In that kind of a situation, the person getting ready needs to reevaluate themselves. It could be a complete disregard for others (for shame 😡 ). It could be a lack of time-management (easy to fix with some effort). It could be an issue of organization (also easy to fix but can be expensive if you let it) or a matter of distractions (put down the phone, seriously).


So long as you are enjoying the process and not derailing your (or someone else’s) life, have fun applying your makeup regardless of how long it takes.


There is no reason to relegate something that is fun yet functional to a time slot. Everyone’s routines and needs are different. You do you. 🙂

❤ Dee

Bonus: If you like to do a full face but have a time crunch in the mornings, lay all of your beauty products out the night before. This includes skin care, makeup, tools, and hair care products/tools. Commit to those products for the day, no trades. For me, I find it even more helpful to lay these out in the order that I will use them. It prevents me from forgetting a product. This also prevents the need to dig around for a specific shade of lipstick (my nightmare) or hunting for that one eyeshadow brush that is necessary.

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