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Keep simple, keep stunning: Tips to simplify your beauty routine

Skin needs serums, lotions, creams, moisturizers and gels. For hair, pick several: there's mousse, another gel, pomade, another serum, balm and wax. Let's not even talk about sunscreen, which must be worn daily, whether chemical or physical, and in a choice of SPF factors that seem to range from one to 1,000. The expansive list of options for well-groomed women is bound to leave us permanently pretty, or eternally confused, from head to toe.

This week, I've rounded up some tips to save time and keep it simple, pretties.

Beauty sleep basics

Getting ample rest is step one in simplifying your beauty routine. Pretty days begin with restful nights. In fact, experts recommend no less than seven hours of sleep each night.

Switching your cotton pillow case to silk will help assure that you wake up radiant rather than wrinkled. And, by showering or bathing at night and prepping hair before bed, whether you blow-dry, curl or air dry, a silk pillowcase will protect locks from friction, and even prevent hair breakage. Opt for a specialty pillowcase like Beautyzzz ($47), a natural silk pillowcase that purports to promote better beauty sleep. Or, head to your local Bed, Bath and Beyond and pick up a silk pillowcase for about $20.

Sleeping can serve as a spa treatment with quick overnight treatments that restore smooth skin, ward off wrinkles and even repair locks while you sleep. Treat feet to Dr. Scholl's Ultra Overnight Foot Cream ($6 at drugstores) before slipping into socks; stave off aging with Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($44 for 1 oz. at kiehls.com); and even repair damaged hair with Redken's Real Control Overnight Treat Night Recovery Treatment ($20.50 at Ulta).

Pretty prep

There's no better way to simplify your morning beauty schedule than by doing some basic prep. Organizing beauty products is a good start, but you'll save even more time if you organize your beauty routine.

No matter how large your bathroom, countertop space is always at a premium. Speed through your beauty routine by keeping products you use every single day within arm's reach. When possible, opt for standing pump bottles, saving time otherwise spent fiddling with opening jars cutting down on product waste by serving up that just-right-amount of cream, cleanser, SPF and the like. Be hard core about limiting the items that earn a countertop position to the truly everyday essentials. (And, no, you do not need four lips balms and three eye creams daily.)

Always have your 10-minute-makeup stash close at hand, preferably relegated to a small, see-through bag in a top drawer. This bag contains all you need to get gorgeous in minutes and saves time searching for your go-to-items alongside 20 lipsticks you never use and 30 lacquers you've worn once. Mine includes just six daily must-haves: powder foundation, lipstick, lip liner, mascara, blush and eye shadow. And while there are certainly many days that I opt for a more complex collection of cosmetics to create a dramatic new look, there are also many days that having a few necessities close at hand is simply perfect.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.

Keep simple, keep stunning: Tips to simplify your beauty routine 06/28/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:30am]

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