22 Life-Saving Beauty Hacks to Use When You're Already Late

You're about to be on time(-ish) to brunch for once!

22 Life-Saving Beauty Hacks to Use When You're Already Late
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22 Life-Saving Beauty Hacks to Use When You're Already Late

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MAKEUP

1. Fix smudged makeup in a flash by using concealer to hide your mistake. Don't have a makeup wipe handy? If you color outside of your lip line and the shade stains your skin, use concealer to cover up your mistake. Try Vert Concealer Stick (opens in new tab).

How to Perfect a Smudge in Seconds

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2. Store your makeup sponge in a plastic egg to keep it from getting dirty in your cosmetics case or purse. If you have to run out the door and do your makeup when you get to work, toss your makeup sponge in a plastic egg and go. The bottom of your bag is no place for your Beauty Blender (opens in new tab).

Store your makeup sponge in a plastic egg to keep it from getting dirty in your cosmetics case or purse

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3. Use your ID as a shield for your mascara. You've been there: You're in a rush (or you just applied the most beautiful smoky eye) and you get mascara all over your eyelid. HOW ANNOYING. Holding a credit card or your school ID against your upper lash line helps minimizes the amount of mascara remnants you get on your eye. Try Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (opens in new tab).

Use your ID as a shield for your mascara

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4. Run the bottom part of a makeup brush over a darker contour powder and the top part of the same makeup brush over a highlighter, and then apply it in one fell swoop. You can also just pick up a dual-toned product, like L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Contour Palette (opens in new tab), that has a Pac Man-shaped brush that fits to the curves of your cheekbone, contouring and highlighting it perfectly in one move.

Contour Your Cheeks in One Move

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Cheek contour before and after

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5. If you don't have a two-toned powder that lets you contour in one step, use two different colored foundations to contour. Take the foundation shade that you'd typically wear in the winter (that's a touch lighter than your skin) and the formula that you'd normally wear in the summer (that's a little darker than your complexion), and then use the darker one to contour and the lighter to highlight. Unlike summer and winter clothing, you always have all of the foundation shades you use in your bathroom, so they'll be easy and quick to apply. You can even choose one or the other (contouring or highlighting), so you still get out of the house on time and looking sculpted.

To Contour Your Face with Foundation

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6. Instead of using an eyeliner, wiggle your mascara wand up against your eyelid so it transfers onto your upper lash line. Use an angled brush to smooth out the smudge into a straight line. Try Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Eyes to Kill Mascara (opens in new tab) and Sonia Kashuk (opens in new tab) angled brush.

Smudge Your Mascara to Create a Lined Eye

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7. Create a full face of makeup fast by using only three products. Choose a base that you love and apply it all over, then blend. Try Milk Sunshine Skin Tint (opens in new tab), which has a rollerball tip for a quick application. Then, spot-treat blemishes with a dot of foundation and let it dry a little; that way, the consistency becomes thicker and acts more like concealer. As your foundation sets on any trouble spots, apply mascara to your lashes and wiggle it against your lash line if you want to apply it as liner (see above tip no. 6). I used Rodial XXL Glamolash Mascara (opens in new tab) here. Finally, pat to blend the foundation you applied over any blemishes and apply a bold lip color, like E.L.F. Cosmetics Matte Lip Color in "Wine." (opens in new tab) A statement lip will always make you look like you spent more time on your makeup than you did.

Create a Quick, 5-Minute Face of Makeup

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8. Designate a clean toothbrush to declump your mascara. In a hurry, you might not be able to apply your mascara with precision. If your lashes end up looking clumpy, take a clean toothbrush and swipe it over your lashes to comb them smooth. Danielle used NYC New York Color Big Bold Full Impact Mascara (opens in new tab) here.

Use a Clean Toothbrush to Declump Your Lashes

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9. Create a perfectly shaped brow in 60 seconds. Start by underlining your brow and tracing the top to your desired shape. Heeseung used Maybelline New York Brow Precise Micro Pencil (opens in new tab). Then, blend the line out until it's almost invisible with the spoolie on the opposite end of the brush. Finally, swipe on a tinted brow mascara, like Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Brow Gel (opens in new tab), to help groom your arches and fill in and conceal any sparse spots.

How to Do Your Brows in 1-Minute

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10. Use a makeup wipe to create a quick smoky cat-eye. The most effective way to create a smoky cat-eye is to apply your favorite shadow using a fluffy brush, extending it a bit beyond the outer corner of your eye. Then, take a makeup wipe and gently swipe away the shadow at the outer corner at an angle to reveal a precise winged smoky eye that looks like you spent a ton of time on it.

Perfect a Smoky Cat-eye with a Cleansing Wipe

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11. Use a tissue or a makeup shield to protect your base makeup. If you already have your foundation on, hold a tissue against your face (or use a makeup shield, like the ones from Shadow Shields (opens in new tab)) to protect your base from becoming a complete mess from eye shadow fallout. If you do get any fallout on your face, pick it up with translucent tape, since it's the least strong tape and won't pull at your skin.

