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The Absolute Best Time-Saving Beauty Hacks

Some days, I enjoy doing my skincare routine and the careful application of my makeup. And some days, it makes me want to throw a temper tantrum. Can anyone else relate? If your beauty routine starts feeling like a chore, here are the best time-saving beauty hacks that every girl should know!

Dry Shampoo

Let’s face it: sometimes, there just is no time for the rigmarole of washing, conditioning, drying, and styling hair. Plus, too much washing can leave you with dried out locks, which is a problem all of its own. As someone who highlights but has an oilier scalp, dry shampoo has been a time-saving beauty hack that I can’t live without.

On mornings that I *just can’t*, I throw on a shower cap, do a quick scrub of my body, then let dry shampoo handle my hair. Just be sure not to overuse it because it can cause other problems like itching, flaking, and irritation.

Protect Your Hair Overnight

Curly and wavy girls are no strangers to sleeping caps and buffs, but even girls with straight hair can benefit from sleep protection to preserve a blowout. If you prefer to be unrestricted, a loose braid or pineapple can work well, too.

Simplify Your Skincare

At one point, I was using a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, and moisturizer in the mornings. What can I say? I’m a product junkie. However, one visit to my trusty aesthetician later, and I had simplified my morning routine down to just cleanser and sunscreen. I did add in a serum to my nighttime regimen, but that wasn’t too much of a bother.

We are inundated with product recommendations from everywhere these days: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, ads, magazines, and on and on. Make sure that you’re not just using a product because your fave beauty guru swears by it.

This is one of my favorite time-saving beauty hacks, simply because it gave me a ton of time back in my mornings. I would, however, recommend talking to your dermatologist or aesthetician (if you have one) before making any major changes to your routine.

Time-Saving Beauty Hacks Pink Pin

Do a Quick Smoky Eye

No time for applying and blending and applying and blending until you’ve got the perfect smoky eye? No problem. For a quick smoky eye, apply eyeliner, then use an eyeliner brush or your finger to smudge the liner upwards (concentrating on the outer corner).

Keep Makeup Wipes by Your Bed

Listen, I highly recommend that everyone wash their face before bed. As someone who has always struggled with my skin, sleeping in makeup was never an option. Plus, it gets your bedsheets all gross and, more seriously, can cause eye infections.

So if you’re someone who finds yourself frequently waking up in last night’s makeup, try keeping wipes by your bed. Even if you’re super exhausted, it doesn’t take too much effort to give everything a good wipe down. While this shouldn’t be substituted for actually washing your face, it’ll do in a pinch.

Let Your Lipstick Do Double Duty

When you’re trying to get out the door, your lipstick can serve two (or even three purposes). Swipe a little bit on your cheeks as a blush, and even dot a little bit on your eyelids for a bit of subtle color. Be sure to blend well!

Only Use What You Need

As in, only apply makeup where you really need it. For me, this is usually concealer and mascara, but do what works for you!

Time-Saving Beauty Hacks Teal Pin

Use Concealer As an Eyeshadow Primer

Are primers magical? Yes. Do I always have time to put on under eye primer, face primer, and eyeshadow primer? Hell, no. Another of my time-saving beauty hacks is to use concealer as an eyeshadow primer. Or if I don’t feel like putting on a full shadow, I’ll use the concealer to just brighten up the skin on my eyelids. As I’ve aged and my skin has thinned, everything around my eyes has become darker, so this little lift can make a huge difference.

Use Your Sunscreen as Moisturizer

There are plenty of great sunscreens out there, like Coola’s Classic Face Sunscreen, does a great job of hydrating while providing an SPF of 50. My combination skin loves this oil-free formula, especially in the summer, but it works in the winter as well.

Moisturize in the Shower

Finding a great body oil can be a huge time-saving beauty hack, especially if it can be used in the shower. The Shea Shower Oil by L’Occitane is a favorite of mine. There are in-shower lotions that will also do the trick! They also smell amazing.

Apply Masks in the Bath

If you’re partial to baths, why not make your soaking time productive? Apply a good hair mask like Moroccanoil’s Intense Hydrating Mask and a face mask (I like the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask) and make your relaxing soak into a spa treatment.

Don’t Wait on Your Conditioner

As someone who doesn’t like to linger in the shower, I find that waiting the requisite three to five minutes on some conditioners feels like an eternity. However, I’ve also found that those three to five minutes aren’t always necessary, especially if I’m using a weekly hair mask.

