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Your good night’s rest definitely has the potential to lead to a not-so-good morning. It can be a little too good, especially when you wake up face down in your pillow only to realize the Top Flight security bonnet-wrap-du-rag triumvirate is hiding somewhere beneath the sheets and you also realize you’re running 10 minutes behind schedule.

These types of mornings can happen at any time, and there’s no way to completely prevent them (especially when you’re genuinely exhausted). They’re the days you wake up looking like a monster and you’ve got to assemble yourself from scratch with limited time. Here are some tips to get you looking good and out the door—fast.

Assess the damage

Ask yourself: How bad is the damage exactly? This is crisis management and you’ve got to be honest with yourself in order to be successful. Are you just a little puffy or do your eyelids look like caramel marshmallows? Is your hair salvageable or did WWIII happen to the front, left quadrant of your head?  It’s tough. It’s disheartening. It’s a negative start to the day, but once you’ve surveyed the damage you can devise a plan of action of which mishap to tackle first. To think of it like a vehicle, do you need the service station for an oil change or the body shop for impact damage? Once you’ve done this quick assessment, you can move forward with an action plan.

Tackle your hair

This is the hard part, which is why we’ll talk about it first. Fixing your hair into something presentable usually takes the most time. During this time of need, bobby pins, large hairpins, hair ties, ponytail holders, old T-shirt strips and any other type of hair restraint tools are your friends. If you’re wearing a straight style, a top knot—formerly known as a sock bun in 1992—is an easy and obvious answer. So is a braided side pony tail or a braided hairline secured at the nape of your neck with bobby pins. For those who are natural, there’s a little more panic involved. Use hairpins to secure your hair into a French roll eliminating any exposure of wayward strands. Tying a strip of fabric or a neck scarf (think Parisian size) helps save time when coaxing your hair into a ponytail or puff. Keep a liquid leave-in conditioner handy to work into your hair. If all else fails (and you don’t have a fancy hair scarf to manipulate), start over in the shower. Whether your hair is straight or  super coily, the key is to secure your hair, concealing evidence of a rat’s nest and smoothing down your edges.

Pamper your skin

If slept with your face mushed into your memory foam pillow and your skin turned against you, don’t let the situation escalate. Apply a lip scrub and then lip balm to your lips as a preventative measure before brushing your teeth. That way you’ll avoid splitting super dry lips (hey, it’s winter–it happens). Sheet wrinkles are another annoying occurrence that sometimes you have to just ‘wait out.’ But to speed the process up, take an extra minute to massage away any lines while you apply your daily facial moisturizer. To reduce puffiness, spray cool water on your face. Beverage companies make small ‘refresher’ spray can versions of their water that you can store in the refrigerator door. The coolness of the water helps reduce swelling, and helps wake you up.

Master easy makeup

You’re late and you’re in the final stages of looking like your normal self again. A crazy morning isn’t the time for trying a look you saw in a video tutorial. If there’s time for nothing else, be sure to sweep a gold shadow onto your lids and line your top lash line. It’s an ‘instant awake’ look. Full-face makeup mavens, today is the day for a BB cream or tinted moisturizer. They’re quick, your skin will thank you, plus, it’s another chance to get blood circulating to massage away sleep lines and puffiness.

Chose your clothing wisely

Hopefully proper clothing has been chosen and is awaiting your arrival. But there are times when the sweet sounds of profanity bleeps on campy reality TV shows are too strong of a lullaby to fight. Fair enough. It happens to the best of us. Saving time means choosing fool-proof outfits. If that go-to ‘fit is crumpled in a ball in the corner, try spraying clothing items with a fabric refresher and blast them with a blow dryer to get rid of wrinkles. Bottoms should straighten out easier when worn on the body. Out the door you go!

You can’t ever predict when you’ll wake up looking like who did it and what for, but now you’ve got the tools to get yourself looking good and out of the door in time to start your day on a positive note.

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