I have always followed the 10-step Korean skincare routine religiously. Yes, it takes at least half an hour in the morning and the same again at night, but I haven’t let having a baby get in the way of it. Some things you just have to make time for….
And if you believe that, then you are either insane or have two more hours in your day than I do!
Ask any busy woman with young children about her beauty routine, and the answer will usually involve a sigh as she tries to explain the things she doesn’t have time to do, rather than those she does. And recently I was asked by Sam McCauley Chemists how I manage it and would I share my tips in their monthly healthy Savings catalogue. I used to have a meticulous skincare routine (admittedly not a 10-step one), but unfortunately these days I have been known to crawl into bed after dragging a (slightly used) baby wipe across my face. More unfortunately again, I had a baby at a time in my life when I needed to pay more attention to my beauty routine, not less.
A hectic schedule compounded by sleep deprivation is not conducive to putting ourselves first, whether you have kids or not. But there are a few things I do try to make sure I at least have in the bathroom (whether or not I use them is dependent on many other factors!).
Elave cleansers: I have quite sensitive skin, and usually default to Elave. (I love most of their products, and use all of the baby range too). I always cleanse twice – living in a city, I think it’s important, and it really only takes a minute. Then I follow it with a sensitive toner from Roche Posay.
Optrex refreshing eye drops: I am the only person I know who uses eye drops religiously. I don’t wear glasses or contacts, but I promise you, a couple of drops after the shower on a day you are exhausted and…well, you won’t feel any less tired, but your eyes may feel slightly further away from the back of your head then they were before.
When I can afford it, I splash out on L’Occitane Verbena shower gel (am currently using miniatures nicked from a hotel!). Honestly, it’s like happiness in a bottle, and has many a morning transformed me from the Walking Dead to Mary Poppins in one squeeze. (Sadly the Poppins-mood isn’t guaranteed to last all day).
I don’t care what anyone says about accepting yourself the way you are, I feel a hundred times better with a bit of make up on. I have perfected a 5-minute make up application that is fine for everyday, and stops my neighbour asking me if I’m ill. I am on an ongoing quest for the perfect mascara for my thin lashes, and have just discovered the Lancôme Hypnôse range. They are a wonder! Not so easy to remove though, so invest in a separate eye make up remover.
Whenever I feel a bit run down, I take Revive Active. It is expensive, but my justification is that not so long ago, I used to spend more than the price of a month’s supply on a night out. I find it amazing. At the moment I am combining it with their Krill Oil supplements, and although I won’t be applying to Mensa any time soon, I honestly feel a noticeable difference in my energy and alertness.
There’s one amazing product that helps with any mum’s beauty regime; but unfortunately you won’t find it in any pharmacy. It’s the best thing to have in your back pocket on the days when you haven’t had time to wash your hair or apply any sort of make up, and have unidentifiable stains covering 75% of your clothes. It’s called “Perspective”, and it reminds you that even on those days, you’re doing just fine.