As a brand new mama to a gorgeous baby boy, I didn't realise that I would have practically NO time to do my make-up, especially when it's just me and him in the house. When a little man demands your attention constantly and always wants cuddles, it's very difficult to find 5 minutes (let alone my usual half an hour) to make yourself look presentable.
I know to a lot of new mums, putting on some make-up after 2 hours sleep and a loooooong day ahead may seem pointless and a waste of valuable resting time (you are meant to sleep when the baby sleeps...yeh right, when there is a million jobs to do) but I promised myself that when my baby came, I would not lose who I am, and I am someone who loves wearing make up and (attempting) to make myself look somewhat presentable.
Now I am not talking about putting on a smoky eye, a layer of foundation, a full on red lip and cheek highlighter, I am talking about the bare minimum of product to help you look more awake and gorgeous...with minimum application time. Now that Elijah has a nap in the morning, I know I have maybe an hour to myself to run around the house doing all those annoying odd jobs, brush my teeth, my hair, get dressed and put on enough make up to make me look (and feel) like my old self.
So with that being said, here are my new mum beauty and make up essentials.
A good primer will hold your make up in place for a whole day, will create a flawless base and help create a smooth overall look. I personally am loving Benefit's Porefessional at the moment. It is slightly pricey (£23) and you don't get a huge amount of product, but you don't need a lot. Squeeze a pea size amount onto (clean) fingers and smooth over your whole face (I even put some on my eyelids). This primer smooths over pores and makes them appear smaller.
I am not a fan of foundation. I've never used it. I get why it is such a beauty essential but I have just never been a fan of how it makes me look - it could be because I have such pale skin and such dark features, it can make me look slightly, un-me! Anyway, I used to use tinted moisturiser, but over the last few months I have been obsessed with BB Cream. In particular Garnier's BB Cream in medium. This light weight cream feels just like a moisturiser but covers flaws and evens skin tone without making it look like your wearing any make up at all. It's perfect for masking a tired mum's skin while giving you a touch of colour (plus it contains an SPF - bonus!)
To cover up those bags under the eyes, blemishes from hormonal break outs or any red patches, a concealer is any girl's best friend. Quickly whip it out an apply for immediate skin perfection. I've been using Rimmel's Wake Me Up concealer recently, which also has an SPF and is slimline and easy to apply with a sponge application at the end of a wand. Perfect for popping into your (changing) bag for quick touch ups.
Under Eye Roll On
Another essential I can't live without at the moment. I use the Garnier Roll-On for dark circles. This little miracle worker isn't a new product, but it is a must-have for all new mums out there. With a little roller ball, you roll the product under your eye and it leaves a cooling concealer, which contains caffeine to help reduce bags, while covering them up. I apply it a few times a day!!
Perhaps not an essential for everyone, but I prefer wearing a touch of colour on my eyes (to detract from the tiredness of them!). If you are going to make an eyeshadow one of your must-haves, make it a really decent cream one. The reason to go for a cream shadow is because the decent ones last all day, while providing a gorgeous pop of colour. I recommend Maybelline's 24 Hour Colour Tattoo in Immortal Charcoal (perfect for creating a smoky eye in seconds) and Benefit's Birthday Suit - a pretty neutral, which would suit any skin tone. I also recommend cream shadows because you can apply them quickly and evenly with your fingers, perfect if you only have a couple of minutes to do your make up!
If you only have a couple of minutes to apply a dash of make up, make sure that mascara is included in your routine. There is no better product to make you look more awake, feminine and gorgeous. Mascara opens your eyes up and, when applied to the top and bottom lashes, creates a more lasting and gorgeous look, and makes your eyes look bigger and brighter. I recommend a volumising mascara, which thickens, lengthens and adds volume. I've been using Maybelline's The Rocket in black. You only need a few strokes to create thicker and longer looking lashes, and the brush makes it easy for applying to the bottom lashes too.
A must have for everyone, not just new mums! A new mum's skin can be particularly prone to dehydration, especially if you are breastfeeding too. It's so important to keep your skin moisturised to keep it looking and feeling healthy and well nourished. Don't scrimp on a good moisturiser. It's important to get one, which works for your skin type and also feeds it with what it needs. I've been using since the new year Tropic Skin Revive. Easy to slip into your bag, this comes with a pump for easy application, and is so packed full of gorgeous nutrients, you only need a small amount to give you maximum benefit. I apply in the morning and evening and it really does give you a pretty glow and a more refreshed looking face. I've even convinced my sister-in-law and fellow new mum Michelle to give this a whirl, and she loves it!
I used to wash my hair and style it every other day. Now I am lucky if I can wash it twice a week! Luckily, I've had my hair cut shorter so it's easier to style with minimum effort, but if I am going out and simply haven't had the time to wash, then dry shampoo to the rescue! I am usually a Batiste gal, but recently I have been using Tresemme's Instant Refresh dry shampoo, which removes oil and boosts volume. It really does do what it says on the tin. It's worth picking one of these up and giving your hair a spray to make it look instantly better.
Quick Drying Nail Polish
I am a nail polish addict and I wasn't going to let that obsession go when Elijah came along. What I discovered was that if I wanted to do my nails before my hubby got home (when I can pass the little man over) was that I needed a quick dry polish. Although not technically a quick dry polish, a matte finish varnish dries super quickly (normally in a few minutes) and allows you to get a gorgeous look...fast! I love Models Own Hedonist from their Hed Kandi collection - a bright neon coral, this colour is perfect for adding a pop of colour to your look. If you want a glossy finish, apply a top coat when you have the time!
So those are my new mum beauty essentials. I hope this helps any new mums out there, who might be feeling like they don't have the time to make themselves look and feel a bit like their old selves! x