9 Beauty Hacks for Seriously Busy Women

Because being HBIC = multitasking.

Woman Putting Lipstick On
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Perpetually on-the-go, we don't just love a good hack or two—for us, morning-commute primping and back-of-cab refreshes are a way of life. Armed with a pocket mirror and determination, here are 10 tried-and-true tricks you must add to your nomadic routine.

1. Blot your T-zone with a Starbucks napkin

Because even when you're running around, you always make time for that double espresso.While you're at it, stuff a few Starbucks napkins (or any that are brown and recycled) as freebie blotting papers to sop away shine on your forehead, chin, and anywhere else that gets oily throughout the day. 

2. Used pressed powder or cream foundation for coverage

As much as we love liquid and loose powder foundation, things can get messy outside the confines of a bathroom. En route, we prefer pressed powder or cream foundation compact as it's easy to apply, you can build coverage, and apply touch-ups in seconds.

Try: Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, $47; sephora.com.

Shiseido Advanced Hydro-Liquid Compact SPF 15, $30; sephora.com.

Foundation Powders

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

3. Use your finger for a 10-second smoky eye

For a touch of sultriness, quickly sweep eyeliner along your top and bottom lash lines—and rejoice, because the messier, the better. Then use your ring finger to smudge the liner up and out along your lid and lower lash line for a cool-girl smoky eye, sans shadow. See our GIF tutorial here.

4. Map out your cat eye

While we know the pitfalls of trying to perfect a cat eye in transit all too well, we know that it is, in fact, possible. Our trick is quite literally connecting the dots. Starting at the outer corner of your eye, apply dots right on the lash line (our magic number is three!). As soon as you're done with the last dot near the inner corner of your eye, go back and draw a smooth, even line using the dots as your guide.

5. Tote a mini bottle of hair powder

If we could, we'd carry a can of dry shampoo with us everywhere. Alas, we just don't have the room in our already-overflowing bag. Thankfully, we've made a habit of tossing tiny, travel size bottle of Bumble and bumble's Prêt-à-Powder into our purse as we can use it as a dry shampoo, as well as to create texture or add some volume to our roots. 

Try: Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder0.3 oz, $12;sephora.com.

Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

6. Use your iPhone flashlight to test all kind of lighting

Throughout the day you're going to encounter all kinds of lighting—and ensuring that your makeup will hold up can be a challenge. That's why we're all about doing mini lighting tests using the flashlight feature on our iPhones. It can cast light in the shadowy areas cast by spotty overhead lighting. 

7. Use hand lotion in your hair

If you're a moisturizing freak like us, chances are you have hand cream stashed in your purse or at your desk. In addition to keeping your hands silky-smooth, it can also be used on your strands to make them sleeker, minimize frizz, and add some fragrance. (Win-win-win.)

8. Use a lip pencil instead of lipstick

Of course we'll always keep our go-to tubes in our makeup bag, but for ladies that don't have the time for painstaking precision, lip pencils make life easy. You can trace the outline of your lips with ease, plus when you fill in the rest of your pout, it'll stay put throughout the day—whereas lipstick is more likely to smudge or transfer.

9. Make your mascara and brow gel interchangeable

Our foolproof recco is clear mascara, which in addition to perking up your lashes au naturally, can be used as brow gel to groom your arches. If you're keen on black or brown mascara and have darker brows, you can also use that to tidy up your texture and add a tint—but tread lightly. Additionally, you can coat your lashes with a tinted brow gel.

Try it: e.l.f. professional Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara, $0.99; walgreens.com.

e.l.f. professional Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.