Midsummer madness can involve any number of interesting events or life changes -- a last-minute romantic vacation splurge, a BFF spontaneous road trip, a cross-country move for your dream job or the monumental first fall semester at college -- and all involve some sort of beauty prep work, makeover or packing of essential beauty items. These plans often trigger instant panic or fuel our desperate desire for a mini or even maxi overhaul in the beauty department. But it is possible to roll with the madness (and get great results), with a little planning. . . .
1. Get a game plan.
Whether you have 3 hours or 3 days to whip up your new image, pause and assess your needs so you can assimilate your makeover action plan. Make a list of what you need to do or what you'd like to accomplish -- writing it down will give you clarity and focus. Next, pull out your calendar and book time for yourself.
2. Consider one-stop shopping.
While I prefer to do as much DIY as I can, my favorite technique is to call and book into a salon that does it all. In a pinch you can hit the mall -- most usually offer a variety of walk-in welcome salons, stores and kiosks to accommodate even the most challenging grooming and product needs. Try chain stores like Sephora, Ulta, Target and Kohl's (all also available online) -- you'll be surprised what you'll find there.
3. Collect as you go.
Remember to pick up travel-size beauty samples at your cosmetics counter when you're out and about. You can find everything from eye-remedy creams and serums to mini-mascaras and travel-friendly hair products; I keep a Ziploc bag of my faves in my bathroom cabinet, that way, when I get whisked away on a last-minute business trip or my son's volleyball tournament six hours' away, I don't need to shop -- I'm always ready to go.
4. Try a house call.
Ask your local salon if its staff makes house calls -- it's a super-convenient option, even if it costs a bit more. Another trendy, up-and-coming beauty option is to call in the professionals from Vensette.com, an on-demand beauty service that makes same-day office visits and house calls in record time. The best news is you can book online or through the service's mobile app.
5. Shop online.
Check your favorite beauty apps and fashionista sites for inspiration. Consider ordering your everyday items (makeup sponges, brushes) in kits or in bulk. I always use the online beauty site frendsbeauty.com; they deliver overnight or the same day if you are local. Ask for samples, travel-size beautification elixirs and short-order to-go potions or have them throw in small refillable bottles. Ordering online also allows you to have extra time and energy for last-minute wardrobe incentives or accessories (or just an afternoon nap or extra Pilates class).
6. Think fresh.
Whether it's a new mani/pedi, a full-body scrub, spray tan or if you're simply trying out a few new bronzers and glosses -- go with the glow and do what feels good to you this summer. And don't skip the basics that can help get make any trip, event or new job effortless: the necessary lash and brown arch, the perfect trim, a twisted knot, braided bun or chic blow out. Even a few extra naturally adhered lashes make all the difference in the world.
7. Mix and match.
Your whole goal here is to map out a detailed list of your beauty must-dos and manage your makeover in minutes. So don't forget to mix and match: inexpensive with that must-have item; time-consuming treatments with "quick fixes"; salon treatments with DIY home remedies.
The key is to have fun -- enjoy your makeover with minimal madness no matter what your motives are. The ultimate solution to a new and better you is minutes away.
Nicole Cothrun Venables is a Hollywood stylist with two dozen films and television shows to her credit. Her interviews and beauty articles have appeared in Elle, InStyle, Women's World and Los Angeles.