I don't even need to explain how exhausting caring for a newborn is. If you're a mom, you already know. Some mornings I feel as if I could pass as an extra on The Walking Dead. Luckily, there are ways to look a bit better than you feel. The key to looking like you've had a great sleep (even though you've been up every 2 hours on the dot) is to attempt to TREAT the problem areas and then CONCEAL the sh*t out of them.
I know what you're thinking. How will I ever find time between feedings, diapers, and all that comes in between? Trust me, I understand. It's hard for me to get motivated, too. But giving yourself even 5 minutes to fix yourself up a bit can help boost your energy and your self-esteem. That's sometimes all it takes to keep you powering through your day.
Keep a few or all of these products in your beauty arsenal for those mornings you need a major pick-me-up. Trust me, the word brightening will become your new best friend.
Step 1: Attempt To Treat The Problem
Brightening Sheet Masks:
I love a good sheet mask. Not only do they give you an instant glow but they are relaxing and cooling upon application. The only downside? You may scare your husband and kids. Once you put that sheet mask on, the resemblance to Jason from Friday the 13th is pretty hilarious.
If a full face sheet mask seems a little too intense for you, there are TONS of options that are just for under eye. The Klorane patches have always been a favorite.
Dr. Jart Brightening Infusion Hydrogel Mask // TONYMOLY Earth Beauty Kelp Sheet Mask // Leaders Brightening Recovery Mask // Klorane Soothing And Relaxing Eye Patches // Karuna Brightening+ Face Sheet Mask
A good brightening moisturizer is a godsend. When I've had absolutely no sleep, my skin can look pretty dull. Dull skin is never a good look...and trying to layer makeup on top of that? It can look even worse. Pick a moisturizer with a brightening color corrector or luminizer, preferably with some type of antioxidant in it. When it comes to getting the glow, Vitamin C is always a good ingredient choice! Any gel or water-based serum will also help lock in that needed moisture.
Step 2: Mask + Conceal
If you've already applied your brightening moisturizer, you can feel free to skip this step. But once you see how they both look together, you won't want to. A primer will help keep the makeup in place so you don't have to keep applying. Let's be honest--new moms don't have time for that. And if it's a brightening primer, it will punch up the glow even more.
Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Prism Cream // Becca Cosmetics Highlighting Skin Perfector // Stila Aqua Glow Perfecting Primer // Benefit Cosmetics "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer
THANK YOU, CONCEALER! You are truly a friend when I need you the most. I recently had such dark circles that I scared myself when I looked in the mirror. I'm serious. But, here's the catch--you may feel like you need that heavy-duty option but you don't. It can actually make it worse. That heavy concealer is perfect for any pimples or discoloration but if your main concern is the under-eye, stick to something creamy and light. The heavy-duty will end up just
But, here's the catch--you may feel like you need that heavy-duty option but you don't. It can actually make it worse. That heavy concealer is perfect for any pimples or discoloration but if your main concern is the under-eye, it will just cake up and flake off.
For dark circles, stick to something creamy, light, and one shade lighter than your skin tone. When in doubt, look for our keyword: brightening. We want an easy glide-on application and not a product that's going to bring out any fine lines or discoloration.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer // Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer // Glossier Stretch Concealer // Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer + Treatment // Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer // Milk Makeup Blur Stick
I'll be honest--I've never been a huge foundation girl. Sometimes it can feel way too heavy and if my skin is feeling gross, it will just sit on my pores and look horrible. Just like the concealer, you need to think light and bright. Brands like Nars, Tarte, and Bare Minerals have options that hide any imperfections while still showing your skin. Apply with your fingers or a beauty blender for the best coverage.
Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint // Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Water Foundation // Bare Minerals Bare Skin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation // Benefit Hello Wow Oxygen Foundation // La Prairie Skin Caviar Foundation
Before you start going crazy with the highlighter, there's one rule to mention. Don't overdo it. We aren't trying to go for a post-partum disco ball look. With a brush or your fingers, focus on the high points of the face...with a gentle hand. It's easy to go a little overboard especially when you really need it. In other words, a little goes a long way.
Sweep a little under the eyebrow, a dab at the top of the cheekbone, run a line down the bridge of your nose and you are set. I prefer highlighters with a bronze hue to them because I think it gives a more natural look. The gold highlighters are better for a night out or when you're being photographed..and I'm doing neither at the moment.
Bright Lip/Cheek Duo:
Was anyone else's momma all about the blush and lip? Maybe it was just a Southern thing but she lived by the fact that a little rouge went a long way. I used to roll my eyes but now I get it. When you feel as tired as a zombie, a little pop of color on the cheeks and lips can take your look from dead to alive. To make your routine faster, pick a cream duo product that works as both a cheek and lip. A bright pink or raspberry tint works like magic.
Plumping Mascara + Eye Brightening Liner:
When you're exhausted, eyes are the biggest dead giveaway. That's where a great mascara and eyeliner come in. For mornings like this, I prefer a mascara with a fatter brush. I'm usually not as concerned about length as I am about the thickness of my lashes. A thicker brush also makes application easier and faster, in my opinion.
Eyeliner can be tricky. Many women will reach for a dark shade but that can actually make your eyes look smaller and unfortunately, more tired. Instead, pick a nude shade with even a slight pink tint to it. You'll be surprised how much a nude liner will open up the eyes and neutralize the redness. Apply to the lower inner rim and inner corner of the eyes. The same liner can also be used under the brows for more definition. And when the liner isn't enough? Eye drops. Lots of eye drops.
I'm embarrassed to say how many days I've gone without washing my hair...especially as a mom to a newborn. But, that's what dry shampoo is for! I always spray it at night so my hair has a nice messy texture in the morning after it sits for awhile.
A Pick-Me-Up Fragrance:
I truly believe in the power of aromatherapy. When you're tired, there are certain scents that can help you feel more productive, focused, and energetic. For example, citrus scents like orange and lemon and herbs like rosemary or juniper are an instant perk-up. Spray as a perfume or just sniff when needed.
Like I said, you don't have to use every step. It's all about picking and choosing what works for you and your routine as a new mom. Even if it just makes you feel a little bit better, that's what matters!
What's your beauty routine when you've gotten no sleep? I'm always looking for new product recommendations and tips! Comment below!
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.