Wearing makeup and being a new mum aren’t always things that go hand in hand. Actually, regardless of the baby life side of things, I’ve never been someone who feels the need to wear make-up on a daily basis. I know, bad beauty blogger there. However, for the past six weeks or so I’ve been realising the power a simple face of makeup has in making me feel like life is a little more ‘together’ than it might actually be. So I wanted to share a few of my new mum makeup favourites that I’m reaching for time and time again.
Over the past few years I’ve definitely narrowed down my daily use favourites and most of the time I tend to have one make-up bag selection of products that I reach for. Sometimes I’ll go full-on and use almost all of them other days it can be just a slick of mascara and maybe a quick brow tame and dab of concealer. So with this selection, this is NOT to say that I’m using each and every one daily. But when Ella does happily wriggle away or snooze for long enough I’ll happily take a few minutes (5-10 max usually) to apply a few touches of makeup. Even after the worst night of sleep, it’s amazing what a shower and a few moments of makeup can do for making me feel more with it and ready to tackle the day.
Mascara – CliniqueFIT Workout Mascara
My most ‘essential’ piece of makeup has to be mascara – if there is only ONE product I have time to apply this would be it. The right mascara can take me from mole-rat to functioning human in a couple of swoops. My new favourite is one from Clinique’s ‘Workout’ range – the CliniqueFIT Workout Mascara. Not that I’m in workout mode yet. Unless lifting a 10lb 8 week old baby counts? About this mascara and why it’s ace – it’s a tubing style mascara. Meaning it sits somewhere between normal and waterproof. It doesn’t come off easily day to day but to remove you apply and gently massage with some warm water and it loosens and comes off. The tubing term comes from how the formula sort of creates these little tubes around each lash. Best things about it – it doesn’t smudge on upper lids or under the eye (a big problem for me… as far as mascara smudges can count as a big problem) and it lasts all day. The wand is a tiny narrow one, brush style but the bristles are very short. I wasn’t sure I’d like it on first try but having given it a second shot I LOVE it. The fact it doesn’t smudge is a major winning factor for me.
Interesting story about this mascara (I do use the term interesting loosely here) the first time I tried this I thought it had irritated my eyes as they had felt sensitive and itchy all day. Because the mascara was the ‘new’ thing in my routine and near my eyes this was my first guess. I almost just threw it away, but for some reason held on to it (I have issues with hoarding beauty products). A couple of weeks later I thought I’ll give it a second whirl *just in case*. The good news is second time around – no irritation at all! Bad news being that turns out it was hay-fever instead… But at least when my eyes are itchy and watery, my lashes look good and the mascara doesn’t run!
But yes, long story short – if you have problems with mascara (even waterproof) smudging on your upper lid or under your eyes then this is the mascara to try. So much so that I’m now sort of regretting not giving this baby a stand alone review to spread the word.
All about the eyes
Beyond the all important mascara, the other two ‘bare minimum’ products I reach for are also eye-area related. One for brows – currently using Benefit Gimme Brow but also love Glossier Boy Brow. Both essentially the same thing, a little mascara for the brows. Making it easy to add a smidge of colour and tame in a couple of swoops. Easy, quick – two key words I am loving for any task in my life right now.
Then of course it has to be concealer. Finding the perfect concealer I think is a bigger task than the perfect partner, or house or job. Possible slight exaggeration but finding one that has the perfect level of coverage, hydrates enough to not make any lines worse, lasts but doesn’t dry out or crease and is that ideal price point that doesn’t make you want to sob as you hand over your card. Honestly, the search is still on for that full on ‘holy grail’ concealer for me. There are loads I’ve loved but never quite found the absolute ultimate one. Perhaps I’m asking too much… all I want is for it to make me look like I sleep a solid 9-10 hours a night, live on green smoothies, start every day with yoga and have regular botox to stave off ageing?
So my quest for the absolute ultimate concealer (that meets my unrealistic expectations) continues, but a solid contender from Revlon. The Revlon Youth Fix Fill & Blur Concealer was one I picked up on a recommendation and I do really like it but not sure I’m quite as blown away as I was hoping. What I love about it – it has a sponge tip applicator that does make applying in a rush easy. The texture is light and feels fairly hydrating. In terms of blur… not sure it quite manages this one on me. Maybe I’m just past the point where blurring makes a difference?! It does settle into lines a little but not as bad as many I’ve tried and it does last pretty well. Overall, a good concealer if you want something that hides dark circles but doesn’t make any of those ‘signs of ageing’ worse in the process.
That trio have become my day to day ‘essentials’ (which are absolutely not essential in the greater scheme of things, but have come to realise that applying a touch of makeup is making me feel 90% more like I have my life together than I usually feel in reality.
When I *really* feel like I have my life together there are a few other beauty bits I’ve been loving. All of which purely come down to how much time Ella allows me to do my makeup balanced with what I’m actually doing that day. I don’t necessarily feel the need for a full face if I’m going on a dog walk and to Sainsbury’s… but if I’m seeing friends or people coming over then perhaps I’ll throw on a few more bits. Go all out with a bit of lipstick even.
Ha, who am I kidding. It’s lip balm if I’m feeling really fancy…
I’m very aware that I’ve already rambled on for over a thousand words and not even scratched the surface of the other favourites and why. So I’m going to keep this fairly brief and just sum up why these have made the cut for regular use products even now it’s a bit of a ‘time is of the essence’ application process…
This palette has probably been my most-used since last Spring. The shades are perfect for easy to do every day eye shades. I often mix and match and have used the highlighter and the bronzer as eye shades. The middle eyeshadow shade is that perfect rose-gold. Just works – regardless if it’s a case of a quick sweep of something pale and shimmering or a full face. Probably one of my most recommended Charlotte Tilbury products.
The two bases I’m reaching for most often. One for lightweight every day (bareMinerals) and one if I want/need a touch more coverage or something to last a bit longer but still look/feel pretty close to natural (Double Wear Nude). Both of these I apply with a brush then blend into my skin with a beautyblender.
Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm (Pink Glow) & Clarins SOS Primer (04 Green)
Both of these are my essentials for priming skin. The Bobbi Brown Illuminating Moisture Balm is one of those ‘glow givers’ that is sort of a cross between skincare and makeup. Gives a glow good enough to be used along on very minimal days or as a primer for under foundation. The Clarins Green Primer is perfect for me to tone down redness – something that’s gone a bit nuts for me over last couple of weeks. I blame post-baby hormones.
New Mum Makeup
I’ve waffled on for long enough – but at the end of the day, whatever you want or choose to wear as a new mum (or anyone) is totally up to you. Enjoy or skip it. Whatever suits you. One thing I’ve found is that for me – mamaging to put a little makeup on most days has suddenly taken on a new meaning and importance to me in making me feel like me. Either that or I’ve just got such dark circles I might scare people if I didn’t apply a little something…