My 4 Best Beauty Shortcuts

Do you ever wake up looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy after a bender?


Me Too. 

Listen – I’m not much of a glamour girl. I like to wear make-up, do my hair, and wear fun clothes, yes. But I’m also super lazy and somewhat cheap frugal, and I don’t flake out if my make-up coloring isn’t just right or my gray roots are showing a bit or my belt doesn’t match my shoes.

That said, there are mornings when I wake up tired and sluggish and have the dark circles and slumped shoulders to show it. I don’t like feeling tired, and I’m even less motivated to greet the world when I know I not only feel tired, but look tired.

Unsuspecting, Probably Well-Meaning Person: Hi! Oh, you look so tired.
Me: Yeah, well screw you too.

It’s in those times that any little extra thing I can do to keep from smacking people feel better about myself helps so much.

Here are my four of my favorite feel-better beauty shortcuts.

1) Cold Compresses
It was last summer and my younger brother was FINALLY getting married! I was sooooo excited and I made a huge deal out of finding just the right dress and shoes. I’m not much of a shopper, but seriously – something went haywire in my brain. All told, I went on approximately 5 shopping sprees which went a little like this:

Try on 184 dresses. Buy 4.
Take 2 back. Buy 3 more.
Return 3. Try on 7 dozen more. Call seamstress because the one I like best is too small.
Seamstress suggests I remove my bottom rib to make it fit.
Decide surgery is too pricey ridiculous. Get sad. Return too-small favorite dress.
Buy 4 more. Return 3.
Post all options on Instagram.
Reveal that I’m obviously high-maintenance despite my claims otherwise (see first sentence of this post).
Tally votes of friends and family. Disregard husband’s growing concern that closet is looking like a mad woman’s boutique.
Choose dress. Return most of the ones I didn’t select.
Repeat above steps with shoes.
Repeat above steps with jewelry.
Repeat above steps with hair clips.


And then, after all that, I got sick. I was so sick I barely made it through the rehearsal and dinner, and trust me – that’s saying something for this Type-A extrovert surrounded by hundreds of her favorite people. All that day my head was pounding, my sinuses were clogged, and I looked and sounded like a meth-addicted walrus. And, I was puffy. Not my best look. 

Oh, and I was going to look like that in dozens of family photos.


A quick search on “how to get rid of puffy face” revealed several beauty hacks, but the easiest one was cold compresses. Just like you’d reduce swelling on an injury, you can reduce your puffy eyes and puffy face with a cold compress. I soaked a washcloth in super cold water, then held it on my cheeks and above and below my eyes. I even did it on only one eye first to test it for the placebo effect and the difference was noticeable.

It’s now one of my regular go-to beauty hacks.

2) Eye Shadow for Roots
As I said, I’m lazy and cheap frugal. So my gray roots might show for a few days – ok fine, weeks – before I get around to coloring my hair. I largely don’t care, but if I need a quick fix because I’m going to, say, film Thursday Throwdowns? I dab brown eye shadow with a blush brush onto those roots. Not only does it cover well, it lasts until you wash your hair!  Like, yes, even through the next day! And the next! And quite possibly the next! 

(Not that I ever go that long without showering.)
(Yes I do.)

Thanks, Mom, for that gem!


Look how adorable she is!

3) Raw Honey Face Mask
My friend Ren of Faces by Ren is a professional makeup artist who does stunning work. I asked her opinion on best beauty hacks for those not-so-bright-and-chipper days. Her answer: Raw Honey Face Mask.

“Raw honey makes a wonderful mask
that quickly heals skin, soothing blemishes
and tired skin. It is antibacterial and
lightly hydrating. Just smooth high-quality
raw honey over cleansed (pat dry first) skin
and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse with
warm water and finish with moisturizer.”

You could apply your raw honey face mask and leave it on for 10 minutes while you……


4) Exercise
The last thing you feel like doing on those days when you’re exhausted, out of sorts, and puffy-faced is exercise. I totally get that. And you probably hit the snooze button one too many times, and your half-awake slog to the bathroom probably took longer than usual, and you probably stood staring dumbly ahead in a stupor for longer than usual, so you’re not exactly loaded on time.

energy drinks

BUT if you can do even 25 jumping jacks…  or 15 inclined push-ups at your bathroom sink…  or 4 yoga sun salutations…  it will get your blood flowing, loosen you up, warm your muscles and joints, and bring a light flush to your face. Best of all, it is the best, healthiest way to wake up there is!

Better than caffeine, better than hitting the snooze button, and better than drop kicking your dog or snarling at your family. Trust me. No matter how awful I feel upon waking – and I’m not a morning person – I feel a thousand times better after I move my body, even if it’s only for 3 minutes.




What are your favorite beauty shortcuts? 

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