Time-Saving Beauty Hacks Numbered Pin

Unline While You Dine

Okay, “unline” isn’t a word. What I’m talking about here is using eye gel patches while you have breakfast. You’ll get in the most important meal of the day, while prepping your eyes to look great (whether you’re using makeup or not).

Set Your Nails in Ice Water

If you enjoy home manicures but hate waiting for your nails to dry, try dipping your hands in ice water. I was skeptical about this one, and while it doesn’t fully “set” your nails, it does speed up the process. Use this trick after you apply your top coat. Don’t have time for a soak? Some people swear by spraying aerosol hairspray on their fresh manis for a quicker alternative.

What are your favorite time-saving beauty hacks? Leave a comment or drop me a note and let me know!




Sephora August Play! Box

I’m just as excited to have received my Sephora August Play! Box as I was my July one.  Perhaps it reminds me of being a kid, when getting mail felt magical.  Less so now; now it just feels like bills, LOL.

My apologies for being absent last week for my second post.  Husband and I are hosting our first Airbnb and it’s…interesting.  I have had a lot on my plate.

So now, onto the Sephora August Play! Box

Elements of Beauty Sephora - Beauty ChaosThe box again arrived with a cute little “Makeup Geek” bag, as well as an “Elements of Beauty” periodic table.  Adorable.  As I described previously, there are specifications you get to enter when you subscribe for the Play! box, so they’re kind of individualized, which is awesome.


beautyblender This thing is just adorable.  I have wanted to try the beautyblender for a while, and this little teeny bugger is the perfect size for a test run. Reading the description in the pamphlet, I’m surprised to find out that beautyblender has been around for 15 years.  Clearly, I’ve been missing out!  It’s a great shape to get into the under eye area for concealer, or dab on little blemishes (not that any of us get those).  The description promises it will double in size when wet.

Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil I almost can’t believe it took a company this long to invent a mascara remover in a mascara wand form.  Sounds elementary, I know, but after years of rubbing at my lashes with makeup remover and scrubbing my face, something I apply directly to lashes before wiping is innovative. I usually wear a coat of waterproof mascara over my regular mascara so I don’t get smudges, so I’m excited to try this one out.

August Sephora Play! Box Pin - Beauty Chaos


Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme Concealers are a difficult area for me, I have to admit.  Either they don’t provide enough coverage for my Italian-heritage under eye circles, or the coverage is so heavy that when I smile it creases and I end up looking at least 10 years older.  I’m not sure I need the 24-hour coverage that this concealer promises, but the “high-pigment, crease-proof formula” is a definite plus in my book.

Sephora Kopari - Beauty ChaosKopari Coconut Melt So…this one confuses me.  The pamphlet shows it as a cream, but mine is completely liquefied. I’m puzzled, because it’s been inside since it arrived.  The instructions are to “melt a dollop in your hands and apply,” but it’s already melted.  And leaking.  Not great.  Hopefully, the product will be good enough that it’s worth it.   This jack of all trades promises to function as a lip balm, nighttime moisturizer, makeup remover, and more.

Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Perfume Two perfume types to try here, folks.  Between Sephora Play! and Influenster, I have perfume coming out of my ears.  SAINT is a more floral scent, with notes of mandarin, jasmine, and tiare flower, with a base note of musk.  SINNER is in the warm and spicy family, with orange blossom, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Sounds like smelling like a scone.  In all seriousness, they both smell pretty good, so hopefully that’ll translate into smelling good on me.

Living Proof Sephora - Beauty ChaosLiving Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo OMG, I could not be more excited about this one! All I’ve read is that this is the BEST dry shampoo on the market, bar none. Supposedly there’s a “new patented molecule” that allows Living Proof’s dry shampoo to absorb oil more effectively than any of the competitors out there, leaving hair truly voluminous and refreshed.  Will it make me look like Jennifer Aniston?  It’s worth a shot.


That’s it for the Sephora August Play! Box

I’m super excited to try out these products and see which ones work, especially the two in here from my “try” list.  See, this is why I joined the beauty box program.  I knew that at some point, they would send me something I’ve been wanting to try.

What was your experience with subscription boxes?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Don’t forget to check out my 30-Day Pamper Yourself Challenge!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On my recent Ulta trip, I got a great haul of products.  To be honest, I went in knowing I wanted to make the trip a big one.  I didn’t just lose control and buy everything that I saw (not that I haven’t done that before).

