Hey Mom! I see you there. You're tired - no exhausted. At this stage in life, although it can be so rewarding, it can be draining - emotionally, physically and mentally. Your hormones are out of whack, your body has changed and chances are your skin has changed. Time is limited and any time for ourselves dissolves away. I get it. I have been there. I've been there 3 times and I am still there now. We all know that when we look good we feel good. What if I told you that you could take 5-10 minutes and 6 products or less to put on a bit of makeup to lift your spirits? Cosmetic companies would like you to think that you need numerous products but for an every day fresh look you really only need 3-6 products depending on what you are hoping to achieve.
Here are my top product recommendations for busy Mom's. Even if you aren't a Mom this post is full of tricks and tips for women of all stages of life for a speedy application. I've tried include products from low to high price ranges for each one but keep in mind that if you are going to be using something everyday it may be worth investing in a higher end, quality product. Or if you aren't going to be using every day consider buying a "travel" size of a more premium product. All products have a limited shelf life regardless of size or price so considering how often you will be using your product can help determine weather to splurge or save. A lot of times you do get what you pay for. Please note that skin care/prep ins't included in the steps as this is something that you should be doing everyday regardless of weather you are wearing makeup or not. Let's get started!
Step #1 - Concealer (90 seconds)
Every tired Mom needs this in their cosmetic bag. Nothing is going to brighten you up more than a light-weight brightening concealer. My all time favourite concealer for under eyes has to be Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix. It brightens the under eye and corrects dark tones without being heavy or caking. Another thing that I love about this is that it blends seamlessly into the rest of your skin. I love this brand! It's Canadian and the founding artist Sebastien Tardif hates caked on, heavy makeup. This was formulated to look like skin and it does. It retails for $42 and you can find it here If you are on a bit of a budget try picking up a travel size of the NARS radiant creamy concealer $16 here Travel sizes are a great if you want to try something without committing to a full size item or if you aren't going to be using it often. Another budget friendly option is the NYX HD Studio Concealer $8 which you can find here
Side Notes/Application Tips:
Apply under eyes in a triangular shape and to any blemishes or undesired pigmentation. Blend out with a stiff brush or by dabbing lightly with your finger.
My concealer is creasing" You must set lightly with a translucent powder and use sparingly. Try doing your concealer and then blending out any creasing at the end of your routine before you set with powder.
"It's adding too much texture to my skin" I can't stress enough how important it is to have a proper skin care routine in place and to keep hydrated. Dry textured skin+makeup=dry, even more textured skin. Imagine trying to smooth out tree bark only using paint. Proper skin prep and priming will correct this issue. Skincare will be another blog post for another time.
Step #2 - Blush or Bronzer (30 seconds)
I could give literally 100 recommendations for blushes and bronzers. When you are tired and washed out it instantly brings you back to life. Personally - if I am not wearing another other face makeup (foundation, highlighter, contour, etc.,) I like to use something with a bit of shimmer to it to make my skin appear healthy and glowing. My favourite shimmer blushes are Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold $46 here , or something more bronze I reach for MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow $38 here , I love Hourglass Ambient lighting powders, blushes and bronzers starting at $45 here NARS Blush in Orgasm and Bronzer in Laguna are amazing and conveniently come in a duo $54 here . A great cream option is Charolette Tilbury Beach Stick in Moon Beach $48 here This is a beautiful rose gold shade and gets bonus points since you can use it on lips as well. If you are wanting more of a matte finish I absolutely love the tarte blushes $35 here and benefit cosmetics Hula Bronzer $36 here but also has a travel size option available at $20. Some more budget friendly options that are Milani Baked blush which us around $8 here NYX Cosmetics High Definition blush also around $8 here Colour Pop blushes and bronzers are also an excellent option at $8 (US) here
Side Notes/Application Tips:
Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend upwards following your cheek bones. This will allow for a sculpted look without using multiple products
Always blend out your edges with your fingers or a brush
Step #3 - Brow Pencils/Gel (60 seconds)
Brows are so important to frame your eyes and face. Too dark and you look like a Disney villain. Too light and they disappear into your face making you look sickly (something I know all about). This is another category that surprisingly, the budget brand has won. My absolute favourite brow pencil is from Colour Pop and can be found here Fill in your brows with the pencil and always comb through for a more natural, softer look. If you have good shape and want to add volume check out Benefit Cosmetics Give me brow $30 here and if you have very dark brows that you want to appear lighter, or very light brows that you want to appear darker try MAC Cosmetics Pro Long Wear Brow Set. Its waterproof and wears incredibly well. $21 here
Side Notes/Application Tips:
If you have full beautiful brows - first of all - I am insanely jealous. Secondly - skip all the brow products give them a brush with some clear brow set to keep them in place. And when it comes to this product, from my experience, they are all the same. This is not a product to splurge on. Find Covergirl's version for $7 here
I always prep my brows by dusting the smallest amount of translucent powder on top. I really find that this helps the quality of application when using my brow pencil.
