Nights out are few and far between for me these days. It always seems I get a run of two or three things at once and then my social calendar becomes a barren wasteland again for another year. When the opportunity does arise for a big night out, I go all in and throw the kitchen sink at it! So here is my survival guide…
The key to getting ready for a night out is to have your children as far away from you as possible. This is to maintain a sticky fingers/stress free zone for you and your outfit. You can either take the all day approach – exfoliation and de-fuzzification with the morning shower, eyebrow plucking over the kitchen sink at lunchtime, nails done during nap time (this is a risky tactic) and tag team parenting that evening for hair and make-up. Or you can go hell for leather in the hour before you go out. Whichever works best for you, just be sure not to get dressed until you are literally about to step out the front door. Children can always sense adult fun is afoot and they will try their best to puke/snot/wipe stuff on you as you are leaving. Just make a break for it and run, you can tell them you love them in the morning!
Important: Have a pint of water and painkillers next to your bed for the inevitable morning after the night before. I’ve also heard tell that taking Milk Thistle before a night out can help prevent hangovers.
I relish the outfit pondering! Free from the shackles of youth, I no longer fret over conforming to the latest trends – which is best for everyone really considering what’s en vogue at the moment. My golden rule has always been Tits or Legs. I think this is a solid philosophy to live by. Chest and kidney infections have to be rampant these days with the clout casting that goes on. It’s not Newcastle lads, it’s an Irish summer!
Anyhoo, an outfit that can draw the eye away from the ‘mum tum’ without publicly shaming me is a win. I am very much a top and pants kinda gal, along with a nice pair of heels ‘cos I’m a midget. I have recently purchased a very fetching squeeze-it-all-in bodysuit in the tone of ‘flesh’ from Penneys for just €10. And it’s bloody good! It has allowed me to move away from the MuMu type tops to something a tad more fitted. With an easy popper fastening, I don’t have to spend half an hour sweating in the loo trying to get myself dressed again (I don’t remember this being an issue in the 90’s!). And ladies remember – if the legs are out, socks must be off by 3 pm at the latest!
The older I get, the more make-up I seem to wear. I feel this is probably a combination of necessity and finally getting a clue after a very shaky 90’s look! Like old building restorations, you gotta do the hard work on the foundations before you can make the facade look beautiful. Firstly, I absolutely swear by the No.7 Beautiful Skin range. After that, two of my favourite products are Revlon Photoready Prime+Anti Shine and Benefit Porefessional. These are essentially poly-fillers for my craggy skin. For concealers, I have shared a life-long love affair with Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat and I love Benefit Lemon Aid for my eyelids to hide the redness and minimise creasing. Once you have figured out your magic foundation formula, you’re away on a hack! You can throw anything on over it. I tend to stick to powders as I don’t like anything heavy on my skin. I do like mucking about with eyeshadows though, and one brand I really love is Revolution for durability and non-creasability (a new scientific term). And of course, these days, it’s all about the brow. Sure where would we all be without a good brow mascara?? Although I do feel your brow size correlates directly to the decade you were born in…
In extreme opposition to lugging round a change bag all day, my going out bag is always the teensiest weensiest one I can find. The psychological freedom that comes from leaving the house without wipes is huge! I have fine tuned my handbag to the following items – phone, change purse, a few tissues, lippy, mirror and blotting paper. Available in Penneys for €1.50, these little sheets of mystical paper blot away any oily shine on your skin, saving you from topping up on powder all night. Magic! The only thing I’d be more excited to see in my bag would be a hotel room key…
And The Fun!
Once you finally shake off the feeling that you’ve forgotten something, you can relax among people who aren’t going to demand you feed them or wipe their bottom. But don’t peak too early! Nobody wants to face the babysitter totally gee-eyed having only said goodbye an hour previous. And keep those pics off Facebook – your child will have an account one day!
But most importantly of all ladies, have fun! You have bloody earned it. Take the Mum hat off for the night and be the beautiful, fabulous woman that you are!