50 Genius Morning Beauty Hacks Lazy Girls Will Love
You know the scene: It's 6 a.m., you're snoozing until the last possible second you need to get up, and you definitely can't function until you've had your first sip of coffee. Chances are, you're also struggling with your morning beauty routine — or lack thereof. If you're willing to skip important things — like a well-balanced breakfast or showering — just to catch some extra zzz's, then the thought of waking up early to set the hot rollers is probably hilarious (or terrifying) to you. Well, you no longer have to choose between sleep and beauty. With some practical but life-changing hacks, you can have both.
These beauty tips are so easy you'll be able to follow them in your half-asleep daze, but they'll make you look like you'd spent hours primping. And they range from supersimple tricks, like cutting out a stencil instead of freehand-drawing cat-eye liner, to hacks that will make you look like you have a hairstylist on speed dial (two-minute hair bow, anyone?). The best part? Some of these you can literally do in your sleep. Here are our easiest morning beauty tips — from your hair to your face down to your toes — for the laziest of girls.
The Only Makeup Routine You Need
This five-minute, five-product makeup routine from Bobbi Brown Director of Global Artistry Kim Soane will be a lifesaver in the mornings. The handful of simple steps will help to get rid of under-eye circles, an uneven complexion, and sparse brows. All you need are concealer, foundation, a lip-and-cheek stain, brow filler, and mascara to help you go from "just woke up" to "I'm ready to take on the day."
Do the Bang Wash
If you want to skip shampooing but don't want to leave the house with stringy bangs, just wash your bangs. It's easy: pull the rest of your hair back in a ponytail, wet your hands with a small dime-size amount of conditioner, run it through your fringe, and rinse it out under the faucet. If you have straight hair, it's probably not necessary to blow-dry, as they'll air-dry in minutes. If your hair is a little more unruly, quickly blow-dry and style your bangs as you normally would.
Put a Hat on It
No time to wash your hair and out of dry shampoo? Just put a hat on it. Done!
If you wake up to find a can't-miss party invitation for the same night sitting in your inbox, we've got you covered on the nail front. This metallic foil manicure is shockingly easy.
All you need are a base color (a darker color works best), a base coat, gold foil, and a topcoat. Swipe your nails with the base color and base coat, then use tweezers to place the bits of foil on your nails while the base coat is still wet, and use the topcoat to seal them in.
Style Your Hair the Night Before
You can still go to work with gorgeous beach waves even if you wake up with just enough time to get dressed and get out the door. How? Prep the night before. Before you go to bed, work texturizing cream, like Bumble and Bumble's Bb. Texture Hair Creme ($31), into your hair, make two braids, and sleep on it. The next morning, undo your braids, and you'll have messy boho waves.
Invest in Some Multitasking Products
Save time by using brown eyeliner pencil, like Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Mahogany ($27), to line your lashes, color your lids, and fill in your brows. And tint your cheeks and lips with a two-in-one stain like Rodin's Luxury Lip & Cheek Oil ($35).
Get the Perfect Cat Eye Every Time
If drawing a cat eye for you is like painting a Renoir onto your eyelids, save yourself the grief by making a stencil. Just cut your desired cat-eye shape into a small piece of paper, and hold it up to your lids when applying liner. An even simpler hack? Use a straight edge like a credit card to outline the shape of a perfect cat-eye line every time.
Do a Dressy Ponytail in No Time
This criss-cross ponytail may look complex, but it only takes three minutes to do! The woven design immediately upgrades the classic second-day style to red carpet-worthy levels.
Hydrate Skin While You Sleep
Why spend precious time in the morning moisturizing your face when you can do it in your sleep with an overnight mask like Origins Drink Up Intensive ($25)? The mask's avocado and apricot kernel oil will instantly rehydrate your skin, while Japanese seaweed will help fortify skin to help prevent future dehydration and aging.
Juggle Tasks to Maximize Your Time
There are several tasks you could do simultaneously. For example, brush your teeth as you let your hair conditioner soak in. Blow-dry your hair in front of your computer while you catch up on urgent emails. Put on your makeup while you wait for the water kettle to boil. You get the picture.
