No time, no energy and no idea where to start? My no-nonsense beauty tips for busy mums, in association with Marks & Spencer, are quick and easy so that you can look and feel amazing!
I am a skincare junkie! I love nothing better than adding new lotions and potions to my growing collection. But as a 30-something working mum, I’m also on the hamster wheel of school runs, after-school activities, supermarket shopping, a never-ending laundry pile, and generally keeping the peace – so finding the time to spend on glowing, youthful skin can be hard. Plus, those pesky lines are getting increasingly noticeable, so I’ve revamped my skincare priorities with some time-saving tips.
Marks & Spencer is like a treasure trove for me – I love having a sneaky peek to find a new treat. The mix of well-known brands with new cult favourites means you can try plenty to find what works best for your skin.
Essential Beauty Tips for Busy Mums
Bye Bye Bags
Whether it’s from sleepless nights, early mornings, coffee-fuelled days or just motherhood in general, the need for concealer is never more important than now.
Under-eye bags are often par for the course, but the right concealer can make a huge difference – as can how you apply it. Rather than applying concealer in a swoop under your eye, draw it down into a triangle shape pointing down your cheek. This instantly lifts the eye, and believe me it makes a difference!
Do Double Duty
On school mornings in particular, I find that my makeup routine (if any!) has to be as short as possible – I just don’t have time to do a full ‘look’. So I always have an eye out for something that can do double duty.
This Pixi MultiBalm 2-in-1 Cheek and Lip Colour fits the bill for that quick little swipe of colour. It comes in five shades (I like Baby Petal), is paraben-free and leaves lips super soft thanks to shea butter and rosehip oil.
Similarly, the Trilogy Everything Balm does exactly what it says – everything! I keep one of these little pots in my bag for dabbing on dry skin or dealing with cracked lips, but it can also be rubbed on nails and cuticles, used as a massage oil or even as a nappy rash cream!
Get Better Coverage
Have you noticed that your foundation just isn’t sitting right on your skin? Combination skin, with patches of dryness, can mean that makeup just flakes away rather than covering up; while lines and wrinkles may be attracting your foundation to settle and clump.
I have absolutely been there – taking my makeup off again and reapplying in the hopes it will look better, but who really has time for that amount of faff?
Start by getting into a good skincare routine and really giving your skin a little TLC. Make sure your makeup isn’t too heavy for your skin; you may need to investigate a new option if you have been using the same brand for a long time. The one key change I made was to start using a primer. Yes, it’s another step in the process, but it makes everything afterwards so much easier.
If you’re looking to save time on busy days and make sure your makeup lasts all day, the Autograph Lasting Miracle Skin Primer does exactly that. It is really affordable, incredibly light to put on, smooths out your skin and is a great vegan-friendly option.
Keep It Clean
While putting your makeup on may seem like a challenge on a busy day, I find taking it off again is the step I’m quite likely to skip. The thought of all those steps to go through at bedtime is exhausting!
But, in an effort to be more skin-conscious, I decided to change things up a little. Now, instead of waiting until my bedtime to remove my makeup, I do it when my daughter is getting ready for bed. She reads and gets settled while I do a much more thorough job of cleansing, toning and moisturising than I would otherwise have done – perfect!
Honestly, I don’t like to think that I’m old enough to need anti-ageing products, but who am I kidding? Those little lines are not so little anymore!
There are a lot of products aimed at the anti-ageing market with words like plumping, tightening, moisturising and firming the key ones to look out for.
I have loved the Dragon’s Blood range from Rodial for years (the hyaluronic mask is fab if you have dehydrated skin in need of some love and the eye gel is great for reducing puffiness), but the Stem Cell Magic Gel recently caught my eye because you can use it as a moisturiser, primer or as a mask for dull skin. Anything that works miracles deserves a place on your shelf!
Protect Your Skin
A big part of keeping your skin looking as youthful as possible (we can hope, right?) is to protect it from sun and exposure. While we don’t get many hot sunny days, even typically cool Irish weather can be drying and ageing for our skin. Many foundations proclaim an SPF factor, but these can be light protection that may not cover both UVA and UVB rays. A high SPF on your face will really make a difference.
If you’re looking for a great everyday option to wear under makeup, the Sun Smart Sensitive Face Sun Lotion SPF30 is ideal. It goes on easily, feels really light and doesn’t leave your skin feeling shiny or greasy when you go to put on makeup.
For holidays, or days when makeup isn’t needed, try the Ultrasun Tinted Face SPF50+. It’s really lightweight, lasts up to two years from when it’s opened, and only needs to be applied once a day to be highly effective.
Opting for a clear polish instead of colour means that I don’t need to worry about the inevitable chipping that seems to happen overnight. I like to do a quick file to tidy up rough edges, then use something nourishing like Essie Care All-in-One as my nails can be quite brittle.
Mind Your Brushes
Do you hate cleaning your makeup brushes as much as I do? It really is a painful task, but dirty brushes will undo all the good work you’re doing looking after your skin – and could be causing spots and breakouts. They can also be a major cause of your makeup (foundation in particular) looking patchy and less than perfect.
The general advice is that foundation and concealer brushes should be cleaned once a week, eye brushes every two weeks, and all others should be once a month.
If that all seems like yet another chore to add to your neverending list, what about taking inspiration from the professionals and applying your foundation without brushes? Use clean fingertips and a light touch to get a really natural finish with no streaky lines, no stray brush hairs and – better yet – no brushes to wash on a weekly basis!
One of my top beauty tips for busy mums is that treating yourself and treating your skin can go hand-in-hand. One of my all-time favourite skincare products is the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Oil – it smells DIVINE and is always on my Christmas list!
I use the oil as an all-over skin treat after a shower, but you can also apply it to your hair as a moisturising treatment to leave locks feeling silky. If you’re looking for a summery, sun-kissed glow try the Nuxe Golden Shimmer oil. Heaven!
You May Also Enjoy A to Z: How to Look Polished and Groomed (Even When You’re Not!)
What are your beauty and skincare must-have products? Have you tried any of my favourites? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!