Let's Get Ready Already

The less time you spend putzing around in the morning the more time you'll have for life's pleasures (or, you know, an early pilates class). Here's how to cut out the fluff.

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Good morning! Allow me to begin by sharing some basic, deeply disturbing math.

If it took me two hours to get out the door every morning, that would mean I would be spending 14 hours on prep every week. That's a little over two days per month. Or—drumroll, please—two entire months per year. I would work out the total time spent for my entire life, but I worry it would cause me to lose the will to continue writing this article. The fact is: If it were to consistently take me two hours to get from bed to my front door every morning, I would have wasted a ton of my life getting ready for...my life.

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Well, reader, not so long ago, it did take me two hours to leave my apartment every morning. And that's why for the past year I have taken aggressive action to get my morning prep time down to a reasonable duration. You're probably thinking, Wow, this girl must get really dolled up every day! And that's the truly perplexing part: Despite taking forever to get ready every morning since I can remember, I never even looked like I got ready. I didn't do cool, YouTube-instructed hairstyles. I routinely forgot to apply mascara. My outfits were almost always a rotation of the same 10 or so easily interchangeable items. Something in my morning routine was going horribly wrong.

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But we're here to talk about solutions. So here were some of mine: My first and most major course of action I took was dealing with my hair. Instead of spending time blow-drying and then applying various products to make it look less blow dried, I spent a little extra money on getting a keratin treatment that brought my hair to a desirably wash-and-go texture. Then, the rise in high-quality 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners enabled me to combine those two shower tasks without stripping my hair like similar products previously did. Once I really started to dig into my options, I realized that there were lots of new efficiency-promoting products out there, which, in our age of laundry-by-iPhone were, frankly, way overdue.

Here, I'll share a few of the miracle products that helped shave my morning prep time to a far-more-acceptable 45 minutes.

One last word of advice: Never sacrifice eating cereal in front of your favorite morning show for the sake of getting out the door faster—that simple joy is worth all the time in the world.

New Wash, $40, shophairstory.com.

Sulfates, which are found in most shampoos, are really bad for your hair, and cause the kind of dryness and frizz that will cause you to spend even more time taming your hair. This product is a sulfate-free and extremely gentle combined shampoo and conditioner that will leave your hair in great shape.

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Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, $30, bareescentuals.com.

This BareMinerals product is a hat-trick: It simultaneously moisturizes skin, conceals imperfections, and heals blemishes. Thanks to the latter, you may one day get to the point when you don't need concealer on your skin at all!

Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion, $3, walgreens.com.

Shaving your legs with shaving cream and then applying lotion after you get out is a major waste of time. You could even describe it as "old you." New you has this uber-efficient bottle of Nivea, which can double as a shaving cream and the moisturizer you'd normally apply afterward.

Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Drama Pomade Crayon, $10, walgreens.com.

Perhaps your brow game has a little too much game in some ways, and not nearly enough in others. This brow pencil will get brows looking their best and also help any wild hairs stay in place.

Guerlain Le Rouge G Lipstick, $53, bloomingdales.com.

Anyone who has worked very hard to leave the house faster each morning deserves a little treat. This Guerlain lipstick, which comes with a mirror for applying, ninja-like, while in cars or on subways and buses, is just the present to suit your new lifestyle.

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