While I like to look, y’know, nice, I’m far too busy (read lazy) to spend hours in front of the mirror. I’d rather spend more time in bed/at a yoga class/reading magazines, basically anything other than primping and preening.

When I’m getting ready for a night out with friends I’m the one who’s ready in under ten minutes and can’t really understand what’s taking everyone else so long. It goes without saying that I like my beauty buys to work fast and, ideally, do at least two things in one. Hey, I can multitask, why shouldn’t my lip balm?! Here’s five of my favourite time-saving beauty buys, all of which cost a fiver, or less.

Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Instyle Coral | £3.69

I’ve never been one for regular massages and facials but I did develop a serious mani/pedi habit that I reluctantly gave up last year after I left fulltime employment and could no longer justify the expense. Having only once attempted to paint my own fingernails (the left hand looked OK, the right hand was a DISASTER!) I wasn’t keen on the DIY approach but I was seriously sick of looking at my dull au naturel nails. The pretty coral shade of Rimmel’s 60 Seconds polish in Instyle Coral caught my eye and I decided to try again, figuring if it didn’t work out it wasn’t an expensive mistake. I started with my left hand. Perfect. Then my right. Not bad. And, as promised, after 60 seconds it was pretty much dry. I added a second coat to intensify the colour. It lasted chip-free for a couple of days and would have lasted longer if I hadn’t been too lazy to add a top coat. Needless to say I’ll be investing in more colours.

Batiste Dry Shampoo Original Clean & Classic | £2.99

Until a couple of weeks ago I’d never used dry shampoo. That all changed after a girly night out that ended a long time after the underground had shut (seriously, they can’t start the 24 hour tube soon enough but, I digress) and I stayed over at my friend’s house to save on taxi fares. The following morning, short on time and light on products, I skipped my usual daily shampoo and conditioner and gave my hair a spritz with her Batiste Dry Shampoo. It was a revelation. Instead of my usual day old limp locks, my hair felt unbelievably fresh and full of body. I’m now using it every other day to make my pricey Bumble & Bumble shampoo and conditioner last twice as long. That’s my kind of budgeting. Also how cool is the packaging?!

& Other Stories Lip Balm in Pink Dark | £5

Just sneaking into the budget is this swanky-looking lip balm from & Other Stories. Having been teased about my lips as a teenager (everything from Mick Jagger lips to, well, you can probably guess) I’ve never been one for drawing attention to my mouth. However I have to confess I liked how my lips looked when Charlotte persuaded me to try a bright pink lip for a previous post. The next day I invested in this glossy lip balm, which delivers more colour than my usual Vaseline Rosy Lips but isn’t too look-at-me bright. Kind of like a gateway drug on the way to a stronger lip colour. Regular reapplication is required but it smells like vanilla and looks good when I whip it out of my make-up bag. Win/win.

Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash | £2.40

In an ideal world I’d start my day with a long soak in a bath, then apply body moisturiser and waft around in a pretty robe as it sank in before I, erm, who knows what I would do next if I was living my fantasy rich bitch life? Like most people I only have time for that kind of thing every now and again so instead I shower with a super-moisturising body wash that negates the need for a separate moisturiser. Take two bottles into the shower? Not me.

Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes |£3.25

Yes, this is a seriously lazy beauty habit but having a packet of these wipes to hand means I’m more likely to take my make-up off at night and that’s better than leaving it on, am I right?! I got into these wipes when I went away for long weekend on a hand-luggage-only ticket and had to find an alternative to my usual cleanser, which didn’t come in a carry-on friendly size. I’ve never looked back. My sensitive skin seems to like them, so I do too. They even remove waterproof mascara. Plus they’re frequently on a 3 for 2 deal at Boots.

What are your favourite time-saving beauty buys, bargain or blow-the-budget? I’d love to add to my speedy beauty arsenal so do share below!