Looking put together at the drop of a hat is an art form. This handy guide will be a lifesaver for new moms wanting to look more alive or college students who stayed out too late the night before.
We’ve all been there – overslept before work, class, or an important event. Or if you’re a new mom like me, you have 5 minutes to get ready in the morning before being pulled away. Putting our best foot forward is essential to a professional working environment and creates opportunities for building influence and making people believe you know what you’re talking about. Especially as a working mom, the last thing we want to hear from friends and family is how “tired” we look, followed by questions on our babies’ sleeping routine. It’s almost like how our children sleep is an indication of our success as parents.
Here’s How You Can Look Put Together in a Moment’s Notice
Lipstick is Your Best Friend
Applying a whole face of makeup is not always possible – especially when you’re out and about in public or have unexpected visitors pulling into the driveway of your home. Lipstick is your best weapon of choice for looking put together when time is limited. Preferably, a strong and highly pigmented color that complements your skin tone year-round will really lift your whole appearance and draw attention away from tired eyes. My go-to shade is a plum or wine red to dramatically define my lips and it works for every season.
The lipstick formula is also important as many matte-effect and long-lasting lippies require too much effort and careful precision when applying. Look for smooth and hydrating formulas that glide on like melted butter and have buildable properties so you can control the boldness. You should be able to swipe this baby on in the dark and still have perfect lips.
A good rule of thumb is the more tired you are, the more lipstick you apply. Blur out the edges with your ring finger for a Parisian effect or keep the outline sharp – whichever style you prefer, it will look amazingly chic. I strongly recommend keeping this lipstick on you at all times.
Mask Those Eye Bags
There’s no time for eye masks and jade rollers when the clock is ticking. Clean and fresh looking eyes are highly compatible with bold lip colors. The trick here is to open your eyes up while making them fade into the background so your lips can take center-stage.
3 words: Conceal, highlight, and mascara. If you don’t want to bother with concealer, the highlight and mascara steps will still do the trick.
- First, blank out your dark circles using a good concealer and blend with a beauty sponge.
- With a nifty swipe of your pinky finger, pat a good highlighter into the inner corner of your eye and sweep a lighter coating across the lid.
- Lastly, apply your favorite volumizing mascara and voila!
Finish the look by dusting more highlighter across your brow and cheekbones to round out the effect. And if you have the time and a tin of Vaseline, gently apply a thin coating of the shiny petroleum jelly to your eyelids, brows, and cheekbones for additional glowiness.
Slick it Back
Messy top-knots are very popular on lazy hair days and casual Sundays. However, the effect is less than stellar when the rest of your appearance is lagging behind. Running late for work and your hair badly needs a wash? Or your hair is washed but looks a tad unruly?
For dirty hair
Brush out your tangled ‘tresses and massage the ends with hair serum or leave-in conditioner. Ensure your parting is even and pull both sides down and back to the nape of your neck. Twist the pony into a low bun and fasten with hair grips or ties. Pull a few strands slightly loose at the temple area to soften the look. Personally speaking, a high bun is not flattering on me, but if you can pull it off a slicked-back top-knot will also do the trick.
Dry shampoo works wonder if you have it but this hairstyle looks just as good with a bit of grease.
For clean hair and no time to style
Just happen to have freshly washed hair? The world is your oyster, as some would say. Looking put together in a hurry usually means there’s no time for hot tools, but an effortless Hollywood-style wavy hairdo is a great alternative.
Rub hair serum through your strands to eliminate frizz and smooth out the unwanted texture and straggling bits. Run a damp hairbrush through the ends of your hair and follow it with a sufficient squirt of hair mousse with medium hold. Pull your hair into a loose top bun and fasten with a hair tie that won’t create a dent in the hair. Once you’re dressed and ready to leave, let the bun loose and “joosh” your hair. Allow it to fall into a deep side parting and pin the lighter side back behind your ear.
See also; the sleek low bun is just as chic on clean hair.
Add More Shine
Hoop earrings are always a good idea and what better accessory to compliment your slicked-back bun than a pair of shiny hoops? Chunky, skinny, big or small – the type of hoop doesn’t matter and they will always make you look professional and put together.
If hoops aren’t your earring of choice, any shiny statement piece will do the trick. Have you noticed a running theme here yet? Looking put together when you feel anything but is all an illusion. Tricking the eye with bright and shiny things will hide imperfections in a flash.
The hair and makeup only work if you’re dressed properly. It doesn’t have to be high fashion to look chic and put together. Wearing all one color is a surefire styling hack for looking effortlessly glam at the last minute. Play around with your wardrobe and figure out which items of clothes you’re drawn to whenever you’re in a hurry. Literally any top and any bottom will produce a beautiful outfit if they’re all one color. It’s frustratingly simple to achieve and each look can smoothly go from day-to-night for extra efficiency.
For example, my favorite outfit combinations for looking put together are;
- Jeans, a white shirt or blouse, boots or heeled sandal.
- Black skinny jeans and a black t-shirt (summer) or high neck jumper (winter), black heeled boots
- A shirt dress, heeled sandals, or boots.
The outfit is in the details so make sure to tuck your t-shirts in, roll up shirt cuffs, and wear clothes that actually fit.
A Bra That Fits
Lastly, a properly fitted bra will change your life. I urge you to get fitted and to buy at least one bra that is guaranteed to last a good while. I wore the wrong size for years but once I was fitted, my overall posture and appearance were transformed. It’s incredible how something as innocuous as an ill-fitting bra can ruin an outfit. Confidence is your most important asset for looking put together and a good bra comes second. Don’t underestimate the power of proper tailoring.
Looking put together doesn’t have to be a 10-man operation and hopefully, these little tips and tricks prove that. Mastering a 30-second makeup routine and knowing what outfits work in a pinch are the secrets to always looking your best when you feel anything but! If you’re constantly on-the-go, consider putting together a toolkit and keeping it in your purse at all times. A dazzling pair of earrings, some hair clips, and a fresh swipe of lipstick before leaving the office never hurt anybody.
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