So, just how long does it take a woman to feel ready to face the world?
As a new survey claims the average female now spends an incredible 55 minutes a day applying make-up, we ask three women for their time-saving tips.
There are more so-called miracle products to choose from than ever before, so how long does the average woman now spend applying her make-up in the morning?
The answer, according to a recent survey, may shock you. A survey carried out by America's The Today Show and AOL found that on average, women spend 55 minutes in front of the mirror at the start of each day, perfecting their look. Which works out at an incredible 6.4 hours each week!
Can it really be true that many of us now believe it takes us almost an hour before we are ready for our close-up ... with, um, our colleagues at work?
We put down our lipstick and compact to talk to three local women about how long they spend delving in and out of their cosmetics bag.
'I need to be confident I am looking my when I leave the house'
Brenda Shankey (42), runs Jason Shankey Male Grooming with her husband Jason and lives in Belfast with their children Lauren (12), and Will (10). She says:
I can do my whole face from start to finish in five minutes. I know my face and I know what I like and I have my routine down pat. I think it comes from years of juggling getting ready with getting the kids out to school in the mornings.
First, I apply foundation which was colour matched for me at the Paddy McGurgan make-up store. I use a sponge and follow that with a bronze blusher from Rimmel then a plain black eyeshadow from Lancome. I swear by Lancome mascara, too, they’re really thick and black.
On top of that, I use a Maybelline liquid black eyeliner and a nude lipliner, also from Maybelline. I top that off with a nude lipgloss of any brand.
I'm a working mum so time is of the essence in the mornings. I think if you have the basics nailed down then you're halfway there. I have good skin and I do tint my eyelashes and brows, which saves time. After that you just apply the rest of the presentation.
I know what suits me and I don't change from that very often so my make-up routine is pretty much automatic.
Nor do I carry out many touch-ups during the day — I just re-apply lipgloss after lunch and maybe again a couple of other times throughout the day.
I spend my whole day looking in the mirror when I'm cutting hair so there is a lot of pressure to look well-groomed.
It can aeffect your mood when you don't look good.
I need to have the confidence that I look my best when I leave the house in the morning.
It gives me confidence to be professional when I work with clients.
Being prepared saves time, too. If I was changing what eyeshadow I use every day, then it would take a lot longer.
My hair takes about 10 minutes. to get ready so I either tong and curl it or I sleek it back. I actually think if your hair looks well, you can wear less make-up.
'My routine takes longer than I thought'
Laura Lacole (24) is a glamour model and lives in Belfast. She says:
I do use make-up every day. I can be very relaxed when it comes to what clothes I decide to wear, but less so when it comes to applying some cosmetics. My skin is so pale that if I don't wear make-up, I look sickly. Foundation is the one thing I need to go out in. Plus, my skin colour also shows up any blemishes very quickly.
I moisturise with Olay Essentials — it works very well with my foundation and helps it stick to my face.
I use a stipple brush with my foundation — I like Mac Studio Fix. I also use a Mac concealer and then follow that up with Mac Studio Fix powder. I find that combination works very well and stays where it is throughout the day so I don't need to worry about touch ups. I prefer not to have to check my make-up so now I have the perfect recipe that lasts 12 hours.
Next, I hide any dark shadows under my eyes with a 2True three-in-one concealer, then cover that with a very light colour powder from Collection 2000. I put on a bit extra under my eyes so it catches any eye shadow that falls down, and then I can sweep it off.
All that takes about 15 minutes before I move on to my eyes. I'm a big fan of Barry M Dazzle Dust. They have so many colours and I love bright colours and glitter. During the day, though, I use neutrals on my eyes; browns, lighter browns and mushroom colours. I only use a couple during the day — light colours all over the eyelid, then a darker colour to contour the eyelid. I then use liquid eyeliner with a flick, smaller during the day. I've been doing that for years so it takes me seconds.
My mascara is Superlash by 17 from Boots. I was using Bad Gal Lash from Benefit but I decided to find something cheaper.
I then brush off the powder under my eyes and define my brows with a pencil.
I always use a lipliner. I never use expensive ones so a favourite would be the Natural Collection from Boots. I cover that with a lipstick or a gloss.
My hair doesn't need much, just a good brush and a bit of wax to control fly-aways.
That whole routine takes me about 35 minutes — adding it up now has surprised me as I actually thought it took around 20!
And it does take a lot longer if I'm going out in the evening. I heavily contour my face with bronzers and highlighters and then play around with colour. That can take me up to an hour as I like to have fun with it.
'I have my make-up down to a fine art'
Niamh Perry (23) is a West End singer and actress from Bangor. She is about to start rehearsals for the musical The Beautiful Game. She says:
My morning routine depends on how much of a rush I'm in. I usually manage my hair, moisturiser and sometimes foundation at home. If I don't have time then the rest is done on the train. If I'm at home, the whole thing would take about half an hour. I start with a Laura Mercier Primer then a mineralised Mac foundation that's very light and doesn't look like I'm wearing make-up.
I've stopped wearing lots of eyeliner. I did a job that required more make-up than you can imagine and it put me off wearing lots of it. Now I just have a bit of contouring on my eyelid with some neutral or brown eye-shadow. I use a bit of foundation to cover redness on my eyelids. Then I finish off with Yves Saint-Laurent mascara and a Chanel blusher in Orchid Rose.
If I'm doing my make-up on the train I'm much faster because people tend to look at you while you’re doing it and it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I have my make-up down to a fine art now and can do it in about 10 minutes, though it probably doesn't look as good as if I’d spent longer. But I'm constantly checking my make-up and touching it up during the day. I wish I could say I didn't wear make-up every day because I’ve had quite a few skin problems in the past, but it's part of my job. I have to admit, too, that when I’m not wearing any make-up, my confidence is quite low.