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Tactic #1: Printed Dresses
Instead of a solid colored dress that seems sorta blah without an accessory—who has time to deal with that when really, really late?—reach for a combination, mixed print or colorblocked dress. The right ones have enough going on to stand on their own without a strategic shoe or jewelry pairing. Toss it on, zip it up, go. 6 seconds.
Tactic #2: The Low Ponytail
Don't bother brushing, curling, straightening or braiding. Instead, spend 8 seconds running some sleek-ifying product along the top of your hair and 4 seconds wrapping an elastic band at the nape. It'll look polished and intentional, like you actually spent time trying.
Tactic #3: Build An Outfit Around One Piece
Don't put lots of interesting things from your closet on your bed only to stress over fitting those non-sequiturs together. It takes forever and it's much more challenging. Instead, calm your frazzled morning mind by picking one item you want to wear and building the rest of the outfit around it. (Pencil skirt? Add white blouse, nude heels, done. Checked blazer? Gray knit, black pants, done. Loafer heels? Good black sheath, done.)
Tactic #4: Pouching
Switching handbags in the morning is such a time suck. Storing all your necessities—cash, credit cards, keys, ChapStick, gum—in one pouch that you rotate in and out of larger bags makes it SO much easier. (Plus, very cool ones like these can double as clutches if you need to go straight to your social life from work.)
Tactic #5: Single-Focus Makeup
Don't do the whole face routine, just pick one asset to highlight and run with it. And pick products that make it easier, of course, like NARS' easy-to-do-apply-a-moving-car lip crayon or Stila's 3-in-1 eye makeup pencil. Spend 30 seconds perfecting a bold lip or smoky eye with one of those, and your whole face will look finished.