Let’s be real: When you’re short on time (or are just being a little lazy), the last thing you want to do is execute a full-blown beauty routine. That said, you still want to look damn good when you roll into the office with iced coffee in hand. So, how does one wave a magic makeup wand over their face in the morning and still hit the snooze button two or three times? Cue these six busy-girl beauty shortcuts that will leave you looking like a total boss babe regardless of when you wake up.
Hack #1: Exfoliate your face pre-makeup application.
Anyone who wears foundation knows how it can highlight any bit of dryness on your face — and how annoying it is to wash it off, slather on tons of moisturizer, and start all over if it ends up looking patchy. It saves time because your lipstick, makeup, everything goes on smoother after. Genius.
Hack #2: Use a clear sunscreen as your moisturizer, primer, and face SPF.
It’s one of those things that everyone forgets — or just skips all together — because traditional formulas dry to a chalky-white finish. Thankfully, newer formulas, offer up a super-sheer and clear gel consistency that leave zero white residue behind. Here’s where the hack comes in: Since the SPF is translucent, you can wear it solo, skipping moisturizer because sunscreen is ultra-hydrating, or you can mix it in with your base makeup for amped up daily protection. Wearing sunscreen on a daily basis is the number-one thing you can do — and the best anti-aging secret — to protect your skin.
Hack #3: Use a multifunctional mascara.
Instead of committing to a full look with bold brows, eyeliner, shadow, and mascara, just focus on your brows and lashes for an easy, pulled-together look. Try a tinted brow gel, like Benefit’s Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, which has tiny fibers that boost the fullness of your arches while also keeping them in place. As for mascara, look for a tube that has multiple wand functions.
Hack #4: Make your look monochromatic.
Instead of using different shades for your eye shadow, blush, and lip color, grab a multipurpose stick. A product that is so easy to use you can swipe on the color straight from the tube, or dab it over your eyelids, cheeks, and lips with your fingers. The best part is that the colors are so sheer you can apply them without a mirror and still look amazing.
Hack #5: Fake the look of clean hair with dry shampoo and a blow-dryer.
It’s easy to think you can just target oily roots with dry shampoo and be done, but that only leaves you with large splotches of powder that take forever to absorb and might still be visible. Instead, spray the oil-sopping formula at least 8 inches away from your hair, let it sit for a minute, and then distribute it into your hair with a brush or blast your hair with a blow-dryer while you rake your fingers through your strands for an even application. Whatever you do, don’t forget the underside of your hair too. Boom: clean hair in (literally) seconds.