Most days I feel I have way too much to do and way too little time, and every year at this point I go into a spin because I realise how much still needs to happen before I call it quits and head to the beach.
I think most of us feel overwhelmed with the amount of things we need to juggle, and as women we have the added pressure of running our homes and managing our families piled onto strain from our careers.
Lately I’ve been coming home well after dark way too often, too tired to think, and the only thing on my mind is sleeping for two days straight. When I reach this point the last thing I feel like doing is spending an hour on a cleansing routine.
Look, I love evenings where I can indulge in a good pamper, but other times brushing my teeth seems like a mammoth task.
That being said I think most of us still want to look our best on an everyday basis and showing up to an event or meeting with a chipped manicure and crusty hair won’t fly. Do you feel me?
So I’ve decided to share some of my favourite beauty hacks that save my life when I’m either too tired or too rushed. I hope they can help you too!
1. Too lazy to cleanse? Wipe it off.
Proper cleansing is super important, and it should consist of a pre-cleanse to remove makeup followed by a wash. When I am tired, however, I really don’t feel like spending that much time at the sink, so I’ll use face wipes to remove makeup and wipe my neck, chest and back before I wash my face. That way I can sit in bed for most of the process.
Another great buy is a Micellar water – which also a safer choice for people with super sensitive skin. I’ll soak two cotton pads and press these on my eyes for about 20 seconds before gently wiping away mascara, and then I’ll wipe off the rest of my face, neck and chest before I wash.
Of course if you’re ready to pass out, a quick cleanse with a wipe is better than nothing.
Nivea 3-in-1 Cleansing Wipes for Face, Eyes and Lips R44,99 for 25 wipes. They’ve improved these with more cleansing lotion per wipe and I can to take off all my makeup with one cloth. Nice.
L’Oréal Skin Perfection Micellar Water R111 for 200ml. I thought this worked well to remove stubborn mascara and makeup, and my skin felt soft afterwards.
2. No time for a mask? Take it to bed!
Face and hair masks are nice luxuries when I am feel like a good long pamper, but when I want to get to bed I’m not going to spend ten minutes waiting around for a mask to develop. Luckily there are a few brands that have launched overnight face masks, which are brilliant time (and skin) savers.
When I don’t have time for a hair mask I’ll often sleep with a hair oil and then wash my hair the next day. I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and I love it. You need to double wash and don’t apply conditioner unless your hair is very dry.
For your face: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask R685 for 50ml. The overnight mask has a light, silky feel. I like to apply it on my face, neck and chest, and the next morning my skin always feels softer and looks plumper. Ceramides are essential for a healthy skin barrier so this product is great if you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin.
For your hair: The Body Shop Polynesian Monoi Radiance Oil for Hair and Body R240 for 170ml, thebodyshop.co.za . I am in love with the fragrance of this hair oil so I love smoothing it into my hair before bed. I’ll use about one tablespoon on my medium-length hair, focusing on the ends, comb it through and then braid it. The next morning I’ll double wash with my shampoo and unless my hair is very dry I’ll skip the conditioner.
3. No time to exfoliate? Sleep on it!
I know that regular exfoliation is important but it’s also one of the first skincare steps I skip when I’m tired. If I leave it too long though my face and body start looking seriously patchy and dull.
A neat trick is to use an overnight exfoliating product with mild AHAs like lactic acid that loosen dead skin cells while you sleep.
For your face: Kiehl’s Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate R750 for 30ml, kiehls.co.za. This product is brilliant. It is super gentle, with quinoa husk extract that exfoliates dead skin cells while you sleep. You can use it every night and you should see results after the first application. I seriously rely on it.
For your body: Environ Derma-Lac Lotion R280 for 200ml, select salons. This is one of my ultimates. It exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time, giving you smooth, supple skin. It even helps with mild cellulite! I like to apply it just before bed, focusing on rough areas like my elbows, knees and heels. It is a gem!
4. No time for a mani? Stick ’em on.
A chipped manicure is one of my pet peeves. It looks sloppy and kind of creates the impression that you’re life is falling apart a little. Even if that’s true your nails shouldn’t give you away!
I do understand that there’s not always time for a salon mani, and most people don’t have the mad skills required to create a perfect paint job on the run (although I’ve seen beauty editors paint their nails while navigating Cape Town traffic). If you’re not as slick with a brush, stick on nails are a great quick-fix.
If you’re not as slick with a brush, stick on nails are a great quick-fix
Get ones that have been pre-glued so you can just peel and press. I also recommend sorting them into the right sizes for your nails when you have some time, so that you can just stick them on when you’re rushed.
Remember to wipe your nails properly with nail polish remover to get rid of any oiliness. These nails do have a tendency to pop off now and then so I keep some clear nail polish in my bag in case of emergencies. Simply drop a bit of polish on your nail and stick the falsie back on.
Elegant Touch Press-On Instant Manicure R80 for a set, Dis-Chem. These have already been prepped with glue so you can just peel off the sticker and press them on your nail. There is a variety of nail sizes in each packet, and you can cut them shorter with a clipper and file them down a little if you want to.
5. Rule the day: Get a lippie that lasts
When I have a full day of launches I need to know that my lipstick will outlast drinks, snacks and ample small talk. Personally I prefer lipsticks that double as a cream and a stain so that the colour remains even after the initial product has worn off. Alternatively I’ll go for a tinted balm that can be reapplied on the go without a mirror.
Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid R109,95. This is a brilliant and budget-friendly lippie that delivers on colour-intensity and lasts for the better part of the day. It has a creamy consistency and a matt finish, and it wears down to a stain. You can also reapply without it becoming patchy or peeling. My favourite colour is Repossessed Plum, or try Electric Pink for a fun summer shade.
I hope these help you when you’re in a rush. If you have any tips to share, please pop it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.