Who isn't time-challenged these days?  Whether it's trying to ensure that you get a healthy lunch and a workout during the day or if you're chasing after little rascals and corralling them for school, we're all trying to do too much with too little.  This leaves little time to look after ourselves and days, weeks, and months of self-neglect take their toll on us both physically and mentally.   And let's face it, the clothes actually do make the man because when we look good, we feel good, so regularly skipping out on even the most minor beautification is hazardous to your health.  

I'm a fan of Dita von Teese— she's a hometown girl (she grew up about 70 miles north of where I grew up) and much like her, I love the classic looks of the 40s-60s.  I've taken one for the team and read her 400-page tome Your Beauty Mark, the Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour.  The book makes its point:  Dita is a wellspring of conventional beauty wisdom, fantastical fluff, and anachronisms from years past.  To get down to brass tacks, Dita says that beauty and glamour are yours to be had at any budget.  And she is right.  Beauty is not just skin deep; we owe it to ourselves to honor thy temple with good food, good exercise, sound sleep, and well...the occasional swipe of lipstick if you're into that.

No need to spend a fortune at the makeup counter or at the hairdresser either— just find your ritual and devote at least five minutes of your day to sticking with it.   Someone will notice.  Perhaps that random compliment from a stranger might turn a terrible day into a bearable one.

Back to being short on time.  It's a glorious day when I manage to put on makeup before iI leave the house for work, which is a shame.  I've got pots and brushes galore, but between cleaning the cat box and making an omelet, nary an eyeliner meets my eyes.  I could spend 30 minutes put on full face, but I'll let the ladies in on a secret: you need only three things and five minutes to bounce from blah to banging.

Before I get to that tidbit of information, here's a bit else that might help the morning mad dash go a bit easier - organize your beauty stash according to time.  There's "I barely have time to go pee" (about 3 minutes), "The time fairies are being kind" (about 10 minutes), and "Full on Zsa Zsa Gabor" (which is 30 minutes or more).  Most of the time I'm trying to find the time to go pee, so I stick to the magic trifecta: tinted sunscreen moisturizer (MAC's BB Cream is a personal favorite), lipstick, and mascara.  I know there's going to be some debate about the trifecta, but in my opinion red lipstick never fails and there is a version for everyone.   Skin with cool undertones do blue-red well and skin with warm undertones shine with orange-based reds.  Golden undertones can kind of rock either, but pinkish reds work well.

The unseen part of having a two minute beauty routine is adequate prep.  Start with the most important matter; clean skin.  I only have a few rules for sudsing your mug and the first is try to stay away from anything too soapy and drying.  It's no secret that facial skin is sensitive skin, so tread carefully with a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type.  Don't forget to clean the back of your neck, your ears, your neck and décolletage (now how often do I get to say that?).  I change products up, but I do like the oil-based Eucerin Skin Calming wash.  The smell isn't the most pleasant— it smells like fish oil tablets, but it's offensiveness is exactly what I like.  The main ingredient behind the smell is castor oil, which many probably remember from childhood.  Good news is, this gag-inducing elixir can a) be made less pungent with a few drops of essential oil and b) will do a lot for your hair and skin when used topically.  At night I generally clean off outstanding residue and daily dirt by using Avene micellar water and cotton pads.  It suits my lazy ways; a few swipes and I'm done.  Lazier?  Try Simple micellar wipes.  Want something more organic?  Try olive oil.  It pulls makeup off easily. 

After washing your face either day or night, be sure to appropriately moisturize for your skin type and the season.  Chicago winter is stupid harsh on facial skin and you need to bump up the moisture and don't skimp on the sunscreen.  SPF 30 that blocks both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays is good for all adult skin.  You might choose sunscreen that has physical sunblock (either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) over that has chemical sunblock (octinoxate/octisalate/ensulizole) if your skin is sensitive. Sunscreen is for all folks of all skin colors and types— again, don't skimp out on it.  It's better than skin cancer.    Summer requires a lighter texture moisturizer but one that's definitely heavy on blocking harmful sun rays.  I personally like Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion.    These are great for the daytime, but nighttime requires a different approach, and my suggestion is that you use something that's highly moisturizing for your skin type that doesn't have sunscreen.  Good old food grade, BGLH Whipped Shea Butter, olive oil or coconut oil works fine for me, or I use a bit of Caudalie Divine Oil if I'm feeling extra special.  

Taking 3-10 minutes of time to pamper yourself daily is worth loads in return.  Again, it's less of what you do and the fact that you do it, so snuggle up to your favorite mug of tea, pull out your fancy silver mirror and treat yoself!