Beauty hacks for the perpetually late, lazy and vain
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‘On-the-go’ beauty and ‘beauty for the working girl’ are tired clichés rehashed by women’s magazines and product-laden advertorials that, as female consumers, we have all – passively or actively, and at one point or another – received. Tips for working ladies, who are also mothers, who want to impress their man, while cooking, running a marathon and cleaning are based on the narrow assumption that, as members of the XX demographic, we are naturally animated and obsessively busy all the while maintaining appearances that put Photoshopped celebrity spreads to shame.
These embellished editorial strategies are not only problematic because they’re condescending, but also because they’re isolating – what if you’re a glossy title aficionado who constantly oversleeps, deplores regular physical exertion and encounters a battle against the clock daily?
For the perpetually late, impossibly lazy and chronically vain, beauty advice dispensaries are often unhelpful because they’re imbued with the idea that short-on-time women lack minutes because they are adrenal-pumping superhumans, instead of 12-time-snoozers who require 20 surplus minutes to differentiate between their toothbrush and ghd five to seven mornings a week.
As a perpetually late, impossibly lazy and chronically vain beauty addict myself, I’ve discovered a few helpful products, tips and tricks over the years that speed the morning routine up beyond the old applying-make-up-in-traffic strategy. That one never fails though, as does accepting that some days, no matter how hard you try, the elements are working against you. May the force (and these products) be with you.
Toning, cleansing, moisturizing and threading your eyebrows with the fossilised hair of pre-Byzantine virgins is just not feasible when you’ve woken up at 7.15 and have fifteen minutes to make yourself resemble – if only slightly – a human being. Showering is always a great way to get yourself smelling good, clean off make-up, brush your teeth (and, okay, pee) at once, but if even showering, for one reason or another, is not happening, the best way to get rid of yesterday’s mascara remnants (and clean yourself in general) are baby wipes. I recommend Burt’s Bess Cleansing Towlettes or Nivea Visage’s Pure & Natural Facial Cleansing Wipes.
A thick foundation never goes astray in these situations as well, as they act as skin tone equalisers, concealer and a good base for all that eye make-up you’re going to have to use to camouflage burgeoning bags and puffy lids. MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid has always stood me in good stead, and, time permitting, Clinique’s Blended Face Powder dusted on top assures that the botched cosmetic job will last far longer than it took to execute.
Reducing puffiness, burst blood vessels and swelling with frozen cucumbers in a cold, dark room is a quaint way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but if you’ve spent your morning’s 20 beauty-allocated minutes stalking strangers in cyber-space, you’re going to have to be a bit more enterprising masking that could-be sty and under-brow UDI (Unknown Drunken Injury).
Use an illuminator to give depleted under-eye skin subtle warmth – Chanel’s rose gold Mouche de Beaute is a decadent option, while Benefit’s Fine One-One is a versatile three-in-one cheek and lip brightener – then apply mascara generously – Clinique’s High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara’s brush is unmatched – and don’t try any funky cat-eye flicks with liquid eyeliner. This will literally end in tears.
Decide quickly if you’re going to go for bronzer or blush (using both in the present is a bit ambitious) and make sure you apply lightly. It’s easy to get over-zealous when you’re strapped for time, so if you’re make-up skills tend leave you more sad clown than sultry opt for finer powders instead of crème palettes. Nars’ Bronzing Powder in Irrésistiblement and Benefit’s Hervana are prime. Well kept brushes can also only ever help you.
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Low maintenance nails can take one of three forms: Shellac, nail strips, or a light polish job. The first lasts longest, but requires you to actually leave your house and spend 30-50 minutes of your time at a salon (and more, once it starts peeling off). The second must be done when you have ample time for perfect application and precision. And the third required only fifteen minutes with a pastel, white or nude lacquer so when your nails start to chip, you can put off re-application until the polish is pretty much all off. Re-doing your talons pre-arrangement is a waste of the minutes you need for things like getting dressed and masking odour.
If you’re able to plan ahead, we recommend Gorman x Kit cosmetics’ limited edition super-zany nail strips (adorn your tips with animal print, flora or a circusy patchwork!), otherwise O.P.I. are soon bringing out a Top Ten ‘Mod About OPI’ set with their most popular shades in compact bottles. Sally Hansen nudes are also effective – though effortless – options.
Two words: Dry Shampoo. This bad boy miraculously manages to fluff up, add texture and clean your oil-drenched tresses in a matter of seconds. Make sure when you return home and resume your life as a non-maniac, you wash your hair, put a mask on and give your locks the love they deserve. Dry Shampoo is revolutionary, but can leave your roots more dandruff-riddled and limp than ever before. Regardless, a massive can of Toni & Guy’s Cleanse Shampoo for Dry Hair is an absolute bathroom essential.
For a fresh smell:
Dense, musky scents are great if your accompanying pampering routine has been a three-hour beauty bonanza, but if you begin your day on the groggier side of things, a breezy, fruity perfume (doused all over every bodily crevice) is great practically and psychologically.
Marc Jacobs has just brought out summer updates of his inimitable Daisy and Lola scents in a brand-new Sunshine Edition range, with Daisy Sunshine, Daisy Eau So Fresh Sunshine and Oh Lola! Sunsheer dressed in iconic summer colours (orange, pink and green, correspondingly). Updating the old olfactory favourites with notes of mandarin, guava, lychee; strawberry, pink grapefruit, jasmine; and raspberry, pear and magnolia respectively, the bright-spirited bottles will sufficiently spray some effervescence into your time-lapsing abyss.
Lead image via Shutterstock.