Putting together beautifully coordinated outfits takes time. Even people who have a natural eye and flair for knowing what will look good together have to spend time actually trying things on, to make sure things fit together. That kind of time, to pull things out of your closet and try them on in different combinations, plus the time it takes to clean up the mess from all those experiments, is a luxury many busy moms just don’t have.

Here’s a strategy for how to look more polished and put together without the time commitment of building a grand ensemble of clothes and accessories. Choose one thing to wear that will be a standout. You may not have an hour to style your look, but you probably have just five minutes to choose the piece, makeup look, or hairstyle that makes you happy that day. 

Striking Color

It’s easy to lose parts of yourself and your identity as a mom. You are so focused on taking care of little humans that your own needs and wants can often take a back seat. A simple way to take your beauty power back is to choose a color or two that always make you feel pretty, powerful, or sophisticated. 

Look for a blouse or sweater in the exact color of your eyes or the color of your cheeks when you blush, as those are guaranteed to flatter you. If bold colors brighten your mood, choose one or two that also look great on you without much or any makeup. The trick here is to make sure the color doesn’t wash you out, like fluorescents typically do, because that will force you to either feel drab when you look in the mirror or take time to add color to your face. 

Hair Wow

Since people tend to look at your face first, having a lovely hairstyle can make a big impact on your overall appearance. Jeans and a t-shirt can have an elegant vibe if your hair is pulled into a pretty chignon. 

Learning a new hairstyle, like an elegant updo, usually takes time and repeated tries. Fortunately, once you have it mastered, though, you can do it quickly. For example, you can quickly elevate a basic high ponytail by applying a curling iron 1 inch barrel, taking your hairstyle from blah to beautiful in just a couple of minutes. You can add elegance to a basic bun by adding a braid or purposely sweeping it to one side. The key is adding just a minute or two of intentional effort. 

Statement Jewelry

Some jewelry is sentimental. Some styles are worn to enhance an outfit. Some pieces are meant to stand out on their own. If you like jewelry, be on the lookout for a necklace, earrings, or bracelets that pack a style punch. On days when you just need to throw on one of your go-to outfits, it only takes 10 seconds more to throw on that amazing necklace that draws the eye and the compliments. There is no worry about wearing it often, as you would with some items of clothes, because the jewelry you wear often becomes like your signature or style brand. 

Skin Glow

Taking care of your skin is a long-term investment with immediate benefits. For busy moms, one of the best things about making an effort with your skincare is that it’s really easy to incorporate it into the things you already do. You are already washing your face in the shower or as part of your daily routine. Choose a cleanser that addresses your specific skin needs, and alternate it with an exfoliant. That adds zero more time to your routine. 

If you are like most moms, you spend a lot of time driving kids all over town. Keep sunscreen moisturizer in the car. You can apply it while you wait for the bus, or even at traffic lights. Protecting your skin while running errands is super easy. 

Invest in some retinol serum or some eye cream. Put it on your nightstand, since you get the most benefits from it if it’s on your skin in the dark for several hours. Add 30 seconds to your day by quickly rubbing some into your face, just before you lay down to sleep. A minute or two per day, thinking about your style can go a long way to making you feel and appear really put together.