You don’t need to be a mum to appreciate time saving hacks. Every woman I know is chronically busy. With work, seeing our family, socializing (IRL and on social media!), trying to fit in yoga, meditation, FODmapping our food, and trying to be well-balanced, kind, socially responsible and environmentally aware humans, finding time to beautify so often gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.
For me, having babies was a massive priority shift. The hours that I used to spend getting facials (all in the name of research I would argue!) just can’t be justified when Max is begging me to build Lego with him, or Lulu is threatening to take her first steps (God help me if I miss getting that on film!). These days, I’m so into multi tasking that I don’t really feel like I’m functioning properly unless I’m doing two things at once. And with beauty, it’s even more so. Unless a product saves me time or does two things at once, it generally won’t earn a place on my bathroom shelf. Here are my six best corner-cutting beauty hacks along with the products that help me daily.
1. Invest in lash extensions = save time on your makeup
I know I rabbit on about these often, but they seriously are game-changing when it comes to time-saving. Yes – they are expensive - but I think if you’re going to have a beauty addiction, then this is the one to have. Not only do they make you look prettier, they save time every day in putting eye makeup on and taking it off, plus you feel groomed 24/7. I go to Love Those Lashes in Paddington every two or three weeks for infills and I barely have to wear mascara these days. Which saves a bunch of time. Keep them in check between times with Amy Jean Faux Lash Mascara and Artemes False Lashes - singles. To remove, don’t use oily eye makeup remover, but gently dissolve with Bioderma Sensibio.
2. Use your bath and shower to do loads of beauty stuff
You’re in there anyway, you may as well get busy. If I’m lucky enough to get the shower or bath to myself, here’s what I’ll do: Shower? I’ll lather up my shampoo (Moo Goo Milk Shampoo is super gentle on my sensitive scalp) and while it’s working, I’ll wash everywhere else (choose an uplifting body wash like Ren Moroccan Rose or This Works Wake Me Up). Then rinse out shampoo then apply conditioner (I love Wendy Iles Formula as it works as a defrizzing treatment too). While it’s working, I’ll scrub off my old fake tan using my tan removal mitt, shave my legs or apply a hydrating mask. Bath? I up the relax-factor with a generous glug of L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath and then do a mini facial using Dermalogica Thermafoliant. Time permitting, I’ll also do a hair mask, buff my feet, trim my nails and shave my legs. To really up the relax-factor, I'll sip herbal tea - T2 Beauty Queen is my new favourite - while I'm doing all of the above.
3. Save trips to the salon, use mobile beauty services
There’s nothing better than in-home beauty services, particularly with things like spray tans and massages when you can swan around semi-naked or crawl into bed straight after. For busy mums with fussy babies who need to stay in their routine, it’s an absolute life line. To find one, Google “Mobile” and then whatever beauty service you’re searching for or ask your friends. Stacey McPherson, who worked on J Bronze with Jen Hawkins, comes to my place to do my sprays and Joanna from Still Beauty comes up from Melbourne occasionally and gives the most wonderful massages. For nails I recommend Purely Polished – it’s always a really good service and luxurious – from the soak they use to the hand cream - it’s top notch. You can also order makeup, hair and other services on demand like Uber via the Lux-It app.
4. Nails – either leave them nude or get gels
I think nude nails, filed and buffed to a shine try the Manicare buffing block or with a lick of clear polish I just discovered Revitanail Whitening Glow looks really pretty and elegant. Which is lucky, because that’s all I have time for most of the time. If I have a special event, trip on or a spare half an hour I’ll book in at The Nail Lab in Darlinghurst and get a set of Gelish Gels put on. The girls there are lovely and are meticulous about hygiene, so I know I won’t pick up any nasty nail infections. Oh and the best time saving nail product ever is L’Oreal Paris Flash Manicure – you just dip and twist and the polish comes straight off!
5. Look for Double Duty Beauty Products
Every morning, my foundation or base will be dictated by how much sun I’m getting that day. If I’m out and about I’ll use a mineral foundation with physical sunscreen like Synergie Minerals Mineral Whip or Dermaquest Breathable Coverage SPF 30. If I’m going to be in the office, I’ll use a BB like Dr Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm and if I’m going to an event I’ll use Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation but will pack Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer – it’s a tiny little pot and works as both concealer and foundation. For other touch ups on the go I always pack a lip and cheek cream in one like RMS Lip2Cheek and a tiny dark chocolate eyebrow powder that I can use as an eyeshadow and liner at the same time like The Booki Brow Co Trio Compact in Blonde/Light Brown. When one product does two things it not only saves time but handbag space.
6. Make your beauty rest work for you with sleep, tanning and hair masks
You’re in bed for such a significant portion of your day, you may as well make that down time count. If you haven’t found a sleep mask yet that you love, keep up the search. I’m a big fan of Charlotte Tilbury Magic Night Cream. An amazing overnight peel treatment I use Alpha-H Liquid Gold – simply wipe it on and skip the moisturiser if you want to increase the peeling effect. I usually layer an Alpha-H from their Vitamin Profiling Collection over that. To go bronze, I love James Read Overnight Tan Masks – there’s one for your face and for your body – they’re actually self tan but they’re clear so they don’t stain your sheets. They also seem to be more hydrating than other self tanners so are good to leave on overnight. Percy & Reed make an awesome Overnight Recovery hair treatment that you don’t even have to wash out in the morning. Oh and get a silk pillowcase – Zoe Foster’s just made a beautiful one called GO-TOs Face Case. Not only does it feel amazing, it saves you ironing the creases out of your face every morning.
And that my friends, I promise, should save you at least twenty precious minutes a day (the lashes save me ten minutes a day alone!), so you’ll have much more time for loved ones and fun things.