Puffy eyes, dark under-eye circles, dry skin, gray hair coming in faster than I can manage. All signs that I am a mom (and probably a tired one at that). Have you ever felt tired of looking tired?
For years, I used makeup and hair products that I wasn’t truly happy with and held onto for way longer than I should have. I didn’t look good, and because of this, I didn’t feel good.
I know what you’re thinking; how can I have time to even think about makeup when lunches need to be made, houses need to be cleaned, and laundry needs to be done? If your house is anything like mine in the morning, it is pure chaos, so I need to choose my products wisely and quickly when it comes to self-care! My makeup routine takes me under 10 minutes (sometimes under 5, I swear!).
A quick application of one or all of these essentials will help you look and feel ready to conquer the day.
1. An effective under-eye concealer.
Not sure how well your children sleep, but mine have always been night owls. There have been several nights in which I despairingly thought I’d never sleep again. Up once, twice, three times, and more! I remember a coworker once stating, “Wow, you look so tired.” Exactly what every new mom wants to hear on their first week back to work!
I had tried several items before, like under-eye rollers, morning serums, and even a cooling mask, but none of these seemed to do the trick and also required more of the precious time that I no longer had. I knew it was time to get serious and invest in a good under-eye concealer that was going to at least make me look like I’d gotten a decent night’s sleep. I was on a quest to find the best and most effective dark circle concealer on the market.
Many were too thick, and some even appeared too white. I wanted something that looked natural but also was bright enough to get rid of these circles. After months of trying both cheap and super expensive products, I found my favorite. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination was the end of my search. It’s light and creamy, and best of all, it adds brightness to my eyes that no amount of sleep could add!
Other great under-eye concealers who receive an honorable mention include Laura Mercier’s Under-eye concealer and Tarte’s Shape Tape Contour Concealer. I loved Tarte makeup products for all you pregnant and breastfeeding mamas because of their simple ingredients compared to similar makeup lines. All of the aforementioned products give a nice and creamy finish that makes your eyes pop and at least makes it “appear” like you’ve got your act together.
2. The perfect tinted moisturizer.
Ah, my 20’s, when it seemed like I had plenty of time to perfect my foundation in front of the mirror as I casually sipped my cup of coffee and prepared for my commute to work. Fast forward to now, where I barely have enough time to brush my teeth before packing lunches, getting kids dressed, and running out the door. A lovely lady at Sephora looking to help find a solution to my problem asked, “Have you ever tried a tinted moisturizer?” And at this moment, my love affair with tinted moisturizers began.
No longer am I on the search for the perfect shade of foundation (and truth be told, no longer do I have time to apply it so evenly every morning). I love that it’s light and thin without that cakey feeling that many foundations have, no matter how natural they claim to be. A quick and easy application (with either fingers or a brush) makes my face one color and “presentable” to be seen in public.
My favorite one thus far is Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer. The thing I like most about this product is that it contains SPF along with a hint of shine, which makes it the perfect “go-to” for summer makeup. Two birds, one stone? Don’t mind if I do! I may even have time for a sip of coffee now that I’ve shaved a few minutes off my morning routine (it will probably be cold, but we’re doing the best we can over here).
3. A lengthening mascara to get those lashes poppin’.
I never feel fully ready without a good splash of mascara. I have tried a variety of mascaras in all types of shapes and price ranges. Primers, extensions, fiber lashes, you name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve found that the most important thing when choosing your mascara is the shape of the brush. I am currently using “They’re Real” from Benefit. I even bought the travel-sized version to keep in my purse for mid-day touch-ups. The bristles are tiny so that they can grab every lash. The brush allows just enough mascara to be applied without caking up your lashes. Goodbye tarantula eyes and hello perfect and natural-looking lashes!
4. The perfect shade of root touch-up.
Maybe you are one of the lucky women who have yet to see a gray hair (gasp). If this is the case, I envy you. I really do. My grays come in quicker than I can dye them. While I love to get my hair done professionally, the reality is I don’t have the time to get my roots done every week. Scheduling was also super tricky, with a never-ending to-do list and a limited time frame to get them done! Boxed dies terrified me (this probably has to do with a regrettable incident with Sun-In that left an 8th grade girl with a head full of bright orange hair). It was time to go back to boxed, and me and my 8th grade, orange-haired self knew it too.
I’ve tried several root touch-ups, but my two favorites are Loreal Paris’s Root Rescue and Clairol’s Nice and Easy Root Touch Up. At first, I was worried about finding the correct shade, but it was much easier than I thought. Yes, I’ve used colors that don’t quite work well, and the best part about them is you can dye right over them again; no harm done! Just because most of the time, I feel like an old lady doesn’t mean I have to look like one!
5. An everyday lip color.
I am always on the search for the perfect lip product. The glosses tend to be too sticky, and the lipsticks tend to be too dry. I’ve also tried the “long-last” products and felt like they were drying out my lips. Some of my favorite “go-to” lip products can be found at Clinique. Their chubby sticks are a perfect consistency, size, and color for a natural look. They go on smooth and have a long-lasting appearance that you barely notice you have on. I keep one in every handbag if I run into a client or a class parent on my daily adventures. Want a more natural look? I also enjoy the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm. They are super affordable, and I never feel “overdone” after applying. It’s super smooth and keeps my lips hydrated and colorful.
6. A shimmering highlighter.
Just because I may sometimes feel dull doesn’t mean I have to look dull! Hourglass Ambient Lighting is the perfect highlighting powder to blush atop cheeks and forehead before heading out for the day. A more affordable option is NYX Illuminating Stick in Chardonnay Shimmer. This is also an excellent choice for dabbing around the eyes when you want a hint of sparkle on a makeup-free look.
7. A hydrating moisturizer.
One of the best investments you can make is on a good moisturizer. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to make sure your skin stays happy and hydrated. I’ve recently tried the new Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly and am pleased with how it feels. I love that it is silky but doesn’t leave a residue on your face. I pair this with Clinique’s Moisture Surge at both morning and nighttime skin routines. It may take you some time to find the right moisturizer that works for you. Ask for trial sizes at beauty counters until you find the one that works best!
With all of these products, I hope you know that there are also days that I walk out of my house completely makeup-free (yes, I may scare the neighbors, but that’s life!). Whether you use one or all of these products, I hope you will continue to join me in the never-ending quest to be a mom that looks less tired!