Tips to save time and simplify your beauty routine

No matter what time I get up, it never seems early enough. A morning filled with leisurely newspaper-reading, coffee-drinking, and closet-perusing sounds wonderful but the reality of getting my kids fed and dressed and sorting out my own routine means no such luck. But I've learned to incorporate a few tricks that allow me to squeeze in some pampering before rushing out the door. Here are a few of my favorites— let me know if you have any of your own!

1. Pick out your outfit the night before

I did this for my kids and then realized how much time and energy it saved if I did it for myself, too. You don't have to go for a dramatic new look every day. A friend of mine who used to work at Vogue advised creating your own chic uniform of neutral and comfortable pieces, then adding flair with statement jewelry or accessories.

2. Let the shower be your iron

Give your look the polish by letting the steam from a hot shower do the ironing for you. Hang your dress or blouse in the bathroom and the hot steam will un-crease the material.

3. Grab go-to basics

When you're rushing—and who isn't?— you don't have time to rethink your handbag every morning. Save the trendy options for evening and invest in a midsize classic satchel in a neutral black or tan that will work with everything so you won't have to transfer all your stuff. Same goes for shoes. Keep some basic black pumps and comfy chic flats every season so you always have an easy workable option at hand.

4. Moisturize in the shower

Multi-taskers, this one's for you. As the weather turns colder and skin gets drier, it's even more important to get your moisturizing in. You can save a step in your routine by using moisturizing body wash in the shower. One bottle of Olay's Ultra Moisture Body Wash (my fave) has more than a jar of Olay moisturizers within it, so you'll have no problem making sure your skin is soft and smooth all over.

5. Add a glow without the sun

I don't wear a ton of makeup on a daily basis, but I don't like to leave the house without a little bit of healthy color. Instead of using face cream and a separate powder bronzer, you can save a few minutes by mixing a little sunless tan lotion into your face cream for an even application.

6. Make lips shine longer

My main problem with lip gloss is that it doesn't stay on long enough. Here's a tip that works especially well when your lips are chapped and dry. Before you apply the gloss, cover lips with a base coat of thick balm. Blot lips with a tissue, then outline the lips and fill them in with lip liner. The final step is a layer of gloss that will actually stay on!

7. Create tousles without a curling iron

Shower before you go to bed and section your hair into several mini braids that you can sleep on. In the morning, use your fingers (not a brush) to untangle the braids and you'll have instant, perfectly imperfect waves.

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