April 28, 2014

How To Look Great After a Wild Night | Refresh Your Makeup in 5 Easy Steps

I recently asked for ideas and requests for blog post topics on my Let's Talk About Lipstick Facebook page, and my beautiful and hilarious college-student cousin Jessica (hey, Boo!) had a STELLAR idea. She recommended a "morning after a night out" blog post. I believe her exact words were "ways to make yourself look super presentable for work/school, etc. even when you feel like death" which is perfect since WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE...amIrightoramIright?? Now, I'd like to pretend for a moment that my "overtired meets sluggish meets dull-skin meets dark circles meets crusty lips" look that I'm rocking every morning is because of a totally raging and exciting time the night before, but if I've learned anything from watching HBO's Girls, it's to own my truth. My truth is that I have a toddler, I stay up too late watching The Good Wife (or Game of Thrones), I sleep HARD and I drool while doing said sleeping. All of those glamorous things leads to me looking like this...

For the record, even though it goes against EVERYTHING I stand for, I decided to fall asleep with my makeup on so that I would wake up with some serious obstacles to overcome and some "real" advice for this post. The lovely diagram above was what I was working with. Please ignore the ever-so-flattering nude colored bra strap in the photo...it just adds to the overall aesthetic I was going for, right??

Ideally, we'd wake up in the morning after a crazy night with ALL the time in the world to linger in a hot shower, apply a nice mud mask, give ourselves a manicure and apply our makeup to perfection, but the reality is, we have less than 30 minutes to clean up our act and get out the door looking like responsible members of society. And hey, no judgement to those that choose to embrace the crazy and hobble on out with an over-sized pair of sunglasses, a venti Starbucks and a tin of extra strength Altoids (believe me, I have walked that path in my early 20s more than I'd care to admit). But here are a few more tricks you can tuck into your very useful "Female Life Hacks" mental folder for those mornings you need an assist from a sistah who has been there.

OBVIOUSLY it is best to start with a clean makeup free face in the morning, meaning, you cleansed and moisturized the night before. I can't stress enough how important it is to remove all signs of makeup, dirt, debris from our faces before bed to allow our skin to breathe and our cells to properly turn over. If you are so dead tired and don't think you can be bothered to wash your face, keep a package of facial cleansing cloths in your nightstand so you can remove as much as possible before you hit the sack, then slap on a good moisturizer. What'd that take ya? 60 seconds? I rest my case. If you do get time to grab a shower and scrub up, I still have some time-saving tips for you, click HERE for some helpful tricks and be on your way.

*Steps down from soapbox* All that being said, if you fall into the camp of someone who went to bed with all your makeup on, overslept, and woke up with 10 minutes to get out the door, here's what to do. I'll leave all products below these steps so you can see exactly what I used:

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1 | Spritz your face lightly with a refreshing toner. This will do a few things. First it will reactivate your foundation so that you can "work" with it without having to apply another layer over the top which is just...yuck. Secondly, it will perk up your complexion a bit which is no doubt dehydrated from being smothered all night in makeup. After you've spritzed your toner on, either use your CLEAN fingers to press your skin in a patting motion or use the wide end of a dampened Beauty Blender sponge to press into skin. If you have mascara under your eye area, make sure you wipe it off with a cotton pad or the pointy end of the Beauty Blender before you move onto the next step.
2 | Apply a light-diffusing concealer in a brush applicator style (to save time) under eyes and onto eyelids (blend well with finger), around your nose and around your mouth to brighten up a lackluster complexion and hide any redness.
3 | Use a "double duty" cream blush on the apples of your cheeks and your lips for a quick flush of color.
4 | Dust a loose powder on forehead, nose, chin and INNER cheek area only. Leave the area you just applied your cream blush alone so you can keep some radiance.
5 | Applying mascara over the top of already crusty mascara is just going to give you a case of "spider lashes" so just use your eyelash curler to re-open up the eye area.
6 | Apply a dry shampoo (shake it well) to your roots, give it a second to dry then use your fingers to "tousle" your strands and work the product around to sop up the greasies. This is a perfect opportunity for an intentionally messy bun which actually works quite well with not-so-clean hair. Also check out this tutorial for some quick easy ideas including one of my faves where the fringe area is braided to the side.
7 | Lastly, take a quick look at your nails. Nothing looks less polished than chipped, nappy looking fingernails. No need to worry about applying polish and waiting for it to dry, just remove any polish that looks less than stellar with a nail polish remover pad (they're pre-packaged so you don't have to hassle with spills), wash hands and run a lotion wipe over your hands and massage into cuticles.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler · Ulta Face Brushes & Applicators · L'Oreal Face Concealer

After you've gotten your face and hair in check, applied a fresh layer of deodorant (don't you DARE forget that one) and brushed your teeth, you can move onto your outfit. The best rule of thumb here is that you don't have to choose anything immensely trendy, just make damn sure it is clean and there are NO wrinkles or lint. Darker colors are typically more classic and professional looking that light, bright shades. It's always smart to have a few go-to pieces that you can easily layer a boyfriend cardigan, a denim jacket or a tailored blazer over the top of.

Asos Blazers · Gap Petite Sweaters · Old Navy Petite Jackets

Like I said in my "Lazy Girl Beauty" post a while back, putting together a handy "beauty emergency kit" is SO valuable for so many reasons, and this would be a prime example. It can be done for pretty cheap, takes very little time to put together and you will NEVER regret having it. Especially for those times you literally have no time to spruce up before you leave the house. What are some of your time-saving tricks and "beauty hacks" for fixing yourself up for work or school when you have no time to spare? Share in the comments and let us know!


  1. This is a fantastic post! Actual helpful advice :)

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the kind words!


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