5 Tips for Looking Pulled Together When You're Running Late

Being late to school was always a major source of stress for me when I was growing up. I found it mortifying, plus I would get punished by the school for my parents not getting me there in time, which seemed unfair to me.

I hate being late, and yet, lately, I always am. I'm using my tips for having an awesome morning to help develop a solid morning routine and kick the habit, but in the meantime, these are my favorite tips for making sure I looked pulled together (a must for me by nature, but also in my job description) when I'm short on time.

1. Choose key areas of your face to focus on. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to do a full face of makeup if you are running late. Because once you start it, you really can't not finish it. Trust me, I've been there many times before. Instead, figure out what you need to do to feel polished. Try to stick with 3-5 products. For me, I'll usually do a tinted moisturizer (2 steps in one, plus much quicker to blend than foundation), fill in my brows, line my upper eyelids, and swipe on some mascara, then throw my lipstick in my bag so I can put it on in the car or when I get where I'm going. It's such a good idea to practice this face and time yourself so you can feel super confident on your rushed mornings.

2. Master a go-to hairdo. True story: I am not good at putting my hair in a ponytail. Putting my hair in a ponytail I'm happy with actually takes longer for me than just styling it so I can wear it down. This is a great go-to for lots of people, but not for me. Find the thing that works for you! I'm most confident when my hair is down, and my daily style takes me 5-10 minutes to do and usually lasts me 2-3 days. On day 3 or 4, if I don't have time (or, honestly, am just too lazy) to wash it, I can throw it up in a topknot real quick.

3. Prep your purse. I am notorious in my friend group for having a huge, Mary Poppins-esque handbag on me at all times. I like to be prepared, and I like to have the extra room to be able to throw my laptop, camera, water bottle, book, lunch, or whatever else I need in there and go. BUT, you do not need to have a huge purse to have a prepared purse. Think about the things you often wish you had or end up buying on the run and see if you can stock them in your bag. For me, having a go-to lipstick, a nutrition bar, a pressed powder, a pack of gum, a water bottle, and a battery pack for my phone helps me feel more confident about getting through my day. Confidence is the best accessory, after all.

4. Save your favorite outfits. Take the opportunity on mornings when you have plenty of time to get creative with your wardrobe and save your favorite, go-to outfits for mornings you're lacking in energy or time so you can throw them on and feel and look good. Bonus tip: I like to dress a little nicer on days I'm not feeling well (which includes days I'm feeling stressed or frantic). I don't want people to be able to take one look at me and know that I'm a hot mess that day.

5. Eat Breakfast. Hungry is not a good look or a good feeling! Take a moment to eat a granola bar, bowl of cereal, cold piece of pizza, or piece of fruit. No matter how late you're running, taking a second to drink some water and get some food in your belly is a non-negotiable step in my book. You can always pack something and eat it on the way!

What are you favorite time-saving tips? Share in the comments below! I'm always looking for new strategies to add to my arsenal.