Genius beauty tricks to lean on when you're rushing out the door.

By Kathleen Braine
Updated October 11, 2019
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Every morning, I'm usually rushing to get out the door, hair streaming out of a quickly assembled hairstyle behind me. Sometimes (OK, a lot) I even forget to bring along the right makeup bag and its accoutrements in the moments when I need it most. I've tried to plan for this inevitability by stashing backup beauty buys throughout my office, apartment, and all of my various purses, but sometimes I still find myself scrambling to prep for drinks or dinner with only a tube of lipstick and a pair of tweezers. For those moments when you need to buy yourself more time, try one of these time-saving makeup tips and tricks that promise to get you out the door on time.

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Use Lipstick as Blush

Did you know the ingredients in a lot of lipsticks are similar to what is found in cream blushes? Rub a dot or two of lipstick into the apples of your cheeks for a rosy glow on the go. I usually try to make sure the lipstick isn't too brown or too matte before I smear it on my cheeks. One no-fail option: NARS lipstick in Gipsy ($26;

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Use Loose Matte Powder as Dry Shampoo

When in a pinch, Makeup Forever HD Microfinishing Loose Powder ($36; works perfectly as a (very expensive) dry shampoo. Because I'm blonde, it's easier to disguise the white powder on my roots, but if you have darker hair, flip your head over and sprinkle powder on the underside of your roots for the same effect.

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Use Vaseline or Lip Balm as a Highlighter or Brow Tamer

When your skin is looking drab and your brows are failing to cooperate, Vaseline on your cheekbones can act as a highlighter, while a dab of petroleum jelly can also tame unruly eyebrows. No Vaseline in sight? Reach for Aquaphor instead (both Meghan Markle and Beyoncé reportedly swear by the stuff).

Use Mascara as Eyeliner

Use a small brush to line your eyes with your mascara. If you don't have a small brush, you can even (very carefully!) use the tip of the mascara applicator and smudge the line afterwards for a smoky look. Just make sure to take it all off with makeup remover at the end of a long day.

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Use Hand Lotion to Tame Flyaways

This makeup tip is straightforward and works perfectly in a pinch. Only use a pea-sized amount of lotion, lest you end up with wet-look hair look that was oh-so-popular on the runways last year (unless that's the vibe you're going for, of course).

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Use Bronzer as Eye Shadow

Extend the life of your summer beauty buys with this makeup tip. If your bronzer has any shimmer or highlighter in it, all the better. Benefit Bronzer in Hula ($30; comes in four shades that flatter all complexions.

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Use Concealer as Foundation

If you use liquid or light cream concealer, mix a drop with your moisturizer for a quick foundation substitute. If you don't have moisturizer, liquid concealer can also be used as full coverage foundation. Smooth a thin layer over your skin, blend well, and you're ready to go.

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Use Argan Oil or Hair Oil as a Moisturizer

If you find yourself out of facial moisturizer, take that Argan oil you'd regularly slather on your split ends and add a few drops to your face instead. I've used One n' Only Argan Oil ($11; and Shu Uemura Essence Absolue ($69; for optimal results.

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When In Doubt, Opt for a Sephora Sample

If you're really in a makeup crisis and you don't have any products on hand, you can always run into your nearest Sephora or Duane Reade and do your makeup using tester products. Always use the disposable applicators and alcohol wipes provided to sanitize as best you can. Unless it's truly an emergency, it's wise to avoid eye products (especially liners and mascaras), but there is no shame in utilizing the vast resources that a mecca like Sephora has to offer. Trust me, you'll probably run into me next to the Dior primers.