How to look beautiful in the time it takes to say “clean up your room!”
Beauty routines for women are divided by one timeline: BC, or Before Children.
Long ago, before diaper changes and soccer practice, we could leisurely apply a shimmering palette of creams, lotions, powders and blushes.
Radonda, a social worker and homeschooling mom to a lively 4-year old in Orlando, Florida, says her beauty routine is “get out the door as fast as possible!” Forty-something Janine B. in Cicero, New York, is a graphic designer and mother to two young sons. She says she has “a half-hour – maybe” to shower, dress, and get ready for work in the morning.
Let’s be clear on this: every mother is a working mother.
We change diapers, make lunches, load dishwashers (and empty, and load, and empty), fold laundry, check homework and work late. We dash out the door in the morning feeling lucky if we have the time to brush our teeth, let alone brush on mascara.
So what’s the solution for time-pressed moms who want to look good? Make-up artists Kirsten Sylvester and Souraya Hamdi have the answer.
“Multi-task. Use products that can do more than one thing,” says Kirsten, whose 8 years in the business include an impressive portfolio of commercial and runway work. “Even my sunscreen (from Stila) doubles as a very sheer foundation.”
For all-around versatility, Kirsten likes MAC’s Crème color base. “Use it on cheeks, lips, eyes, wherever you want to add color.”
MAC also offers other multi-purpose makeup, including a Bronzing Stick and Pearlizer, a micro-fine frost pigment for face and eyes in colors like Good as Gold. Wearing foundation and powder is usually a luxury for time-pressed moms, so try Lancôme’s versatile Dual Finish powder
– it’s both in one elegant compact.
Applied dry over moisturizer, it’s a natural matte makeup; applied with a damp sponge, it’s a full-coverage, ultra-matte foundation.
Of course, raising a teenager doesn’t mean your skin can’t act like one. Almay’s ClearComplexion (in concealer, makeup, and powder) contains a proven acne-fighter, to conceal as it heals blemishes and to prevent new ones from forming.
The busy moms I interviewed are interested in multi-tasking beauty products that can be applied quickly, with great results.
“I’d really like something that you could add to the water softener, so you could just shower and your make-up would be flawlessly applied,” jokes Radonda.
Fortunately, cosmetic companies now recognize that women want savvy products that do two or three things at onc – just like we do!
Makeup artist Souraya Hamdi has had considerable success with products from Nars, Stila and Stockholm. All feature products in a good range of color. She recommends Nars’ The Multiple for Eyes, Lips, Cheeks and Body, a featherweight cream-to-powder stick.
“It’s excellent for highlighting wherever needed. Face Stockholm’s Trinity for Eyes, Lips and Cheeks is basic, but long lasting.”
For women who want dramatic eyes in a flash, she recommends Stila’s Convertible Lash + Line, a 2-in-1 liquid liner and mascara in coordinated colors.
Other multi-task beauty products to try:
Beauty begins with a good night’s sleep…but “well-rested mother” is an oxymoron.
Whether it’s a fussy baby, an overdue report, or a teenager in angst, there’s always something to keep moms from getting a full night’s sleep. Here’s some tricks from the experts on how to look vibrant, rested, and of course, beautiful.
8 ways to fake 8 hours of beauty sleep:
1. No matter how tired you are, remove your makeup and apply moisturizer before going to bed. Origin’s Checks and Balances is a frothy cleanser that works well for combination skin. For a good all-around night cream, try Lancôme’s Primordiale Optimum Night.
2. In the morning, wake up your skin with Rise and Shine from Elizabeth Arden’s new SkinSimple line. This elixir of Vitamin C and other face-friendly nutrients gives your skin a radiance boost.
3. Dab concealer onto the outer edges of your eye and on the bridge of your nose. This not only brightens your face, but draws attention away from any dark circles underneath your eye. Well-groomed brows also keep the focus at eye level and above.
4. Avoid using liner on the lower lashes; it draws attention to under-eye circles. Instead, apply eye shadow with a small flat angled brush.
5. Make your eyes pop with contrasting colors: plums, purples, even coppery colors for blue eyes; warmer plums and purples for green eyes, and virtually any color goes for brown eyes. No time for guesswork? Almay’s Intense I-Color gives you coordinated palettes of shadow, liner and mascara to bring out the blue, green, brown or hazel in your eyes.
6. Try rosy pink shades or creamy peaches for lip color, then dab on gloss for soft, plumper-looking lips. Avoid very dark lipsticks; they can emphasize a tired, pale complexion.
7. Models and actors swear by the skin-tightening benefits of dabbing hemorrhoid products like Preparation H around their eyes to fight puffiness. Caution: because this product is clearly meant for the other end of your body, it’s not ophthalmologist-tested for use around the eyes.
8. For those days when you’re drop-dead tired and you just can’t hide it, accentuate the negative. If it works for club-hopping celebrities who are up all night, it can work for tired moms who are up all night with a fussy infant. Line your eyes with kohl and deep smoky shades, and then apply black mascara. Add neutral lip color that’s sheer but sexy, and sign all your correspondence that day as “Angelina Jolie.”