Once upon a time, I loved make up. I had a ton of it. I could and would spend hours and hundreds of dollars in Sephora. I would spend at least 30 minutes doing my make up every morning. Sometimes longer.
Somewhere along the line in my pregnancy I stopped. It got to be too much, too hot to slather everything on my face. While I was on maternity leave I hardly ever had the need to wear any. But being back at work means make up is a part of my morning ritual again.
However my morning ritual also includes making bottles, making breakfast, getting a baby fed, getting a baby dressed, getting dressed myself, and getting out the door in time to drop A off at daycare and get to work on time. Fitting my old half an hour make up routine in there would mean waking up half an hour earlier. And frankly, that’s just not going to happen.
In the past almost five months I have figured out how to trim down my old 30 minute routine into a “good enough” routine. Is it perfect? No, but it looks good and lasts all day, and I can do it or finish it at work if I have to. I have found a few products that are pretty indispensable in the mommy make up toolbox. All can be found at Target, Wal Mart or CVS (which means they are all drug store prices, seriously you can buy all of these for the same amount as a tube of Laura Mercier foundation).
1. Tinted moisturizer
A tinted moisturizer is a great substitute for foundation (especially in the south). I love anything that knocks out a step. Most have SPF in them, too. I like Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream, $12.97 at Wal Mart. It smells AH-MAZ-ING. A similar option is Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, $7.44.
2. “Everyday” lipstick
Blame Pinterest, but I am loving a nude lip right now. It’s great for work or everyday use (paired with a smokey eye would be great for evening, too). Wet n’ Wild in Birthday Suit, $1.99, is awesome, and I dare you to beat the price. I also really like Revlon Smoked Peach, $4.97, or Rimmel Airy Fairy, $4.63. Both are in the nude family but also add a touch of subtle color. (If you prefer something a little bolder or darker, go for it!)
3. Tinted lip balm
When you don’t want to use full on lipstick, a favorite tinted lip balm is a great thing to have in your back pocket (or purse). I love love LOVE Maybelline BabyLips, $2.97. It has just the right amount of color, smells good and makes dry, chapped lips feel awesome.
4. White eyeliner
I read somewhere that using white eyeliner in your water line makes your eyes look bigger. I recently started doing this and was surprised at how well it works. It definitely helps make tired mommy eyes look more alert, a Godsend for a working mom! NYC Kohl eyeliner pencil for a whopping $0.93.
5. Loose powder one shade darker than normal
I don’t know if I read this somewhere or if I made it up, but I use loose powder that’s one shade darker than my base color on my eyelids and on my under eye circles. It’s a great base for eyeshadow and covers those pesky dark circles well and isn’t as heavy as a concealer is. I like NYC Smooth Mineral Loose Powder, $4.99.
6. Lightweight foundation
Sometimes you need foundation. It’s a fact. I love a spray foundation (I know I know, aerosol cans are the devil, but they provide great coverage while it feels like you literally have nothing on), but I have yet to find one at a reasonable price (if you know one holla atcha girl). Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation, $7.94, is my favorite alternative so far.
7. A good primer
All make up artists love primer. “Always use primer!” they say. I don’t always use it, but when I do I love Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Correcting Primer, about $10.95. It really works wonder in evening out your skin tones.
8. Natural eyeliner and shadow
I used to love using charcoal or black eyeliner and bold shadows. Those days are gone, and now I prefer much more subtle and forgiving natural tones. I have blue eyes so I favor browns and tans, but you can google your eye color plus eye make up to find the best colors for you (if you don’t already know). I like Rimmel Soft Kohl Intense and Smokey Eyeliner in sable brown, $3.12, and Rimmel Glam Eyes in Orion, $3.57.
I can honestly say all of these make my make up routine a little easier. And considerably cheaper. I keep them all in a little plastic bin on my bathroom counter so I don’t have to fish through piles of other things like I used to. Sometimes I miss my extravagant make up days, picking out color combos to go out with friends and spending countless hours playing at Sephora, but then my baby giggles at my mascara face as I rush to get ready in the morning, and it makes my new mommy make up routine totally worth it.