Maybe you were having a dream about George Clooney that continued, thrillingly, well past the trilling of your alarm clock. Or perhaps your kids begged you to make homemade pancakes (which left you with three minutes to get the flour out of your hair, and no time for concealer). When your day feels like a mad dash instead of a walk in the park, these tweaks to your morning routine, shower, and bedtime prep can help you at least appear to have your life under control. If you've ever wished you could squeeze a few more minutes out of your busy day, now you can.
Yikes! You overslept, and now you have to get ready and out the door at warp speed. These tips eliminate almost an hour of prep time — and you'll still emerge looking fresh and pulled together.
Instead of: A time-consuming shower
Speedy solution: Splash cold water or spray a hydrating mist on your face to energize your skin. Store the mist in the fridge, or quickly run it under the tap; it will feel more invigorating as it hits your complexion. "Cold water instantly tones and tightens your skin," says Ann Marie Cilmi, director of education and development at Bliss. Try The Body Shop Vitamin C Energizing Face Spritz. Minutes saved: 10
Instead of: Multistep skin prep
Speedy solution: Jump right to moisturizing. Skip cleanser and toner, and give yourself more even-toned, hydrated, and protected skin by slathering on a tinted moisturizer with SPF. "Go over any discolored areas a second time," says Blair Patterson, a global makeup artist for Estée Lauder. You can also add another layer to cheekbones to help contour the face when it's puffy from sleep. Try CoverGirl Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisture SPF 15. Minutes saved: 5
Instead of: Elaborate eye makeup
Speedy solution: Stick with three express moves. Tame brows, apply highlighter, and slick on black mascara. You can quickly smooth unruly brows using a brow gel or a pencil-and-comb combo such as Prestige Browliner. Then add a pop of white or bone shimmer shadow just below the browbone. "It draws attention upward and gives your face a more awake, lifted look," says Ramy Gafny, a New York City celebrity makeup artist. Finish by applying black mascara from the base to the tips of lashes to give them maximum length. Minutes saved: 10
Instead of: Blush and lipstick and shadow
Speedy solution: Choose one triple-duty product. A creamy blush that also works on lips and lids is ideal. Whatever you do, don't skip blush; makeup artists say it's the most underrated beauty product for waking up the face. Just smile and use the heat of your fingers to dab color on the rounds of your cheeks and across your lips, suggests Marcia Kilgore, creator of Soap & Glory. Use the same shade to brighten lids. Try E.L.F. All Over Color Stick in Persimmon. Minutes saved: 5
Instead of: A styling marathon
Speedy solution: Stash your blow-dryer and brush, and try some quick "detailing." Pull slept-on hair back into the Tonytail, a faux-hair ponytail holder that creates the illusion your strands have been expertly wrapped around the base of the pony. Or give a cropped style instant polish by smoothing out bangs and short layers with one of the new purse-size flattening irons. "It's easier to control than a full-size version and costs less," says Joelle Dunrovich, a hairstylist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City. Try Slik Stik Mini. Minutes saved: 20-plus