This is the face my co-workers confront when things are getting extra grim, also known as "lipstick over tragedy."
I never thought my morning routine was weird until people who actually live like responsible humans moved into my house. After they got settled, I’d find myself waking up to the sound of clanking dishes and soft laughter, the unmistakable smell of breakfast wafting into my room.
“Good morning!” Lex would coo as I opened my door. “What are your plans for the day?”
“Leaving,” I’d say, backpack in one hand and shoes in the other.
“Are you -- gonna brush your teeth?” Lex would ask, clearly trying not to sound appalled.
I’d wave my toothbrush at her. “It’s San Francisco, I’ll spit in a planter. Bye!”
I think Lex spent a full month waiting for me to reveal that this had all been a grand social experiment and that I really spent a luxurious morning hour relaxing and doing deep breathing exercises. Now that she's resigned herself to the fact that I really do live like a cave demon, she now just gives me the nod and a sad laugh as I make a beeline from my room to the front door.
Still, I probably would have assumed that it was Lex who was the breakfast-making weirdo and not me, had it not been for Lesley’s morning routine post. Suddenly everyone was all taking time for morning sex and speaking more than six words to their housemates, and my whole “Check phone, put on pants, despair at the continued expansion of the universe” act seemed a little haphazard. To say the least.
Apparently I should just move to Britain, where 12 percent of people take just two minutes to trick their friends and colleagues into believing they actually start their day without fashionable purple bruises under their eyes.
The Daily Mail attributes this to the economy worsening, which in turn is forcing women to work longer hours. Or maybe all that recession sex is tempting them to spend less time on makeup and more time rolling around naked. Seriously, I don’t understand how people with partners ever make it to work before 11.
[Hold on right there - we spend 2 minutes a day putting our makeup on? Really? I do mine on the bus in about five minutes. But I always look a bit dishevelled unless there's a good reason not to, so I'm probably not a good example. UK readers, how long do you spend putting your makeup on? ]
Either way, with more women looking for quick beauty fixes as they stagger toward the door in the morning, sales of dry shampoo and other no-fuss grooming products have skyrocketed in the UK. As someone who occasionally resorts to Leave a comment in lieu of a shower, I definitely know how that feels.
Honestly, I’d love to wake up at 6 every day and have the luxury of the early-morning mosey. I swear, every week I resolve to do just that –- to wake up early, put on a pot of coffee, get some writing done, and not resort to changing into clean clothes in the garage because I ran out of time to grab my laundry. And every week, I stay up until 3, hit the snooze button at 6 (and five more times after that), and wring every last unconscious moment out of that REM-cycle that I possibly can. I’m afraid that at this point, it may be in my nature.
And though I don’t wear makeup to work particularly often, I do have an obligation to occasionally fool people into thinking I am a professional. Coming to work with last night’s eyeliner still smudged around my lids is generally not the way to go on that front. I know Gala already did a handy 5-minute makeup tutorial, but let’s be real: for someone like me, who essentially exists in the world with hams for hands, her advanced-placement routine takes way more like 20.
So for those of you who, like me, want to deceive your friends and enemies alike into thinking you are not a slavering lizard-monster before coffee, here’s what I use in the mornings to get my ass out the door in under 15 minutes:
1. The Quick Slather
I have neither the time nor the coordination in the mornings for delicate concealer dabbing, so I love the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Moisturizer ($12, walgreens.com). I can basically just throw it on my face like a pimply Jackson Pollock. It’s absolutely essential for the aforementioned last-night eyeliner problem. It's also good for giant glamorous consumption-style under eye circles and those huge pulsating under-skin zits that change the entire shape of your chin. I like that it’s light enough to smother those blemishes to death while still letting my freckles poke through, as I am a fan of them. And it carries the added bonus of SPF, so everyone not living in San Francisco need not feel guilty about the UV damage you're racking up just by walking from your door to the bus.
2. Combine, Combine, Combine
I know I talk about this stuff on basically every occasion possible, but honestly, BeneFit Cha Cha Tint ($29, sephora.com) has single-handedly prevented my colleagues from chalking exorcism circles on the floor under my desk before I come in every morning. I know the color is hilariously bright, but it turns into a soft, Zooey Deschanel-ed glow when applied, making me look perky and well-intentioned even when my brain is making pterodactyl noises. It’s also obscenely easy to apply to both cheeks and lip: three slapped lines on the apple of each cheek and a smear along the mouth and you’re pretty much hot to trot (and color-coordinated to boot).
3. Get It for the Long Haul
I kind of hate waterproof mascara most days, because it tends to make me feel like my eyelashes are made out of Peter Parker’s spider webbing. But the major advantage to using it while in a rush is that the stuff dries and it stays. Maybelline Falsies ($6, target.com) has gotten me through surprise car tows, sappy weddings, fights with dates and BBC season finales without a single smear. Needless to say, it’s gonna make it through your commute just fine, even considering all the sleepy eye-knuckling. And it’s incredibly volumizing, so one blink on the bottom of your upper lashes is enough to give your train-provoked death glares enough pizzazz to strike fear into the hearts of every businessman who thinks their iPad deserves a seat.
4. Fool People Into Thinking You’re Not a Shitshow
I try not to pull this one out, because I don’t want my co-workers to get too used to it, but I’ve noticed that a little pop of red lipstick in the morning does wonders for one’s glam factor. Whenever I fly across the country, for example, I stow Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick (mine's in Passion Red) ($12, amazon.com) in easy reach for whenever I start feeling too grimy. It tends to give people the illusion that you spent hours crafting the “natural with a touch of Monroe” look, so it’s great for corporate meetings and scoping on dudes at the deli counter. Plus, Passion Red's bluish tones make your teeth look whiter than they are, which comes in handy if you’re someone who occasionally runs out of time to brush their teeth (SORRY).
All this, combined with a practice of showering the night before and preemptively turning my cords the right way out, can get me from horizontal to out my door in 15 minutes. Do you guys have any tips for ways I can shave it down to 10 and further horrify my housemates? Share ‘em in the comments!
Kate is probably Tweeting from her cozy bed at @katchatters