Welcome back and thanks for joining me for Week Three in my Four Week Series on tips, resources and expert help compiled with the single mission of helping you meet your 2016 goals. If you missed Week One, on Parenting or Week Two on Keeping a Neater Home, be sure to give those a look as well! This week, I will be focusing on a topic I’ve heard many people lament – a desire to have a neat, classy and put together appearance, but a hatred for spending hours in front of a mirror each morning.
Whether you’re someone who is perpetually up too late at night (me!), more willing to sacrifice primping time for sleep in the morning, a man who hates clothes shopping, but would secretly love for passersby to think, “That guy looks sharp, man. He’s got it together.” or maybe a parent, often spending all of his or her time in the morning just trying to get everyone out the door, on time, in something that’s not pajamas – this post has some simple ideas and product recommendations, just for you.
Look Sharp, Fast: Tips for Men
If your skin looks good, you look good. Spend the extra 5 minutes a day to take care of it
- Nivea After Shave Balm for Men – won’t sting, a tiny bit relaxes the skin and soothes away any redness (30 seconds)
- Tea Tree Oil – got a zit trying to ruin your day? Dot pure tea tree oil on it after you wash your face in the morning and before bed, it’ll quickly be history. (Buy tea tree oil at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or The Body Shop – one little bottle will last for over a year.) (30 seconds, twice a day)
- Keep your skin looking young and protect it from sun damage (read: random dark spots you probably don’t want) – use a daily facial moisturizer intended for men with SPF 30 (Neutrogena Men makes a great one that won’t break out the skin, is lightweight, and can be purchased from Target.) (:30 seconds)
Your eyes and your smile are great assets – show them off
- Get enough sleep to look bright eyed. No can do? Try Rohto Cool Redness Relief Eye Drops. They feel refreshing (read; cold), zap any redness and us ladies (and makeup artists) have been keeping them secret as an ace up our sleeve for years. You can buy them at any drugstore. (1 min)
- Keep your smile white – use a whitening toothpaste for a few days every other week. Try Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous Toothpaste. Unlike many toothpastes that claim to whiten, this one actually works and tastes good, too. (2 minutes, twice a day)
Don’t forget your hair
- Ask your barber or stylist to cut your hair in a way that works well with your face shape, is compatible with your hair type and texture and easy to style. A good cut that doesn’t fight your hair’s natural tendencies makes styling quick work (2 minutes)
- Take a moment to go into a room with a mirror and bright daylight to check for stray hairs attempting to unite two brows as one. Employ a tweezer and show them their plan is a no-go. (1 minute, a couple times a week)
6-Minute Makeup: Tips for Women
- Take care of 5 skin steps in one move (moisturize, prime, conceal, apply SPF & anti-aging ingredients and even skin tone) with a quality BB or CC cream. It Cosmetics CC + Cream Illumination is a hands down winner. Though not cheap ($38) it more than replaces 5 products in a standard makeup line-up, for less than their individual costs added together. (Get it at Ulta.) Need a bargain option? Treat skin and even out complexion while applying comfortable coverage with Maybelline’s Better Skin Foundation for less than $10. (Both products can be applied in about 2 minutes with your fingertips. Be sure to blend well near the hairline)
- Wake up the appearance of skin and eyes + fake a sun-kissed glow with the $6 contouring quad from E.L.F. cosmetics (available at CVS). Inside, you’ll find a nearly white shade, a pale vanilla-yellow shade, a medium-light warm brown and a deeper, cool-toned brown. Use a fluffy brush to tap the pale yellow shade beneath the eyes to brighten and diffuse dark circles. Lightly sweep the whitest shade across the tops of the cheekbones and with a pinky, tap a tiny bit near the inner corner of the eyes. Sweep the warmer brown lightly from the temples toward the apples of the cheeks, and across the top of the forehead and blend outward to create a fake sun-kissed glow. Finally, use a fluffy eye shadow brush to sweep the same brown shade into the crease of the eyelid, from side to side (in a windshield-wiper motion) and dab a tad of the deeper brown across the upper eyelid from outer corner inward, along the lash line. (2 minutes)
- Sweep on two coats of mascara – Maybelline Lash Sensational (if you want a little volume, length and definition) or Covergirl Supersizer Mascara (if you want lots of volume, some length, and like thick lashes) and swipe a nude-pink moisturizing lipstick across your lips to finish the look in a flash. (Try Burt’s Bee’s in Lush Lake.) (2 minutes)
In order to get ready in a hurry, yet look fab – just remember this simple formula:
Good Basics + Completers = Put Together Appearance
- Good Basics (Always consider color and fit)
- Purchase shirts that fit you well, solid, deep or bold colors that flatter your skin tone and eye color. (Think navy, charcoal, dark denim, black.) Wash these items on cold and dry with the lowest heat setting to keep them from fading. Don’t scrimp! The fit on your basic shirts is everything if you want to love wearing them.
- Once you find a pair of dress pants and jeans that fit you well, buy several shades of each. Wash your jeans inside out and with cold water. Dry on low or lay flat to dry so they keep their length. Have the length tailored if necessary. Pair your nice pants with one of your awesome basic shirts.
- Make sure your shoes are in good repair. Keep them clean, polish as needed, wash the laces if they get dirty. Be mindful of your socks – gym socks are for working out and that’s it. (Sorry, I know. You’re glaring. I feel it. *hiding my face from your glares right now*)
- Completers with Flair
- Completers are accessories or outerwear that add interest to your basic shirt and pants outfit. Add 1-2 completers to your two basics to be considered “dressed.” Completers make clothing into an outfit.
Completers for men
- Nice watch (if it has buttons/a calculator – sorry, doesn’t count)
- Button up chunky sweater
- Well-fitting corduroy jacket
- Classic hat
- Slim tie
- Shoes in complementary but contrasting color
- Undershirt in complementary but contrasting color
- Nice vest
- Completers for women
- Long necklace or statement necklace
- Bracelet and earrings
- Quilted vest
- Belted or cropped jacket
- Infinity or oblong scarf
- Classic or knit hat
- Nice watch
- Blouse in contrasting pattern peeking out from beneath a sweater
- Layered necklaces
- Shoes or handbag in a contrasting but complementary color
Great looking outfit!
Easier than you though, right? With less than ten minutes once a day spent in front of your mirror, and an easy formula to keep in mind when dressing and purchasing clothing, everyone can look like they have the mind of a stylist, even those with a frazzled, busy, grown-up life. When we feel good in our skin and clothing, we feel more confident, we smile more, and that’s contagious. So go and be your best self – knock ’em dead this week with your 1,000 watt smile and perfectly paired outfit. You’ll look amazing, I know it!