Ah, the getting-ready scramble. Is there any panic quite like the one that settles in when you glance down at your phone and realize you have 15 minutes to go from blah to Beyoncé? Arm yourself with these expert tips so that the next time the clock strikes late, you’ve got your look under control.
1. Take Care of Your Roots
Paying a little attention to your scalp goes a long way to making you over in a jiffy, says Jet Rhys, owner of Jet Rhys Salon in San Diego—and it only takes seconds. “Flip your head upside down, and give your scalp a massage,” she says. The motion wakes up the hair follicles, distributes natural oils, and adds movement to your hair. And always keep hair powder on hand. “It really is a lifesaver when running late,” says Rhys. She likes Bumble and Bumble prêt-à-powder ($22, bumbleandbumble.com) “It revives hair in a nanosecond, giving you tons of volume.”
2. Make Face Oil Your New BFF
We know the word “oil” sounds scary, but this stuff is great for freshening you up after work. “If at the end of the day you’re going to a party and you need to look alive, just rub a small amount [of oil] onto your hands and pat it over existing makeup,” says Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty. She recommends her Radiant Boost Restorative Face Oil ($14.99, target.com) for its quick absorption and moisturizing power.
3. Put Drugstore Power Players to Work
Most of the products you’ve got rolling around the bottom of your purse can work overtime when you’re in a rush. Lauren Cosenza, a New York City-based makeup artist, recommends using Vaseline or Aquaphor as a stand-in highlighter. “Tap it over the tops of the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, onto brown bones, and over your cupid’s bow to playfully bounce light,” she says. You can also use a hand cream to eliminate frizz and flyaways.
4. Fake It ‘Til You Make It
If you didn’t get enough shuteye last night, you can look more awake—fast. “Sometimes it’s not what you play up but what you play down, says Susan Posnick makeup artist and founder of Susan Posnick Cosmetics. She suggests stashing your favorite concealer in your bag to cancel out darkness under your eyes in a pinch. If you’ve got an extra minute, try adding some color. “A touch of turquoise liner or shadow close to the lashes enhances your eye color and adds brightness,” she says.
5. Make Your Lipstick Do Double Duty
Your favorite lipstick can pull double-duty when you’re in a hurry. “A lip color can always work as a hint of cheek color,” says Kashuk. Aren’t carrying lipstick, but have blush? Try the trick in reverse. Dab a little bit of whichever product you’ve got in front of you onto your cheekbones and the middle of your lips, and blend outward.
6. Use Hot Tools If You Have Time
“The curling wand is the best tool to create a look in under 10 minutes,” say Josie Sanchez, master artist at Dop Dop Salon in New York City. Don’t go sectioning off your hair, though; the sexiest look doesn’t involve a perfectly set curl. “Play with the natural texture of your hair,” says Sanchez, who recommends using the iron at the ends of your hair, to curl them away from your face.
More from Women’s Health:
7 Makeup Mistakes You’re Making
7 Gorgeous Ways to Style Wet Hair
The 3 Lipstick Colors Every Woman Needs