We may not be red carpet regulars or runway models, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to look as pulled together as the best of them. Life can be so busy, which is why we all too often find ourselves leaving the house in a hurry with damp hair—and it’s high time to put an end to that without having to wake up an hour earlier to complete a full hair and makeup routine (no, thank you).
Sometimes looking perfectly polished is just a matter of correcting your posture or using a different hair tie. Follow these simple tips for how to look polished at all times in a matter of seconds, and it won’t be long before people start wondering how you make it look so easy.
Stand Up Straight
Your grandmother, mom, and dance teacher were right: Slouching conveys an air of insecurity and timidity. Ever wonder why model Chanel Iman always looks so put together? It's not just her designer duds or glowing complexion; it's her posture when she wears them. No matter what you have on (or how you feel), standing tall will always project confidence and a smart appearance.
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Rock a Pink Pout
Cold weather can drain your complexion of color. A pop of pink in the winter will bring out the rosiness in your cheeks and brighten up your entire appearance. Even if you don't have time for any other makeup, a pretty pink lip like Olivia Wilde's presents a more polished appearance than going completely bare-faced. Keep your lip color matte for a more mature look.
Want to know a little secret? We've seen Miranda Kerr in person, and her skin is naturally a lot paler than it is in this picture (shhhh!). With all the new illuminators and highlighters on the market, anyone can fake a gorgeous "I just got back from St. Barts" glow in mere minutes.
Sport a Sleek Side Part
You know what's not chic? Flyaways and loose, scraggly ends. Freida Pinto's low ponytail not only looks sophisticated, but it perfectly showcases the actress' delicate bone structure. To copy Pinto's polished coif, spritz a little hairspray on a comb before running it through your hair. Create a deep side part that's different from your usual one to avoid flyaways. Leave your hair loose or secure it into a low ponytail with a hair tie that matches your hair color.
Make a Statement
There's nothing wrong with a little embellishment. Garcelle Beauvais's outfit may say "casual," but she makes her look red carpet-ready with the addition of gold statement earrings and a turquoise necklace. Adding a statement necklace or dangling earrings to an outfit will instantly dress up your look and tie together everything you're wearing, your hairstyle, and your makeup.
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Wake Up with Makeup
Early morning talk show appearances are probably most celebrities' least favorite part of the job. Imagine having to wake up at the crack of dawn and immediately go on high-definition television? We shudder to think. Starlets like Ashley Greene never worry, though, because their makeup artists have a little secret for making them look awake and refreshed: white eyeliner. Lining the bottom inner rims of your eyes with white liner makes the whites look whiter, even if you have that lovely morning bloodshot look, and your eye color will pop.
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Perfect a Polished Ponytail
When you have to run out the door in five minutes or less and your hair is a hot mess, a polished ponytail is the perfect solution. Every woman should master the ideal ponytail for her face: Maybe yours is in the middle with loose, face-framing bangs, just like Evangeline Lilly. Other women look best in high ponytails that have a bit of volume in the crown. No matter what your ponytail locale, it's a great go-to hairstyle when you need to look polished in a pinch.
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Wrap It Up
Looking at Zoe Saldana's casual girl-about-town outfit, what's the first thing you notice? The actress's sunglasses, snakeskin bag, or her tie-dyed blue scarf, right? Saldana's actual clothing was probably the last thing you took note of, which is the genius of accessories. Without her brightly colored scarf and other add-ons, the starlet would be wearing a boring black sweater with leggings. A vibrant scarf is a great way to punch up any look.
Accessorize Your 'Do
Headbands, barrettes, and hairpins have come a long way from the ones you wore when as a child: think hammered leather, bejeweled metallics and patterned ribbons. Evan Rachel Wood's leather headband by Jennifer Behr gives her prim and polished short hairstyle an edgy flair.
Banish Bushy Brows
Even if you don't have time for a salon visit, taming your brows will clean up your look in an instant. The key is finding the best brows for your face shape and carefully plucking strays that fall outside those brow lines. Elizabeth Olsen's thick brows balance out her round face, and the actress keeps them carefully trimmed. If you feel your eyebrows have gotten too bushy, use a small scissor to even out the tops and create a smooth line rather than getting tweezer-happy.
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