As soon as the alarm clock sounds, it can seem like a mad dash to the finish line — but just because you have to hurry doesn’t mean your beauty routine has to suffer. Here, experts reveal how to slice minutes from your grooming while maintaining great skin, healthy hair, and a pulled-together look.
Start With Concealer
Creating a brighter and more even complexion is often the most time-consuming part of makeup application. Cut minutes from the job by strategically dabbing concealer on pigmented areas — under-eye circles, say, or blemishes — then brush your teeth or fix your breakfast before applying the rest of your makeup. “This gives the concealer time to melt into your skin more smoothly and to set, so you won’t have to use as much makeup over it,” says Jessica Wu, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California medical school, and Daily Glow’s dermatology expert.
Use a Multitasking Moisturizer
Score a three-for-one punch by choosing a moisturizer that, in addition to having an SPF of at least 30, contains antioxidants. “That way, you can hydrate, sunblock, and get the anti-aging benefits of antioxidants all at once,” says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey. Two of Downie’s favorites are Vivité Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 30 ($46) and Dior Diorsnow UV Shield White Reveal BB Créme SPF 50 ($50), which also provides a light tint.
Focus on the Three E's
If you’re in a serious rush (or you've hit the snooze button one too many times), “just focus on the three E’s — eyebrows, eyeliner, and eyelashes,” says Laura Geller, makeup artist and founder of Laura Geller cosmetics. Brush and fill in brows if necessary, line your upper lashes with chocolate brown (light complexions) or black (deeper complexions), and slowly wiggle a mascara wand through lashes for definition. If you’ve got under-eye darkness, a quick touch of concealer may be necessary. Add a slick of lip balm or gloss to finish — and out the door you go!
Always Be Sandal Ready
Rough calluses can turn a pedicure into a project, so it’s smarter to do a bit of maintenance regularly to always be ready for your favorite strappy sandals. “Keep a foot scrub, foot file, and callus softener in the shower year-round, and spend 30 seconds on each foot at least twice a week,” says Deborah Lippmann, a celebrity nail expert and the founder of the Deborah Lippmann Collection. And when you moisturize your body after you shower, don’t forget those feet! Putting on a pair of cotton socks afterward will intensify the absorption of moisture.
Detangle in the Shower
Not only is detangling hair a nuisance when you’re in a rush, but you’re more apt to rip through the strands, causing damage and split ends. “To save styling time, keep a large-toothed detangling comb in the shower to smooth out your hair while running conditioner through it,” says Sarah Potempa, a celebrity stylist, who prefers to work this trick with Aussie’s Moist 3 Minute Miracle conditioning treatment ($4.49). Once you step out of the shower, you’re ready to style — or just go.
It may seem counterintuitive to add a product to your makeup routine when you’re going for efficiency, but starting with a silky face primer will cut down on the amount of makeup you have to apply — and reapply later. “Primer gives skin a smooth, retexturized appearance, so you use less product, and it extends makeup wear by hours,” says Geller, who makes a full line of Spackle Under Makeup Primers ($25 each). Apply primer all over the face and allow it to set for a moment while you work on eyes or lips; then apply face makeup over the primer.
Find One Magic Makeup Shade
If you’re traveling or simply don’t have the time or energy to fuss with multiple pots of color, your blush can double as eye shadow. “Fair skin tones should use bronze shades, while medium and dark complexions can use pink,” says Geller. Simply smile and sweep color onto the apples of the cheeks, and then apply on the eyelid, up to the crease. “It instantly pulls together even a minimal look,” says Geller.
Create Effortless Waves
What’s a girl to do when there’s no time to blow-dry? Simply work an antifrizz serum or cream through strands (if you have curly hair), and quickly weave hair into a loose three-strand braid. If there’s an extra minute to spare, you can wrap the braid into a bun and bobby-pin it in place. Once your hair dries, you can unbraid it, releasing beautiful waves that effortlessly take you to cocktail hour or dinner, says Potempa.
Avoid Mascara Mishaps
If you’re one of the many women hooked on mascara, you know that cleaning up smudges and retouching surrounding eye makeup can kill precious minutes. To avoid the mess, hold a tissue under the lash line when running bristles through lashes — any excess mascara will conveniently end up on the tissue. “Tissues are especially helpful if you apply mascara to your lower lashes,” says Dr. Downie.
Buff, Don't Paint
Sometimes there’s just no time for a manicure, even though your nails are in need of some serious love. Try buffing instead, which gives nails a super-shiny, healthy appearance. Look for a four-sided numbered buffer tool — it indicates the order of sides with which to rub nails. Then smooth on your favorite hand cream. “Quickly buffing and hydrating will do a world of good — it’s a quick way for your hands to look and feel clean,” says Lippmann. You’ll have brilliant shine with zero drying time.
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Beauty Tips for the Busy Woman
As soon as the alarm clock sounds, it can seem like a mad dash to the finish line - but just because you have to hurry doesn't mean your beauty routine has to suffer. Here, experts reveal how to slice minutes from your grooming while maintaining great skin, healthy hair, and a pulled-together look.