I remember the days, pre-Alice, where I could leisurely spend 20-30 minutes doing my make up in the mornings, experimenting with different styles and trying new looks for date night. Now, unless the husband is looking after her and she has been recently fed, those times have essentially evaporated. The new routine is how-quickly-can-I-throw-this-on-my-face-before-I-need-to-feed or applying liquid eyeliner with one hand whilst balancing my daughter on my lap, slouched over her so she can keep feeding whilst trying to still get a glimpse of the mirror in the hope I won’t end up looking like Alice Cooper as we run late for Baby Sensory. What once had a 30 minute time slot, now has a 10 minute space before all hell breaks loose, with the new fun addition that I look as if I have become a White Walker during the night.
To combat my general panda-like demeanour caused by night feeds and perpetual early starts, the above products have worked quite well to creating a quick every day look that means when my daughter grants me day leave from the house, I don’t frighten all living things away from me:
- Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer: The miracle product that within seconds can make me look as if I have actually managed to have a full night’s sleep even on the four hours my daughter’s sleep regression allows me. Initially dubious that nothing apart from three different types of concealer would be able to even attempt to conceal the bags under my eyes that would be stamped ‘heavy load’ at an airport check in, this product really does what it says. Two swooshes with the wand, and I am immediately on my way to looking more human again.
- Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base:It just smells so good. There’s nothing that combats the smell of sour breast-milk in the morning better than this Bobbi Brown moisturiser. It has this lovely fresh lemon scent and glides on to the skin, giving my tired mummy skin a nice boost whilst working as a primer for the pile-up of make up to come.
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation: Again, won over by the smell which seems to be a mix of eucalyptus and lavender – it offers a moment of spa-like zen before I realise that any moments spent relaxing are moments wasted before Alice is awake again. Quick to apply for a mummy in a rush and good coverage all day, no matter how many times my daughter decides my face is her own personal pull and stretch toy.
- Bobbi Brown Blush in Rose: Such a nice colour, the lovely lady at John Lewis matched it to my lip colour and two quick sweeps of this and my pale ‘I’ve-not-slept-in-three-months’ skin turns into rosy-cheeks as if I have been running around in the wheat fields all day.
- Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray: A quick spritz before foundation and a second spritz once all the make up is on (not including mascara, too many times I have made that mistake and ended up with panda eyes, followed by crying when I realise I have to start over again, ending in ‘it’s just no good I’m set to remain a beast forever’ tantrum) and my make up will not budge no matter how sweaty I get from all the emergency poonados I have to deal with or how much spit up I need to wipe from my face.
- Urban Decay Naked Palette: For a quick colour shaping of eyebrows and eyeshadow. I’m still using this even though I bought it back whilst I was completing my undergrad degree – the age is shown on the battered cover, but like Beast, there is beauty within.
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Virgin: A nice neutral colour that can be quickly applied with fingertips when the bub is screaming to be picked up and you’re trying to get out the door in 5 minutes. It’s a light, golden colour that tends to quickly brighten up my eyes to assist in making out that I am actually awake and functioning.
- Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: A nice, solid mascara – I actually prefer it more now it’s dried out a bit. Lengthens the lashes, gives a nice curl (no I do not want to risk using eyelash curlers during my daughter’s ‘let’s grab everything and pull hard’ phase), and thickens.
- Rimmel Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner: For every day, I’ll either use this in Forest Brown or Black to quickly line my lash-line as the pigmentation is good for a quick use. If we are seriously running late to Baby Classes, I’ll use a Nyx kohl pencil that can be used in moving vehicles or whilst trying to pack a changing back and has a slightly smaller chance of going all over my face in the process. Just depends how dangerous I am feeling like living that morning, guys.
- The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter: As I rarely see sunlight, due to my fear of my vampire child being exposed to it or because we live in England, getting a natural glow is close to it being sunny on a bank holiday – a rare event that when happens, is met with suspicion. This highlighter isn’t glittery but offers a gorgeous sheen that gives me the brightening pick-me-up I need to just make me have a healthy glow. Currently I go between this one, which is in pieces from where I dropped it running around the house like a headless chicken, and the new Bobbi Brown ‘Pink Glow’ highlighter. What I have now realised is that no highlighter is no longer an option if I want to look healthy.
- No 7 Loose Powder in Translucent: I have been using this powder for years – it sets my make up beautifully and gives me a matte base to work from.
So there it is, my eleven key pieces of cheat kit to go from a life source that has had the energy sucked from it to fuel another being to a slightly less frazzled new mummy. Even though I could spend this time either cleaning or eating something that may have actually taken a couple of steps to make, I find doing my make up a nice piece of normality from my pre-mummy days and something just for me.