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No time for manicures, blow-dries or even to wash your hair? Here’s how to look glowing and together in super-fast mum time
Style while you snooze
Wash your hair in the evening, plait the ends while damp and shake out in the morning for hassle-free waves. If you don’t have time to shampoo, spritz hairspray onto dry hair, twist into a topknot and take out the next morning for instant volume and movement.
Glow and go
Cut down on time spent concealing dark circles and the effects of little sleep by using gradual tanner. Apply it before bed and you’ll wake up with rested, healthier-looking skin and brighter eyes – meaning less make-up in the morning.
New-mum make-up needs to be fast, flattering and skin-brightening. Go for a creamy, multipurpose stick for eyes, lips and cheeks (bronzy hues suit most skin tones) and quickly smudge onto skin, blending with your fingertips. The texture will melt in, giving tired skin a natural, healthy lift of colour.
Swap mascara for tinted lashes
It can be tricky to get to the salon once you have a newborn, so tint your own lashes and brows for naturally defined eyes without mascara or brow pencil. Even sleep-deprived eyes will look brighter.
Be clever with coverage
Applying foundation all over can be a time-consuming (and expensive) habit. Start where you really need it (around the eyes, nose and chin are usual hot spots), blend outwards and check coverage. The result is a faster, more natural finish.
Get buff while you wash
No time to body brush or exfoliate regularly? Use a pair of exfoliating gloves with your shower gel to boost circulation and buff skin. They’ll leave no mess in your shower, or residue on your skin – great if you’re breastfeeding.
The quickie hair cleanse
When washing your hair becomes a luxury, hone your dry shampooing skills instead. Don’t spray it too close to your head, massage it in with your fingertips and brush through to distribute evenly. Dry shampoo also perks up limp hair when you don’t have time to restyle.
Get an instant manicure
Painting your nails and waiting for polish to dry can feel like a huge task. So when you want a manicure now, opt for stick-ons. Apply and file if necessary.
Cheat a lived-in smoky eye
Forget tirelessly blending eyeshadows for a smoky eye – this trick takes seconds. Apply kohl in the waterline (the wet part above your lower lashes) and the roots of your lower lashes. Close your eyes and rub with your fingers, then open and smudge a little more with your finger or a cotton bud.
Edit your make-up stash regularly
Take out anything you haven’t used in a while and separate ‘day’ from ‘evening’ make-up. It will save you fumbling around every morning for your daytime essentials.
Soften skin in the shower
No time for body lotion these days? Swap your body wash for a shower oil that softens and hydrates as you cleanse – no extra step required.
Make your blow-dry low maintenance
Get a fast, bouncy blow-dry, while you get your baby ready. Leave hair to air-dry until the very last moment, then smooth out with a hairdryer and a big round brush. If you’re really pushed for time, just blow-dry the front section.
Make your lips the focus
If you have seconds before you run out of the door, a super-bright pop of colour on your lips will lift your whole face, whiten teeth and distract from imperfections with minimal effort.
Create a spa in your shower Keep your facial wash and scrub in the shower, so you can cleanse and exfoliate in seconds.
By Lisa Durant