26 beauty shortcuts every mum needs to know

26 beauty shortcuts

Rushed again this morning? Me too. If you’re like most mothers*, you spend less than 15 minutes getting ready in the morning. And if your home life is anything like mine, those precious minutes are regularly interrupted with demands for milk, cries for help and requests for bottoms to be wiped.


So we’ve compiled a list of 26 beauty shortcuts that’ll shave time off your getting-ready routine, but will still give you great results.


Make-up in minutes

1. To help colour stay on your lips all day, apply a bit of foundation under your lipstick.

2. Clean up mistakes and smudges from eye makeup application by dipping a Q-tip in eye cream, and gently swiping it off.

3. To make your eyelashes hold their curl longer, heat your eyelash curler with your blow dryer for a few seconds (don’t overdo it or you’ll fry your eye!).

4. Try Vaseline as a lip gloss, or in lieu of mascara to create a subtle sheen on your lashes.

5. To prevent your eyeliner from crumbling when you sharpen it, store it in the freezer.

6. To illuminate your skin, apply lip gloss in a sheer nude colour to the apples of your cheeks.

7. Tame unruly brows by spritzing hairspray onto a fresh toothbrush, and brushing them lightly.

8. When rushed in the morning, skip an elaborate makeup routine to save time. Instead, just apply tinted moisturizer to even out skin tone, two coats of mascara, and use a neutral matte lipstick to highlight your cheekbones and lips.


Hair in a hurry

9. Baby oil is great to add to your daily moisturising routine for a bit of extra sheen. In a pinch, a pea-sized amount can act as a hair shine serum before dashing out the door.

10. Didn’t have time to wash your hair today? Use dry shampoo, or take a big makeup brush and dab it in loose powder (either baby or face powder). Tap it once to remove the excess before applying to your roots. This will help soak up any extra oil and dirt.

11. To tame fly-aways, spritz a round brush with hairspray and work through your hair roots to tip. This way, you’ll have hold, bounce, and no frizz.

12. Have an itchy, flaky scalp? Squeeze lemon juice over the crown of your head. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. The acidity from the lemon juice will naturally exfoliate your skin and clear up any dandruff.

13. The quickest way to dry hair after you shower is to first soak up excess water with a towel. Then, blow dry starting with the hair underneath and work your way to the outer layers.

14. Use a satin pillowcase so your hair doesn’t turn into a beehive overnight. Satin helps keep strands smooth while you sleep.


Face fixers in a flash

15. Take the red out of a pimple with a dab of Visine.

16. To help reduce swelling and redness of a zit, dab a bit of toothpaste on it before going to bed.

17. Tea bags (with caffeine) will help reduce swollen eyes. Simply soak in water then leave the entire bag on each eye for 5-10 minutes.

18. If your eyes are super puffy in the morning, take a frozen bag of peas, wrap them in a paper towel and place on your face. Allow to sit for 10 minutes for full effect, but prepare to be mocked by the kids.

19. Retinoid creams are overnight superheroes. Not only do they smooth wrinkles, but they literally get rid of zits overnight.


Pretty pins in a pinch

20. If you ran out of your usual shave gel, no worries! Use conditioner—you’ll actually get a better shave and your legs will feel unbelievably soft afterward.

21. If you typically get razor burn after shaving, try hitting those areas affected (including your bikini line) with your favorite deodorant immediately post-shower. It will help prevent those bumps from appearing.

22. Looking to get sexy, soft skin? Mash up a ripe avocado and use it as a paste over your legs. Leave on for 15-minutes, then rinse off. The oil from the avocado is a natural emollient.

23. Olive oil is also great to use on dry skin. To treat areas like your feet, apply it generously, wrap your feet in Glad Wrap, put on socks, and then head to bed. By morning, your feet will be super soft.

24. If you’ve recently self-tanned and wound up streaky, you can use a fresh lemon cut in half to rub over the affected areas, or baking soda mixed with a bit of water to create a paste. Rub in with either method to exfoliate and reveal untanned skin underneath.


Nails in nix

25. Don’t have time to wait, post-DIY manicure? Let nails dry for two minutes, then submerge nails into ice cold water for three minutes. The cold water will help the polish dry completely.

26. Every time you shower, use a washcloth to gently push back your cuticles. You will always look like you have well-groomed nails.


*62% of women with kids spend up to 15 minutes getting ready in the morning,

compared to before kids, when 60% spent longer than 45 minutes.

Fox in Flats survey on Motherhood and Fashion.



What are your best beauty time-savers? 

baby hanger1 Street style snaps of Aussie mums

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  • Anonymous

    GOLD! 🙂

    • We all need the help, right?!

  • Jodie

    they are some awesome tips

  • Pene

    Printed off ….  BRILLIANT stuff Miss Fox!!  Thank you xxxx

  • element

    I stopped putting fabric softner in with my bath towels- the slight roughness (not super-soft, but it doesn’t scratch) exfoliates my skin without having to exfoliate in the shower. Gives me another… 2 minutes…  🙂

    • Great shortcut element – I’ll try that for sure! x

  • Wrap your hair in one of those super soaker hair towels while you get the kids breakfast. By then it will be much dryer than if you’d just let it hang loose.

    I switched to a mineral powder instead of a tinted moisturiser – super quick and seems to hide my blotchiness better.

    Thanks for the great tips! I especially needed the “no time to wash your hair this morning” tip – seems to happen way to often to me.

    • I’ve always wondered about those super soaker towels. Thanks for the great tips x

  • Conditioner to shave my legs? Brilliant!  

    I also leave my hand cream next to my face moisturiser so straight after my shower I moisturise my face and then rub cream into my hands. One, I don’t forget to put it on and Two, the heat from the shower seems to double the effect of the hand cream – my hands feel completely nourished.

  • Carole Adams

    Hi Andrea Love love love your site:) Could you recommend a good retinoid cream please (do you need a script for it?)?  Thx!

    • Thanks Carole! Mmm, that reminds me I’m planning to do an article on this. As far as I know, yes, you need a script. I got from my GP when I was in there with the kids for ReTrieve, and use it once a week. 

      • Carole Adams

        Thx muchly – thankfully no sick kids on the horizon but hubby went to GP y/day to get a script for his regular asthma meds & got me some ReTrieve too – would have made for an interesting consult 🙂

  • Concealer is my best friend <3

  • I am so printing this off and sticking it on my bathroom wall and in my car and in my handbag and in my wardrobe and ………. 😉 x

    • FoxInFlats

      Awesome – glad you found it handy Sonia x

  • Clare from Checks and Spots

    Ace list lady! I try and use multi-purpose products…Like a Cheek Tint that I can use as blush or on my lips. Or a shimmery, cream-based Eye Shadow that doubles as an illuminator. The fewer products I can get away with the better!!

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  • Joanne Isbister-Smith

    I would very much like 15 minutes to get ready in the morning. My, how times have changed. Thanks for the tips. Printing it off as we speak xx

  • Samantha

    Hi Andrea, just discovered your site and really love it! Just like Joan I’d love those 15mn for myself too haha…those long moments spent pampering oneself are distant memories now. Thanks for those tips! xx


  • I have a few fly-aways in my fringe that always want to curl when the rest of my hair is dead-straight! I think I’ll try your hairspray on the round brush tip to see if that will tame them. They are super itchy and annoying so fingers crossed! Lily x