We’ve all experienced the panic of looking at our alarm clock and realising we’ve overslept…by a lot. Suddenly, the leisurely hour you had planned to carefully apply makeup and style your hair is gone out the window, replaced by mere minutes of beauty cram time. Cue anxiety attack. Instead of running out the door with yet another rendition of your go-to messy bun (and enduring a round of pointed stares from your coworkers), why not employ a few simple hair and skin tips to help you save time and still look polished? We asked celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolas (his clients include the well-tressed Mila Kunis and Shay Mitchell) and L’Oréal consulting dermatologist Dr. Gervaise Gerstner for their best morning beauty tips. Click through the slideshow above and never curse your alarm clock again.
Photo courtesy of Angelo Pennetta/Vogue UK
Here’s a thought: your haircut can actually determine how much time you spend on your locks every morning. Keep this in mind next time you update your mane—your future groggy AM self will thank you. “Invest in a good haircut that’s appropriate for your hair texture,” Papanikolas says. “If you have naturally curly hair, avoid bangs,” he warns. “Instead, ask for long layers that are slightly curved in at the ends—that way, you can use a gel like Matrix’s Biolage Blue Agave Nectar Control Gel ($16) after showering and be out the door!” If you have straight strands, he suggests a heavier, blunt cut to give your hair more weight and make it easier (and faster) to style.
We shudder at what our strands looked like during the PDS (Pre-Dry Shampoo) era. Embrace this life-saving development in modern beauty and give your limp locks a spray at the roots to fake freshly showered hair. Klorane’s Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk soaks up oil and leaves your hair smelling fresh, while Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo ($21) will give you mega-volume.
We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that hot rollers are not one of the beauty tools you reach for when you’re scrambling to get ready in the morning…but maybe they should be. “They may be old school, but they’re a super-fast and easy way to do your hair if you need to look glam in minutes,” Papanikolas says. He suggests starting with a spritz of dry shampoo, like Matrix’s Design Pulse Clean Remix Instant Dry Shampoo ($13), on dry hair before taking large sections and wrapping them up in rollers. Do your makeup and brush your teeth as you wait for them to cool—even if it’s just for a few minutes—then remove and brush out. The result? “You’ll get instantly glamorous waves, plus so much body!”
This tip is for those of you prone to oversleeping on the regular (no judgment). “Put your damp hair in two buns at the nape of your neck before you sleep,” Papanikolas suggests. When you wake up, shake them out and spritz them with a texturizing spray like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray ($26) for perfectly-messy, “I woke up like this” waves. Queen Bey would be so proud.
Skipping eye cream may seem counterintuitive at first, but Gerstner swears she never uses a separate eye cream when in a hurry. Instead, she makes sure to include her eye area when applying serum: “It will double as eye cream and save you a step!” Try Fresh’s Soy Face Serum ($45)—its soy-based formula will brighten your complexion and is gentle enough for your delicate eye area.
Why spend precious time moisturizing, protecting, and concealing when you can combine all three into one step? “A CC or BB cream is an excellent hybrid product that will significantly speed up your morning routine,” says Gerstner. She recommends L’Oréal Paris’ Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator ($17) for even coverage and SPF protection.
The quickest way to look instantly put-together? Rosy lips and flushed cheeks. Choose a double-duty product that can help you achieve both, like Benefit’s cult classic Benetint ($30). Gerstner swears by L’Oréal Paris’ Color Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift ($13): “I keep one in my purse and one in my desk drawer for an instant pick-me-up!”
If applying a perfect cat eye usually takes up a good part of your morning makeup routine, try tightlining them instead—no steady hand or q-tips required. Just lift your eyelid and trace along your waterline with an eye liner brush and gel liner like Stila’s Smudge Pots ($20), filling in the gaps between your lashes. Your eyes will pop and you’ll look instantly more awake.
The biggest indicator of an “I slept past my alarm” kind of morning? The state of your skin. Avoid pillow-face and give your visage a dewy glow by spritzing with a hydrating facial mist like Caudalíe’s Beauty Elixir ($18) before rushing out the door. You’ll arrive at your destination looking fresh, put together and well-rested (even if you aren’t).