02/19/2014 08:16 am ET Updated Apr 21, 2014

Recipe for a Nancy Drew-Style Outfit Upgrade in 90 Seconds (or Less)


Category: Life Jams

Recipe for a Nancy Drew-Style Outfit Upgrade in 90 Seconds (or less)

Surprise! Your friend needs a last-minute plus-one/a guy you like has apparated at a party/your boss is one row ahead of you at a Sunday matinée of Frozen... and you're wearing a Hanes tee-shirt and no make-up. Time to get your Nancy Drew on and combat these unexpected setbacks with ingenuity and the things you keep in your purse!

Recipe Yield: 1 serving of the old razzle-dazzle

1 red lipstick
1 scarf
2 bobby pins
1/2 cup coordination
1/4 cup evasive maneuvers
1 tsp. magpie instincts

Note on Pantry Items:

Red Lipstick is the prestige of cosmetics; you can be as un-made-up as the day you were born, but if you're wearing red lipstick you still register as makeup positive. Jazz recital never force you to find a shade at an early age? Next time you're in a CVS, flip your wrist and check out the veins below your elbow. Blueish? Go for a cooler, blue-based red. Greenish? Try a warmer, orange hue. Both? Welcome to the first day of your do-no-wrong life.

Scarf One of the best investments you can make is a neutral colored silk scarf -- they weigh nothing, can swing hot or cold, and fold up to the size of a deck of cards. Life with a scarf on hand is life without fear of spills or chills. Unless you spill while you're wearing the scarf. And you've already spilled on the reverse side.

Recipe Procedure:

Use magpie instincts to locate 1-2 reflective surfaces in the immediate vicinity that can be converted into mirrors. Approach, applying evasive maneuvers as necessary.

Sweep hair out of eyes and secure with coordination infused bobby-pins, producing granny-certified "fresh-faced/ bright-eyed" effect that says "Today, I cared."

While gravity eases tension out of newly corseted locks, unfold scarf and drape around neck, activating stylish toga-schemas embedded deep within onlookers' animal brains. Depending on velocity of incoming sneak-attack/ number of stains on shirt, hang scarf in vest-like panels or loop once, twice, three times... go wild (you legitimately can't mess this up).

Separate red lipstick tube into halves. Using red end of lipstick, trace lip-line of lower lip starting in center and working your way out; press lip against bottom teeth for added precision. Touch top lip to lower lip and wipe away any exaggerating smudges. Recap lipstick and return to purse for later use.

By now, hair will have settled to normal level of up-done; un-tuck from scarf.

Smile. You're ready to face your sneak attacker.

Recipe Variation:

What if you have to go no-mirror?


Additional Ingredient: 1 chapstick

Hair: Gather section of hair at the place hair naturally tucks behind ear. Draw hair curtain up and back until apex feels like it's at the same latitude as your eyebrows. Secure with bobby-pin(s).

Scarf: Drape at will! (Seriously, you can't mess this up.)

Lipstick: Apply chapstick to dry lips. Wipe away any chapstick that is outside your natural lipline. Apply red lipstick gently to bottom lip, and press top lip to bottom lip. The shade may be diluted, but the chapstick will keep it within lip lines when the eyes fail to.

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