Parenting

New mama beauty shortcuts

Katie had the same simple (or so she thought) beauty routine for years. But, with less time, she’s figured out how to cut corners and make the most of a few minutes in front of the mirror.

Photo by michaelmelrose via Flickr

Firstly, let me apologize for my absence. Excuses, excuses, I know,? but really, the past two weeks have been the most hectic since Soph’s arrival on the scene. My five-month-old aside, pretty much everyone I? know was born in March (myself included) and I had birthday events at? every turn. Well, that explains my silence for the first week, anyway.? The second week is a whole different story. I lost those days to the first flu I’ve had in a decade. And we’re not talking a little flu — we’re talking an Exorcist-worthy stomach flu, something like that scene in The Sandlot. It turned me into a quivering mass of mama whose ?poor husband had to move his office to our kitchen for a day of daddy? daycare.?

While lying in bed listening to episodes of The Gilmore Girls on low volume and trying not to throw up, I started to think about this post.? Good segue, eh? But it’s true. I was thinking about getting out of bed ?and into the shower, knowing that it would do some good to have clean hair and fresh clothes on — that lying in bed wasn’t going to help my psyche at all. Fact.?

Say what you will, but my pyjamas do not have the same healing properties that others claim for theirs. My jeans do, though. My jeans can heal anything. Aided by a little tinted moisturizer and blush, and ?I can convince myself to run a marathon. (Alright, fine. Not a ?marathon. But you get what I’m saying.) I think it has to do with catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror NOT looking like I got hit ?in the head with a shovel that tricks me into believing that I feel better than I really do.

Now, before you go all feminist on me (because I consider myself a feminist, too), this has nothing to do with needing to wear makeup to leave the house in order to prove something to anyone. I can go to the grocery store unpainted with the best of ‘em. But I find that getting my act together even a little bit changes the way I think about the situation.?

In the days after Soph was born, so many people said to me “I can’t? believe you’re wearing makeup! I can’t believe your hair doesn’t look like birds are nesting in it!” But that was just the thing. I felt like a little makeup would make me feel a little more like myself,? which in turn would help me to know I could handle this baby business. And that has been my mantra since we came home from the hospital. Even if I’m staying in with no company to speak of, even if I’m sleeping on the bathroom floor (TMI, sorry).

?But here’s the big difference. Soph doesn’t give me the time for multiple products and specialized brushes anymore. It has to be quick and easy so we can get out in the stroller, play on the floor mat or snuggle on the couch. My beautiful palettes don’t make an appearance very often anymore. Instead, I’m cutting corners like crazy.

Here’s?how …
Face-washing: I can’t go through the cleanser, the astringent, the moisturizer anymore. Not often anyway. I use makeup remover pads and a bar of soap these days. Moisturizer comes in my combination makeup in the morning.

Primer: No time to prep the surface. It’s a one-step moisturizing,? SPF-boasting lightweight base for me. It works out alright. When I? have a couple of extra seconds, I dust with powder (but that would be if I were having lunch with Ryan Gosling or something. Okay, maybe if I were having lunch with Ryan Gosling, I’d do more than a little powder. If Sophie was alright with that).??

Blush: No time for the brush. I just picked up the Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick and it works really well. A couple of clown dots on either ?cheek and blend with my hands as I make silly noises to keep Sophie ?occupied.??

Mascara: I have the world’s straightest eyelashes. Lots of ‘em but? they are pin-straight. I used to carry my lash curler in my purse for?a little pop when I had a minute. Alas, the curler pocket has been re-named the diaper cream pocket. So, instead I’m opting for curling mascara. My new one is Clinique High Definition Lashes. It has a fancy brush that lets you separate the lashes quickly, which appears to give them definition and lift. Or maybe I’m imagining it, but it’s working for me.??

Here’s where the basics stop. If I have a few extra minutes (or again, ?if Ryan and I are lunching), I sprint through the eyeliner. I don’t?have time to bust out my fave little liner brush very often, so I’m? currently using a creamy brown liner with a smudger on the other end? (I think it’s Stila, but it’s downstairs in the bathroom and I would have to walk down the squeaky stairs to confirm, risking waking Soph ?up). It’s working fine but I look forward to taking that little brush out of baby retirement from time to time when I go back to work.? That’s it. It’s a five-minute process. I’m like my own pit crew, prepping the car for the race. I should get myself some coveralls.??

Tell me, do you have any shortcuts to share? If I can get down to four and a half minutes in front of the mirror, I’d be a happy girl. And, no, cutting the teeth brushing is not an option.

Photo by michaelmelrose via Flickr