Once 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 time while maintaining great skin, healthy hair, and a pulled-together look.
1. 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, sun-block, and get the anti-aging benefits of antioxidants all at once," says Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey. She suggests looking for moisturizers that also have vitamin A or retinoids because these ingredients can minimize fine lines and wrinkles, improve the appearance of brown spots, and make skin look more youthful.
2. 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 stippling concealer on pigmented areas — under-eye circles, say, or blemishes — then brush your teeth 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, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles, who recommends applying concealer with a fine brush for the most natural-looking finish.
3. Focus on the Three E's
If you're in a serious rush (maybe 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 (darker complexions), and slowly wiggle a mascara wand through lashes for definition. "Apply mascara to bottom lashes first,” she advises. People usually open their eyes wider when they apply mascara to the bottom lashes, so if the top lashes are already wet, mascara will be more likely to transfer from the top lashes to the brow bone, says Geller. 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!
4. 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 keep your feet ready for your favorite strappy sandals. "Keep a foot scrub that's packed with environmentally conscious ingredients in your shower year-round," says Deborah Lippmann, a celebrity nail expert and the founder of the Deborah Lippmann line of nail polishes, "along with a foot file and callus softener, and spend 30 seconds on each foot at least twice a week." 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.
5. De-tangle in the shower
Not only is de-tangling hair a nuisance when you're in a rush, but you're more apt to rip through the strands, causing damage and split ends. "Wide-tooth combs were recommended in the past, but today we have better, more nurturing options, like the S-Heart-S scalp brush," says Chad Kenyon, celebrity colorist at the Melville Pipino Salon with Chad Kenyon. You use the brush in the shower to untangle your hair without breaking or pulling it; the brush also gently exfoliates your scalp, scrubbing away buildup that could cause your look to fall flat. Once you step out of the shower, you're ready to style — or just go.
6. Use Primer
It may seem counterintuitive to add a product to your makeup routine when you're trying to spend less time on it, 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, re-texturized appearance, so you use less product, and it extends makeup wear by hours," says Geller, adding that you should also use an eye primer on lids and the under-eye area to hold shadow, concealer, and more.
7. Find One Magic Makeup Shade
If you're traveling or you simply don't have the time or energy to fuss with multiple pots of color, your blush can double as an eye shadow or even a lip color. "If you have a cream blush, feel free to apply it to lips," says Geller. "Or reach for a gel lip tint that can definitely be applied to cheeks if you’re in a hurry." A light shade of eye shadow can even be used as a highlighter, or vice versa. Adds Geller, a multi-use shade instantly pulls together even a minimal look.
8. Create Effortless Waves
What's a girl to do when there's no time to blow-dry? Simply work a volumizing spritz through strands and separate hair into five to seven sections (depending on hair thickness). "Twist hair into knots, then pin them up and let them set while you do your makeup," says Orlando Pita, a celebrity hairstylist and the creator of the Play line of hair care products. Leave the knots in for 20 to 30 minutes and then release each section — you’ll have beautiful waves that take you effortlessly from work to cocktail hour or dinner.
9. Avoid Mascara Mishaps
If you're one of the many women who are hooked on mascara, you know that cleaning up smudges and retouching surrounding eye makeup can kill precious minutes. To avoid the mess, pack one or two Q-tips soaked in an oil-free makeup remover in your handbag to have on hand for emergencies. "That way,” says Dr. Downie, “if you get a whisper of mascara on your upper or lower eyelids, you can quickly wipe it off without smudging everything."
10. Buff, Don't Paint
When there’s just no time for a manicure, even though your nails are in need of some serious love, try buffing instead. It gives nails a super-shiny, healthy appearance. Look for a four-sided, numbered buffer tool — it indicates the order in which you use the different sides to rub your nails. Then smooth on your favorite hand cream with SPF 30 or higher. "Sunscreen is one of the most important ingredients for a hand cream to have,” says Lippmann, “as the hands are first to reveal your age. “Quickly buffing and then hydrating will do a world of good — it's a quick way for your hands to look and feel clean." You'll have brilliant shine with zero drying time.
Source: Everyday Health