I see you. Haven’t worn makeup in days, beginning to wonder if your skin will look exhausted forever. You’re taking care of little ones, managing epic amounts of messes, laundry, poop, sweat (if you live on an island like me and don’t have A/C in your house), and feeding needs, so you feel wrung out, but you don’t want to look wrung out. You ache for your more glamorous days, but there just isn’t time. You can throw your sweaty, spit-up-on shirt in the wash, but what do you do with your face? This is where I come in to tell you “You can be tired, AND look energized in LESS than ten minutes every day!”
I cannot tell you how many people commented on how “refreshed” I looked after delivering the twins. I laughed and said thank you, but I knew it was because I had found a killer under eye concealer that was completely unrelated to my stress levels. I like to call it “instant night of sleep.” See below for the details.
Over the three years I have been rolling out children, I have adopted a few “high yield” regimen practices that garner results without emptying my time, energy, and financial resources. I would love to religiously follow all of Caroline Hiron’s advice (although I substitute nontoxic and local, if possible, products), because she is fabulous, but in the tropical (and mothering) situation I currently find myself in, it is neither possible or necessary. So, what are my secrets?
#1. Bobby Pins and fun buns are your best friends. Haven’t showered in three days? Rock it! Pin that nest up and people will think you got your hair done. I have also noticed, nice hair is an effective distraction tactic from the don’t-give-a-darn clothing choices you made earlier. My advice: tease, spritz, pin, repeat. Dry shampoo will buy you an extra day or two of this practice.
#2. There is no shame in makeup remover wipes. Just buy ones that are nontoxic and have some skin-nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, frankincense and/or Shea butter. A quick swipe with a wipe is much better than falling into bed with all the dirt and grease that happened to your face during the day, still on your face. Also advisable, follow it up with some kind of moisturizer. It takes about ten seconds and your skin will thank you for the decades to come. My picks: Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Towelettes and SheaMoisture Dragon’s Blood and Coffee Cherry Instant Rebound Moisturizer.
#3. When in doubt, red lipstick. I have thwarted many an embarrassing trip to the grocery store with this 2 second glamour tip. It gives your potentially disheveled look, more of an artist vibe, because only interesting people wear red lipstick, so everything else you do, like hairy legs or dirty shorts, is obviously a “statement.” I prefer lip crayons over traditional “sticks” because you get the coverage without the drying effects. My favorite: SheaMoisture Lip Crayon in KENIA.
#4. Never leave home without concealer. Just a little dab under the eyes wakes your look up in the best way. My favorite: SheaMoisture in porcelain (because I am super white). It is creamy, but blendable, doesn’t flake, and is full of skin-nourishing ingredients. Life is too short for makeup that doesn’t also love your skin.
#5. Multi-Purpose is your product! I used to tend to each step of individualized morning skincare/makeup routine: wash face, acid toner, mist, serum, moisturizer/spf, primer, foundation, etc. Now, I wash with a gel cleanser (most days) and follow it with an SPF moisturizer. Apply lip crayon, concealer, a kiss of blush, and BOOM! Wonder Woman has arrived. My “getting’ fancy” routine (or if I need extra sun protection) includes CC Cream with an SPF of 30. Color and Correct Cream is moisturizer/concealer/spf/foundation all rolled into one cream, hence, its magic. My favorites: Saban Rock Living Moisturizing Sunscreen (shea butter, carrot seed oil, vitamin A, SPF 10) and Physician’s Formula CC Cream in Light.
*Full Disclosure: Almost everything I use is either SheaMoisture or Saban Rock Living. I try to buy local when I can, but ultimately the product needs to work. I am lucky to live on an island where I can buy local beauty products, and they are amazing. SheaMoisture offers high quality products at drugstore prices. They are a certified B corporation, only use ethically sourced ingredients, practice no animal testing, and rate very low on the ewg.org toxicity scale. I start with this company. If I can’t find something I like among their products, I branch out to Burt’s Bees and Honest Co (love their baby stuff). I regularly use SheaMoisture’s lip crayons, mascara (before my tropical life), liquid eye liners, lotions, and bubble bath (although I no longer take baths because my water comes from a cistern).
You can find just about every product I mentioned at Target or ULTA in store or online. They frequently put SheaMoisture products on sale. Yay! Also Amazon subscribe and save is a good option for things like makeup remover towelettes.
Remember, everyone’s skin is different. Just because a specific product does wonders for my combination skin, doesn’t mean it will for whatever your skin is. So, explore and experiment with different ingredients, but do follow the advice.