Typically we don’t advocate for shortcuts. We won’t ever tell you to cut corners at your job or on important financial documents (writing the government a big, fat check while everyone else is out spending their tax refunds never feels good). Now the quick fixes that save you valuable time and effort in an area where there’s always room for improvement — your beauty routine — those feel good. From ponytails to pedicures, here are the beauty shortcuts we do recommend taking.
beauty shortcuts

Pump Up Your Ponytail

The long way: Applying volumizing product to wet hair, backcombing, applying more product when dry.
The shortcut: Separate the top third of your ponytail. Lift up that section of hair up and insert a small claw clip right at the base of your ponytail. Drop the piece of hair your holding and use it to cover the clip. Ta-da – instant volume!
 

Pin Your Bun in Place

The long way: Grabbing a handful of bobby pins and pinning all the way around the circumference of the bun.
The shortcut: Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin. Swap your standard bobby pins for this tool, which consists of a pair of corkscrew-style pins. Just throw your hair into a bun, screw a pin into one side of the bun, and then screw the second pin in on other the other side. Voilá — buns of steel!
 

Curl Your Hair

The long way: Sectioning the hair and curling individual pieces all over the head.
The shortcut: Put your hair into a high pony. Then split the ponytail into two sections, curl each one, release the pony, shake it out and go.
 

Apply Your Makeup

The long way: Applying eye shadow, then complementary blush, then a non-competing lip color.
The shortcut: Simplify your makeup routine and go for the chic monochromatic look. Pick one cream blush or lipstick and use it to add color to your lips, cheeks and lids.

 

Define Your Eyes

The long way: Posting up in front of the mirror, carefully perfecting the strokes of a winged eyeliner application.
The shortcut: Tightlining. Skip the upper lid, and instead define your eyes by lining the inner rim of your lash line with a dark color. You get definition without with the time commitment.
 

Refresh Your Makeup Midday

The long way: Toting around a fully stocked kit of products and brushes all day, in order to add more makeup once the morning application starts to settle into fine lines.
The shortcut: Think re-blend, not reapply. Pop your Beauty Blender or reusable makeup sponge into a plastic bag. When it’s time for a touch-up, simply dampen the sponge and go over any areas that need a refresh.
 

Wash Your Face

The long way: Sticking with a 3-step skincare regimen — cleanser, toner, moisturizer — morning and night.
The shortcut: Skip a step (or two). If you go to bed with a clean face at night, a good rinse in the morning is all you need to start the day. You can get squeaky clean skin without the use of toner, too. Just use a cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid to effectively clear away dead skin cells and buildup.
 

Exfoliate Your Skin

The long way: Cleansing with face wash, rinsing, and then scrubbing again with a designated exfoliator.
The shortcut: Kill two birds with one stone — or rather, one cleansing device. Lather up with your usual face wash and power up a Clarisonic (bonus points if you attach the Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Head) for single-step exfoliation.
 

Fight Calluses

The long way: Soaking feet for as long as possible then sloughing off the dry skin with a foot file or pumice.
The shortcut: Fight the calluses before they form. Before bed, slather on a moisturizing foot cream (we love The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Honey & Beeswax Hand and Foot Butter), slip on a pair of thick gym socks and snooze your way to softer soles.
 

Fix Nail Polish Chips

The long way: Removing all the nail polish and repainting the nail.
The shortcut: Smooth out the chip or smudge. Just dip the pad of your finger in nail polish remover and gently run over the chip to even the line between polish and natural nail. Then add a new coat of your existing shade or even just clear polish as a finishing touch.
 
What beauty shortcuts do you take? Share them below!
 
Photos: Thinkstock