Mums, get your two-minute face on

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 40 Comments

I’ve actually got better at this whole makeup thing since becoming a mum.

My time may be squeezed more inefficiently than the kids’ tube of toothpaste but once I became a mum (*sweet* 16 years ago), I realised that I needed all the external help I could get.  A lick of Clinique Honey Ginger lipstick was no longer going to cut it.

Lucky for me this coincided not long after with my beginnings as a beauty writer . I got to play with a whole lot of makeup stuff – and playing is what I’ve continued to do ever since. Playing with the products and *playing* with any makeup artists who I’ve interviewed or who have done my makeup for a photoshoot or special event.

So, because you asked … I’m looking at you Chantelle over at Fat Mum Slim … I’ve put together my list of makeup bag essentials for mums.

My makeup essentials in a Borne Naked makeup bag ... also essential

My makeup essentials in a Borne Naked clear makeup bag ... also essential

To make it even more simple, I’ve broken the list down into two parts.

The first part is all about the bare minimum.  The things I can’t walk out the door without.  The things that I can whack on my face in two minutes while yelling at gently instructing the kids to get in the car for school. The second part are the extra steps and (accompanying products) I use if I’ve got five-10 minutes instead of two.  The face I need if going into a work meeting or function.

The two-minute face

1.  Moisturiser with sunscreen.  Must, must, must. Try:  Nivea Visage Moisturising Fluid SPF 15, Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 30

2.  Mineral makeup pressed powder.  Buy quality and you won’t get a drying effect.  I also finish mine with a spritz of Jane Iredale Pommist Hydration Spray. Try:  Jane Iredale PurePressed Base, Napoleon Perdis Mattifying Mineral Primer

3.  Concealer.  Cannot. Leave. Home. Without.  Try:  Smashbox High Definition Concealer, MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer

4.  Bronzer.  Makes me look fresh when I’m not.  Try:  Benefit Dallas Bronzer/Blush Powder, Nars The Multiple – Laguna

5.  Tinted lip balm.  I hint of colour and moisturised lips.  I’m never far from a balm or two.  Lanolips Lip Balm in Rhubarb, Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer Caramel

The seven-minute face

1.  Moisturiser with sunscreen. Ditto. Ditto. See above.

2.  Makeup primer.  This will mean the difference between your face sliding off and having to find time to put it back on later in the day.  It creates a *velcro* wall between your skin and moisturiser and the makeup going on top.  Try:  EmerginC Red Carpet Primer

3.  Liquid mineral Makeup.  OMG.  This is my new best friend.  Loving the dewy glow it creates and the way it goes on like silk.  Try:  Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals

4.  Concealer.  Ditto again.  See two-minute face above.

5.  Under-eye illuminator.  I use this over my concealer as an extra secret weapon in my war against under-eye dark circles.  Try Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector

6.  Mineral makeup pressed powder and a spritz of hydration mist.  See above.

7.  Eye colour. A palette is great for this.  I use a “vanilla” shade as a base and contour with a taupe and a chocolate.  Find a palette that works for you and practise the different combos. Try: Jane Iredale Eye Steppes

8.  Eye liner. I line the top of my lashes only for a day look and I opt for a brown liner as it’s a softer look now that I’m, shall we say, more mature.  Try:  MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy

9.  Mascara.  I wiggle this on at the base of my lashes to thicken them up and open the eye and I also slick it on over the top of my lashes.  Like eyeliner, brown is a good option here too.  Try:  Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Brown/Beige

10.  Eyebrow pencil.  I keep my brows in check with threading but they still need a little daily definition. Try:  Benefit Instant Eyebrow Pencil

11.  Blush.  Smile at yourself in the mirror.  See those cheek apples?  That’s where the blush goes.  I do a soft pink cream applied with my fingers.  Try:  Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Sob

12.  Bronzer.  I use this to contrast out my blush, taking it higher through the cheeks and a swish around the forehead, nose and chin.  The key is to tap off excess product on the brush so you look sun-kissed not dirty.  See above for product suggestions.

13.  Lipstick.  My new best friend.  Refer to my posts on coral shades here and pink shades.  It’s worth spending time at cosmetic counters to find a couple which are perfect for you.