Line and Curl Your Lashes at the Same Time
If you're really pressed for time, you can line your eyes and curl your lashes in one step. Draw a line using either a kohl pencil or gel liner (avoid liquid liner because it smudges too easily) across the edge of your eyelash curler where it would be touching your lid right above your lashes, curl, and voilà! Instantly lined lids and curled lashes.
In Red Lipstick We Trust
If you've really pushed it or overslept, just reach for one product: red lipstick. Even if you wear nothing else and just a red pout, you'll look miraculously put together and glamorous. Plus, you can put it on while you're riding the elevator up to your office.
Wipe Your Face
We're all addicted to wipes and here's why: they do a lot fast. Just look at Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes & Face Wipes ($5), which clean out your pores, take off makeup, and control oil while exfoliating your skin. So when you're just too lazy to turn on the sink or your Clarisonic, grab one of these towelettes to get the job done.
Smooth Cracked Feet While You Sleep
Apply moisturizer or Vaseline on your feet, and put on some cozy socks before you pass out. The lotion or petroleum jelly will work while you're conked out to ensure you wake up with baby-soft feet.
Tie a Scarf
Another supereasy way to glam up unwashed hair is to tie a scarf on. This video tutorial will show you seven simple ways to tie a scarf, including the Dolphin Fin, which can be done in three steps: fold the scarf, wrap it around your head, and tie a double knot, leaving the ends out. Other styles in the video include the Bow, the Chain Link, and the complicated-looking but easy-to-do Turban.
Free Your Hands
A hair-dryer holder is great for multitasking. It'll hold your hot tool in place so you can free your hands to do other things, like put on makeup, while blasting your mane with heat. Home Depot has one for under $30.
Organize Your Makeup
Keep your beauty tools in order, so you don't spend precious minutes looking for the right lipstick or the eyeliner. Here are some tips for organizing your vanity, such as separating tools by part of face (lip and eye products go in separate bins) or function (brushes in one basket, liners in another). You can also separate them by color, arrange them by order of use (starting with primers, then foundations, and ending with lipsticks and mascaras). This is a type A person's dream!
Shower the Night Before
This may seem like an obvious one, but that's because it's one of the most time-honored tricks to save time in your morning beauty routine. Shower the night before, so you don't have to the next day. Besides shaving minutes of the next morning, rinsing off the night before has other benefits. After a night of sleep, your hair will be more pliable and easier to style. Plus, if you're trying hack number five, braiding damp strands will help those beach waves hold better.
The 15-Minute Updo
This dressy updo might take some time to pull off, but carve 15 minutes out of your morning to really wow your date. It'll be worth getting up early.
Look Awake in Shorter Time
Barely get any beauty rest the night before a big morning meeting? Watch this skin care video to see how you can look wide awake even when you're feeling exhausted. All you need are an exfoliating face wash, eye brightener, and moisturizer. No makeup necessary.
Chic, Sleek Power Ponytail
Look polished in less than five minutes by pulling your hair up into a power ponytail, which is basically just an elevated version of your standard sporty pony. The secret? Wrapping your hair around your elastic for that extra chic factor. Watch celebrity hairstylist Robby LaRiviere show you how.
Invest in the Right Cut
It's similar to the rule fashionistas follow well: splurge on a few high-quality pieces and wear them for years. With hair, invest in a high-quality cut, and you won't need to spend precious morning time messing with tools and products.
What makes a chop stand out on its own? Go for something with a unique shape, like Kate Bosworth's semiasymmetrical bob, or add volume to your flat hair with layers.
Declutter Your Products
Get rid of any hair and makeup products that you never find yourself using (like that glitter spray you got for Halloween five years ago). Narrowing down your products to just your go-tos will prevent you from riffling around and wasting time each morning. Everyone's staple products are different, but a good rule of thumb would be: if you haven't touched it in more than six months, it's time to toss it. Plus, products expire!
