Thanks to smartphones, e-commerce and social media, we think faster, do more and get instant gratification. It's great, when you're ordering new shoes online at 2 a.m. while checking your Facebook feed and watching Netflix, but not-so great when you hit the snooze button and need to get out of the house ASAP, looking as fabulous as possible.
To paraphrase Cindy Crawford: "I don't wake up looking like this." (Although her recent bed photo makes me wonder.) It seems we all have to be selfie and FaceTime ready 24/7 — even non-supermodels. Here are three to-dos to accomplish just that.
Go minimalist and multitask
- BB (beauty balm) cream for a complexion-boosting tint, broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF), nourishing humectants and protective antioxidants in one. Or simply blend a dab of any foundation with moisturizer or sunscreen in the palm of your hand to make your own BB in seconds.
- A 2-in-1 cream "blush" for lips and cheeks swipes on warm, healthy color with no precision or tools needed, except your fingers. In a pinch, any tinted lip balm or lipstick in a rosy, red, plum shade will work, too.
- One chubby eye crayon in taupe, brown or gray (depending on hair color) fills brows and defines eye shape at the crease and lashline. FYI: Any brow makeup works on lids, too, and vice versa.
- Dry shampoo misted on your roots freshens hair, absorbs excess scalp oil and odors, and restores (or creates) fullness. Baby powder subs in fine in no-time-to-wash emergencies; just brush out the excess.
- Your flat iron is a speedball clothes presser — use it to smooth creases, restore a just-back-from-the-dry-cleaner crispness.
- A makeup tray will keep daily cosmetics at the ready so that there's no more digging through drawers or kits. Carry a small see-through plastic baggie with 911 stuff in your everyday bag: cotton swabs for cleaning up smears, mini sample perfume sprays, magazine trial packets of serums and moisturizers, and a bold-red or berry lipstick for instant pulled-together polish.
Get a beauty boost while you sleep
- Give dry, tired and lined skin and dehydrated, damage-prone hair the boot with intensive care botanicals, oils and occlusive ointments.
- Apply a mask or rich cream to your face and another to your hair, and use a DIY plastic wrap turban and an old clean pillowcase to provide stain control. Look for argan, marula, olive and coconut oils, and shea butter in a slew of affordable new products such as Yes to Coconut Ultra Hydrating Facial Soufflé Moisturizer, Body Shop Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask, SheaMoisture Smooth & Tame Treatment Masque with Argan Oil & Almond Milk, and OGX Shea Soft & Smooth Hair Butter.
- Coat feet and hands in petroleum jelly, then slip clean socks over your mitts and tootsies, and snooze your way to a makeover.
Create a fashion emergency kit
- Stock up on fine mesh fishnet panty hose in skin tone and black, and spray-on leg makeup to hide discolorations and veins.
- Use double-stick tape to seal shirt gaps between buttons and keep deep V-necks in place.
- Keep sore feet at bay with heel and sole cushion inserts.
- Don chic rain flats or booties and pretty wedges for grassy summer weddings, outdoor parties and barbecues.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50+, check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life and Love After 50 and AARP's new Beauty & Style special edition for tablets.