Beauty Shortcuts for makeup, hair, and more

You’re rockin’ along with your already not-so-routine life comprising work, kids, family, school, social events, sports, volunteering, church plus unforeseen activities. BAM! Suddenly (it seems to sneak up on us) it’s October, which, along with witches and pumpkins, brings with it the need to stretch your time and energy for increased planning, shopping, cooking, socializing, traveling and more. Well, you’re not the battery bunny. Stress will build. So take a look at these time-saving suggestions below and give them a try.

Too rushed for your usual, full-fledged shower? Splash some cold water on your face to wake up your skin. Even better, spritz your face with a hydrating spray (kept in the refrigerator) to help tone and tighten your skin. Skip your usual multilayered facial procedures and apply a tinted moisturizer. Be sure it contains an SPF for protection against sun and harmful airborne pollutants. Zip through your eye makeup routine with a quick brush to shape your eyebrows; add a little highlighting shadow under the brow bone and then a quick smear of mascara. Voila! If you have an extra minute or so, you should curl your lashes before applying the mascara.

Many makeup artists believe blush is a much underrated beauty product. Choose a creamy blush product and use it on your lips and eyelids in addition to your cheeks.

Make your shower do double duty

Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in your shower to brush your teeth while you bathe.

Slap on a hydrating mask so the steam can help penetrate into your pores.

Shave your legs … you’re not supposed to shave dry anyway.

Push your cuticles back with your washcloth.

At the end of your shower, when your skin is softened, quickly smooth your feet with an exfoliating disk or a brush.

Quick ways with hair

Long hair? Pop your hair up into a ponytail or twist. Buns are back, but they sit low on the neck, and sometimes a few ends are left sticking out for a more casual look. To get that smooth, sleek, pulled-back look with a hint of volume, use a volumizer on damp hair, blow-dry your hair straight. Part your hair if you want, and pull it back into a low ponytail. Twist into a chignon and spray to hold. For a wet look, comb in a leave-in conditioner, pull hair into a ponytail. Hair will dry to a slick finish.

A new tool for bun styling is a hairpin called the Pronto Styling Pin by Oscar Blandi. In three easy steps — push up, flip over and press down — use this three-pronged oversized hairpin, and you’ll be bunned.

Give your roots a little blast of dry shampoo, and then set your hair with hot rollers while you dress for a quick boost and a fresher, cleaner look. A couple of swipes from a curling iron or flattening iron can add “polish” to short hair. Luckily, hair accessories are very BIG (in more ways than one) this year. You’ll easily find decorative clips, clasps, pins, bands and combs and other innovative ways to enhance or simplify your hair care for your whole head or ponytail. Or you can simply take care of curling, crimping or waving the top layer of your hair.

A few product tips:

Styling products that are clear (gels) give oomph to your roots, while those that are more opaque (creams and lotions) are good for smoothing flyaway or frizzy locks.

“Heat activated” means you must use a curling iron, flat iron, blow-dryer or other heated appliance for these products to work properly. Without heat, they just make your hair flat and dull looking.

Hide your gray roots with a spritz of one of four colors of Gray Away spray.

To prevent dull hair from shine enhancers (yep, it happens after a few sprays), try Glisten by David Evangelista, which adds sheen and hydration.

Check out the mini versions of curling-, waving- and smoothing irons to throw into your purse.

Make your style last longer by using a primer called, well, “prime” style extender by Living Proof.

Try a moisturizing comb, a wide-tooth comb infused with oils from macadamia nuts and argan seeds.

Multitasking products will not only save you time, and perhaps money, but will also save space in your purse! Look for combinations of foundation, makeup brush and sun protector. Or a three-in-one manicure pen to file nails, soften and push back cuticles. Find a concealer that also contains wrinkle-smoothing ingredients and sun protection.

Experiment with mixing an illuminating product with your foundation or tinted moisturizer for better coverage under eyes and overall “glow.” There’s even a lip gloss that also whitens your teeth and freshens your breath. One makeup professional mixes Nars Lip Gloss in Dolce Vita shade with C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve. When applied with a lip brush, it’s said to create a pink lip stain that looks good on everyone and isn’t sticky.

Shorten nail-tending time with nail polishes containing a top coat.

Speed up your skin care. A cream-type cleanser can dissolve everything at once — dirt, lipstick, eye makeup, sunscreen — using just a tissue to remove. Mix your individual creams in your hand and apply the “cocktail” all together. Keeping your skin care products in the refrigerator will expedite their “lifting” effects. Do your own facial to temporarily tighten and tone by mixing a little flour with two egg whites. Slather it on your skin, and rinse after 10 minutes.

Some basics:

The ultimate beauty tool is also the ultimate time-saver: SLEEP. In this relaxed state, your hormones and stress levels are down, which allows your body to work on breakouts, fine lines and dark circles. All you have to do is to get those seven to nine hours of Zzzzzs every night.

You can speed up cell turnover and collagen production with the regular use of retinoid creams prescribed by your dermatologist. Over-the-counter retinol creams are a bit gentler, but they also work. Both forms are drying, so it is recommended that you apply a hydrating cream or lotion about five minutes after the retinol application. Some experts recommend that for the first week or so the hydrating cream application should be used first, then the retinoid. Be sure to keep these products away from the eyes. And remember to treat your hands the same as your face.

Have happy holidays!

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