14.  Lip liner.  Apply AFTER your lip colour and use a liner as close to your natural lip shade as possible.  Try:  MAC Lip Pencil in Spice

15.  Gloss.  If I’m using lipstick, I still add a little bit of plumping clear gloss to the centre bottom lip.  It just freshens the entire look.  Try:  Bloom Lip Plump

Getting my seven-minute face on at Proctor & Gamble's Pantene event at Barney Martin Salon, Sydney (hence the big hair!).  Photo:  Georgina Morrison Photography

Getting my seven-minute face on last week at Proctor & Gamble's Pantene event at Barney Martin Salon, Sydney (hence the big hair!). Photo: Georgina Morrison Photography

It’s important to mix things up a bit in your makeup bag occasionally.  It’s just as easy to get into a makeup rut as it is a wardrobe rut.   There are fashionable elements to makeup looks that I suggest you embrace occasionally (statement lip, anyone?) and you need to be mindful that the foundation that was *purrrfect* in your 20s is probably not giving you the glow you’re searching for in your 30s, 40s and beyond.

Do I go without makeup occasionally? Yes, if I’m having a home day or a holiday at the beach.  Call me vain but I do get a surge of confidence if I’ve got my face on.  Even if it’s a two-minute one.

What are your must-have makeup products?  Share your favourites below.  And if you have a tip for busy mums, then share, share, share.

Comments 40

  1. these tips are great! at the moment, still doing the night feeds with my bub, i find it hard to look at myself without a slick of garnier anti-dark circles eye roll on. but i will be looking closely at my makeup and taking your tips on i think. bronzer, hmmm. and need to find the eyebrow experts everyone is talking about!

    1. Love that you’ve found that roll-on … it’s the little things that get you through those early baby months. And yes, an eyebrow shape and a few key makeup products will definitely help. Good luck.

  2. I swear by my primer. I feel like my face ‘sucks in’ the foundation otherwise. I found this really great green primer in the US (evens out the redness in my face) but am yet to find anything similar here. I’ve heard the best way to pick a lippie is match it as close as possible to the colour of the inside of your lips … thanks for the tips!

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  3. Fabulous tips! Thank you! And,…. do you know what would be even better? If all those fabulous products were available to buy,…in a pack,…at 1 click of a button,.. cause I for one would use them,..but don’t have time to go and source them,…. hmmm,….. pjx

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  4. Have never done bronzer. As someone who has embraced her Scottish and Welsh ancestry (and there must have been an albino thrown in there somewhere), I’ve always thought I’ve been too pale / pink. Will give it a go now!

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  5. Hi Nikki,
    As an actress, I can think of few things I like LESS than having to make myself up when I’m NOT at work!!
    Having said this, I recognise the fact that at my age you NEED a bit of something to make you look human, even on the walk to drop the kids off at school! I’ve got this down to a fine art, and I’m afraid to tell you it takes me LESS than 2 mins to achieve…here’s how it goes…
    Hair in ponytail
    any moisturiser with spf (they are all much the same, unless you buy one from the rooms of a plastic surgeon)
    ‘BY TERRY’ tinted moisturiser
    YSL TOUCHE ECLAT under the eyes
    DERMA COLOR erase stick on any zits
    curl eyelashes
    any mascara whatsoever
    NARS LIPSTICK, DOLCE VITA…this is THE BEST almost no colour lipstick, a bit pink and a bit neutral.
    ….and there it is.
    Have a go, I reckon it’s all you need.I reserve bronzer/eyeshadow/pencils of any kind for going out faces, only!

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  6. Nikki I love your beauty posts. I end up buying so many things you recommend – am off to try out some Jane Iredale tomorrow (it’s really really hard to find in Sydney for some reason). Thanks for another fab post. I’m addicted to your blog@!

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      1. Thanks hon! I’ve been to three of the stockists today…. who no longer stock it. I’m determind I will find it!

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  7. I recently got a great free makeup lesson from Napoleon Perdis on how to use liquid gel liner. Easy! Also found an Avon eye pencil that is amazing. It’s a Glimmerstick pencil that goes on wet and dries, but is like putting on pencil. Cheap and good!

