25 no-fail beauty shortcuts
Dry n' dash
If morning showers are your thing, but drying your hair isn't, fear not. There are several ways you can get your damp locks to perk up quickly. First, blot your hair with paper towels, a chamois, or toilet paper, says Siobhan O'Connor, co-founder of No More Dirty Looks. After letting your hair air dry for ten minutes, O'Connor suggests using some of her favorite products. "Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Spray, coats the hair, protecting it from heat and sealing it, making it smoother and dryer faster," O'Connor says. "I also use an Intelligent Nutrients paddle brush that conducts heat without getting too warm -- or melting the bristles, god forbid. This combination has my very thick head of hair sleek in about 10 to 12 minutes flat -- seriously.
It's counter-intuitive, but adding more oil to your skin can cause overproduction of oil to simmer down, says Seicento. "Believe it or not, a face oil or oil-based serum can do wonders for balancing out oil production and generally balancing out the skin by creating a state of equilibrium." If your skin is oil-prone, avoid alcohol-based products, which can stimulate oil production rather than reduce it. And toss oil-blotting sheets in your purse for midday touch-ups.
The opportune time to apply lotion to your skin is right after you get out of the shower. "Your skin will absorb your products more quickly, and you will need to use far less," Seicento says.
Lather me up
In olive oil that is. According to Mikesell, olive oil is powerful, deep moisturizer for hair, as well as an effective eye-makeup remover. "One swipe to remove everything, then wash it off with a cleanser," she instructs.
Put the Q-tip down
When you smudge up your at-home manicure, avoid using qtips, which can't wiggle into hard-to-reach areas. Instead, Mikesell suggests a stiff, angled eyeliner brush. "Dip it into a small container of acetone and run it along the edges of the nail," she says. "The brush can fit in the small areas around my nail bed, but also doesn't damage the manicure itself."
If you shower in the evening, twist hair up into a clip or loose bun, and shake it out when you wake up, says Schmid. Your hair will fall into soft waves that look like they took hours to perfect. Now, enjoy that morning cup of coffee.
Emphasize your eyes
If you're strapped for time but refuse to leave the house without dabbing on some makeup, try this simple routine from Helen Seicento of Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: "Use a nice, neutral eye shadow for a quick wash of color on the top lid, and then an eyeliner pencil that you can quickly apply into the lash-line if you want a natural look," Seicento says. "You can wing if you want a more dramatic look.
Nix the oil
Greasy hair is a beauty bummer, and it takes more than one product or solution to keep hair from acting like a broken oil-rig. "In the long term, not over-washing your hair, using a clarifying shampoo, keeping your hair off your, face and minimizing brushing can all help with over production of oil, & says Christine Mikesell of 15minutebeauty.com. However, even with all of these tips, it's sometimes easier to add some product, especially when time is scarce. "For days that you don't have much time and need to get rid of the oil, my favorite fix is dry shampoo," Mikesell says. "I spray it into problem areas, distribute it with my fingers and brush excess out five or ten minutes later."
Contour your way slim
If you're looking to instantly slim down your face, Mikesell suggests contouring with specific color pallets. "The general idea is that adding in shadows will create the illusion that there's a reason for the shadow to be there, even if your cheek is a bit rounder than you'd like," says Mikesell. Use a brown cream under your cheekbone, under the angle of your jaw, and on your temples. Blend with your fingers, then add regular foundation.
Dry hair be gone
The winter air is incredibly damaging to even the healthiest manes. If your normal conditioner isn't cutting it, try adding on multiple products. "For very dry hair, use a heavy conditioning mask once per week like Ojon's Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment, a daily conditioner, and even a spray in conditioner," says Hope DeAngelis Schmid of Jet Set Girls. She recommends Aveeno's Nourish + Condition Leave-In Treatment.