The following content may contain referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.
Time-Saving Beauty: For the Busy and Impatient
What are your secrets for quickly making yourself look and feel “put together” and refreshed?
My little club of time-saving beauty tools and products includes a few items I always keep in my handbag. If my after-work plans change and I need to attend a meeting or want to grab dinner with some friends, I can count on the help of every single product that’s inside my makeup bag sitting somewhere on the bottom of my handbag.
Others offer their help and services when I’m getting ready for a special day or an event, or when I’m traveling and bringing my entire house with me isn’t an option.
I sooo wish it was though.
At least the contents of my vanity, please.
Tarte’s Pearly Girl Vegan Teeth Whitening Pen– this little pen is so much more convenient than whitening strips, Not only is it one of the very few teeth whitening products that don’t irritate my sensitive teeth and gums, it also gives quick results. I always keep it in my bag, as I drink a lot of tea during the day. It’s not a permanent solution, unless used daily. BUT it does whiten my teeth in just two days when applied twice a day. It’s always a part of my routine before any special occasion, which is usually when I like to wear bright lipstick colors (some colors with a lot of yellow/orange undertones can make the teeth color look a bit off).
I don’t know how many times I talked about this Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, but I don’t intend to stop. This is another product that I always bring with me when I travel, before important events/occasions or when my skin just looks and feels dull.
This mask really lives up to its name and claims- it works instantly. I’m in love with its texture, the cooling effect it gives my skin, the hydration and the glow it gives my skin. I usually like to keep in the fridge as that intensifies the cooling effect of the mask, and works great at soothing puffy, tired skin.
Can’t talk about time-saving beauty products, without mentioning Patchology. Their sheet masks and eye and lip hydrogels are perfect for a quick pick-me-up or just a little pamper when you’re short on time. The hydrogels wear comfortably, they don’t slide, and, most importantly, they work. I especially love their hydrating lip gels.
Dealing with chronic dry lips can be a pain and these hydrogels are great to use when my lips are too irritated to use a scrub. Right now, I’m loving their hydrogels from the Aromatherapy Collection, (or “Moodpatches” as they call them) like the Keep Smiling lip gels infused with tea and lavender, and Happy Place Eye Gels with hibiscus and rose. They have a very delicate, soothing scent, that always helps me relax a little, even if it’s just for a few minutes in the morning. The Lip Service gloss-to-balm treatment is pretty awesome too- it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, aloe, and honey. It works really well in combination with the lip gels.
When I’m short on time, I never dare to even attempt going for a winged liner. A few weeks ago I bought Kaja’s Wink Stamp Wing Eyeliner duo, which is supposed to make applying a winged liner a breeze. You know what? It actually works. The set comes with a double-sided stamp (marked left + right, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out which side goes on which eye) and liquid eyeliner:
The stamp itself does take a few applications to get used to, as it does feel a bit unnatural at first. Totally understandable, right? Well, once you get the hang of it, it actually works and it’s very quick and easy to use. The accompanying eyeliner is pretty good, although after a few uses the product doesn’t necessarily dispense evenly. The only issue with that is that you have to remember to shake the eyeliner before each application- instructions do say to shake it well before use. It’s just not something I’m used to as my all-time favorite eyeliner doesn’t have that problem. No big deal though, since I can now confidently go for winged eyeliner, even when I don’t have three hours to devote to making sure my wings are even.
Kaja’s Wink Stamp Wing Eyeliner Stamp & Pen – when swatched on my hand, the liner does leak and settle into the lines on the skin. This obviously does not happen when applied on the lids, since the skin has a completely different texture on the face/around the eyes
Another time-saving beauty weapon for tired and puffy skin: ice roller. It’s my post-workout must-have as well. This isn’t a new concept and I’ve been doing face ice baths to help puffiness since one of my aunts told me about it when I was about fifteen. BUT using an ice roller is definitely more convenient than filling a bowl full of ice water and dunking your face in it. It helps reduce fatigue, redness, and puffiness. It’s s a good tool for quickly refreshing the skin after a rough night of little to no sleep. Mark also likes using it after shaving, as he has very sensitive skin that doesn’t allow him to shave daily.
Let’s also quickly talk about these pop-on nails again. Since I first mentioned them last year, I’ve used them on so many different occasions. I keep a small stash so that I can give myself a quick manicure if need be. I always had a “thing” for nails, but since picking up a guitar, I need to keep them short. Recently, I put these on my friend before a party and she couldn’t believe how good they looked- and she’s the kind of girl who always gets her nails done professionally. I kept getting questions from everyone around the table “how did you do them? They look so good!” I was like dude, you literally just put some glue on and press them on your nails. Other than being very quick, absolutely a time-saving beauty product, these really don’t have that thin, “fake” look like some other press-on nails I’ve used.
Some foundation formulas take a bit longer to apply and blend than others. Time-saving beauty products absolutely have to be easy to use. My go-to for a quick and even base is Dior’s Airflash Spray Foundation. It can be applied (or, sprayed) directly on the face, which does actually work- you just have to go in with a beauty blender or a foundation brush to pat it in. You do risk the product getting in your hair and eyebrows, but once you get the hang of it, the spray-on application works great. An important thing to remember when doing this is to not hold the can too close to your face. The finish of this foundation is absolutely beautiful, natural, and it’s very lightweight. Another way to use it is by spraying it on your hand and blend it in with a foundation brush or sponge.
This, right here, is pretty much the only hair-styling product I reach for every single day. I get a lot of compliments on my hair, the cut, the style, etc., but the truth is that my hair is a pain in the ass to deal with. It’s very, very difficult to style. My hair is the one part of the beauty routine that I honestly dread doing, every single day. It doesn’t hold curls, has no volume and goes flat and straight, literally minutes after styling. It’s also oily and very soft and smooth which makes things even more difficult. Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray is the only product that not only gives me volume and texture, helps control oils, but also makes my curls last. I can’t tell you how many cans of this I went through. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling sticky or dry and it’s on the top of must-have time-saving beauty products list.
It is pricey, but it’s honestly the only thing that works for my hair. I have the full-size can that I reach for in the morning and keep a small one in my handbag. If I have somewhere to go after work, like dinner with friends, etc., I can just reach for this texturizing spray, tease my hair a bit, and immediately look more put-together. Even after a long day at work. Most of the time, I don’t even have to reach for any tools- I just spray it, tease my hair a little, run my fingers through it and have that perfect “done but undone” look. If your hair is anything like mine as I described it, this spray will make your life so much easier, I promise.
A well-known trick to quickly make yourself look and feel a bit more polished with minimal effort is lipstick. Kind of a foundation for the whole time-saving beauty thing. It brightens the face, brings out your eyes and takes the focus away from everything else. Sometimes, when it’s the end of the day and I have a meeting and no time to go home to refresh myself a bit, I’ll go for my favorite red lipstick and feel better instantly. I’ also pat a very small amount on my cheeks, where I’d normally place blush. Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips in Miranda May is my go-to. It’s actually more of a pink-coral with strong red undertones. I love it not only because of the beautiful formula, but it’s also not as intimidating or “in your face” as intense true reds.