Applying mascara can often be messy, especially if you're in a rush. To avoid having to clean up any messes, just swipe some Vaseline on your lashes instead. Use a clean spoolie brush, roll it in Vaseline, and apply it to your lashes as you would mascara. You can also just carefully dab it on with your fingertips. The clear jelly will make lashes look longer and thicker, plus it'll help moisturize them and encourage growth.
Do Your Makeup on the Go
Save your final touches — like mascara, cheek tint, and lipstick — for your commute. It might annoy others, but applying the less-involved products on the subway or bus will shave minutes off your routine at home. But you might want to apply messier things, like foundation, before you get on a crowded train.
Exfoliate and Moisturize in One Go
You can save time on slathering lotion on your gams by using a hydrating exfoliating body wash in the shower. Try OGX's Extra Creamy + Coconut Miracle Oil Ultra Moisture Body Wash ($6). Its unique blend of natural botanicals and oils will gently exfoliate and condition your skin to reveal softer, smoother skin.
Speed Up Your Curling
If you simply must use your curling iron in the morning, there's a faster way to get those waves. If it normally takes you 10 to 20 minutes to curl your hair, it's because you're curling it in too many sections. This trick gives you gorgeous loose curls in just two minutes.
Simply put your hair up in a high ponytail, separate into two sections (four for thicker hair), clip one section, and curl the other. Do the same for the second section. Shake out your ponytail, and now you have natural-looking waves.
BB Cream Has Got You Covered
Instead of putting on face lotion, SPF, and foundation individually, invest in one great BB cream, like Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Cream ($42). This formula has emollients and optical pearl pigments to hydrate and reduce the look of fine lines, plus SPF 35 sun protection.
Skip Liquid Liner
Nobody has time to clean up a messy, liner-dripped face in the morning. Stick to less precarious products like pencil liner, which will give you the perfect line without the risk of running — and therefore the need to do damage control. Or get the look of liquid liner with Charlotte Tilbury's Rock 'N' Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil ($27), which swipes on fast with no fuss and lasts all day.
Go All Out in No Time
Even the most complex hairstyles can be a cinch to throw together. Get Lady Gaga's famous hair bow in just two minutes with this tutorial.
Debloat Your Face in Minutes
If working out in the mornings sounds like cruel and unusual punishment, you can still shed some pounds — or at least look like you did. This quick contouring tutorial will depuff your face in minutes.
Channel Blair Waldorf
If you skipped shampooing in order to snooze a little longer, you can still look as put together as Queen B. Just throw on a cute headband, and head out the door.
Use a Lip and Cheek Cream
If you only have time to grab one product for your purse, make it a lip and cheek stain. This Tata Harper one ($39) also offers skin care benefits with ingredients like Spanish lavender and lipoamino acid technology that also plump up your cheeks. In a pinch, we even add it to our eyelids for a romantic monochromatic look.
Plan Your Makeup the Night Before
Just as you would plan your next day's outfit the night before, plan your makeup with it. Pick out the exact shades and products you'll use, so you're not stuck hemming and hawing the next morning.
Keep your staple products together and in one place, like BB cream or foundation, highlighter, black liner, and mascara. Then pick out whatever shades you want to use the next day, and set them next to your staples. For example, if you're going to wear a pastel-heavy outfit the next day, then choose an eye shadow, blush, and lipstick in complementary pastel shades.
Avoid Messy Mascara Clumps
To avoid getting mascara clumps on your lashes, which would require extra cleanup time, roll your mascara brush over a tissue before applying. Make sure to only do one full rotation, or you might remove too much formula from the mascara.
Air-Dry Your Hair
Give your strands a break from the hot air by letting them air-dry. Over time, the heat from your blow dryer breaks down the cuticles that cover and protect your strands, which leaves your hair drier, more brittle, and dull.
Bonus: you can twist your mane into a bun when it is still damp, and when you take it down later, you'll have natural-looking waves. Just run some texturizer through towel-dried hair before looping it into the topknot.
