Who Has The Time?
I am impatient. Nearly two decades of living in New York City taught me to loathe long lines, inefficient service, and slow-walkers (if a New Yorker bumps you while you stroll down Fifth Avenue, you probably deserve it. Think how you’d feel if she went to your town and drove a Suburban 10 mph down a one-lane road.). When we first moved to Ann Arbor, I even stopped visiting one coffee shop because the barista was too chatty, greeting my order of a soy latte with “soy-tainly!” and then taking 15 minutes to mix my drink. Nope. Not before 8 a.m. Buy-bye.
So, it should not surprise you that waiting 10 to 15 minutes for deep conditioner—or six to eight hours (!) for self-tanner—to “work” is something I am rarely willing to do. Whenever possible, I opt for quick, instant, express formulas. I don’t have time to wait around, and I assume you don’t either. Here, a few of my current faves for an (almost) instant fix:
GOOP Exfoliating Instant Facial This creamy cocktail of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids dissolves dead skin in about a minute. This is my go-to when Retin-A leaves me feeling flakey.
St Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse This is the self-tanner version of a choose-your-own-adventure: Apply and wait one hour before showering for a light glow, two for medium bronzing, or three hours to look like you played on a tennis team all summer. And if I can’t even spare an hour to get glowing, I just slather on Jergens Natural Glow Three Days to Glow, which can be applied like body lotion and need not be showered off. It does take three applications (or three days) for the color to fully develop, but I find it brightens pasty limbs to a socially (and shorts) acceptable level after just one use.
L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm I wrote here about how much I like the new ad for the Elvive hair-repair collection, and, after testing the line myself, have determined the hero product is this shine-boosting, frizz-flattening, breakage-preventing treatment that needs a mere “one to three minutes” to take effect.
Crest 3-D One-Hour Express Whitestrips Unless you have very sensitive teeth, I cannot think of one good reason you’d choose a formula that requires multiple applications, as opposed to a one-hour regimen you endure once or twice a year. (I’ve tried a variety of at-home whiteners and cannot see a dramatic difference in the results, so why not choose the most efficient option?) I apply these teeth-brightening strips twice a year, right after I get my teeth cleaned.
Essie Treat Love & Color This is not technically a quick-dry polish, but it may as well be. As I wrote about here, I apply just one coat (no base or top coat needed) and wait about two minutes for it to dry. The most flattering, versatile color: Good Lighting, a sheer nude.