I saw a quote recently that simply summed up how I feel about life right now,
‘I wish I was as tired as I thought I was before I became a mum.’
My intention is not to undermine the daily fatigue that people without kids may feel, but merely to acknowledge my own experience which has taught me that there is no tiredness like new mama tiredness. However, in the dead of night when I am up for the third or fourth time to feed, change and comfort George; when my eyelids are so heavy that I consider the effectiveness of sellotape to keep them open; even while my hands fumble with his nappy, and I struggle to work out what the hell I’m doing, because my brain is so tired that I am genuinely confused about where I am, what day it is, what time it is and what is going on; even in those moments, when George looks up at me with his big blue eyes and smiles it is all so worth it.
But, for the first couple of months of my maternity leave, getting up and organised in the morning was one task too many for me to manage. Having had an emergency c-section after a long labour, my body felt like it had been hit by a twenty tonne truck. Damon was an absolute God send: he would get up with Evie in the morning and allow me a precious extra hour between the sheets to build up the energy for getting up and facing the day ahead. But, it’s quite amazing how much this change in routine affected me in a way I didn’t anticipate.
Although having an extra hour’s sleep in the morning after a night of almost none to speak of was amazing and probably quite necessary for my mental health, not getting out of bed until Damon left for work in the morning meant that I was stepping out of bed and straight into my mummy shoes. I didn’t have time for a decent shower, and even if I did manage to shower I definitely didn’t get time to blow dry my hair before George or Evie needed me. And I never had the time to put on any make up without it meaning that there was a simultaneous meltdown of some kind happening somewhere in the house…George wanting fed, or Evie wanting Peppa Pig on or needing help to go to the toilet.
Before the kids I might not have been a glam gal all the time, but I would also very rarely be seen out of the house without my lippy on. I took pride in my appearance and, simply put, I loved make-up. I still do. Before you ask, yes, to a degree, wearing make-up does increase my self confidence because it can help to (in my opinion) make me a prettier version of myself…I can hide flaws like blemishes and black bags, I can emphasise the bits of me I like most (my eyes) and distract from the bits I like least (my figure). Therefore, it has been a strange adjustment in my personality and priorities to not take 30 minutes to myself each day in order to blow dry, dress and make myself up for the day. Kids change everything, but I have decided that they don’t need to change me so much that I don’t recognise myself any more.
So, one morning a fortnight ago I decided to try to banish the excessive tiredness just enough to get out of bed half an hour earlier. I have looked out some of the best quick fix products that I have and I have started each morning to try and use these, on their own or in combination with each other, to make me feel just a little bit less lazy and disgusting, and a little bit more like the little miss sassypants I was before I had the children.
Now, in my opinion, I still look like myself in this photograph, just a little smoother than in the previous pic in this post. But, even with just a little bit of help, I feel a lot more like myself. And I think that it’s ok to feel a bit more human and a bit less tired when you have a mask of make-up on, but what mama of two has the time to sit for ages applying it? The answer: none. Not unless you have an entourage of nannies to help you out. I used to love sitting putting my make up on for ages at a time in preparation for a night out on the town. But nowadays I need products that I can slap all over my face with as little attention to detail as possible.
So, from one mama to another, or to any lady who also feels an inability or reluctance to spend too long decorating her face in the morning, I thought I would share my products with you. Here I am going to show you the 5 fast, easy to use, amazing products I turn to for rushed mornings getting ready. In this edit I am focussing on face and base products but can share with you eye and lip products in additional posts. Leave me a comment below to note your interest.
Primer: Becca Shimmering Face Perfector
I have really oily skin and would NEVER normally choose a shimmering product of any kind as I prefer a matte finish to help combat the oiliness. However, I received a free sample of this product with another purchase and I absolutely fell in love. If you don’t want to wear anything on your skin, wear only this. It blurs imperfections with an almost invisible veil of light reflecting smoothing barely tinted colour and makes your skin less dull, makes you look fresher, more awake, less tired and freekin’ gorgeous! Plus there are 6 shades to choose from – I use moonstone – and you can buy the same travel size I had to save the full investment while you fall in love with it. A must have!
Foundation: Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder Foundation
If you want to have a little more coverage than just the Becca primer, I would recommend this Bobbi Brown foundation. I have lots of foundations, from lots of brands, but I find this one the easiest and fastest to apply. It comes with a sponge which I don’t use, I instead opt for the full coverage brush from Bobbi Brown, and buff it into my skin in small circles. It takes moments and there’s no need to worry about tide marks and blending issues, especially around the eyebrows and hairline. I use colour Sand in winter, and Beige in summer.
Shaping: Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
I have several bronzers and highlighters but the Charlotte Tilbury option is perfect for mums on the go whose handbag space is limited by lots of nappies and muslin cloths because it is a bronzer and highlighter in one. The tones are nice subtle colours for a daily look with no fuss, and it comes in light, medium and dark so that as many ladies as possible can benefit from using it. I use medium.
Blusher: Chanel Cream Blush
Only the tiniest application of this blush gives a beautiful healthy glow when applied directly to the apples of your cheeks. I use a brush for the most perfect finish, although the tips of your fingers will gently flush the skin well if you’re in a rush or don’t have a brush to hand. So you can balance your toddler on one hip and still have enough hands to look ravishing!
Finishing Powder: Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder
The pièce de résistance of this 5 minute beauty regime is this delectable Nars finishing powder which works magic on the skin. Have you ever heard of beauty bloggers, magazines, or beauty sales people refer to the photo finish effect of some make up products? Well this has it. A fine dusting of this over the face sets your make up and makes your face look absolutely flawless.
Ok, so clearly I need to work on taking a semi decent selfie, but I think there’s a massive, lovely difference with only a few natural looking products (note: I have not done my eyes or brows here). What do you think?