Beauty Shortcuts

The other day, stuck in bad weather at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, I couldn’t help but indulge in one of my favorite vices: people watching. Why call it a vice? Well, perhaps stylefiling would be a more accurate description, and trust me, women everywhere are doing it.

That’s right, we’ve noticed your bad hair day and your
mismatched foundation. We’ve also been giving silent kudos to your sleek knee-high boots and your perfect skin.

My husband often tries to curtail my grooming routine by reminding me that wherever we are headed, “there’s no fashion show.” Of course, he could not be more wrong.

Life is a fashion show. So for those times when getting ready for your spotlight moment requires a mountain of ingenuity and a shard of time, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite beauty shortcuts.

Down with Dirty Hair

Unless you’re my younger sister (born with perfectly thick, shiny locks with just a hint of wave) having a good hair day requires precision. Your hair must be clean, but not too clean, with just the right amount of product, but not too much product to avoid greasiness. Oh, and Jupiter must align with Mars…
Less-than-perfect hair is the bane of most women. What sets us apart is how we deal with such adversity.

Pulling hair into a messy ponytail, with ends sticking out like soiled spikes is not the answer. This undone look is not chic; it’s simply disheveled. When time constraints leave you with a dirty do, Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray ($21 at Sephora) comes to the rescue. Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray absorbs excess oil and product while increasing volume at the roots—no water needed.

Nailing Well-Manicured Hands

Chipped nail polish is an absolute style no-no. You may love this season’s darkest hues on your hands, but if you aren’t committed to maintaining the look, skip the polish and ask your favorite nail salon for a Hot Cream Manicure instead. After a traditional manicure and the application of a deep nourishing moisturizer, nails are buffed to a high shine that looks classic and lasts.

Don’t waste your hard earned dough on French manicure kits that claim to be “easy-to-use.” Leave it to the professionals. I recently tried a not-to-be named French manicure pen. After perfectly applying polish to my left hand (I’m right handed) I thought I’d hit the grooming jackpot. Needless to say, using my other hand to apply French tips was a grooming disaster.

Thirty minutes and eight wasted dollars later, I wished I’d gone to a professional. Invest top dollar in an effective top coat to keep professionally applied polish from chipping, and apply it daily. Try Seche Vite’s patented Dry Fast Top Coat ($10 at

Makeup on the Go

If you have only 5 minutes or less, this final beauty shortcut will take you from gloomy to glowing. Everyone from multi-tasking mommas to career mavens can benefit from a splash of color. After all, expertly applied makeup is the reason celebrities so often look picture perfect. Grab an all-in-one makeup stick such as The Multiple by Nars ($36.50 at, and add all-over color in a matter of seconds.

The Multiple is a multi-purpose makeup stick for eyes, cheeks and lips. The cream-to-powder formula blends easily adding highlights and contour from lips to lids. Finish up with a quick application of mascara, and in less time than it takes to change a diaper, you too can look gorgeous on the go.

About the Author

Carolyn Brundage is the founder of, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty.

Need beauty advice? Email Carolyn at

Image courtesy of: Flickr

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