I am wholeheartedly a beauty person.
In a world where my life is dictated by two little ones, beauty is something that makes me feel like I’m giving myself a little treat. I can do it from home and is an activity I can spend five or fifty minutes on, depending on what those little ones need from me in that particular moment. It’s not something you need to be an expert in to enjoy, and if you fancy reading about it online you’ll find reams and reams of information. I feel more alive when I spend time on myself; looking polished is important to me and, as I don’t often manage a full night’s sleep (again, those little ones), spending time on my beauty routine helps me achieve that.
I’ve always waxed lyrical about the importance of skincare (go here for a beginner’s guide: it’ll change your life) and in the years since having kids I’ve realised just how essential make-up is to my daily routine, too. My early-thirties mumface is a feast of eye bags, uneven complexion and the odd wrinkle, and though fake tan hides a multitude of sins in the summer I prefer to go a little more natural in the winter. Which is annoying, because being natural makes me look rather knackered and older than my 31 years ;)
But time is something all of us as mums struggle with and I don’t have the hours to spend in front of my mirror daily, carefully crafting contours from bronzer. I did this once, following a YouTube tutorial, and ended up looking a bit stripy and being very late.
In the mornings I have a maximum of three minutes to ‘do my face’, in between hunting down school socks, dishing out Cornflakes and refereeing squabbles. You might think it’s impossible to pop on a face of make-up in this time, but it’s really not. This quick application of make-up sees me to the school gates and beyond, and then for a transition from day to night (or from school run to office) I slick on a bit of eyeliner and lipstick. It’s as simple as that to go from the ‘mum dragged through a hedge backwards’ look to ‘actual human being polished enough for meetings and dates’. Phew!
Natural Collection from Boots must have heard I am the master of the three-minute makeover, because they recently sent me a selection of products to re-create my ‘look’ with. One of the brands I remember clearly from my youth (a lot of my pocket money went their way back then), their range is really easy to interpret for all ages and skin types. And nothing is more expensive than £1.99! I talk you through how I do it here:
I’ve been most impressed with the products I’ve used so far; it’s the perfect range for busy women like me. There’s no faffing around with layers of messy liquids or hundreds of powders, just a very straightforward system that can be tailored to your preferences and lifestyle.
My three minute look before the school run consists of tinted moisturiser, powder, blusher, eyeshadow and mascara. This sets me up for the day, making me feel more awake and alive before I face my school gate friends, teachers and most likely the man at the M&S bakery. For a more polished look or an evening transition I add a little eyeliner, brow powder and lipstick – easily done on-the-hoof: usually for me this means in the car or on the train en route to London.
First things first, here’s how I look first thing sans make-up. A bit tired, a bit uneven, a bit bleurgh:
And then, after a quick three minutes application of make-up plus an extra one at the end to slick on some eyeliner and lipstick and we have this. An altogether much happier and less scary-looking face:
Ahh, isn’t make-up magical?
Altogether this lovely polished face took me less than five minutes and less than £20 to achieve. Here’s a run-down of the products I’m wearing…
Natural Collection tinted moisturiser in Natural
Natural Collection coverup stick in Fair
Natural Collection pressed powder in Cool
Natural Collection eyeshadow in White Opal
Natural Collection waterguard mascara in Black
Natural Collection blusher in Rosey Glow
Natural Collection eyeliner in Black
Natural Collection brow kit
Natural Collection lipstick in Crimson
The absolute hero product for me has been this Moisture Shine lipstick which is truly a delight to use. It’s very moisturising yet has amazing pigmentation; I’ve worn it all week and plan at going back for more colours. At £1.99 I’d be silly not to!
Tell me about your make-up routine: how do you squeeze it into the school run? Have I inspired you to re-visit good old Natural Collection?
I’m working with Boots and BritMums in a paid relationship, showcasing the Natural Collection makeup, the simple, affordable and easy-to- use line. Find out more at Boots.com.