There are times when you can indulge in a leisurely 10-step skincare regimen, and then there are times when you need results in the shortest amount of time possible. Today, we’re helping you with the latter. Whether it’s your blowout that’s holding you up or you have a zit that needs to disappear stat, we have several time-saving solutions that will get you away from the mirror and on your way fast.
Scroll through for seven quick fixes to speed up your beauty routine!
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you want to trim the time it takes to do your hair, you should increase the number of sections you style. Whether you’re flat ironing or giving yourself a blowout, working in smaller sections will actually speed up the process because you won’t have to go over each section as many times. The tools you use also play a part in speedy hairstyling. You can do your hair in a million tiny sections, but if you’re not using high-quality tools, you’ll still end up having to touch up those pieces multiple times. Professional-grade styling tools heat up faster and more evenly. Make the investment, and you’ll get better results in half the time.
When you’re experiencing a bout of redness (we’ve all left a peel on too long at some point), you could slather your face in Aquaphor until the irritation goes down (which could take several hours). Or you could ease the redness in under an hour with this trick: First, reduce the swelling by popping two Benadryl (if it’s a sunburn you’re treating, swap the Benadryl for Aspirin) and applying a cold compress for up to 25 minutes. Then smooth on a generous layer of hydrocortisone cream to calm the inflammation, and allow that to sink in. You’ll be ready to show your face again in no time.
To shorten the lifespan of any zit you need to exercise a bit of self-control. Popping the pimple will only inflame the area more. Instead, ice the area for a few minutes to calm any inflammation. Then, use a cotton swab to dab Visine directly onto the blemish. Visine “gets the red out” of your zits the same way it does your eyes, and it dries them up quickly too.
To speed up your makeup application, simplify your product assortment and ditch brushes. The fewer items you have to search for, the faster the process will be. You can use concealer to cover up imperfections and to highlight and define your features. Then all you need is a cream blush to add color to your cheeks, lips, and eyes. To save time, apply everything with your fingertips.
Shaving time off of your eye makeup application is all about minimizing the need for cleanup. It can take just as long to remove mascara smudges and fix eyeliner mistakes as it does to apply the products in the first place. Get your mascara right the first time by starting on your lower lashes. That way when you tilt your head down to get the bottom eyelashes, your top lashes won’t be wet. Then move on to the upper lashes. Use a business card or a spoon as a shield for your eyelid, so you can get the wand right up to the root while avoiding stray marks on your skin. For eyeliner, skip liquid (and pencil and gel), and use an eye shadow stick instead. The formula glides on smoothly and smudges out easily, so you can still define your eyes without worrying about a precise line.
Applying self-tanner is one of those processes you don’t want to rush. But sometimes you simply don’t have 20 minutes to wait for your golden tan to dry. In those instances, grab your hair dryer and post up in front of a fan. Use the hair dryer on cool (warm air can make you sweat, which will cause your tan to streak) to target the areas that transfer color easily—basically anywhere that bends, like the crooks of elbows, knees, and underarms. Sure, creating your own human drying station may feel a little strange, but you’ll be able to get dressed much sooner because of it. Also, use mousse formulas instead of lotions and gels. They have a slightly higher alcohol content, which makes them dry faster.
Perhaps the worst of the worst time-intensive beauty rituals, waiting for your nails to dry is every woman’s least favorite activity. Shorten your dry time by polishing your nails in three coats instead of two—three thin coats, that is. Three thin layers of lacquer dry faster than two thick ones. There’s also the old trick of spraying your nails with Pam Cooking Spray. It’ll leave you with a new dilemma— greasy fingers—which you can fix by dunking them in ice-cold water to harden the nail polish quickly.
Which part of your beauty routine creates the biggest time-suck for you?