8:45 a.m.: Your alarm goes off…or, even worse, hasn’t. Either way, you’re faced with one-of-life’s-worst-moments: that terrifying realization, after convincing yourself it’s the weekend, that you have 30 minutes to make an important meeting. And you look like absolute s—t.
8:46 a.m.: Don’t panic. We’ve compiled the experts and products to get you looking (though probably not feeling) fresh. How you actually feel should be your dirty little secret, right?
8:47 a.m.: Survey your ghostly, pallid face in the mirror. If you’ve been drinking or just generally lacking sleep your skin needs the most attention.
If you have time—and certainly if you smell like smoke—definitely bathe, but keep it quick and don’t bother with your hair since there’s no time for styling. Before hopping in the shower, splash face quickly and slough on Fresh’s Sugar Face Polish. It will have worked its magic by the time you get out. Take it from Dr. Susan Evans, the Skin Problems & Treatments Community Expert on WebMD, who explains that when skin is deprived of adequate fluid intake the cells lack the ability to exchange nutrients, remove waste, or adequately regulate sebum or oil production. “That leaves our skin surface dull, dry scaly, and filled with waste—which leads to cell death.”
Scary, right? Well, that’s why you look the way you do. Fortunately that Fresh polish (one of my fave products) is dissolving dead skin cells with brown sugar crystals and conditioning with plum, mango and macademia oils. Guarantee you’ll be amazed at the change—plus it smells delicious. Use a washcloth to gently rinse off while still in shower (but near the end).
8:52 a.m.: Next up, moisturizer. Tackle two-in-one with acclaimed tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier—it gives a natural glow while evening out your skin and is one of the best on the market. I’m using “Fawn” right now, but instead of choosing a shade on your own it’s best to consult the experts at the beauty counter. As Estée Lauder Cos. CEO Fabrizio Freda said in this week’s WSJ, “…when a consumer buys a mass-market foundation, they have two to three times more chance of [selecting the wrong shade].” Neither skin product comes cheap, but IMO—small price to pay for fixing what you broke last night.
8:54 a.m.: For makeup, I turned to my pal, NYC-based makeup artist Sabrina Ziomi. And since she’s spent years working backstage making up/waking up overworked models for major RTW and couture fashion shows in NYC, Milan and Paris, she would know.
“First, it’s crucial to freshen up eyes with eye drops. I like the disposable eyewash type, which is just saline solution,” she says. “If rushed, a bit of concealer under the eyes, on the side of your nose and on the little blemishes is enough to even skin tone.” She recommends Lancome’s Effacernes Waterproof which “comes in many shades; just find the one that look closest to your bare skin tone.” To open the eyes, she uses Body Shop’s Divide & Multiply for a natural look. Finish with a dual-use lip and cheek stain like Victoria’s Secret Lip & Cheek Tint: “very easy to use!”
Hair: Untangling that Sex Nest
8:58 a.m.: If (like me) you have fine hair and an oily scalp—and look like a peasant if you don’t shampoo every day—all you need is a dry shampoo: My latest miracle product in this category is Rene Furturer’s Naturia. Just hold your breath and spray; let sit for a minute, then comb and shake for a messy, but presentable, look.
For the rest of you, Hairstylist Kristan Serafino, stylist to the stars for L’Oréal Professionnel, suggests the following:
– “Hit dry roots with L’Oréal Professionnel Texture Expert Lift Extreme, then flip your head over and blast hair dry. Voilà….instant volume. No one will know you overslept.”
– And if you’re so hurting that “your headache is so bad the thought of brushing your hair would hurt? No worries, bring instantaneous shine to your hair by spraying entire head with L’Oréal Professionnel Texture Expert Perfect Shimmer…then take two aspirins.”
Nicole Kaldes, whose beauty expertise comes from both sides of the aisle, has been working in the industry for the past eight years — both as an in-house and agency PR for brands such as Aveda, P&G Professional Hair Care, and as a beauty correspondent for WWD in Milan. Prior to her two years living in Milan as a journalist, she began her career as an arts & entertainment editor/reporter for Community Newspaper Company in Boston. She currently lives in Brooklyn, and can often be found trolling independent and vintage shops, writing the blog for online resale boutique Covet Shop, museum-hopping with her husband or drinking beer in the park. Oh, and the beauty products she simply cannot live without are her Mason Pearson hairbrush, L’Occitane Purifying Deodorant, or Aveda Volumizing Tonic (in the cool brown bottle). Follow Nicole here on Twitter.