The irritating sound of your alarm clock goes off. You reach your hand over to turn it off. You're slowly coming into consciousness. It's amazing; you're usually so exhausted, but somehow this morning you feel so refreshed. It's almost like you've had extra sleep.
You think that today is starting off on such a good note, so you finally open your eyes to see the clock. The realization you've overslept kicks in and thus begins the rush of shoving something on, hauling ass out the door and beginning what is now a crap day.
Of course it will be a crappy day because you just don't feel like you. Your attempt to get out the door in a dash has led to throwing on some sub-par items and consenting to below-standard hygiene. To feel your best, you have to look your best, and when your best can't be achieved, you have to fake your best. This is why you need to have a 10-minute regimen for these kinds of situations.
Having a 10-minute routine is valuable for multiple reasons. When you have to use it, it is typically out of your hands. It's oversleeping of course, but it's also having lame friends who make plans at the very last minute. Having this skill is also great for people who don't have the energy or interest to get ready.
My knowledge of the 10-minute routine stems from my own hatred of getting ready. Left to my own devices, I could spend all day getting ready because once I step into a shower, there's no telling how long it will be before I'll head out the door--could be an hour, could be several because I will avoid it for as long as possible.
Because 95 percent of this "getting ready" is spent wasting time, it really boils down to 10 minutes of the actual activities it requires to leave the house. Knowing how to look your best in no time flat will also give you the tools you need to get ready wherever, whenever.
Going to happy hour after work or only have a handful of minutes to get ready because of busy schedule? Having a 10-minute routine is like having been a Boy Scout--it's prepared you for anything.
Now let's get real here. The 10-minute routine is only valuable to the female population. I'm guessing most guys can be ready around the 10-minute mark at any given moment. And technically, most girls could be ready in sweatpants and a t-shirt in less than 10 minutes, but the gift is in looking your best.
Going to work or running an errand on the weekend, you'll never know whom you'll see. Perhaps you may have your own scene from a romantic comedy, where you run into an ex with his fantastic new girlfriend and you're looking like the world's worst hangover. Probably not going to happen, but you could run into a client or a potential client, so it's in your best interest to always look presentable.
Here's the thing about getting ready in and around 10 minutes: It means forsaking your shower. With all the washing, shaving, and hair drying, it's a routine that's never ending. Honestly, you could pop in the shower and do a quick soaping of your body; it's probably in everyone's best interest that you do wash yourself.
Unless you have some weird washing ritual, it's no time at all. It's the hair that's a killer. If you have short hair, you might be able to get away with a quick rinse, but for anyone who needs a hairdryer you really have no time. You can't get away with the wash and no dry, because starting your day by walking around with limp wet locks leads to blah looking hair the rest of the day. Your best objective in hair wear is to invest in some bobby pins, some ponytail holders or headbands. Let's face it--a day that starts with waking up late doesn't take a step in the "great hair day" direction anyways.
Unfortunately, sometimes your hair will have that not so clean kind of shine. For this, there are several hair care lines that have a product that is a kind of dry shampoo. These powders, usually available in red, blonde, brown and black, are sprinkled on your roots and brushed in to keep away that greasy shine. I've personally never tested them and if you go this route, I'd recommend that you test them out before you douse your head in powder before your big Monday meeting. Baby powder also works, but again, use precaution here. Spend an early Saturday morning when you have nowhere to go and an available shower, lest you end up looking like Marie Antoinette.
Now, the Academy of General Dentistry says that we're supposed to brush our teeth for two full minutes. I doubt you're spending the full two minutes when you've got all the time in the world, so on days when you have no time, you do have to cut corners somewhere. Make your dentist feel better by adding on some time during your evening brush. But when in a hurry, use however many spare seconds you have from not brushing the recommended 120 by doing a brief make-up routine.
Don't Primp and Drive
Do your make-up at home or at work, but not on the road in between the two. Yes, I could dwell on how completely unsafe it is to jeopardize your safety as well as other drivers just for some eye liner, but really, I think it's a faux pas mostly because it's so tacky. At a stoplight, I don't want to see someone with their finger up their nose just as much as someone making some weird face as they put on their blush.
I'm in no way going to instruct on what make-up you need and what you can neglect when in a dash. Some girls think they need to plaster on multi layers before they leave the house; some girls can survive just as long as they have on their mascara. Honestly, less is always more in the process of make-up, but to each her own.
What you can do in a pinch if you're without your tote bag of make-up is to carry with you small items that work in more than one way. A good lipstick shade can go far. Besides great on lips, you can dab some on your cheeks for color or use very sparingly around the eyes. If it's got a bit of metallic look in a light color or nude, you can also use it both in the corners and under the brow to make your eyes pop. This really boils down to your lipstick shade, so nothing too bright or bold. Just remember that to blend is your friend; big spots of bright colors on your face say clown.
And sorry lip-gloss fans, but you'll have to skip out on this look; shiny sticky face hasn't become the trend yet. What you can do is add a little lotion on your face which will perk up your skin and a little spread on your hands and rubbed over your hair works to tame fly-aways or calm down dry ends.
Once your face is on or before you put it on, you'll have to do the inevitable. It never fails that when you're pressed for time, what will kill you in wasted time is to find something to wear. If where you're heading isn't important, you might opt with the items closest to you, usually on your floor, usually worn recently. If it's somewhere like work, or wanting to get dressed up fast, you'll dwell at your closet looking through every piece of clothing, even things you haven't worn in ages; you'll consider anything just to get something on and get out of your house.
I once heard that we wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time and it seemed true enough to me. If this is in fact the case, there's no point in searching the bottom of your drawers or the back of your closet. Anything you could wear is folded in the top of the drawer or right in the front of your closet.
In fact, you probably have go-to outfits: things you've worn over and over that you think you look great in. You planned them out when you had more time and thought and have even nailed down exact accessories to match with them. They are outfits you have worn repeatedly without changing so much as a pair of earrings. These are the looks to aim for.
From there, you can strike out outfits that couldn't possibly work. Haven't shaved in a few days? Bypass anything but pants. Only have a black bra clean and you're narrowed down to shirt color selections. Haven't done laundry in a while? Even less to choose from. Eventually you'll realize you're left with about two options and you'll choose one. Once it's on, you know what shoes and what jewelry.
While I wouldn't recommend taking this course of action everyday, it's nice to have a backup plan. It's also nice to plan ahead so that you're not always forced to rely on these skills. Have a little emergency bag in your purse or office drawer with a multi-purpose lip shade, bobby pins and whatnots.
If you know it's going to be a late night and will lead into pushing sleep on your alarm clock 10 or 12 times, maybe set out an outfit. Once you've mastered it, you'll look so smashing, no one will know if you spent 10 minutes or 10 hours.
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