I was recently on the tube in rush hour for the first time whilst sporting a pretty decent bump – a journey where people are crammed up against carriage doors barely fitting in. My faith in humanity was left (sort of) intact as I was kindly offered seats on two trains (cue lump-in-throat moment from hormonal pregnant woman!). Both were offered by young women whilst the carriage of men looked at their shoes. Chivalry dead? Too scared to ask and make a mistake? Or just didn’t care? Surely not the latter!
Anyway, my colleague suggested that I mustn’t look worn-out enough for the men to notice and offer their seat! Well, I often feel pretty rubbish that’s for sure and after many nights of broken sleep (and I know it’s nothing compared to when the baby actually arrives!), my morning face could probably clear an entire tube carriage, never mind one seat.
So, as busy mums and mums-to-be, how the hell can we look less tired? Here are my tips for quick and easy makeup for everyday and the party season.
Firstly, a quick word about under the eyes. As a make-up artist, I’m always asked about this and it’s a part of your face that makes such a difference. So what can you do?
You’ve heard it all before…. sugar, caffeine, alcohol (the fun stuff!) and dehydration are killers. I’d recommend an eye cream (face creams can be too heavy for the delicate eye area) and you don’t have to spend lots! For your skin in general, cleanse really well at night, particularly if you’re prone to breakouts. Face wipes are easy but just move make-up and dirt around your face, so have a good face wash or use Micellar water on a cotton pad afterwards (the remnants are often not pretty!).
6 steps for quick day make-up
CORRECTOR/CONCEALER: Benefit Erase Paste is hard to beat, it’s quick to apply with your fingertips and has the right pink/peach tone to correct dark circles and brightens really nicely. Bobbi brown corrector/concealer combo is my everyday choice. The corrector neutralises dark circles, the concealer is applied over the top to give a more “skin coloured” finish. Again, really quick to apply with your ring finger. If you can set with a light dusting of powder even better as it will last longer. A good multi-tasker is NARS Creamy Concealer – use sparingly under the eyes and it doubles up to cover spots and blemishes – just don’t slap loads of this one on or it gets cakey! To keep a fresh natural look, apply your chosen corrector/concealer only where you actually need it. If you suffer with the dreaded eye bags, keep it minimal as lots of make-up will just make it look worse! Drink lots of water and (it sounds odd!) but pop two cold wet teabags on your eyes for 5 minutes to bring the swelling down if you have time. Try applying a highlighting pen on the line of the bag with YSL touche eclat or the Maybelline version.
BASE: Once you’ve concealed, most people don’t need a full face of foundation. Aim to choose a colour in your exact skin tone and use it to even things out, starting at the centre of the face and blending outwards. BB creams/tinted moisturisers are great for everyday (Bobbi Brown, No 7 or Laura Mercier) or a natural “skin” foundation like Bobbi Brown, NARS or Loreal True Match. Another good option is a powder foundation (don’t be scared of powders, they’re soooo much better than they used to be!). I love Bobbi Brown powder foundation and KIKO also do a good version for less. Great for adding a bit more coverage where you need it and setting your BB cream/foundation to make it last longer.
BRONZER/BLUSH: Add some natural healthy colour back in by applying bronzer on your forehead, cheekbones and nose with a big fluffy brush – basically on the places where you’d naturally tan. Then you can add some blush (most days I swear I don’t actually look like a living human being without bronze and blush!). Cream blushers are great for quickly applying with fingertips and they double up as a handy lippy). Try Bobbi Pot Rouge or Revlon.
BROWS: the well-endowed brow ladies amongst us don’t need much help in this department but if you’re fair or have over plucked brows (damn you 1990s eyebrow trends!), there are some great products around. Brows frame your face so try and stick with your natural shape. Check out Benefit’s great range or simply a Rimmel Brow Pencil
MASCARA – an essential and don’t stop at one coat! Pop at least a couple of coats on and it will really open up your eyes. If you resemble a mole surfacing from underground then try eyelash curlers before your mascara to open your peepers.
LIPS – I love lip balms that have a bit of colour in them – you can just swipe and it brings your whole look together, Burt’s Bees Tinted Balm is great or use your cream blush and then pop in your bag.
With a bit of practice the six steps will take no more than 5-10 minutes. With a bit more practice you can do it in 5 minutes with a small person crawling all over you.
Christmas party make-up
For a bit more festive glam, follow the 6 steps above (perhaps adding foundation if you don’t every day) then choose one area of focus to give you a hassle free party look.
Eyeshadow: Cream shadow sticks are a great fool proof option (look at Bobbi Brown or KIKO), applied straight onto the eye lid, focusing on the lash line area then smudge and blend with fingertips. Grab a sparkly colour for the festive period!
Eyeliner – fills many people with dread! Unless you have a steady hand, avoid liquid liner, it’s just asking for trouble! Try a soft kohl pencil (warm it up on your palm first) or a gel liner with a brush (try Illamasqua or Maybelline). Focus on the lashline and push the liner in between your lashes so you don’t have to try and draw a perfect straight line. You can also use a brush like this one to smudge and soften the line so it doesn’t matter if it’s straight! Be wary of eyeliner underneath – especially in the waterline. It can look great if you want a deeper “smoky” eye but can make your eyes look smaller. Then apply lashings of mascara!
Keep your eye make-up simple (just mascara and eyeliner) then slick a pop of bright colour such as Ruby Woo, Pink Guava (or pop into No7 for their match service) and you’re good to go – instant glam!
So there you have it. I really hope you found this useful and I’d love to hear your feedback and questions. It’s my first time writing with CheltenhamMaman so I’d love to know what beauty topics you’d be interested in for the future!
Here’s to not worrying too much about your face and having a very happy Christmas
A Guest Blog from Elizabeth Spry, CheltenhamMaman’s new expert on all things beauty
Elizabeth is a freelance make-up artist, trained at the London School of Make-up, specialising in Bridal and Special Occasion make-up. She also offers make-up lessons and makeover parties.
Based in Cheltenham, she is also about to become a Mum for the first time in 2017 and lives with her husband Ben and working cocker spaniel Humphrey. Aside from make-up, Elizabeth is keen on fitness and the outdoors and has a very serious shopping habit.
Her make-up philosophy is easy, natural and hassle free make-up that helps people to be the best version of themselves. She also volunteers for the Look Good Feel Better charity, which helps women being treated for cancer face the day with confidence.
Elizabeth is offering CheltenhamMaman readers 20% off makeup lessons/parties/special occasion and 10% off bridal- take a look at our offers page for more information.