This time, I tried to exercise a modicum of restraint and purchase only those things that I needed.  Or had really wanted to try for a long time.  I mostly succeeded ????

Ulta Haul - Beauty Chaos

One of my purchases was the Smashbox Try It Kit, which contained several primers, including Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water.

The kit included four of Smashbox’s most popular primers, including Photo Finish Primer Water, Foundation Primer, 24 Hour Shadow Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish line of primers is their most popular, but they make a bunch of other primers for different purposes.

At first, I picked up a full-sized bottle of Photo Finish Foundation Primer, as I recently ran out of my ELF Poreless Primer and needed something to replace it.  However, during my hour or so of wandering around the store, I found the Try It Kit and decided to give it a go.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Try It Kit - Beauty Chaos

Four products to try in one box?  Yes, please.

It’s a good thing that I purchased the Smashbox Kit when I did, because soon after I was hired to work on a CBS show.  I’m not allowed to say which one until it airs (the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club).  But it’ll be on in late July and I’ll let everyone know then.

During the day, my makeup has a tendency to melt and smush in different ways.  It’s one of the drawbacks of living in the hot desert climate – no matter how much powder you apply, makeup will run.  So I decided to try a few different tactics in order to keep my makeup in place this time.

One of the main reasons I like the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is that there are several different ways to use it.

First, you can spray it on as a primer (hence the title) to prep skin for foundation.  Next, it can also be used as a setting spray after you apply your makeup, to keep your makeup in place all day.  Finally, makeup artists swear by using it throughout the day to keep makeup set and freshen throughout the day.

Also, Smashbox Cosmetics is cruelty-free, which is always a wonderful bonus.  I can’t wait for the day when all cosmetics are cruelty-free.  Can I volunteer to be their lab experiment subject?

The online reviews for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water are pretty great.

According to the Ulta website, 93 percent of women said it left their skin instantly hydrated.  90 percent said it absorbs quickly and their skin felt refreshed after first use.

I had much the same experience with the Primer Water.  As soon as I sprayed it on, my skin felt refreshed and hydrated, and my skin didn’t feel as heavy as if I’d applied a creamier primer.  Major plus, since my skin is oily and feels like I have a slick on it most of the time.  I didn’t take it with me to freshen during the day, and I didn’t use it as a setting spray.  I purchased a different setting spray that I wanted to try, but next time I’ll give this a shot.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Pin - Beauty Chaos

On a 90 plus degree day, my makeup pretty much stayed put.

I wore the Primer Water under a BB Cream and not foundation, which may have contributed a bit to the smearing, but not much.  My makeup stayed in place for the hour drive to the studio, five-hour wait, one hour of shooting, and hour drive home.  Considering the heat, I’d say that’s a win.

Cost and Where to Buy

As I said, I got my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water at Ulta in a primer kit.  The kit cost $29, which I thought was a steal considering that it contained four primers.  The full-sized Primer Water is 3.9 ounces, which goes for $32.  The Smashbox website has it for the same price. eBay has it for around $23, if you’re willing to take a chance on that.

Summing Up

I think Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a great buy.  You get three products in one, and it keeps makeup in place really well.  I’m excited to try it with a foundation instead of BB Cream.

What’s your favorite primer?  Leave me a comment or message me here!  And don’t forget to subscribe!

Dior Addict Lip Glow

Okay, a little disclaimer on this one.  I love Dior.  I haven’t found a product by them that I haven’t liked so far.  So this review of Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm might seem like I’m being biased for some reason.  I’m not.  I just love their products.

First Impressions

I was first introduced to Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm by my friend, Missy, while we were out having lunch one day.  Now, I’m usually skeptical of products that promise to enhance your natural lip color.  These lip glosses usually either a) don’t do anything for me or b) turn a ghastly shade of ’80s pink.

However, Missy insisted this was a great product, and I had recently read about it in Glamour magazine, so I decided to give it a go.  The packaging is elegant, distinctly Dior, and I decided to get the classic pink color as opposed to the coral or lilac.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if I was aware that the coral or lilac was available when I first purchased the gloss.

Beauty Chaos - Dior Addict Lip Glow Lips
See how shiny?

