DIY Style: Need for speed – How to get ready lickety split

My schedule is pretty crazy these days. With a full-time job, kids to care for and shuttle around, a husband to love, roller derby practice, and social obligations, my calendar is jam-packed. I have a tight half hour to get ready for the day.

Here’s the breakdown:

10 minutes: shower.

2 minutes: brush and floss.

1 minute: moisturize face and body.

5 minutes: style hair

2 minutes: dress.

10 minutes: apply make-up and put on jewelry.

Here are some tricks that get me out the door punctually put-together.


Gather all hair and make-up essentials in one place so you don’t have to scramble around looking for things.

Pick one day a week to do certain tasks. For example: Hair-removal Sunday, Manicure Monday, Ensemble Saturday, Food-prep Friday, etc.

Have an extra set of get-ready essentials in the car: make-up, hair gel, rubber bands, bobby pins, hairbrush, deodorant, and oil blotting papers.

Make your lunch the night before. Pack up leftovers immediately after dinner to save time.

Takeaway breakfasts to keep around: banana with a peanut butter pouch, granola bar, or protein shake.


Wash your face with cold water and use red-reducing eye drops to wake up your face. Curl your lashes. Apply lip gloss en route.

While showering, brush teeth after conditioning your hair to let conditioner soak in.

If you’re really short on time, use cleansing wipes instead of washing your face.


Set aside a day when you have lots of time to tweeze and trim your eyebrows, wax or shave your legs, and take care of any rogue facial hair that pops up.


Use dry shampoo before you go to bed and do another spritz of dry shampoo in the morning. Skip the shower and just wash the essentials. Put your hair up or back in a ponytail or bun using a hair donut and wear a thick headband.

Shower the night before and let your hair dry halfway. Lightly apply gel and put your hair up in a tight topknot. In the morning you’ll let your hair down to find lifted roots and soft waves or curls.

If you wear your hair straight, flatiron it the night before and touch up any fly aways with a mini flatiron in the morning.


Pick multi-tasking products: a CC cream conceals, protects, and moisturizes skin, a cheek tint doubles as lip tint, an eyelash tint that thickens lashes to look like you have eyeliner on, and an eye shadow that doubles as a eyeliner.

Clothing and accessories

Organize outfits ahead, including jewelry, so you don’t have to throw something together each morning.

Use a purse with removable covers so you can change colors without changing contents. I like Miche bags.

Assemble two failsafe outfits, one black with colored shoes, keeping them on standby at all times.

Plan ahead and use your time wisely so you can get ready in no time.

You have 30 minutes: ready, set, go!

McKinney may be reached at

Her column is published on the second Friday of each month as part of the Lifestyle section’s “Fashion Friday” features.