Whoever decided gym class should be second period has a sick sense of humor or no sense of personal hygiene. One round of dodgeball can totally ruin your carefully crafted look—don't even get me started on running the mile. If you're lucky, you're left with two minutes to shower in front of twenty girls, who may or may not include your number one enemy. After splashing your armpits and reapplying deodorant (you're doing that, right?), you probably don't have time for a blowout and smoky eye, but with these five quick tips, you'll at least be looking fresh.
1. Brush through some dry shampoo. Post-gym, your greasy hair is hardly irresistible. Luckily, there are all kinds of dry shampoos on the market these days. Simply spray or sprinkle on your roots and comb through. If you have blonde hair, you can use baby powder (the kind with corn starch is best) to the same effect, but go easy or you'll look like George Washington in last year's production of 1776: The Musical.
2. Do an updo. Even with dry shampoo soaking up the natural disaster/oil slick that was your bangs, your hair is not going have to have the same oomph after all that "humidity." Whether you opt for a ponytail, a bun, or twisting/braiding sections and pinning them back, getting your hair out of your face and off your neck will help you cool down and look more polished.
3. Remove smudges. Baby wipes aren't just good for your pits; they—or makeup remover wipes—can also be used to erase flaked or smudged eye makeup, migrating blush, or bleeding lip color. I am allergic to just about everything, so I use a dab of my sensitive-skin moisturizer (or plain Chapstick) on a Q-tip for touch-ups.
4. Blot blot blot. Look, I know girls don't sweat, they glisten, but I can see my reflection in the glisten on your forehead. Blotting papers to the rescue! They'll absorb oil and sweat along your hairline and in your T-zone. Too fancypants for you? Use a corner of a disposable toilet seat cover (you said blotters were too fancy) or a piece of toilet paper (separate the layers if it's 2-ply—but who are we kidding, this is your cheap school we're talking about). Once you're blotted, a light dusting of mineral powder will help absorb any remaining shine, but don't be tempted to apply full foundation—unless you're going for the mud mask look. In this situation, less is more.
5. Brush your eyebrows. It sounds like a small thing, but a groomed brow totally changes your face. Take it from Martin Scorsese. You can buy a ritzy brow brush or do what I do and use an old (washed) mascara wand. Even a toothbrush will do in a pinch. Start at the inside of your brow, closest to your nose, and brush up and out toward your temple, then down in an arc, making sure to tame any stragglers.
Voilà. Except for that lingering sense of violation, it's like gym class never happened.