Think you don’t have enough time for a beauty treatment? Think again. The latest products promise to give you everything from manicures and facials to fake tans and deeply conditioned hair — in 60 seconds or less.
But can you really achieve the sort of results you would get after hours in a spa or salon? CLAIRE COLEMAN put the one-minute-or-less wonders to the test . . .
THE EIGHT-SECOND SALON SMOOTHER
L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect 8 Second Wonder Water, £9.99, Boots
They say: Transform your lengths in just eight seconds. Powered by lamellar water technology, the lightweight formula instantly helps nourish hair.
We say: The original version of this, Dream Lengths, became an instant cult product when it was launched in the UK last year. This is a new version for colour-treated hair. It’s a thin, rinse-out liquid that you apply to lengths and ends, post-shampoo and pre-conditioner. (It’s a bit tricky to apply evenly as it’s so watery, and you might get better results if you decant it into a mister.) It warms up on contact, and uses a technology that forms thin layers on the hair to smooth it, giving a shiny glass-like finish that devotees rave about.
Time check: You need to use the product liberally, but there’s no question it almost instantly detangles and smooths wet hair. You’ll get the best results with straight hair, or if you blow-dry hair afterwards.
SPEEDY FACIAL DOES THE JOB
Kaplan MD Diamond Contour 1 Minute Facial, £30, qvcuk.com
They say: A revolutionary new 4-in-1 facial treatment clinically proven to improve texture, plumpness, radiance and rejuvenation.
We say: Designed to be massaged into skin for 30 seconds then left for 30 seconds more before rinsing off. This fine, gritty gel has all the ingredients to give skin an exfoliating polish, thanks to pineapple and papaya enzymes, alongside diamond and bamboo powders. It definitely made my skin feel smoother and more rejuvenated — although it was hard to tell whether the resulting tingle was down to the enzymes or the peppermint extract.
Time check: As a one-minute morning kickstart, this can’t be faulted. It left my skin feeling softer and smoother. I didn’t notice it was significantly more plump, but over time I imagine it would improve radiance. Daily use might be too much for sensitive skins.
SUPER-QUICK SELF TAN
10 Second Tan Self Tanning Mousse, £18.95, bperfectcosmetics.com
They say: Lightweight, fast-drying tanning mousse. Easy to apply with an instant colour guide and super-quick drying. Available in Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark.
We say: I applied the Dark shade using the brand’s tanning mitt (£11.95), which is one of the best I’ve used — velvety soft, and shaped like a proper mitten with space for the thumb. The incredibly lightweight mousse was easy to spread and was absorbed almost instantly. On my olive skin, the guide colour was subtle so it was hard to see where it had been applied. Eight hours later, it was still subtle, but, impressively, entirely streak-free.
Time check: Under 60 seconds might be optimistic for a full-body tan, but I covered both legs within a minute. Next time I might try the Ultra Dark shade.
. . . AND FAKE TAN REMOVER
Rose & Caramel Purity 60 Second Self Tan Removing Scrub, £29.99, roseandcaramel.co.uk
They say: Remove your fake tan in 60 seconds with ‘viral worthy’ results (many videos online show it working).
We say: This scrub, which works best on dry skin, is applied, left for a minute then buffed off using an exfoliating mitt or damp flannel. Despite rave reviews online, I approached this with scepticism as I’ve never found a fake tan remover that works effectively without it feeling like a scouring brush. But this was staggering. It dissolves the fake tan — without damaging my skin at all.
Time check: Darker tans might need the scrub to be left on for longer, but 60 seconds was enough to remove my subtle glow. Yes it takes a little longer than a minute by the time you’ve applied then removed it, but it’s a good result.
SOFT AND SILKY HANDS IN A JIFFY
L’Occitane One-Minute Hand Scrub, £17, uk.loccitane.com
They say: Reveal soft hands in one minute. Formulated with crushed walnut husks and shea butter.
We say: Scrubbing your hands seems like one of those beauty tasks you never quite have time for. But maybe it’s worth a minute’s work. Apply this scrub to dry hands and massage in and feel the rich cream being absorbed as the minute ticks by. After 60 seconds, all the shea butter and apricot oil has vanished and you’re left with just the scrubby bits. After a rinse, hands felt soft, moisturised and silky.
Time check: Even if you just scrubbed for 50 seconds and spent ten seconds rinsing, you’d get a great result. It can be used just as effectively on dry heels, knees and elbows and might well become my go-to, pre-shower scrub.
IN-A-HURRY HAIR DETANGLER
Tresemmé Keratin Smooth 1 Minute Wow Treatment, £2.49, superdrug.com
They say: Intensive conditioning treatment, with hydrolysed keratin and pro-bond complex for easier detangling and smoother hair.
We say: This can be used in place of a conditioner or as an additional step. To give it the best chance of success, I used it after my usual shampoo and conditioner. My hair was easier to comb and smoother after rinsing, but I’m not sure my hair was smoother once dried.
Time check: Apart from the name, it’s hard to see how this distinguishes itself from any other conditioning treatment or mask. Maybe if I’d blow-dried my hair afterwards, rather than letting it dry naturally, I may have seen more lasting results.
FRESH MANICURE IN 60 SECONDS
Rimmel London 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish, £3.99, superdrug.com
They say: Glide on one stroke of this quick-dry nail polish for precise application and high-impact colour in 60 seconds flat.
We say: Available in 46 colours, there’s something for everyone here. I tried Coralicious, a deep pinky red. This is brilliant — the quick-drying formula really does only need one coat. The key to swift application is the wide, flat brush, which helps apply the colour to the whole nail in a single stroke, and minimises the chance of painting skin by mistake.
Time check: It took me 40 seconds to do the nails on my left hand, which needed about 75 seconds to dry enough not to smudge. This won’t replace a proper manicure but, at a pinch, you could have both hands polished, glossy and dry in under three minutes.
CLEVER CREAM TO FIX FRIZZ — FAST
Color Wow One Minute Transformation Styling Cream, from £9, uk.colorwowhair.com
They say: This anti-frizz treatment can be used in one minute on dry hair. Fixes frizz on the spot — or for a more polished look, wrap sections around a brush and hit for 15 seconds with a hot hairdryer.
We say: Most smoothing serums and oils need to be used on wet hair so finding an emergency repair product that can be used on dry is a boon. There’s a balance to be struck though — too little and it’s ineffective; too much and hair can feel greasy. It worked better when used with a bristle brush to distribute the product. It was most effective when used with the dryer.
Time check: Even when using a hairdryer, you can smooth a large section of hair in under a minute. Depending on how thick and unruly your hair, you might need a few minutes to do your whole head. While this can take you from tousled to tamed, it can’t transform you from rough to mirror shine, so manage your expectations.