If you were granted one session with a top-notch stylist, what secret would you demand to know? The perfect shade of lipstick? No… those changes with the season. Whether you should use cream or powder foundation? No, again…your skin is likely to change as you age, so one single formula won’t always be right. How to look gorgeous without spending hours in front of the mirror? Now, that’s a secret a lot of women would love to be in on. Fortunately, you don’t actually need to visit a stylist for that one. I’ve got some tips right here that will help you squeeze in a few more swipes at the snooze button and still leave home on time, looking gorgeous.
1. Take a cue from top chefs
What could chefs possibly have to do with your morning beauty routine? Well, the best chefs swear by something called “mise en place.” It’s a French phrase that means “put in place.” Before they start cooking, they make sure they have their ingredients prepped and all of the tools they need clean and ready to go. It’s a strategy worth copying. Before you go to bed, set out everything you’ll need to get ready the next morning. Here’s one simple trick I learned when moving from place to place. I get used to keep my entire beauty tools distributed into boxes with categories “Brushes”, “Lip beauty”, “Skin care”, “Shades” and so on. If you don’t have an organizer for this aim, it’s easy to do it yourself. You will need a few boxes or containers for food with the categories of the products you want to separate. Make sure that the boxes are clean and dry. Bear in mind that cream and friable products is better to keep separate. Develop a habit of storing all your beauty products in one place, for example on your dresser. You’ll be amazed how much time you save by not having to fumble through your drawers looking for your favorite eye shadow.
2. Power up your tools
Cut down on the time it takes to do your hair by investing in professional-grade styling tools. Heavy-duty driers like professional stylists use can cut your drying time almost in half, and professional straightening and curling irons get hotter faster, giving you better results in less time. Just make sure to stock up on heat-protectant styling products. Show your patience while learning the tricks. If you harm at least one inch of your hair, it can take several months to recover. You should also consider the thickness of your hair when choosing an iron. Bother to consult your hairdresser as for the structure and condition of your hair – be sure they won’t give you bad advice. You can learn some shortcuts which will both economize your time and benefit your hair. For instance, here what I’ve learnt from my professional hairdresser: keep the dryer not closer than 10 inches and try to alternate cool and warm air. When using an iron, curl the locks no more then 2-3 minutes, otherwise you can singe them. Finally, choose your heat-protectant product regarding your hair type: sprays will go with oily-prone hair. Choose oil-based products if you have dry hair and scalp. You don’t want your fancy new tools to damage your hair.
3. Let nature do some of the work
Another way to cut down on the time it takes to dry your hair is to let it air dry while you do the rest of your morning routine. By the time you’ve brushed your teeth, had breakfast, done your makeup, and dressed, your hair will be damp rather than sopping wet. Not only does it save time, it’s easier on your hair. This tip is especially helpful if your hairdo doesn’t require any special care – just sprinkle it with conditioner and that’s all. Curly hair may look too fluffy after air drying, but it’s actually not a big problem. You’d better also not make any ponytails, buns and twists, or your hair may curl unevenly.
You can wash your hair in the evening and it will have enough time to dry while you are sleeping. Make sure that you remove all excess water by using a towel – it will save nearly half an hour. Just wrap it all over your head and leave for 20 minutes. Do not rub your hair with a towel in order to fasten the process – wet hair can be much easily damaged! When your hair is damp, comb it intensively to stimulate circulation and message the scalp with your fingers for 5 minutes.
4. Go for the tint
If you’ve got sparse or light-colored brows and lashes, consider having them tinted. That will let you skip a couple of time-consuming steps without sacrificing that polished look you depend on. Plus, there’s a bonus: no clumps or smudges from a rushed mascara application. I always buy commercial kit for dyeing my eyebrows – they already contain everything necessary. Before the action, I smooth my brows with a mascara brush. This way, they will get dyed more properly. Afterward I put some cream round the brows to avoid the dryness of skin. Then I proceed to the mixture. My eyebrows and lashes are dark brown so I do not attenuate black color. If you have fair hair you’d better use lighter tints. Now I apply the mass onto my brows by using a stick and leave it for 15 minutes. The main point here is not to color the skin since it will take you several days to wash it away. Remove the color by using a piece of cotton cloth. Don’t be afraid, the color may be too bright at first, but in 2 days you will get a nice deep tint. Brush the eyebrows one more time and nourish them with olive oil.
5. Wax it away
Keeping your legs smooth is a major time hog, and shaving just further irritates legs already chapped by winter weather. Banish the prickles for weeks at a time by having your legs professionally waxed. You’ll love not having to worry about whether you can squeeze in one more day of not shaving. Even better, no nicks! The last thing you want to do when you’re already rushed is to try to stem blood streaming from the back of your ankle.
In case you want to minimize both time and budget waste, try to do waxing at home. Of course, it may turn to be a disappointment if you have never done it before. However, when you’ll get experienced you will be ready to try waxing even with your underarms and bikini area! Anyway, let’s talk how to start if you are a green hand. You will need a wax kit that you can choose at any beauty shop. Your hair should be long enough so that you can remove it easily and less painfully. Heat the wax up in a microwave oven for 2 minutes. If it is still hot, wait until the temperature is comfortable for you. Do not try to cover half of the leg at once; it’s more convenient to start with small areas. And the main thing is to pull the wax strip with a very prompt motion against the direction of hair growth; doing this you will help avoid ingrown hair. Quickly remove the strip and put your hand for half a minute to calm the skin. When you’re done with the procedure, apply some cooling gel to alleviate the swelling. Congratulations! Enjoy smooth legs for at least 3 weeks.