To my surprise and delight, Dior Addict Lip Glow works just as it promises.  I have a very pale lip color to begin with, and the gloss adds just a hint of color.  It’s perfect for days where I don’t wear much makeup, or when I’m doing a smoky eye and need just a hint of color on my lips.  I really envy the woman who have lovely, naturally berry-colored lips.  If I don’t wear some sort of color on my lips, I tend to look sickly.

Dior Addict Lip Glow moisturizes as well, which is nice because I have a nervous habit of biting my lips.  I end up in a state of perpetually chapped lips, which is not pleasant, and requires lots of moisturizing. Matte lips are usually a no-go for me.  Lip scrubs are my friend.  But the Lip Glow has become a staple in my purse.  I carry it with me wherever I go for a quick perk-up.

Beauty Chaos - Dior Addict Lip Glow
It looks like I’m wearing more makeup in the second photo, but I swear it’s only the lip gloss that’s different. Also, I need a selfie stick…
Cost and Where to Buy

Dior Addict Lip Glow can be found on the Dior website for $33.00.  You can also get it at Sephora for $33.00.  I know it sounds like a lot for lip gloss, but I’ve had mine forever and it’s still kickin’.  eBay doesn’t have it for much less, just in case that’s tempting.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pin

Summing Up

I would give Dior Addict Lip Glow a 9 out of 10.  I’m only deducting for price on this one, because $33.00 does seem like a lot for lip gloss.  But try it, you won’t regret it.  Sometimes spending a little more on cosmetics is worth it, in my experience.

Have a favorite lip gloss you want me to try?  Want me to try something you don’t want to buy first?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara

I have always been drawn to Benefit Cosmetics.

The packaging speaks to me.  The bright pink with all the cool retro-looking photos – I dig it.  So trying out the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara was a no-brainer.

There’s even a Benefit Cosmetics vending machine in the Burbank Airport.  I’m sure there’s others in other airports, but Burbank is the only place I’ve seen one.  Every time I have down time at the airport, I inevitably end up circling the Benefit vending machine, the products winking back at me like expensive bags of chips or candy bars.  I usually have to pry myself away.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara Pin - Beauty Chaos

The first thing I ever purchased from Benefit was their Kitten Sparkling Body Powder.

loved it.  This was back in college when I was still wearing things like sparkling body powder, and I used to dust myself with it every time I went out.  Unfortunately, Benefit has discontinued the Kitten, but they bring it back for limited offers every once in a while.

Now, before I get into the review, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately.  Maybe it’s because I’m doing too much.  Maybe it’s that a spider tried to assassinate me this morning as I was waking up.  One of the foster cats, Moonshine, thwarted his attempt, but he’s now lost in my bedroom waiting for his next opportunity.

Just look at those faces!

Oh, and the foster cats are still with us.  The people who were interested apparently lost interest.  Their loss – these girls are amazing and they are welcome here for as long as they like.  Or at least as long as they’re saving me from spider assassins.

Now, back to Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Beauty ChaosI came upon a display at Ulta with a bunch of different mascaras, several of which were “fan favorites.”  Since I had already tried a few of the ones on display, including Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, I decided to try Benefit.

The packaging, of course, is adorable, with the signature Benefit script screaming “They’re Real!” in orange and red across the black box.  Copy on the box says that 94% of users saw dramatic length and volume and visible lift, and 90% saw base to tip curl.  Apparently 100% of users saw long wearing results, which is a pretty hefty claim for any company as it leaves absolutely no margin for error.

The tube itself is this futuristic looking dark chrome color, really cool.  And the brush is specially designed for Benefit to give ultimate results.

The reviews on are mixed.
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Left Eye Only
Mascara left eye only

I’ve seen some products where the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and those products usually are shoo-ins.  While They’re Real! has a good amount of five star reviews, there are also a pretty significant number of two and one star reviews.

The reason I’m mentioning this is I find this mascara…underwhelming.  It works fine, lengthens a bit and darkens my lashes, but not nearly to the extent that some other mascaras I’ve tried do.  I’m a little disappointed, to be honest.  With the packaging boasting such amazing claims, I thought for sure I’d found my next favorite.  Unfortunately not, especially for the price tag of $24.

Cost and Where to Buy

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and the Benefit Cosmetics website for $24.  On the Benefit site, there are three colors to choose from: black, brown, and blue.

