Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins, but we’re pretty sure it doesn’t apply to our beauty routines. In fact, we fully support the idea of managing a functional face with as little time and effort as possible—because why spend 45 minutes on your hair and makeup when you can get it done in a fraction of that?
There’s a time and a place for putting your best foot forward, but because very few of us have much free time to get ready in the morning, taking a few liberties can mean the difference between being late by five minutes or 25. In fact, we even prefer some of the shortcuts to the more involved stuff—there’s nothing less desirable than looking like you spent a ton of time getting it together. You’re not lazy; you’re just smart.
Air-drying your hair
For glossy, polished, Upper East Side hair, a high-powered blow-dryer is key—but if tousled, laissez-faire (literally) texture is your end goal, a heat-free approach is the best bet for most hair types. Caroline de Maigret writes in her book How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, “In fact, you might as well throw your hair dryer away.” Scrunching damp hair with a light-hold product like R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse ($29) will give straight or wavy hair a cool, second-day effect with minimal styling required. Sure, you won’t get the arm workout that wielding a blow-dryer entails, but you will save plenty of time in the morning.
Sleeping in your eye makeup
Well, yeah, your dermatologist wouldn’t encourage it, and we wouldn’t either, necessarily … but if you find yourself guilty on the regular, like model Edie Campbell cops to (“for the eyes, it’s fine,” she attests), at least make the best of it. Clean up the most offensive dregs with a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover, and leave the rest of the smudgy, slept-in mess to do its thing. Just make sure to address any that’s left behind in your undereye area, which will emphasize your dark circles and make you look tired—which, if you fell asleep in your eye makeup, you probably already are.
Photo: A Love Is Blind
To be clear: Ditching skin-correcting makeup entirely is not what we’re suggesting, because unless you’re blessed with flaw-free skin (who are you?), it is 100-percent kosher to want to hide blemishes, dark circles, and whatever else you’re not dying for the world to see. But! Skipping foundation and simply layering concealer over a good smoothing primer—we like Peter Thomas Roth Pore Putty ($38)—will not only save you an extra step in your routine, it will also allow for a more natural, less cakey look than most foundations impart while still perfecting the skin. It may just make you look like you’re that genetically superior. Even Candice Swanepoel prefers it to a full face.
Slapping on a bright lipstick
When we wake up late and are left with practically no time to get our shit together, our trick is to dab on some concealer, swipe on a few coats of a bold lipstick, and head straight for the door. There’s something about bright, eye-catching color that makes you look both instantly pulled together and also like you’re the effortless sort who needs only a bit of lipstick to knock ’em dead. Even better: Opt for a chunky lip pencil to make things even easier. We’re into Surratt Automatique Lip Crayon in 2: Alluring ($34). Not sure how to make brights translate into fall? Take a cue from Violette, the ultimate cool-girl makeup artist.
Passing on the polish
Strange, but true: Opt for bare nails. We don’t mean bitten-down stumps or jagged edges, but well-groomed, unpainted nails have an understated elegance that comes off as cool, not neglectful. If you don’t have the time (or the patience) to sit down for weekly manicures and end up painting more skin than nail when you attempt to DIY, it’s perfectly OK to leave ’em bare but well-maintained. If Garance Doré can find polish superfluous, well, so can we.
Dropping the mascara
It wasn’t long ago that we wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving the house without at least a few coats of black mascara to make our eyes “pop,” but a few lazy days without the stuff actually made us realize that it’s not for everyone. Who knew? If low-key and breezy, not wide-eyed and girly, is what you’re going for, try eschewing mascara. Marc Jacobs Beauty makeup artist Diane Kendal even argued that skipping mascara makes “[you] look more modern—as soon as you apply mascara, it looks more pedestrian.” If you still want more definition than you were born with, lash tinting is a not-so-low-maintenance shortcut to a less exhaustive morning routine.
Losing the lip liner
Applying lip liner correctly to ensure perfect lipstick requires a commitment to both time and technique, which is not always practical. Smoothing on lipstick straight out of the tube is imprecise, but it can always be cleaned up with makeup remover or a Q-tip to get your borders right. Better still, we’re huge proponents of using your favorite lip color as a sort of smudgy stain like the ones we just saw at Topshop—just use your fingers to press it onto your lips. You’ll get the color without the effort, and it’s much easier to maintain throughout the day. Go ahead, eat the sandwich.