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  8. I love Becca Mineral Primer SPF 25 which I wear instead of day moisturiser. I leave to sink in then pop Maybelline or Covergirl primer on. Cheap but tops. I love Maybelline Age Rewind makeup. I also like Australis Photo Definition. Better than the $80 one I was using! MAC Mineralise is fab. Highlighter, blush and bronzer in one compact. I use the Maybelline concealer Zoe recommends. I’ve just started using Becca liquid highlighter in Pearl. Just a dab on cheekbones, corners of eyes, nose, upper lip. I like to line my lips with pencil then use a lipbrush to blend all over. Like a lip stain. MAC Lingering brow pencil. Maybelline gel liner. MAC Shroom and Satin Taupe eyeshadows. Rimmel mascara with lash conditioner for long fanned lashes (cannot abide thick clumpy ones). Setting powder by Becca. Makeup spritz by Australis. That’s my every day 10 minute face. I adore my MAC, Becca and Perdis brushes. Prefer to spend my money on skincare if a budget makeup does a great job. Oh and Chanel lipsticks!

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      I love your makeup routine, Kim-Marie. Lots of products in there that I’ve tried and given a big tick to.

      Love that Australis foundation for a liquid and Australis has a high definition concealer coming out next week too.

      Big, big love for MAC Mineralise and I should have included a highlighter in my list – the Becca one sounds great. I love Benefit’s high beam and Ere Perez Natural Vanilla highlighter

      It’s so important to devote the bulk of your budget to skincare – something I’ve been an advocate of for a very long time.

      1. Ooh, will definitely keep an eye out for that concealer. I’m so impressed with the quality of Australis for the price. I like MAC mineral powder for the summer but prefer liquid for winter. Am going to try the EmerginC primer. 🙂 Got to get my hands on Zoe’s book too. Hope my husband doesn’t forget he promised to buy it for my birthday! 🙂

  9. A moisturiser with sunscreen is a MUST.
    For me most days that and a concealer add some lipgloss done.
    When i’m going out, or weekends when I try to look a little nicer, I add foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, blush and bronzer.
    I don’t know if there are any rules but I always put my bronzer on before my blush, keeping both light.
    I am yet to use or own lipstick. It just never looks right on me. I cannot pull it off. Definitely a gloss girl all the way.

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      Miss Pink, you are young and gorgeous … I need a little extra *help*. And I was a gloss girl until recently too. Still am on a day to day basis. The lipstick thing is just a fun way to mix it up.

      1. I always put my blush on my apples first, then bronzer underneath my cheekbones(plus jawline, temples) then a touch of highlighter right on my cheekbones, quite high. Fake a cheekbone! I’m good at faking a waist too! 😉

  10. I love this, so handy! Altho my ‘must’ have for make up during the day is Tinted moisturiser with SPF. It combines a couple of steps, and I’ve discovered Primer goes on underneathe to maintain the colour throughout the day.

    For blue eyes would you suggest a blue eyeliner instead of brown? Or stick to brown? (I am also, a massive fan of brown mascara for the day!)


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      Tinted moisturizer is great if your skin tone is pretty even to start with. Mine’s not thanks to age.
      Would stick with brown or steel grey eyeliner for blue eyes. Brown is incredible for bringing out the blue in blue eyes.

  11. I think the best thing I ever did for my face was start going to an eyebrow specialist – I scoffed at the cost when a friend recommended her, but then curiosity got the better of me – the difference was amazing.

    This blog introduced me to Jane Iredale, I tracked the brand down locally and now would agree that the mineral foundation is a must have!

    I’m still looking for the perfect concealer – I have some broken capillaries on my cheeks that are hard to cover. Trying to work up courage for IPL on them but a bit scared!

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      I too am a big fan of investing in an eyebrow expert. So glad you like Jane Iredale – I’m a huge fan. IPL sounds like the go. I’d also try a concealer that throws some green. Will do some investigation for you.

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  12. Oh I love you! I recently went to get my $100 eyebrows and the eyebrow gave me a lesson or twenty-billion in make-up. I always thought I was going OK. Turns out I wasn’t!

    Thanks for this. I’m off shopping on the weekend with your blog post as a list. Thank you! x

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      Let me know how your shopping goes! We’ve always got lots to learn. I’m always interrogating makeup artists for tips. A bit like motherhood though, it’s a matter of sorting through all the tips and advice and finding out what works for you on a daily basis.

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