10 Ways to Streamline Your Morning
1. Look "Done" on the Run
No time for a blowout? Straighten the top and front sections of your hair, then pull them into a low ponytail or bun. Keep it neat by securing a headband (like these Jennifer Behr leather headbands in silver and gold, $78 each; jenniferbehr.com) 1 inch from the hairline.
2. Freeze Your Breakfast
Beyonce's hairstylist (and busy mom of one) Kimberly Kimble prepares a smoothie before bed. In the morning there's no slicing, no blending, no mess—she just pulls the cup out of the fridge and goes. "I drink it as I'm on my way to work." Another idea: Make a batch Sunday night and freeze individual portions in Popsicle molds (try freezer bags if you prefer to drink your smoothie; defrost in the fridge overnight).
3. Create Your LMD-Little Magic Dress
When you find a flattering dress you absolutely love (like this J. Crew wool dress, $158; jcrew.com), take it to a good tailor and have him replicate several versions in different colors and prints each season (some tailors will even provide the fabric). Wear a dramatic necklace or funky cuff to make each outfit unique.
4. Ensure You're Good to Glow
After you wash your face in the evening, mix a few drops of self-tanner (try Clarins Self-Tanning instant gel, $33; sephora.com) into your night cream. In the morning your skin will have a subtle warmth to it that masks tiny imperfections, so it's easier to slip out the door without applying full makeup.
5. Touch Up at the Office
If you have naturally wavy hair, wash it the night before and wrap it, still damp, into a bun when you go to bed. At the office, undo hair and quickly style a few pieces around the face with a mini (stashable!) curling iron. Try Conair's Mini Pro 1-inch ceramic curling iron ($18; conair.com).
6. Tag Your Outfits
After looking at your schedule for the week on Sunday night and planning each day's outfit, hang the final picks in the front of your closet with DIY days-of-the-week tags.
7. Toe the Line
The quickest way to fake a spa pedicure? Change your shoes! In peep toes, the only nail that really counts is the biggest (and possibly its little neighbor), so focus your efforts there. Keeping your shoe on, apply one base coat, then one coat of color (the less polish you apply, the less likely it is to smudge). Bonus: That trendy bottle of polish you splurged on is going to last a lot longer.
Chanel Nail Colour in Paradoxal, $23; chanel.com. Suede peep-toes, Charles David, $275; 310-659-7110.
8. Edit, Edit, Edit
Separate everyday cosmetics from the ones you use only on special occasions, says organization pro Stephanie Denton. Another easy way to pare down: Embrace multitasking products. Stila One Step makeup ($44; Ulta.com) combines primer, foundation and powder in one; NP Set On the Double Pen ($13; target.com) offers concealer and mascara; and Nars Orgasm Illuminator ($29; narscosmetics.com) adds a pretty sheen to both lips and cheeks.
9. Work Your Commute
Sneak in an early-morning workout (and green up your day) with an energetic walk to the subway or train station instead of driving, suggests time-saving pro Peter Walsh. No shower at the office? Pack a lightweight one-piece outfit (in crease-resistant jersey, for example) in a stylish backpack along with body wipes (Nathan's Power Shower Refreshing wipes, $8; amazon.com), deodorant (Dove Clinical Protection, $8; target.com), dry shampoo, and wrinkle-release spray (Crease Release, the Laundress, $8; thelaundress.com).
10. Prep Your Purse
Are you a chronic bag switcher? If so, a purse organizer-a removable pouch where you can store essentials like keys, cell phone, and wallet-makes it a lot simpler to do the daily transfer. Try the medium-size Cherry handbag organizer ($26; goneshopping.ca) shown here in a leather Longchamp bag ($480; longchamp.com). In a pinch use a roomy makeup bag instead.