Debate: How Much Time Should You Really Spend Putting on Makeup?

Elinor Block

How much time do you spend putting on makeup? Perhaps it's something that you haven't given much thought. Maybe, you know exactly how long and have honed down your application to a fine art so you can have a bit longer in bed and be out the door in the morning as soon as possible. Recently the issue has become something of a hot topic, after author Zadie Smith said that she had imposed a strict 15-minute time limit on her daughter looking in mirrors.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month, the award-winning novelist revealed that the fact her daughter was spending so much time looking in mirrors was "was infuriating," so she "decided to spontaneously decide on a principle: that if it takes longer than 15 minutes, don't do it."

She then went on to explain why she felt so strongly about it. "From what I can understand from this contouring business, that’s like an hour and a half, and that is too long," said the author, "It was better than giving her a big lecture on female beauty; she understood it as a practical term and she sees me and how I get dressed and how long it takes."

Two of us in the Byrdie UK office has differing views on the matter, so we decided to give you both sides of the debate. Want to read them? Keep scrolling for our debate on how long you should really spend putting on your makeup.

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