The Lazy Girl's Guide to Beauty: 7 Easy Steps to Getting Ready in 15 Minutes

I love beauty products...but I love sleep more. Given the choice between 20 extra minutes of REM and perfectly winged eyeliner, my pillow wins. Still, I value looking presentable, even on those days when I'm scrambling. Here's the routine that allows me to enjoy my extra time in bed and still look like a functioning member of society—it's truly what dreams are made of.

Step One: "Wash" Your Face

My typical face wash routine involves four products, but on A.M.s when I don’t even have time to make myself coffee, I reach for Josie Maran’s Bear Naked Wipes. They remove makeup and morning gunk with a blend of aloe vera, chamomile, cucumber, and vitamin E. At $12, they’re more expensive than the wipes you’ll find in the drugstore, but they don’t leave me sticky and shiny. I’d rather spend the few extra bones than walk around all day feeling like a dog licked my face.

Step Two: BB Cream

Because I’d rather walk than take the bandwagon, I resisted BB cream, the product that every magazine, beauty blogger, and makeup counter praised as if it were the first ever invented. But there’s a reason: If beauty products attended high school, BB cream would win “Biggest Overachiever.” It brightens and evens skin tones, but that’s not enough for the valedictorian of skin care. It also hydrates your skin, improves your skin over time, and has SPF 30. I love the Dream Fresh BB Cream from Maybelline for its lightweight formula that doesn’t make me look greasy. Because BB cream is not as heavy as foundation, it’s easier to blend in, making it ideal for rushed mornings.

Step Three: Moisturize Your Body

When you only have a few minutes to spare, putting lotion on your arms and legs is an easy step to pass on, but Vaseline’s new Spray & Go moisturizer cuts the process down to seconds. You’ve likely already used (or at least seen) spray sunscreen; this is same idea, just with lotion. One of my favorite parts is how easy Spray & Go makes it to get to hard-to-reach areas, like your back.

Step Four: Open Up Your Eyes

Sometimes you’re rushed not because you opted for 11 long, luxurious hours of sleep. Maybe you got in at 3 A.M., maybe you were tossing and turning all night, or maybe you (once again) set your alarm for P.M. Oops. It’s tempting to decide you won’t even try, but curling up at your desk with a bagel and oversized sunglasses probably isn’t the best way to impress your boss. Big, bright eyes are an easy way to look more awake than you actually are. I’m a huge fan of Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara. I’ve tried out more mascaras than I can name, but I keep coming back to this baby. It makes me feel like I’m in a mascara commercial, and is an absolute necessity for those days where I’ve gotten almost zero sleep.

Step Five: Brighten Your Lips

A bold lip color will brighten up your whole face and make you look instantly put together, à la, “I woke up really early, and tried really hard, and have my life incredibly together, probably more together than you have yours.” Of course, anyone who has ever played around with lipstick knows that getting it right is a huge time suck. The Satin Lip Pencil from NARS is one of my favorite beauty products of all time because it makes getting the look of bright lipstick impossibly easy. It’ll stay on through lunchtime, but it’s not a stain, so you will need to reapply after you’ve had your sandwich.

Step Six: De-Grease Your Hair

The process of washing, blowdrying, and doing your hair could take hours (or, you know, 45 minutes, but that’s still time you don’t have). The first time I used dry shampoo it was a cheap drugstore brand and made my hair a white, powder-y mess. After that, I was nervous to try dry shampoo again, but I was directed towards to Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo and I’ve never looked back. Dry shampoo soaks up all the oil and leaves hair looking, feeling, and smelling clean.

Step Six Didn't Work Because Your Hair Is That Dirty

Don’t worry. I’m not one to judge. We’ve all had those days where even dry shampoo won’t cut it. Throw your hair up in a top bun and give the illusion that you’re not a hot mess with a pretty head scarf, like this one from Urban Outfitters.