Beat-the-Clock Beauty
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Beat-the-Clock Beauty

Women spend about 47 minutes a day on average getting primped and polished. Take back your time by doing everything faster so you can get out the door and on with your busy life. These pro tips will help you sprint through your beauty routine easily and still look great. Pretty genius, right?

Speed Up Your Shower

Cleanse and moisturize at the same time.

The newest body lotions do both. Try Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion ($45, 800-227-4703) with almond oil and skip the separate moisturizer afterward. If your skin still has dry patches, spray on St. Ives Energizing Citrus & Vitamin C Fresh Hydration Lotion ($8, drugstores), which is absorbed so quickly, you don't even have to rub it in.

Take a shampoo shortcut.

Instead of washing your hair, give it a quick refresh: Twist it into a bun and cover it with a shower cap, leaving just your hairline -- the area that gets the greasiest -- exposed. Wet your roots and suds up with a drop of shampoo. Tilt your head forward while rinsing to avoid wetting the rest of your hair. When you get out of the shower, simply blast your hairline with the blow-dryer.

Smooth things over.

If your strands are parched, coat them with a fast-acting deep conditioner. We like Weleda Oat Replenishing Treatment ($13, While it's softening your hair, slather a dollop over your legs and shave. It will leave your skin silky and bump-free.

Get Good Hair in a Hurry

Style smarter.

Sopping wet hair can take forever to dry. Make the process faster with the Goody Quikstyle Half-Round Styling Brush ($12, Target stores), which has water-wicking microfiber bristles. Or use the Panasonic EH-NA65-K Nanoe Hair Dryer ($180, -- its quick-dry nozzle disperses air in three directions to get the job done in record-setting time.

Revive second-day hair.

For a quick volume boost, spray dry shampoo under the top layer of your hair to soak up oil, says Sarah Potempa, a celebrity hairstylist. A good one: Davines Hair Refresher ($28, for salons), which is delivered in a superfine mist that contains odor-absorbing molecules and won't look chalky. After rubbing it in, hit your roots with a little heat for instant lift. "It's like teasing but without the time and effort," Potempa says.

Go glam post-gym.

Racing from your workout to a meeting? Wet hair can look pretty when pulled back into a sleek bun. The secret: Make a high ponytail, then slip it through the center of a bun maker, like Remington The Perfect Bun ($5, Walmart stores). Roll your hair up toward the base of your pony and bend the ends of the tool to form a perfectly shaped updo.

Fast-Track Your Makeup

Score flawless-looking skin stat.

To cover dark circles and a blotchy tone in one swipe, apply a vitamin-packed tinted CC cream, like Dr. Jart+ CC Essence Balm ($42, Sephora stores). It's loaded with anti-aging ingredients and comes in a compact so you can apply it on the run.

Master the five-minute face.

1. Curl your lashes and smudge a brown eye-shadow stick along your top and bottom lash lines. We like Essence Stays No Matter What Jumbo Eye Pencil & Shadow in Cute Copper ($3, Ulta stores). "A stick blends easily so you don't need a superprecise application," says Fiona Stiles, a Mark celebrity makeup artist.

2. Apply mascara to your top lashes. Try CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara in Black Blaze ($7, drugstores).

3. Pat a multitasking blush, like Benefit Lollitint ($30,, on your cheeks and lips.

Wow with your brows.

They frame your face instantly. "Use a gel to shape them and get definition without agonizing over it," Stiles says. Reach for Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Chocolate ($22,

Lighten up.

If you have time to apply only one makeup item, choose a highlighter. Pat it down the bridge of your nose, along the top of your cheekbones and under your brow bones. "This helps light bounce off your features," Stiles says, and "is a quick way to give skin radiance." If you're fair, look for a silver-based highlighter, such as Cover Fx Illuminator in Moonlight ($28, Sephora stores). Choose one with golden undertones, like Cover Fx Illuminator in Sunlight ($28, Sephora stores), if you have medium or dark skin.


Clock It

Four more ways to maximize your time.

Save 1 hour: When you can't squeeze in a gel mani-pedi at the salon, try Fuse Gelnamel ($30, drugstores). The polishes combine base, color, and topcoat in a single stroke. Just pop your hands or toes under the included LED light to let the formula cure for 30 seconds.

Save 28 minutes: Rather than wearing tooth-whitening strips for 30 minutes, cover up coffee stains with Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen ($15, drugstores). Just swipe on the no-rinse hydrogen peroxide formula and go.

Save 3 minutes: Skip scrubbing your feet with a pumice stone. Instead, before your workout, rub in a foot balm, like Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr Rejuvenating Foot Balm ($35,, and then put on your socks. "This will soften calluses while you exercise, so you don't have to do it later," says Heidi Waldorf, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.

Save 1 minute: Stop washing your face twice a day, Dr. Waldorf says. At night, use makeup-remover wipes, like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths ($6, drugstores). Then lather up with an exfoliating cleanser, such as NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash ($35,, in the a.m.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2014.