Well, lately I have been trying to vary a little bit of what I write in my posts and today I thought I would combine 2 of my favourite interests: make up and being a mum.
Everyone has their guilty pleasure, their little vice, the thing they spend some money on that makes them smile. Mine is make up and beauty creams. I’ve always loved this sort of thing and while kind of ironically I like the natural look I am fairly willing to drop some serious cash on the latest thing that is guaranteed to may make me beautiful. Actually, that is not entirely true. I don’t always go for the latest thing and I am certainly not a victim of advertising/marketing (I think….) but I tend to go for things that I have read about in magazines or that catch my eye in a store. My greatest downfall is that I spend quite a lot of time in airports and the duty free area is like some kind of giant net for me. It is like it is saying “Hey, you have some spare time, come in and have a wander, it’s tax free and actually, if you spend it in the airport it is not real money anyway!!” I used to walk out stunned at how much money I had spent on 4 items that were absolutely not really necessary for my trip.
Times have indeed changed though. For one thing I have less disposable income than I used to because it mainly goes on disposable nappies instead. The other issue is that my priorities have changed a lot since I had the Munchkin baby. I have less time than I used to sit in front of the mirror and carefully apply 15 different products to make me look like I had perfect skin. And to be honest, I don’t really care as much as I used to. I hope that I have become more secure as a person since I had the baby and don’t feel the need to put on a mask every day. Being a mum has made me feel more beautiful than I ever have.
In the initial months after Munchkin was born I didn’t wear make up at all and was quite happy to go out and about every day. That still holds but lately I have had the time and the inclination to get a little bit of “me” back and not just think of myself as Munchkin’s mum. One way for me to do this has been to dedicate a little more time to myself (by this I am talking maybe an extra 15 minutes a day, let’s not go crazy!). I have also had more time to read magazines and see what products are being recommended. This has led to a few new purchases but I am much more selective about what I buy and what I spend my money on. So here is my guide to the essential products a new mum should have in her bag of tricks…
By the way, this is my own personal opinion. I am not telling you to buy these products and the companies that make them are certainly not offering me anything to write this (i wish….. ;-))
For reference, I have fairly pale skin which is slightly dry and quite sensitive – lucky me to have celtic genes..
1) A good concealer:
I suffer from terrible dark circles under my eyes and somewhat blotchy skin at the best of times. Add a new baby, sleepless nights and not great eating habits and the problem multiples by 1000. If I don’t put anything else on my face but concealer I still feel 100% more presentable. I have tried many in my search for the best one for me. I’ve tried the famous YSL Touche eclat but to be honest, I don’t think it is that great. I find the consistency too thin and the colour too light so don’t really get the hype. However, loads of people swear by it so could be one to think about. My favourite for a while was the Laura Mercia Secret Camouflage concealer.
This stuff is great as it is a bit more creamy than the YSL one and tends to blend a lot better. It also has a yellow tint to it which works well on covering dark circles. However, it is on the pricey side and so I have been looking for an alternative. And thank the lord, I found a cheap one! It is called Match Perfection and it is by Rimmel.
It is a 2-in-1 Concealer and Highlighter (apparently…I am reading the stuff it says on the side for the 1st time now) and I have it in Ivory. For reference, my skin is fairly pale. This comes with a little brush applicator and I swear, putting it on feels like airbrushing. Don’t know if you have ever used the retouch function in photoshop or any photo application but this does a similar thing. It seems to blend away dark circles and red areas of skin. I think the idea is that it adapts to your skin tone and so it just looks like your normal skin but without the crap. I rarely rave about a product but this one is awesome. Can’t remember exactly how much it cost but was certainly less than £10. Brilliant.
Looking in the mirror after having been up 4 times during the night is a somewhat scary prospect. Unfortunately, I don’t live in a particularly sunny place so the paleness I was born with tends to remain that way for the majority of the year. What does make me look like I have some semblance of health is a little pop of blusher. Over the years I have steered away from powder blush as they tend to sit in the dry patches on my skin and make me look like I have a disease as opposed to healthy skin. What does work for me is cream blush. It doesn’t dry my skin out and also lasts a lot longer so I don’t need to reapply. I only use one type which I picked up during a make up lesson before my wedding (I did my own make up for that) and it is a MAC Cream blush.
The shade is called Ladyblush which for me some reason sounds a little bit dirty to me but hey, no one’s perfect. It’s a kind of pinky beigey shade which makes you look like you’ve been for a walk in the fresh air or been up to no good (again with this thought…). This product is great because you only need a tiny bit and it lasts for ages.
3) Tinted moisturiser:
This is a good one because it saves time. You don’t need to apply a separate moisturiser or fake tan and it makes your skin look a bit dewy if you have dry skin. I use one by Stila called Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser which has a built in SPF 15 (another time saver and essential if you don’t want to look like Donatella Versace by the time you are 40).
The shade I use is 01 which again works well for pale skin. It has a really light consistency and a bit of a sheen to it which brightens the face.
Now this one is definitely not a must have but if like me you have lashes which get lighter in the sun and seem to disappear a good flick of mascara can go a long way to making you look a little bit more dressed. My lashes are stubbornly stubbornly stubbornly straight (do you get the fact that this irritates me?) and so I search somewhat endlessly for a mascara that can curl and lengthen but without being clumpy or gloopy. I don’t want to look like I have little spiders attached to my eyes, I just want well defined, darker, curling upwards lashes. My favourite mascara for the last couple of years has been one by Chanel. It is called Inimitable which I swear to god, I can’t remotely pronounce. So I have to resort to pointing at it when I get to the counter. What does that word even mean anyway???
I disgress, the reason I love this is it does all the things I want it to and is not remotely clumpy. It doesn’t make my eyes water and is easy to remove without having to scrub your eyes raw. I buy it in black but there a few other shades. Well worth a try. Oh and a decent eyelash curler is a good investment. Mine is by Shiseido and has lasted for ages.
You know, I have a lot of other products in my make up bag but those are the ones that I use every day and get packed with me if I am on my travels. Unless of course, I forget them and just have to make a stop off at duty free….
Would love to hear about what you use and any tips you can throw my way. The best tips are always from real people who have actually used the product rather than some glossed up supermodel/celebrity.
Go on, new mums, take some time for yourselves to make yourself feel good. Doesn’t have to be make up, could be a sneaky read of a magazine, a soak in the bath, a walk outside sans buggy and diaper bag…whatever makes your remember who you were before you became a mum too.
You know you’re worth it..