No More Messy Mascara
Fixing a messy mascara job is both annoying and time consuming. Get a flawless flutter every morning with this do-ahead business card trick.
Just hold a business card above your eye, and using a pencil or pen, measure and mark the length of your eye, then connect the two marks by drawing the curve of your eye (it doesn't have to be perfect). Cut out that semicircle from the business card. Now place the cutout card over your eye, behind your lashes, and lift a little. Your lashes should lift up with your lid. Apply mascara as usual. Now any accidental smudges will go on the card instead of your lids.
Blow-Dry Your Hair Last
If you blow-dry at the end of your morning routine, chances are your hair will already be almost dry by then and will take significantly less time to dry. Duh.
Use Leave-In Conditioner
Instead of taking the extra step of conditioning in the shower, spray a leave-in conditioner like As I Am Leave-In Conditioner ($9) instead. Its formula is packed with natural ingredients — like coconut extract, amla, sugar beet root, green tea, and saw palmetto — to help seal cuticles, strengthen hair, add moisture, and allow easy detangling.
Invest in Long-Term Hair Removal
Waxing your bikini area and legs would cut down your morning-routine time drastically. And if you'd rather get rid of it all once and for all, consider laser hair removal.
Depuff Your Eyes Fast
Waking up with puffy eyes is one of the most frustrating beauty problems. It's likely every girl has her preferred home remedy for depuffing eyes — cucumber slices, tea bags, frozen vegetables, etc. — but if you don't have time for any of those in the morning, then head to the store (department, not grocery) and get a roll-on eye product.
We like Clinique's All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage ($33) because it goes on cool and uses caffeine, botanicals, and antioxidants to brighten and depuff your skin. The rollerball application is much, much faster than cucumber slices.
Use a Humidifier
Sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom will help hydrate your skin overnight and save time on your moisturizing routine the next morning. This is especially true in the Winter, when there is generally less moisture in the air.
"In the wintertime, when the air is colder and drier, skin can't hold on to as much moisture as it can with warm air," says New York City dermatologist Neal Schultz. "You need to supplement [moisture] because when it gets dry enough, the moisture on our skin evaporates into the air. . . . Any way you can add humidity to the air in an environment in which you spend a lot of time is going to be helpful."
The specific benefits? Your skin will be more supple, less dry and itchy; your lips will be less cracked; and stuffed sinuses will even feel alleviated.
The Easy Bun
This bun looks complex, but only takes 25 seconds to do. All you need is a good elastic, a few bobby pins, and some hair spray. It's the perfect office look for girls who have an aversion to hair tools and long tutorials.
Detangle in the Shower
Instead of detangling your hair after you towel off, bring a wide-tooth comb into the shower with you. Detangling with conditioner still in your hair will make the process faster and less painful.
Stick With Neutral Tones
When you're in a rush, you can't afford to think too long and hard about your color palette. Just go with all neutral colors for your entire face, like tan, taupe, and peach. Chances are they'll all go together.
Make Bobby Pins Your Best Friend
Is your hair a little on the greasy side because you chose sleep over showering? All you need are a few bobby pins to hold stringy strands in place. The best part is that the style possibilities are endless.
You can even use these simple clips for fancier updos, like these three looks for shoulder-length hair.
Choose a Bright Color
Like the lipstick rule, if you go with an electric color on your eyes, you won't need much else. Try a bright liner like Maybelline's Master Precise Ink Metallic EyeLiner in Teal Galaxy ($9), swipe on some lip gloss, and you're all set.
Fake a Manicure
If your mornings are so hectic that your breakfast consists of two bites of the leftover pizza, then chances are you don't have time for a manicure. But that doesn't mean you have to step out into the world with dull nails. Instead of putting on a coat of color, quickly buff your nails for shine, and swipe on a clear nail strengthener for that polished look without the mess. Try OPI's Start to Finish ($14), which is formaldehyde free and can be multi-purposed — it's a topcoat, base coat, and strengthener all in one.