We understand your dilemma: sometimes it’s hard for you to spend time on your makeup as you try to get your kids, your husband, your dog, your cat (basically, everybody) up and ready in the mornings. But on the flip side, you hate leaving the house looking like a cast member of The Walking Dead. In my humble opinion, you beauteous Mamas deserve to feel fresh-faced and gorgeous every single day.
And I have a solution! Meet my best friends: seven brightening, blend-able, beautiful products that you’ll be able to apply in five minutes or less. That means that even after those long nights of babies crying and toddlers crawling into (and hogging) your bed, you’ll be able to fake awake like you’ve had eight hours of sleep–nine, even!–with these clever little tricks. If your makeup bag contains nothing else, make sure it’s stocked with these seven complexion-perfecting products.
$33 – selfridges.com
$29 – lookfantastic.com
(Clockwise, from upper left corner:)
1. Eye-Brightening Concealer
Concealers with pink undertones camouflage and brighten dark circles, while cream-based formulas provide solid coverage. After applying, you’ll look instantly awake! Favorite products: MAC Studio Finish Concealer and Benefit Erase Paste
2. Skin Tone-Evening Powder
Swipe on a medium-coverage powder to set your concealer and make your face a blank canvas. (Personally, I prefer powder foundation over liquid because they provide buildable coverage, absorb oil, and are easier to blend.) Favorite product: MAC Studio Fix Powder
3. Sheer, Hydrating Lip Color
Lipstick can be high-maintenance when it comes to dealing with smudges and re-application! Opt for a sheer, hydrating balm that will layer and wear evenly while giving you the color you crave. Pick up a handful of colors to reflect your mood! Favorite product: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments in Sugar Honey and Petal.
4. Eye-Opening Mascara
Don’t waste your time with eyeshadow! Just apply a couple coats of lash-lengthening mascara to make your peepers look wide and alert! Favorite product: Benefit They’re Real! Mascara.
5. Complexion-Enhancing Bronzer
If you only have time for one complexion-enhancing product, I’d choose bronzer over blush any day, as long as you remember that a little goes a long way. Swirl it just under your cheekbones and blend up toward your cheeks, then lightly swipe on your temples and the bridge of your nose. You’ll look subtly sun-kissed (aka ALIVE!) any time of year. Favorite product: Stila Stay All Day Bronzer
6. Skin-Glowing Highlighter
If you haven’t played with highlighters before, this product is going to change your life! (I prefer cream to liquid highlighters because they’re easier to apply and don’t sink too much into your skin.) There are tons of little tricks: dab a little on the apples of your cheeks and up toward your eyebrow (in a “C” shape) to look dewey and fresh. Pat a smidgen in the corners of your eyes and under the arches of your brows to make eyes look wider and brighter. Swipe a small amount down the bridge of your nose to make it look narrower, and a touch above your Cupid’s bow so your lips look fuller. Just remember that the point of a highlighter is to catch the light and provide a luminescent glow, not to look shiny! Favorite products: MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl and Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter
7. Medium-Sized Blush Brush
If you have just one tool in your beauty bag, make sure it’s a brush like this! As the name suggests, it’s the best size and texture for evenly applying blush and bronzer, but you can also use it for patting on powder while evenly coating the contours of your face, like under your eyes and on the sides of your nostrils. Favorite product: Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
There you have it, Mamas! Go forth, be confident to be your bright, busy, beautiful selves!
(Note: All products are also available on their respective brand websites:)