Step #4 - Mascara (90 seconds)
Mascara! There is not a better way out there to emphasize your eyes in a flash then a swipe or two of mascara. I love mascara the most out of all the products in the world. If I could only use 1 product mascara would be the clear winner. The number 1 difference in mascara performance is the brush. While formula is also a factor, that brush can make a world of difference. My current choice for personal use is tarte cosmetics tastiest lash paint mascara. It adds major volume and it is has a sculpted silicone brush which really helps to keep lashes separated and prevent clumping. And I don't find that it smudges or flakes. Find it here for $33. I also love too faced better than sex mascara as it gives insane volume. I love the fat full brush! Here for $30. Both of these are more of an expensive brand but once again if you aren't going to be wearing all the time the travel sized options are great. If you are looking for a budget mascara try L'oreal Voluminous here for under $7.
Start at the base of the lashes and wiggle the brush upwards. Always do 2-3 thin coats to build up volume and length without clumping. Take a tissue and give your mascara want a wipe before application if you have to.
If you find your mascara is transferring under your eyes by the end of the day - The moisture from concealer or eye cream or even the oils that occur naturally in your skin can draw the mascara down under your eyes giving you a horrible raccoon eye look. Try setting your concealer or eye cream lightly with a lightweight translucent powder. If this still doesn't work skip mascara on the bottom lashes.
Once you open that tube of mascara it has a maximum of 12 weeks until you need to toss it and replace it. When it is exposed to the air it starts gathering bacteria and over time that bacteria can risk infection. Don't risk it - especially with your eyes.
Step #5 - Lipgloss/Lipstick (30 seconds)
All of my budget babes are going to love this one! Some of my absolute favourite lip products are a lower price range. In the lipstick category we have Colour Pop for the win. Starting at $5 US you really can't go wrong. Their Lippie Stix are super pigmented - I love them and I actually carry them in my professional kit. Try the shades Oh Snap or Kiddo for some great neutrals and can be found here They also make an array of other products which I love so be sure to check out the rest of their site. I also love NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss at $8 here. They are more of a sheer pigment, smooth and non-sticky. And since I will always be a MAC girl through and through I still love (and probably always will) MAC Lipsticks at $21 here They have such a huge selection of shades and formulas. It would be impossible to visit a MAC store and not find something perfect for you. And MAC Lipglass at $19 here They have a large variety of colours and with it being thick and stickier it will stay longer on your lips.
I know lipstick and lipgloss aren't for everyone and some of you are lucky enough to be blessed with full and pigmented lips - if that is you skip this product category or opt for some lip balm. Try Burts for under $5 here I love the tinted options that they have as well. Crate 61 Coconut Lip Balm under $3 here or good old fashioned Vaseline Lip Therapy under $5 here
So there you have it! 5 products and 5 minutes for busy mom's with budgets big and small. If you are just starting out in makeup this may take you a little longer but the more you do it, the quicker it will be. You can always add more makeup to your routine (if you have the time) or skip steps if it isn't something you feel you need to use. These are just the basics. Or even skip all the steps! Some days (even as a makeup artist) I don't wear a stitch of makeup! Still feeling lost? Why not book a makeup lesson!
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