Summing Up

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara - Beauty Chaos
Top: Naked
Middle: One Coat
Bottom: Two Coats

By all means, conduct your own experiment with this one.  I’m kind of spoiled when it comes to mascara; I expect a lot, and if my lashes don’t look like I’m wearing falsies, I’m not happy.  Based on the five star reviews up, and many claiming it’s their favorite, I imagine there are plenty of women out there for whom this mascara works magically.

Got a mascara you want me to try?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

ELF Poreless Face Primer

Random Thoughts

On the docket for today is ELF’s Poreless Face Primer.  But first, some randomness, as promised in my original conception of this blog.  It’s so funny, because while I was in the shower (which is where I always get ideas) I had tons of things to write about.  The trick is getting them all on the computer before they fly out of my head.  Which happens quickly :).

I have four cats living in my home currently.  It’s not like I have wayward cats just stopping by; I say I have four currently because two are foster cats.  So maybe I do have wayward cats.  Bottom line, I have two more than I usually do.

I also have a robot vacuum, a Bobsweep to be precise.  And I love the robot vacuum.  I’m fairly certain about 80% of my life is spent vacuuming when I don’t use the Bob (that’s his name).  Unfortunately, one of the cats got scared of the Bob last time I ran him, and peed on one of the couch cushions.  So now, Bob is just another piece of furniture that I stare at longingly when I’m vacuuming.  With the regular vacuum.

So there’s the random thoughts for today. Onto ELF’s Poreless Face Primer.  Now I, like most women, spent most of my youth not wearing foundation.  In fact, I thought for years that it aged me.  I look back on those days fondly.  With what I would define as starting-to-be-aging skin, foundation definitely makes all the difference in whether I look 27 or 47.

For years, I also did not indulge any thoughts of “primer,” except on special occasions where I was being made up by a makeup artist.  Again, I remember these days fondly, for now I put on primer sometimes when I’m not even putting on foundation.  It offers a nice, even finish to apply loose powder or highlighter or whatever.

ELF Poreless Face Primer Pin

First Impressions

I would like to mention that, even as I’m writing this, one of my cats (the jerk) is tearing at the corner of my shag rug.  I’m sure I’ll talk more about him later.  At first glance, I really like ELF Cosmetics.  The aesthetic of the brand is simple, something akin to MAC, perhaps, very clean with simple black packaging.  I wish it were more mainstream, as I often have to go hunting for it in the drugstore and usually find it on the end of an aisle somewhere.

The consistency of the product is hard to describe.  It almost feels like liquid powder, if that makes any sense.  It’s slippery but light.

More Thoughts

By the time I got around to buying ELF Cosmetics Poreless Primer, I had already tried a few ELF products.  So I kind of knew the caliber of the brand, which I think is good.  ELF always stacks up well in product comparisons that I’ve read on other blogs, so I was optimistic.

Now, I have huge pores.  Cavernous.  Surface of the moon.  And it’s just getting worse as I get older.  I’ve always been envious of those girls with perfect skin.  I have a few girlfriends whose skin looks like its been airbrushed all the time.  I want to kick them, just a little bit.

So here’s me starting out without makeup today.   This gives me a ridiculous amount of anxiety — I hate looking at photos of myself without makeup.  But I think this is something a lot of women struggle with and my new rule is that I have to do things that scare me and be brave.  So here:

I don’t know if that gives an accurate representation of what my pores look like, but I’ll spare everyone the close-up of my nose.  Now, the next photo is me with just the primer on my face, pre-makeup application.

ELF Poreless Face Primer - Beauty Chaos

Still not great, but markedly less shiny.  And my pores aren’t jumping out at me anymore, demanding that someone use them as swimming holes or something.

Better, right? This is me with the primer, undereye concealer, ELF Loose Powder and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, one coat.  Not going to win any awards, but also not going to scare anyone at the pet store.

Cost and Where to Buy

ELF Cosmetics Poreless Primer can be found on the ELF Cosmetics website for $6, Amazon for $5.99, or at your friendly CVS store for $8.00.

Summing Up

I’d give ELF Cosmetics Poreless Primer an 8 out of 10.  I’m definitely incorporating primer into my makeup routine from now on, and I think this does what it sets out to do.  The price is very good.  My only complaint is that I think sometimes it makes me break out.  But not always.  Yeah, I thought that would end when I left my teens, too.  Surprise!

Want me to try a different primer?  Leave me comment or send me a message!