Skip to main content

10 ways to streamline your morning

If you switch purses often, invest in an organizer that can transfer from one bag to another with ease.
If you switch purses often, invest in an organizer that can transfer from one bag to another with ease.
  • For a fast, nutritious morning meal, make a smoothie and freeze it overnight
  • Mix a few drops of self-tanner into your night cream for a morning glow
  • Plan out your outfits for the entire week and tag them by day
  • Squeeze in morning exercise by walking briskly to subway station and pack a change of clothes

( -- Try these easy tricks to make your morning routine less hectic.

Look 'done' on the run

No time for a blowout? Straighten the top and front sections of your hair, then pull them into a low ponytail or bun. Keep it neat by securing a headband 1 inch from the hairline.

Freeze your breakfast

Beyoncé's hairstylist (and busy mom of one) Kimberly Kimble prepares a smoothie before bed. In the morning there's no slicing, no blending, no mess--she just pulls the cup out of the fridge and goes. "I drink it as I'm on my way to work."

Another idea: Make a batch Sunday night and freeze individual portions in Popsicle molds (try freezer bags if you prefer to drink your smoothie; defrost in the fridge overnight). 10 hairstyles that are always in style

Create your LMD -- little magic dress

When you find a flattering dress you absolutely love, take it to a good tailor and have him replicate several versions in different colors and prints each season (some tailors will even provide the fabric). Wear a dramatic necklace or funky cuff to make each outfit unique.

Ensure you're good to glow

After you wash your face in the evening, mix a few drops of self-tanner into your night cream. In the morning your skin will have a subtle warmth to it that masks tiny imperfections, so it's easier to slip out the door without applying full makeup.

Touch up at the office

If you have naturally wavy hair, wash it the night before and wrap it, still damp, into a bun when you go to bed. At the office, undo hair and quickly style a few pieces around the face with a mini (stashable!) curling iron. Try Conair's Mini Pro 1-inch ceramic curling iron ($18; 10 ways to look 5 years younger

Tag your outfits

After looking at your schedule for the week on Sunday night and planning each day's outfit, hang the final picks in the front of your closet with DIY days-of-the-week tags.

Toe the line

The quickest way to fake a spa pedicure? Change your shoes! In peep toes, the only nail that really counts is the biggest (and possibly its little neighbor), so focus your efforts there. Keeping your shoe on, apply one base coat, then one coat of color (the less polish you apply, the less likely it is to smudge). Bonus: That trendy bottle of polish you splurged on is going to last a lot longer.

Edit, edit, edit

Separate everyday cosmetics from the ones you use only on special occasions, says organization pro Stephanie Denton.

Another easy way to pare down: Embrace multitasking products. Stila One Step makeup ($44; combines primer, foundation and powder in one; NP Set On the Double Pen ($13; offers concealer and mascara; and Nars Orgasm Illuminator ($29; adds a pretty sheen to both lips and cheeks. 15 must-have fall beauty products under $15

Work your commute

Sneak in an early-morning workout (and green up your day) with an energetic walk to the subway or train station instead of driving, suggests time-saving pro Peter Walsh.

No shower at the office? Pack a lightweight one-piece outfit (in crease-resistant jersey, for example) in a stylish backpack along with body wipes, deodorant, dry shampoo, and wrinkle-release spray.

Prep your purse

Are you a chronic bag switcher? If so, a purse organizer--a removable pouch where you can store essentials like keys, cell phone, and wallet--makes it a lot simpler to do the daily transfer. In a pinch use a roomy makeup bag instead.

See more time-saving tricks at

Get a FREE TRIAL issue of InStyle - CLICK HERE!

Copyright © 2011 Time Inc. All rights reserved.