1. Use Smoothing Milk and Polishing Serum to Straighten Wavy Hair
I have naturally wavy/frizzy hair (lucky me). In general, I feel that most hair tutorials and product recommendations are written for women with thin hair that they’d like to volumize, which means they’re pretty much useless for me. It’s taken me a while to figure out the perfect hair routine, but I’ve done it. To straighten my hair I do a classic blowout with a simple round brush (purchased at Walgreens) and a high quality ceramic blowdryer. When it’s wet, I rub a silver dollar sized dollop of smoothing milk into it, focusing on the middle back of my hair the most. Once it’s dried, I smooth a quarter sized dollop of polishing serum over it to tame any stray frizz and lock the straightness into place.
2. Save Blowout Time by Hand Dampening Dry Hair before Blowouts
When my hair is fresh-from-the-shower wet, it takes seemingly forever to blowout. To counteract this, my current routine is to workout post work, shower, air dry, then in the morning before work hand dampen my hair. Literally I just turn on the sink, run my hands under the water to get them wet, then comb them through my hair until it’s just slightly damp. It takes a lot less moisture than you’d think to do a blowout. Then I blowout my hair like normal. I’ve timed it and it takes me seven minutes from damp to dry with this method.
3. Moisturize and Protect Your Face
I don’t have an extensive morning beauty routine–often I walk out the door without any makeup on at all–but I never skip moisturizing and sunscreen. I use Neutrogena’s generic moisturizer with sunscreen. Other than time, pretty much nothing will age your face as much as sun exposure, so you should never go out without it.
4. Use Eye Shadow to Line Your Eyes
Discovering this gem revolutionized my makeup application. I used to use eyeliner pencils, which were annoyingly inaccurate unless razor sharp and took way too much pressure to really stick to my skin. I then tried liquid liner and failed repeatedly to apply straight lines. Honestly, it’s so difficult that I feel like I need a multi-year apprenticeship with a master eyeliner painter to really do it right.
Anyway, then I discovered that I could use an eyeliner brush and dark eyeshadow to easily brush on eyeliner. It’s so much easier to execute than the other methods, and it automatically blends right into your lash line so it really looks natural and nice. I’ll never go back.
5. If Nothing Else, Wear Mascara
As I said, I often leave the house with zero makeup on. That said, when I feel like applying some but don’t have much time, I simply put on mascara. It really does make a big difference and it takes less than a minute.
6. Avoid Lipstick
I often find heavy makeup aging on almost any face. The biggest culprit of all is lipstick. To me, wearing heavy lipstick is the equivalent of still sporting a mullet or of wearing an 80s power suit. It’s outdated (in this minimal makeup wearer’s eyes). So what should you do instead if you want a little color? I think tinted lip balm and lip gloss are the answers. I wear lip gloss for evenings out and more formal affairs, and tinted lip gloss as a daily wear option.
7. Use Makeup Wipes
My mom taught me to use baby oil to remove makeup, and that’s what I used for many years. It worked well, but left an oily residue on my face that I didn’t like. A few years ago I made the switch to Neutrogena’s makeup removing wipes. They’re a God-send. I don’t understand how they work so well, but they’re fabulous. They take all your makeup off quickly and easily and leave your skin feeling fresh underneath. I often will tear the sheets in two to stretch the usage of each package. I also always remove them from the package and store them in a ziplock–it’s much more airtight so you won’t end up with dry sheets at the bottom of the pile.
8. Use Salicylic Wipes for Acne
Other than a few months in 8th grade, I’ve been luckily relatively acne free for most of my life. That said, I do get the occasional pimples or patches of red spots (I find that it’s usually hormonal). When I get a particularly stubborn bit of acne, I use salicyclic acid wipes (there’s about a million brand name versions) and they work wonders. It usually clears up in just a few days.
9. Quick Drying Nail Polish FTW
I love perfectly applied nail polish. I’m terrible at it. But the nail in the coffin for most of my in-home manicure attempts hasn’t actually been my terrible artistry, it’s been the absolutely glacial speed at which the nail polish I apply dries. I’ve tried all the usual tips, like applying a base coat and swiping on super thin layers of polish. It’s all been to no avail. If I don’t use quick drying nail polish, I simply can’t wait the time it requires for my polish to dry. My favorite brand is Revlon’s Top Speed line.