One thing that initially inspired me to start this blog was to help other moms find ways to fit looking and feeling beautiful into their busy lives and their busy budgets...it's a cause that's very near and dear to my heart.
For years, I basically ignored myself while I adjusted to life as a mother and, as a result, I went through some pretty gnarly bouts of depression. It is not selfish to give yourself a minute or 2 of your time and it is not superficial to care about or pay attention to how you look. If you don't think you look good, it is hard to feel good and, after a while, that can have a huge negative impact on your self esteem. I know from experience how hard it is to find time for yourself when you have small children. Finding some easy to use products like the ones I've listed below can make all the difference in your efforts to carve out a minute or 2 for you.
My holy grail mom-friendly items!!
(click to enlarge & to see numbers)
So let's just go through everything I have in this picture one by one and talk about why I swear by it when I'm in a time crunch. All these products have a few key elements in common: they serve multiple purposes at once, they are super easy and super fast to use and, for the most part, they are just as easy on the budget.
1. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic
As I've said in my reviews of these balm stains here, here and here, they really do live up to their claims. They feel great, look great, and wear great....so what makes them so mom-friendly? The packaging! They are a snap to put on because of their pencil-like format. You don't need to fiddle with lip liners or lip brushes. Just swipe it on and go. Also, since the 'pencil' is actually a twist-up plastic tube, you don't need to worry about a sharpener, making them super portable. Whenever I want a little flush of color without any hassle, I always reach for the shade Romantic. It amps up my natural lip pigmentation perfectly and helps brighten up my whole face.
2. Jordana Fabu-liner in brown
I've talked about the awesomeness of Jordana Fabuliners before here. Simply put, you will not find a cheaper, easier-to-use, more pigmented, better wearing liquid liner on the market. Gotta love that felt-tip marker-like packaging! On days when I am rushed, I grab this liner and just dot some color down in between my eyelashes to help make them look fuller. The super-fine, super-precise point on this liner pen makes getting between lashes and just giving a hint of a line SO easy.
3. Wet N Wild Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer
I LOVE this stuff! You gotta moisturize your skin anyway, right? So why not use something with a hint of color that can give you a little more coverage and help even everything out? Just a few dabs and blend it in and you're good. And, since it is by Wet N Wild, you know it is budget-friendly. I am continually amazed by the quality products that Wet N Wild has put out over these last few years. It's seriously not just for 'tweens' anymore. This tinted moisturizer really performs better than so many pricier moisturizers and even full-on foundations for that matter. On any given day, I am guaranteed to have some stupid pimple (usually MANY) somewhere and the remnants of past acne battles are always with me, yet this moisturizer helps camouflage that without being thick or cakey or a funky color. Check out me wearing this moisturizer here. See how even and glowy it makes my skin look?
4. Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller
Every mom needs this in her arsenal--especially those of us with babies (especially when those babies STILL don't sleep through the night, despite being 21 freakin months old--honestly, son, when are you gonna cut me some slack??)....I love the roller-ball packaging. It feels cool to the touch, which is soothing, plus it distributes just the right amount of product. After I roll one swipe under each eye, I simply blend it in with my finger. The formula of this concealer is thin but not watery, so it is a snap to work with and it covers well without being goopy and gross. It counteracts dark circles and brightens the whole area up. Even when I'm running late and have time for NOTHING else, I still grab this, swipe, blend and go and voila, I look much less zombie-ish (if you ignore the glazed look in my eye and the drool, that is)...
5. L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Iced Latte
If you pay any attention to makeup at all, you've probably heard that adding a subtle highlight to the inner corners of the eyes instantly 'wakes up' your face and helps make you look more alive--and it's TRUE! When I'm looking to do this in a hurry, I always reach for this gorgeous champagne-colored shadow. I just dip my pinky into the pot and lightly dot it into each corner of my eye. This shade can also double as a highlighter for the tops of cheek bones, too. It is so fast and so easy to use since it is so pigmented and super-blendable. You don't need any tools--just a swipe of a finger and you are done!
6. ELF All Over Color Stick in Pink Lemonade
Want a quick shot of color that you can use on your lips, cheeks and eyes for only $1.00? Then head over to Target and grab one of these awesome little sticks. Once again, no tools needed to use this baby--just the tips of your fingers. This color is a really gorgeous shimmering warm pink (see swatches here on Beautymakeupaddict.blogspot.com) and whether used as a blush, lip color or eye-color, it helps quickly and effectively brighten up a tired face.
So why did I include a pair of tweezers in this post? Because the single most beautifying thing you can do for your face is to shape your eyebrows. I'm not talking about creating a full-out drastic arch or anything like that. Just cleaning up the stray hairs above and below your brows can really transform your whole face and help you look more polished--whether or not you wear any makeup at all. If you find a minute every few days just to keep on top of the regrowth--even if you don't have time to do ANYTHING else to your face, I promise it will make all the difference.
8. CVS Brand Oil Absorbing Sheets
These sheets are meant to be a cheaper alternative to the Clean and Clear sheets. I've never purchased the Clean and Clear sheets so I can't really compare, but all I CAN say is I can't imagine anything working any better than these. I have really oily skin and if I don't take some kind of mattifying measure, the glare and the shine is enough to blind (ok I didn't mean for that to rhyme damnit--it just came out that way). I use these little sheets both when I am looking to curb breakthrough shine when I am wearing makeup AND I also use them when I have no makeup on but need to de-slick. Simply pull a sheet out (they are designed to dispense one by one) and press it against the skin and all the oil is sucked right up (and you can see it on the sheet, too). Also, I love the skinny, super-portable match-book packaging. You can fit a pack of these anywhere.
9. Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat
I am always getting asked how I manage to find time to do my nails with 3 small kids running around. And my answer is always 2 words: SECHE VITE!! This top coat dries so fast, it makes any scrap of free time potential manicure time. There are plenty of instances where I have to change gross diapers/pick up a crying child/physically stop some kid from doing something crazy only minutes after applying a fresh polish job and I am always able to do it without wrecking my nails thanks to Seche Vite. I've tried other quick dry top coats and none of them come close to the lightning fast drying time or the glossy shine that Seche Vite has. It is every manicure loving mom's dream come true!
Well, those are my suggestions for awesome, quick pretty-making. Hope some poor time-deprived mom out there finds this helpful...
Do you have anything to add to the list?