My overbooked and on-the-run clients, friends, and family are always asking me for quick tips, tricks, and remedies for ready-set-go beauty. I have found it's really quite simple to redress a fallen hairstyle, punch up midday makeup, and address your fashion composition. The art/habit of being pulled together lies in having a vision, being organized, mulitasking and employing time-management techniques -- concepts rarely associated with beauty but essential to stress-free beauty on the run.
Be a beauty sleuth.
Gather information from beauty blogs and invest in your trusted community. Consult with professionals, friends and colleagues (and, if you're daring, ask people on the street!) whose style you admire -- and that have that seemingly effortless pulled-together look--just how they do it. Chances are, you'll acquire new tips that you can adapt and incorporate into your own daily routine. Find your inspiration and take a risk. It's empowering to learn how to integrate small details quickly, such as adding a side part or twist or folding your neck scarf or pocket square five different ways for flair. Kick it up or take it down a notch by ditching some of your old ideas.
Establish your unique beauty blueprint.
Achieving a look is all about mapping it out, creating a style and committing to it. I dedicate a few minutes each morning to feel my mood and visualize a look and possible variations of it. I then consciously pack an organized head-to-toe beauty makeover kit -- appreciating the flexibility of adding or subtracting throughout the day or evening, as I almost never have time to go home for touch-ups or an overhaul. If it's a Pilates class, a meeting, then a mad dash to my studio meets a dinner with friends or my family kind of a day, I leave my house wearing active gear, light makeup, my hair in a bun (I let it loose after my workout and add a headband or hair broach if I'm feeling fancy), and my boots, accessories, scarf, jeans and jacket in my ready-set-go tote for the post-exercise rest of my day. The key for me is downsizing (as much as a gal can do!) and getting the most out of my chosen wardrobe and accessories.
You must have the tools you need for success packed and prepped so that quick remedies are at your fingertips throughout the day. For your face, have a small- to medium-sized makeup bag filled with purposeful favorites in no-leak, manageable and refillable containers. A Q-tip and tissue pack, rice paper for blotting, a refreshing toner solution, an SPF moisturizer, a concealer stick, a face-powder compact, blush or bronzer (preferably a three-in-one for lips, cheeks and brow bone pop), a shadow palette or pencils, preferably in black or brown and two complementary colors for eyes and brows, a lip gloss stain, a mascara, lashes, a small nail and tweezer combo kit, deodorant, Wet Ones and the must-have lash curler. (I know, I know, sounds like a lot, but it really isn't...)
For your hair essentials, fill another small bag with a teasing comb, brush, butane curling or flat iron, sample-size dry shampoo, water and hairspray, a wax stick or pomade pot, Morrocan oil for hair shine (which does double duty as a skin moisturizer), hair ties, hairpins and one decorative barrette or headband.
Your wardrobe kit should contain a collapsable hanger, a mini accessory kit, a lint brush, a small sewing kit, safety pins, a box of topstick tape for emergency fixes, small utility scissors, a shoe rag or brush and an antistatic spray. Toss all your solution bags into your favorite tote.
Be a quick-change artist.
Learn how to do a costume and quick hair change, and apply daytime makeup that can be ramped up for that after-five sultry look. It can be as easy as adding heels, applying lipstick, popping your eyes by adding a smoldering smudge of thicker, darker or possibly colored eye liner or mascara and a quick lash curl. Let down that hair knot, spray a blast of dry shampoo, rake thru with your fingers, find a dramatic side, middle or messy parting, add a hairpin to hold, and presto! You're differently gorgeous, no matter what your hair type or style.
Remember to accessorize.
Accoutrements can do wonders, enhance waistlines and lengthen legs. Remember to be open minded and creative. Adding a belt with an interesting width, color or buckle, a cuff to your sleeve or jeans, fashionable leggings or socks, decorative retro shoe clips, an infinity scarf that can double as a shawl or the jacket that you wore to work but hung all day can transition your look in a flash. It's all in your well thought out, super organized on-the-run efficient beauty bag.
Jot down, photograph or scrapbook what you think are your "best" or "in-progress" looks. Send them to your friends for critique. Ask for feedback on how you can perfect your look or ask if the people on your friends list have any useful suggestions for kicking it up (or down) a notch. If you have a particular beauty or style challenge, reach out. Blog about it. Scrapbook. Or you can even create a vision board that documents different styles you'd like to capture.
Let's get serious and go for the grace or glam with both ease and gusto. I hope these helpful tips inspire a more polished you.