I relish my time at home before work and hate the process of getting ready in the morning. In an ideal world, I could get ready in ten seconds and still look presentable, so I can spend as much time as possible in the morning spending time on things that really matter to me, like reading, joining a friend for a neighborhood walk, or writing. Recently, like a teenager who loves their "snooze" button too much, I've mastered the art of the five minute morning routine, minus the snooze button. Here are my tricks for getting ready in record time, while still looking presentable:
1. Shower at night. When I started working out after work, I began showering in the evenings instead of the morning, but found it was so convenient that I now shower most nights, regardless of whether I'm working out (added bonus: It also takes care of the need to wash my face at night... it's the little things, you guys). When I get out of the shower, I brush out knots then wrap it in an Aquis hair turban. After a few minutes, I brush out my hair and create a clean part. When it's almost dry but still a bit damp, I create a loose braid that starts at the base of my neck but leaves two to three inches at the ends, then secure it with a non-crimping hairband like this one and sleep on it. In the morning, I go about my morning routine—I use this silk hairband to keep my hair out of my face since the braid can get a bit unraveled overnight—then unwrap it and shake it out with my fingertips before walking out the door.
2. Keep your outfit simple, or pick out your clothes the night before. Setting your clothes out the night before can feel juvenile, but it's also incredibly practical. When I think of a cute outfit combination, I sometimes hang the pieces together in a separate part of my closet so I can grab it as a fail-safe if I'm in a rush. When in doubt, keep things simple. You can never go wrong with jeans and a cute blouse or tee, a skirt and a tee, or a pencil skirt and an oxford (depending on the nature of your job).
3. Invest in cute shoes and accessories. The easiest way to look incredibly chic, in my opinion, is to focus on the details. Keep your outfit simple, but buy a really cute daily purse and a few pairs of statement shoes (Loeffler Randall and Jenni Kayne are both expensive, but are my favorite brands for beautiful, splurge-worthy slides).
4. Keep your work makeup and clothes separate from the rest. When I moved into a bathroom with a smaller vanity, I had to move my "going out" makeup to our hallway closet, but it totally changed the game! Having my daily makeup separate and easily accessible keeps my morning routine so streamlined I've applied the same logic to my closet, moving my few "going out" specific clothes to our coat closet downstairs.
5. Edit down your makeup routine. I could easily spend fifteen minutes on my brows alone every morning, but here's the truth: It reaches a point of diminishing returns. No one is going to notice whether your brows are painstakingly coiffed or if you ran a quick tinted gel over them, so embrace the easier option! My makeup cabinet has been steadily shrinking. These days, I throw some RMS (Un)Cover-Up on over my sunscreen, then run WellPeople brow gel over my brows, and add some ILIA mascara on. If I'm feeling really fancy, I'll add RMS Illuminizer on, and I keep tinted lip color, like Olio e Osso, in my desk drawer so I can add on a swipe at work. Makeup takes maybe two minutes now.
6. Be high-maintenance to be low-maintenance. Little things like keeping my hair color maintained, doing my nails, and getting my brows regularly tinted help me feel pulled together, even when I'm wearing minimal makeup.
7. Have a quick breakfast option on hand. Four out of five mornings, I eat eggs and sautéed spinach (I'm a creature of habit), but lately I've been reading so many good books I don't want to put them down to make breakfast. Instead, I make sure I always have an alternative on hand. Because I try to avoid most processed foods, like cereal and breakfast bars, I keep soft-boiled eggs in my fridge, as well as apples I can grab on my way out the door.
8. Set up as much as you can the night before. Every night, I spend about ten minutes setting up my coffee machine for the morning, packing up my gym bag, and setting my purse by the door so everything's ready to go, come morning.
9. Figure out what works well for you and stick with it! These are my tips, so they're what work well for me, but your hair may not keep a braid or jeans may be way too casual for your office. Experiment with your routine, and when you feel like your hair or outfit looks really good, take a mirror selfie to remember it for next time!