Use a tissue or a makeup shield to protect your base makeup

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NAILS

12. Dip your nails in ice water to harden freshly painted polish. If you have to run out the door but need your nails painted, wait a minute or two for your lacquer to dry, and then dip your fingertips in a bowl of ice water to harden your polish the rest of the way.

Dip your nails in ice water to harden freshly painted polish

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HAIR

13. Apply dry shampoo at night to allow it to set. When you wake up, you'll have perfectly tousled tresses, thanks to the tossing and turning you did while you were sleeping. Try Verb Dry Shampoo (opens in new tab).

Apply Dry Shampoo at Night and Sleep on it for the Perfect Application

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14. Minimize the possibility of a bad hair day and lock out the humidity from your shower by using two shower caps. One might cut it if your hair doesn't frizz up fast, but if your strands are super-sensitive to humidity, then you might want to double up.

Minimize the possibility of a bad hair day and lock out the humidity from your shower by using two shower caps

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15. While you're doing your makeup, use a microfiber towel over a cotton one to absorb excess water in your hair. Think of microfiber turbans as the ShamWow of hair towels. Microfiber absorbs way more than cotton (Yes to less heat damage!) and its soft texture helps cut down on friction, which leads to frizz. So, the next time you're running late, twist your hair up into a microfiber turban, do your makeup, air-dry or blow-dry your hair, and go! Try Aquis Micro Fiber Hair Turban (opens in new tab).

While you're doing your makeup, use a microfiber towel over a cotton one to absorb excess water in your hair

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16. Freshen up your hair by spritzing your hairbrush with perfume. If your hair isn't to the point where you need dry shampoo, but you'd like it to smell nice when you flip your ponytail, spray your favorite fragrance onto a brush and then run it through your hair. Whatever you do, don't spray your scent directly on your strands, since the alcohol in the formula can dry them out. Caitlin sprayed Juicy Couture I Love Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum (opens in new tab) onto a Neon Wet Brush. (opens in new tab)

Spray Perfume on Your Hairbrush to Freshen up Your Strands

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17. Get no-hassle beachy waves by spritzing your hair with salt spray, wrapping it up into a bun, and then unraveling it when you get to work. Instead of hating on your commute, use it to your advantage and let some salt spray, like Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion (opens in new tab), and heat from your head work together to create cool-girl beachy waves.

Spritz Sale Spray in Your Hair and Wrap it in a Bun to Reveal Beachy Waves

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18. If you run out of anti-frizz cream, use hand or body lotion in its place. Typical anti-frizz products contain hydrating ingredients, like glycerin, panthenol, and silicone to keep your strands looking smooth, which most lotions contain. Try KMS Curl Up Perfecting Lotion (opens in new tab) (you can use this even if you don't have curly hair, BTW!), which has glycerin, or Promise Organice Coconut Milk Hand Cream (opens in new tab), which contains glycerin, coconut milk, and shea butter.

If you run out of anti-frizz cream, use hand or body lotion in its place

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19. Create pretty, undone waves by flat-ironing your braid. While your straightener heats up, braid your hair in a traditional braid. Then, pass your flat iron over the braid a few times. Finally, unravel your braid once it cools and boom: You've got gorgeous, bend-y waves.

Create Pretty, Undone Waves by Flat-Ironing Your Braid

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20. Use a silk scarf to blend your unruly leave out with the rest of your extensions. Since silk retains moisture (cotton absorbs it) and your head gives off heat, you'll want to wrap a silk scarf around your head, flattening your leave out as you secure it. That way, as you do your makeup, the heat from your head will be trapped under the silk and coax your hair to lay flat.

Use a silk scarf to blend your unruly leave out with the rest of your extensions

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Unruly Extensions - Before and After

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21. Tame a cowlick quickly with a wet washcloth and some heat from your hair dryer. The only way to retrain your cowlick is with water and heat. Smooth your stubborn hairs down, lay a wet washcloth over them, and let the water retrain your cowlick for three to five minutes, depending on the severity of your cowlick. Then, lock in the smoothed strands by using tension from a round brush, while directing heat from your hair dryer from your roots to your ends.

Tame a Cowlick Quickly with a Wet Washcloth and Some Heat from Your Hair Dryer

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22. If you wake up with bangs that are out of control and can't be tamed, work them into a style, like a headband braid or a boho twist, like I created here. That way, you won't have to worry about being late because you were dealing with showering, or at least wetting your bangs, and then having to blow them out aka spend 20 minutes on hair that's three inches long.

If You Wake Up with Bangs That Are Out of Control and can't be tamed, work them into a style, like a headband braid or a boho twist

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Stubborn Bangs - Before and After

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Carly Cardellino
Carly Cardellino

Carly Cardellino was the beauty director at Cosmopolitan. If you follow her Instagram, then you know she'll try just about any beauty trend or treatment once (the pics of her purple hair are on IG to prove it). But her favorite part about being in beauty is finding the most effective products, and then sharing that intel with others—because who wants to spend money on stuff that doesn't work? No one, that's who. Her most recent discovery: De La Cruz Sulfur Ointment, which will change your blemish-clearing game! Hopefully through the beauty stories she writes—and the experiences she shares—you can see exactly why she's in this business.