6. Set your priorities
On mornings when you’re particularly rushed, you can save time by knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Bad under eye circles? Don’t skip the concealer. Blotchy skin? Make foundation a priority. High cheekbones? Skip the contouring and just apply a little blush. No time to wash your hair? Ponytail is the way out. If possible, leave all the beauty routine, till you are in a taxi on your way to work – you’ll have enough time for a make-up, when you are stuck in a jam. You’d better use these 20 minutes to prepare a healthy meal. Breakfast, as you probably know, is the most important meal of the day. In addition, it won’t take you much time to cook cereal with yogurt. It will be great, if you have your clothes prepared in advance. This way, you won’t waste time on puzzling over your wardrobe. Oh, and don’t bother to make your bed. To all these tips and tricks I would recommend you to go to bed an hour earlier since refreshed and radiant skin will be your best look. And one more trick is to place your clock in the other room so that you won’t be able to switch it off and drop into sleep again.
7. Use your fingers
If you decide to ignore my advice about taxi, let’s think how to speed up your make-up procedures. Did you know that most prominent make-up professionals use their fingers to create unforgettable look? Today’s the right day to try it! Even if you’re a master with your makeup brushes, it’s OK to skip them when you’re rushed. Applying makeup with your fingers speeds things up. Plus, your correctors, shades and foundations will melt much better in warm hands, rather than on a brush. As a result, you will apply the agent more evenly. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly; otherwise you can spread harmful bacteria causing inflammation and itching. You also use less product and, even better, you don’t have to clean your brushes. (You do clean your brushes, right?)
By using your fingers you can apply almost anything, from foundation, blush, shade, primer, to lipstick and even mascara. Imagine that you are an artist working with a canvas – your own face. If you are interested in this “natural approach” to your make-up surf the Internet to find some interesting tutorials. Such an unusual shortcut can reduce your make-up time almost in half, even when you have plenty of time.
8. Use a multipurpose primer
Maybe your makeup bag is filled with primers for every purpose under the sun: color-correcting primers, pore-minimizing primers, line-erasing primers, etc. They’re great when you have the time. When you don’t, one of the multipurpose primers is a good substitute. They appear to be a real magic wand on such occasions. There are several that work to minimize pores and lines, add illumination, and correct blotchiness all at the same time. With the help of a good primer you can relieve puffiness (which is rather useful in the morning), make your skin matte and sunny, as well as narrow your pores. Primers suit for all skin types. Moreover, you don’t need spend much of the agent – one pea-size drop will be enough for one application.
The formula of multipurpose primer prolongs the “life” of your impeccable make-up. Believe me, it won’t smudge till the end of the day. If you want your make-up look more natural, smooth and even, use your fingers to apply the primer. If you use foundation, make sure it matches your primer. They both should be water- or oil-based. Do not mix these products – water and oil never go together.
9. Replace two steps with one
You know it’s bad to skip moisturizer, but you feel naked without foundation. Why not use a product that does both? Tinted moisturizers are the perfect solution to rushed mornings. They nourish your skin while adding a layer of sheer coverage that makes you look fresh-faced and ready for the day. Furthermore, beauty experts have taken care of it long time ago and created BB Cream. It seems that 1 bottle of BB cream can substitute all the products you have on your table. It protects from UV rays, nourishes and moistens your skin, hides blotches and makes your skin look radiant. One of the possible drawbacks of a BB Cream is its limited color palette. If it is too light or dark for your skin, add a bit of your usual foundation to even the tint. Such treatment will surely enhance your skin.
Nowadays cosmetic industry offers a tremendous amount of products, which replace 2 and even 3 steps. Your body lotion can easily act as a face cream, and lipstick can serve for cream blush. However, I would recommend you not to go mad on such tricks. The skin on different parts of body has different structure and demands various treatments. Rarely you can apply heel scrub to your face, for instance.
10. Streamline your products
Another good way to cut precious minutes from your morning routine is by cutting down on the number of products you use. Rational approach can also reduce your money wastes in beauty shops.
A creamy cheek and lip stain is a breeze to put on and looks fabulous. Again, I recommend you to apply blush by using your finger. Trust your fingers more than your brush! Take away the unnecessary amount with a cotton pad. Here’s one secret: do not rub your cheek! Just put it on the surface and press slightly. That’s it!
A shimmery eye shadow in a neutral shade like copper, sienna or gold can add quick shimmer to your cheekbones. Isn’t it a highlighter? Pass the brush under your lower eyelids, chin nose and forehead sides.
And a brow pencil can double as eyeliner in a pinch. But before using it, powder your eyelid. This will remove excess oil and you will achieve a long lasting make-up. Moreover, for this purpose you can use your black eye shadows. I used to dampen the brush for a more clear line. Finally, my favorite trick with eyebrows is to use mascara to smooth the hair and give it deep dark tint!
No one feels gorgeous when they’re rushed, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice an hour of precious sleep, either. These 10 tips can help you look your best while saving time for what’s important: your relationship with your snooze button. What’s your best way to speed up your morning beauty routine?