It’s good to have a go-to beauty routine that takes just a few minutes. Use it every day or just when you hit snooze too many times and can’t show up late or disheveled.
Foundation may take the longest to apply, but even that doesn’t have to make you late. Using your fingers is the best, quickest method. Pour a little onto the back of your hand and then, instead of worrying about finding a brush and then cleaning it out after you apply your foundation, just use your fingertips to dot a little onto your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Blend out and down. The heat from your fingers will even help the foundation spread and blend more easily. If it doesn’t look quite right when you’re done, take a clean makeup sponge (disposables are great for this, so keep some around) and bounce it across the surface of your skin, pressing gently with each tap.
The quickest way to do your shadow is to choose one or two shades you can apply and blend with your fingers. You’ll need a single lid shade that you can fade out just above the crease, or an allover brightening shade and neutral for the crease. Apply it straight from the stick and then quickly blend with your ring finger.
Skip the liner and go for a thickening mascara applied close to the roots to give definition to the lash line. Get it as close to your roots as you feel comfortable doing in your I’m-running-late frenzy and then wiggle the brush back and forth as you draw it up toward the tips of your lashes. Apply one more coat if there’s time.
If you need a liner to feel like yourself, try a twist-up style navy blue one like Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner ($22.00, Sephora). This will make the whites of your eyes appear brighter, conveniently smudge out to work as shadow if you want it to, and applies quickly and easily without the mess of a liquid liner or the need for sharpening that can come with a regular pencil.
A product that works on lips and cheeks, like the MAC Cosmetics Cream Color Base ($23.00, MACCosmetics.com), can be applied quickly with your fingers and blended out effortlessly whether you’re wearing foundation or not. There’s a range of colors to choose from and something for every skin tone. There are highlight colors, like Luna, Pearl, and Shell, that you can also use if you can spare a few seconds and just want the pick-me-up of a little cheek highlight. Any shade could take the place of the shadow stick on your eyes if you find that the Cream Color Bases don’t crease on you.
Tinted brow mascara wins over powders and pencils. It’s quick, easy, and covers a large area at once. It even brushes your brows while depositing color. It’ll fill in the sparse areas of your brows and still look like real hair. Sometimes brows, mascara, and a little color on the cheeks and lips are all it takes to look polished, so definitely don’t forget to manage your brows.
If you can’t just throw your hair in a chignon, topknot, or braid and you definitely can’t go another day on dry shampoo so you have no choice but to wash and style it, try a cleansing conditioner, like L’Oreal® Paris Hair Expertise EverPure 6-in-1 Cleansing Balm ($8.99, Target) to take care of two steps at once.
Invest in a powerful hairdryer and a reliable styling tool that doesn’t require a lot of effort (like a CHI flat iron, $99.95, Ulta) to get your hair dry and styled in as little time possible. For a budget hairdryer option, try the Revlon Salon 360 Surround Hair Dryer and Styler ($26.70, Walmart). If you’re in the mood to splurge, check out the FHI Heat Platform Nano Weight Pro 1900 ($139.99, FHIBrands.com).
Waking up late doesn’t mean you have to go out looking like you just rolled out of bed. Plan ahead and keep a few products on hand that help you look great in just minutes. You may even find that you like the products and process so much, you start to hit snooze one extra time on purpose.