Whether you’re getting up for nightly feedings, coaxing a cuddly toddler to go back to her bed, comforting a sick little one or lying awake worrying (which is basically every parent we know, at least occasionally), adulting the next day can be a slog. Here are a few clever tricks for looking like you caught your full eight hours, when really it felt like eight minutes.
Do yourself a favour and don’t skip time at the sink before heading to bed. Taking off your makeup and washing your face go a long way toward looking brighter in the morning. “It’s easy to just fall into bed after a long day, but going to bed with clean skin will help your complexion look fresher,” says beauty expert and influencer Liv Judd Soye. “You want to remove all of the impurities that clog your pores, so your skin can renew itself properly while you sleep.” But it doesn’t need to be a multi-step process, either. Try an effective cleanser, like Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple ($32), to take off the day. Philosophy also has Purity Made Simple cleansing clothes ($21), for when it’s even too much effort to turn on the tap. Can’t keep your eyes open? Add a bit of moisturizer then hit the hay.
If you’re facing down a gruelling day after a crap night’s sleep, start the morning off with a big glass of water. Your instincts will tell you to reach for the coffee (obviously), but add a few tumblers of water, too. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel even more tired than you already are.
Spot-treating dark or dull spots before layering on your foundation helps to neutralize imperfections. Revlon’s Colour Ready Photocorrecting Pens ($15) come in formulas for counteracting redness, dullness and dark spots. It should only take a minute or two to survey your skin and smooth things out. Then you can add a light foundation and a dusting of translucent powder. “The powder helps to set the makeup so it doesn’t crease, says Judd.” Bottom line—yes, we’re basically suggesting you add a filter.
An undereye concealer formulated to handle the luggage under your eyes—like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-aging waterproof concealer ($32)—is a must-have. Tip: “A little goes a long way, so use sparingly,” says Judd Soye. Focus on the dark bags under your peepers, and stay away from creases. Concealer caked into wrinkles will make you look less than fresh.
Keep it simple. Use a little shimmery shadow on your brow bone and in the inside corner of each eye. “This is an old stage trick to brighten the eyes,” Judd Soye says. You can even use some shadows—like Revlon’s Colourstay Crème Eyeshadow #705 ($9)— as a highlighter on cheekbones. Finish by curling your lashes and adding mascara.
There will be days when faking it isn’t in the cards. And that’s OK. Parenting is a hard gig, and you’re sure to lose a lot of zzzs; just do your best to carve out a little you-time to catch up on rest, and soon you won’t even have to think about the smoke-and-mirrors strategies.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Spring/Summer 2018