There are those days. You know which ones I’m talking about.The ones where you would rather crawl under the covers and wish the world away instead of making yourself look presentable for a gaggle of people that you could not possibly care less about today. The days when you can’t afford to be a slob, but it’s the only thing you want. And those are always the days when you look in the mirror and realize that the bags under your eyes grew two sizes last night. Or maybe you’re about to walk into an important meeting where you want people to take you seriously, but you need some confidence to do it.
In those moments, we need a quick fix. Because like hell are we putting on real makeup or doing our hair. We need insta-polish. Because while looks aren’t everything, they sure feel like it sometimes. In the immortal words of a great grandmother of a good friend, “Go pretty yourself up!” Here are five ways that take less than five minutes to make you feel better about your appearance.
1. Stand up straight. Your mother has been telling you this your whole life. Do it right now. Sitting or standing get yourself out of that slouch. Pull your shoulders back, lift your chin up, and straighten that spine. Don’t you feel better? It’s even easier to breathe, isn’t it? You also look infinitely more capable. Just like that.
2. Red lipstick. I did not believe this for the longest time. After all, I couldn’t FIND good red lipstick. It made me look too pale, and it made my teeth look yellower. But red lipstick is a MIRACLE PRODUCT. You just have to find the right color. A little more blue, or a little more orange? It all depends on your skin tone. You’ll have to kiss a few frogs to find the right one, but once you do, slick that stuff on before you go out. (You might have to give it a quick blot, too, just to keep the cartoon down.) Who wears red lipstick? Women who are confident as all hell. Red lipstick says notice me and give me what I want. Look at all the f*cks I give.
3. Belt it. I know the desire for the comfy clothes. I know it well. I have many a blouse that just flows around me and gives me no shape whatsoever. Find a way to bring definition to your natural waistline with the cut of your clothes, by buttoning one button on a cardigan, or hell, with the skinny belt in the back of your closet that you never wear. (I know you have one in there.) The belt is going to draw attention to your waistline, making your clothes look better, drawing the eye up, and making you look taller. Plus, accessories always make you look put together. It’s like you tried! (We’ll keep the fact that you didn’t between us.)
4. Eyeliner. “I thought these were supposed to be quick fixes!” Why is it taking you more than five minutes to put on eyeliner? I’m not talking about anything fussy. The soft, twist-up pencil sticks are easy to apply and easy to wipe away if you make a mistake. Outline the top lid and three quarters of the bottom lid. Bam! Your eyes look huge. You look bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and not like you just rolled out of bed.
5. The Bun. Low, high, or middle. Sweep your hair back from your face with whatever part you choose, twist, and pin or just tie an elastic around it. Hair’s really thick? I recommend the Goody Spin Pins, which never hold all of my thick hair, but take me down to six or seven pins from my usual forty. A simple bun elongates your neck, always looks more chic than a ponytail, and keeps you from playing with your hair like a Nervous Nellie. Plus, now that you’re standing up straight, you look like a ballerina.
Insta-Polish. Do one in a hurried bathroom visit, do a couple at your desk, or do all five before you head out to buy your new car. You are a lady not to be trifled with. And because it’s all so easy to reverse, you can go back to sweatpants and books before you know it.