A Pretty Smart Use of Time

Are you an early riser or a get-up-and-go work warrior? Either way, you can rock a polished look with these effective makeup strategies, no matter what your morning schedule.

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YOU'VE GOT 5 MINUTES

You've already hit the snooze button repeatedly and there's no time to shower. Shave minutes off your routine with finger-friendly makeup. Apply a BB cream to even out your skin tone and cream blush for a dewy flush. If you have long hair, pull it into a low ponytail and add a skinny black headband. "It makes you look more finished, not like you just threw your hair up," says hairstylist Tina Dizon, owner of The Private Room salon in Beverly Hills, California.

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1. Goody Extra Thin Glam headbands, $4 for three. 2. CoverGirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Jam Twist, $7. 3. Unite Expanda Dust Volumizing Powder, $26. 4. Dr. Brandt BB Matte in Light to Medium, $39. 5. Topshop Stick Blush in Sneakpeek, $20. 6. Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara in Black, $24.

YOU'VE GOT 15 MINUTES

You're rushed, for sure, but still have ample time to focus on a simple yet sophisticated look: groomed eyebrows, stained lips, and a sleek chignon, all totally worth the extra effort. Cream-formula makeup is effortless to apply, saving precious minutes for hairstyling. Use the seconds you have left to twist hair into an elegant bun. "A topknot is a little dressier than the basic pony but doesn't take that much more time," says Dizon, who recommends spraying dry shampoo all over hair first so it has more texture and is easier to shape.

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1. Too Faced Full Bloom Ultra Flush Blush in Sweet Pink, $19. 2. Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream in Fair to Light, $17. 3. Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel, $22. 4. L'Oréal Paris EverStyle Texture Series Energizing Dry Shampoo, $7. 5. Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Amethyst, $24. 6. Votre Vu Vu-On Rouge in Ma Cherry, $29.

YOU'VE GOT 30 MINUTES

A half hour gives you the chance to perfect your eyes and hair, two time-consuming components of your look. Even out skin with a brush-on foundation, then apply blush before focusing on eyes. Run a dark liner along top lashlines and add a shimmering cream color to lids. Instead of a blowout, work with the texture you have. Waves or curls? Go tousled: "Mist with water, follow with a salt spray, and blowdry upside down while scrunching hair with your hands," says Dizon. Add polish to straight hair with a flatiron.

1. Lorac Touch-Up To Go Concealer/Foundation Pen in Medium Tan, $28. 2. Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Whopping Willow, $16. 3. Estée Lauder Pure Color Blush in Alluring Rose, $28. 4. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Colour Lipshine in Èlise, $34. 5. Original & Mineral Surf Bomb Sea Salt Spray, $22. 6. José Eber GlassTech Infrared & Glass Plated Flat Iron, $150.

YOU'VE GOT 1 HOUR

No excuses—you've got 60 minutes to achieve the kind of sophisticated look that screams corner office. Go the extra mile by concealing blemishes and defining lips with a liner. Careful not to overdo it with mascara. "When women are tired, they sometimes put on too much mascara to compensate, but then it all clumps together," warns makeup artist Nick Barose. For wide-awake eyes, "use the tip of the wand to push up lashes at the outer corners," he says. And don't worry if you're not a whiz with a round brush. After hair is dry, you can create shine and bounce by curling the front pieces with an iron.

1. Jouer Lip Definer in Bois de Rose, $20. 2. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Duo in Heathered Plums, $29. 3. Aerin Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder in Level 01, $45. 4. Dior Addict Lipstick in Beige Casual #222, $31. 5. Conair Shine Infused 1" Ceramic Wand, $23. 6. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Bountiful Brown, $16.

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