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How to find a simple beauty routine that works for you

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Turn simple into something beautiful

Cleanse, tone, moisturize, exfoliate, protect, beautify and style -- who has time for all those steps during an average day? Learn how to make the most of your time while creating a simple and effective routine perfectly suited for you.

Woman doing nails

1Prioritize your tasks

As much as you may love playing with eye shadow and lip gloss, those aspects of your beauty routine are secondary to basic skin and hair care. You want to make sure that you prioritize your beauty routine and set aside time to perform the following tasks:

  • Apply sunscreen daily
  • Thoroughly cleanse and moisturize skin once per day
  • Exfoliate once or twice per week
  • Wash hair three to four times per week
  • Deep condition twice per month
  • Perform nail care two to four times per month

As long as you make sure you're performing these basic beauty tasks, you can spend the rest of your time on the more glamorous aspects of beauty.

Save time with these beauty routine shortcuts >>

2Combine tasks

There's no law that states you have to perform each beauty task independently of every other task. Look for ways to combine steps in your routine to speed the whole thing up. For instance, if you typically wash your face, apply a moisturizer, add sunscreen and then layer on foundation, you're essentially tripling the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning. Instead, look for a tinted moisturizer that has SPF included. After splashing your face with water to help wake up your skin, simply slick on a coat of tinted moisturizer and you'll be ready to go. Similarly, many women forget that shaving is a form of exfoliation. If you spend time exfoliating your body before shaving your legs, cut out a step and let the razor do the trick!

Don't miss these celebrity secrets for simplifying your beauty routine >>

3Break up your schedule

Many women find themselves falling into a specific routine because they don't want to forget one of the steps, so instead of only exfoliating once or twice a week, they end up doing it every night to stay on track. If this sounds like you, consider printing up a beauty schedule. On your schedule, you can identify which days you'll wash your hair, which days you'll exfoliate and which days you'll focus on your nails. By breaking up your schedule this way, you can combine tasks that make sense, like applying self-tanner on the same day that you exfoliate; you'll end up saving time because you're performing each task less frequently and more efficiently.

4Reach out to friends

Every woman has different beauty needs. A woman with very curly, thick hair will need a different routine than a woman with very thin, straight hair. If you haven't changed up your routine in years, chances are that there are lots of new beauty products geared specifically to your beauty needs. Rather than try a bunch of new products that may or may not work, identify a few friends that have hair or skin similar to yours and ask if they have any favorite beauty treatments. You may find a few new products that enable you to combine or shorten your daily beauty routine.

More beauty tips and tricks

Real women speak: Morning beauty routines that work
Real women speak: Nighttime beauty routine secrets
5 Tips to upgrade your beauty routine

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