Eight super-fast beauty solutions

TRACEY STRANGE
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2013
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NEVER TOO BUSY TO BE BEAUTIFUL: Don't let lack of time ruin your looks.

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Life overwhelming? Pressured by the constant need to look good? When you're busy everything needs to be done . . . now. Here are eight super-fast ways to fix things when you're time-strapped. Buckle up!

1) Your eyes are puffy but you don't have time for a mask

Reach for the caffeine - not the "cup of" kind but the type found in eye serums such as Clarins' Defining Eye Lift, $85, or Garnier's Youthful Radiance Caffeine Eye Roll-On, $17.49. Both products help to reduce puffiness, boost microcirculation and brighten the eye area.

2) You are off to the beach and have forgotten to apply sunblock

One of the most common reasons people ignore sunscreen is the time it takes for it to be rubbed in and absorbed. Solution? A spray. Neutrogena's Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock SPF70, $22.99, is an ultra fine weightless mist that is quickly soaked up by the skin. Coola's Pina Colada Sunscreen Spray SPF35, $55, is an organic option infused with antioxidants and devoid of any stickiness.

3) You can't be bothered with eye cream

As long as your eyes aren't extremely sensitive, any SPF-free moisturiser - even those containing retinol - can be applied around the eye. So, if you are rummaging around in the dark and can't find that little pot of eye gel, substitute your night cream instead.

4) Add instant glamour

Reach for the bronzer. The makeup product with perhaps the scariest reputation (the threat of orange streaks across the cheekbones is enough to put most people off), bronzer is actually surprisingly easy to use once you get a little practice in. It also makes you look brighter, healthier and more vibrant. Using a brush, sweep a subtle product like Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer, $72, around the perimeter of your face, across your temples, down the sides (extending inwards over your blusher) and down under your jaw bone into your neck.

5) You have two minutes to do your face

You may be short on time but you don't have to leave the house bare-faced. Reach for a multi-purpose base like Za's Total Hydration BB Cream, $15, which protects, moisturises, covers, conceals and absorbs excess oil. Add a sweep of a grunty lash-building mascara (Shiseido's Perfect Mascara Full Definition, $51, does the job nicely) and a tinted lip balm like Clinique's Chubby Stick Intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm, $40, a crayon-shaped balm with full-coverage lip colour.

6) You need to shrink a blemish - fast

When there isn't enough time for salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to work their magic (up to a week), try applying a cream with 1 per cent hydrocortisone. But don't be stingy; the more you put on and the longer you leave it to absorb the better the result.

7) You've run out of moisturiser

It's only a temporary solution but a gentle, creamy face wash can keep your skin hydrated for a day. Shea butter, glycerine and oatmeal are some of the ingredients to look out for. A face wash such as QV's Intensive Moisturising Cleanser, $20.99, is soap-free and will leave a hydrating film on your skin, protecting it all day. Elizabeth Arden's Visible Difference Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, $45, also contains powerful humectants to attract and hold moisture.

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8) You have three minutes to do your hair

Give yourself some glamour by rubbing a silicone-based styling balm through your hair from the mid-section to ends. Joico's K-PAK Protect & Shine Serum, $31, contains a keratin silicone complex to control frizz, add gloss and protect against further damage. It also adds definition, which helps your "do" look more "done".

What are your favourite quick beauty fixes?

- Fairfax Media

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