Who doesn't want to squeeze in a couple more minutes of sleep in the morning? With a few smart tips, it's possible to simplify a morning beauty routine and still look put together and ready for the day. Here are 10 money- and time-saving hacks that beauty experts swear by.
10 Beauty Hacks to Streamline Your Morning
Sidestep the morning rush by applying dry shampoo before going to sleep, says Molly Leahy, bridal hair and makeup artist at Blushing Brides Boston. This lets the product work into your hair overnight so it appears less greasy in the light of day. Dry shampoo starts at about $5, and some women testify that baby powder and other DIY options produce similar results on the cheap.
Sleep with your hair in braids and pull them apart in the morning, Leahy advises. Then run your fingers through your hair to create beachy waves with minimum effort -- and absolutely no cost.
Instead of shampooing and blowing out a full head of hair in the morning, wash only the hair that frames your face, says Kristin Utterback, editor of Latest-Hairstyles.com. Use a comb to section off the part to be washed, and tightly pull back and secure the rest. Then quickly wash, dry, and style.
After making black or green tea, cool the tea bags in the refrigerator or freezer. Apply to puffy, irritated eyes for several minutes. The cold and caffeine will constrict blood vessels and help reduce swelling, according to Christina Flach, makeup artist and founder of Pretty Girl Makeup. Alternatively, keep a couple of spoons in the refrigerator and place the cold backs against closed eyes. Either hack is a free alternative to a cooling eye mask, which costs about $10 at the drugstore.
Use a white or peachy eyeliner on your waterline (the lower rim of the eye, where tears form) to eliminate redness and immediately look more awake. Leahy recommends one that costs less than $5: Rimmel Scandaleyes waterproof kohl liner in nude.
When time is short and the budget tight, just curl your lashes and apply mascara. (Stick with black volumizing mascara, which suits just about everyone and makes the biggest impact.) Bring along concealer and apply on the go. If you buy only a limited number of morning beauty supplies, these two belong on your list.
Products that do double or triple duty can reduce spending on makeup, time in the morning, and weight in your purse. Instead of buying separate products for lips and cheeks, try one designed for both. In a pinch, lipstick can substitute as cream blush. Just make sure to rub it in well.
Eyeliner stencil kits promise a touch of drama without too much expertise in makeup application. To get the same effect for free, use a business card or piece of tape. Lay it from the corner of the eye to the end of your eyebrow to create a clean line as you extend the eyeliner outward (Elle provides a tutorial). The application goes much faster with this makeup hack and results in fewer mistakes.
After styling your hair, tame your brows by spritzing a bit of hair spray on a brow spoolie (a soft-bristled eyebrow-shaping tool that looks like a mascara wand), advises Felicia Alva, creator of Flutter Beauty Cosmetics. It will keep brows in place all day and save the double-digit cost of brow gel or another specialized product.
Before you buy brightening powder and other products that promise to perk up your face, try Flach's simple technique: Using a small, flat brush, apply concealer under your eyes and on the inner corners next to your nose and blend with your finger. (To fully cover very dark circles, dot on a peachy or pinkish corrector first.)