Hands up if you started today feeling a bit “blah“?
Yeah, I raised mine too.
Raising little ones is probably the most exhilarating yet exhausting stages of life you’ll ever pass through. The nights of broken sleep. The frantic mornings getting to work/school/daycare on time. The 15 minutes (if you’re lucky) left over to get yourself ready. Yes, yes, it’s all incredibly satisfying, of course, but it’s no wonder we’re often left starting our days feeling a little bit “Blah!”
However, with a few clever little style and beauty shortcuts plus a fake-it-till-you-make-it kind of attitude, it is possible to look as bright and chipper as a kid at a birthday party in almost no time at all.
21 ways to get you on the express-train to Fresh Town
Wearing white near your face will reflect light, giving you an instant glow. So pull on a crisp white Tee, or steal one of your man’s white business shirts. For sneaky tips on how to get away with that without him freaking out, click here.
Fake a facelift
A simple sleek ponytail, bun, or half-up half down hairstyle secured firmly at the crown of your head will gently pull the skin backwards and upwards from your temples. Quick, easy, and without the risk of looking like Joan Rivers.
Brighten those bags
Under-eye lightening products will reflect light away from those dark circles, and make them look brighter. Much easier and less painful than using matchsticks to prop them open. My top picks are here.
Sparkly or metallic adornments like gem-encrusted earrings or a shiny silver necklace will reflect light around your face. Sprinkle liberally.
Ever seen a wilted plant come to life in minutes after you water it? Learn from the leaves and regularly water yourself too. Keep bottles of water scattered in the places you visit most often during the day such as on your desk, in the car, and even on baby’s change table, then sip regularly.
Apply bright lipstick
A slick of red, orange or pink on your lips will make your teeth look whiter (and detract from those tired eyes).
Fresh your breath
Stash some mints, gum, or breath-freshening strips in your bag that you can pop on the go. Or for a more natural approach, nibble fresh mint, coriander, parsley or cinnamon.
Water those peepers
Sleepless nights can mean scratchy eyes. A few eye-drops will take away the sting and keep them lubricated.
A cooling facial spray can uplift and rehydrate a tired face. Think of it as a gentle get-your-act-together face slap. My favourite is here.
A healthy (fake) glow can enhance the brightness of your eyes and teeth, and make you look more vital. But self-tanning at home can be time-consuming with all that preparation and mess. Instead, pick up a temporary fake tanner like this cult favourite. You can apply it in less than 5 minutes so it’s perfect for those days when you pull on your favourite skirt and realise your legs look like uncooked chicken. Check out my before and after pics as proof here.
Open those eyes
A couple of seconds with an eye-lash curler and you’ll be faking awake. For extra staying power, heat it with your hairdryer before you apply to your lashes, or invest in a battery-operated heated curler.
Tantalise your nose
Crisp, zesty fragrances can wake you up in an instant. Look for perfumes containing jasmine, citrus, or peppermint, which stimulate the brainwaves associated with alertness. Or pick up the real stuff on your next grocery run, and inhale that natural goodness when you’re starting to fade.
Scrub it off
Exfoliating at least three times a week will keep skin looking brighter as it’ll remove built-up dead skin cells and help serums and moisturisers penetrate more easily. My 3 current favourites including an easy DIY scrub are here.
Erase the red
Nude eyeliner lined in your inner eye-rims will camouflage tired red-eyes in an instant.
A tiny swipe of illuminating product across the top of your brows, the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheekbones, and the bow of your lips will make your face look like it’s been basking with angels. Invest in YSL’s cult product Touche Eclat $40 which is as easy to apply as it is for the kids to draw texta on the wall.
Because sometimes we can’t wash our hair when we want to, dry shampoo is a gift from beauty heaven. A quick spray or sprinkle of powder and you’re tresses will be fresh and smelling great in an instant.
Mirrored sunglasses or shades with clear perspex frames will keep the light bouncing around your face. You can’t go wrong with a pair of classic mirrored Ray Ban Aviators $179. Ever.
The ever-fresh looking Jessica Alba said “I wear scarves, mostly, because they’re an accessory that can dress up an outfit, so you’re not just wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. But it’s also because if my baby has an accident — and I’m holding the baby — I can cover that accident up! So I’m not walking around with a big puke stain or poo stain on my shirt!” So take her lead, and keep a few handy for those inevitable messy days. Check out a gallery of Jess’s scarves here.
It can be hard to get to the wax-ician regularly when you’ve got little ones to look after. But hairy-mummies are only really cool if your son’s name is Chewbacca. Get familiar with at-home hair removal so you can de-fuzz fast. 4 great options are here.
Illuminate the base
Look for foundations with lightening or brightening claims. You’ll be smiling sunbeams. I’m currently obsessed with L’oreal’s Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation $33 which leaves my skin with a fresh, dewy glow.
Top it with a blazer
This wardrobe classic will always make you look polished when you’re feeling a little flat. For 8 ways to take your blazer from the Boardroom to the Playroom, click here.
What’s your fave shortcut to looking fab and fresh – fast?