When I moved to my new place last year, I effectively doubled my commute time to work. Traffic was terrible, but I didn’t want to sacrifice looking nice at work because I needed to get up an hour earlier for the drive. It didn’t take me long to develop the perfect minimalist strategy for getting ready in the morning, meaning I was ready to leave only 20 minutes after waking up. And I had styled hair, full makeup, and was wearing a cute outfit.
So, ladies, I'm going to let you in on my secrets. There's no need to spend over an hour putting yourself together in the morning when you can achieve the same results in less than half the time. This is the three-step minimalist approach I use to get ready each morning.
1. Use a No-Heat Hairstyle
Doing your hair is probably the most time-consuming part of the morning. Some of us may be lucky enough to have hair that stays styled for several days, but the rest of us can’t rely on that. Overnight, no-heat hairstyles were the cornerstone of many generations before us, and it’s time we embraced the tradition.
Enter: the modern no-heat hairstyle. Various techniques have recently gone viral on TikTok, and honestly, they totally work!
Overnight no-heat hairstyling has several benefits. First, you’ll be washing your hair at night instead of in the morning. One less thing to do. Second, it’s pretty much ready to go as soon as you take out the scarf/bathrobe tie/other technique you’re using. And third, it’s no heat! Your hairstylist will definitely thank you for reducing the heat damage to your hair.
Personally, I use a scarf as is shown in the video above and I’ve turned several friends onto the trend as well. There’s nothing more satisfying than shaking out my bouncy curls in the morning, having perfectly coiffed hair with virtually no effort.
2. Wear Minimal Makeup
Unless you work at Sephora or another workplace that requires extravagant makeup as part of your uniform, there’s really no need for a super time-consuming makeup routine each morning. Instead, you should figure out the absolute least amount of makeup that you can wear and still look polished and put together.
Personally, I always wear foundation and blush to start. I also always wear at least a swipe of neutral eyeshadow and a cat-eye liner. I usually skip mascara and save it only for important days where I have a big meeting or am going out after work. The final touch is a berry lipstick (it’s only a few shades darker than my natural lips, so it looks pretty but simple).
You may find you need more (or less!) makeup than I wear. But notice: I don’t spend 20 minutes getting the perfect ombre on my eyelids. I definitely don’t waste time wearing false eyelashes every day. Finding a simple, neutral style of makeup to wear every day will not only save you oodles of time each morning, but you will look effortlessly polished no matter what you’re doing!
3. Pick Out Your Outfit the Night Before
I have to give my mom credit for this tip, and as usual, she’s never wrong. As any woman can attest, picking out clothes can eat up a big chunk of your time in the morning. Plus, there’s the stress and agony of discovering that the one item you want to wear is in the laundry! (No need for a smell test, you know it needs to get washed.)
The first step is to check your weather app. Then consider if there’s anything special or important happening the next day that you should dress for. (Important presentation? Grabbing drinks with the girls for happy hour?) Then pick out your outfit, try anything on if necessary, and lay it out for the next morning.
Having trouble picking out the outfit? Remember that no matter what IG influencers say, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a uniform of sorts: an outfit formula that looks great whenever you wear it. Check my tips here on how to find clothes that always look good.
Et voila! Between having your hair set and curling overnight and your clothes laid out for the next morning, all you really have to do in the morning is put on your clothes and makeup and shake out the bouncy curls. The other girls at work will be green with jealousy over how you manage to look fabulous (and well-rested) every single day!
Looking put together should not require a two-hour morning routine each day. Who has time for that? Instead, by doing most of the work the night before and minimizing the work in the morning, you can look even more polished while spending even less time than you would with a normal morning routine.
I truly believe in the power of feeling put together in improving your life, and your morning routine is an essential part of that. Here’s to looking chic every day!