Friday 9 May 2014

Style and a stopwatch

How long do you take to get ready in the mornings? Are you a get-ready-in-a-jiffy kind of gal or someone who simply has to take their time and cannot be rushed by nothing and no-one? Were you the latter and now you're the former thanks to a certain little person that's come into your life?

I'm one of those. If I have the time, I can certainly take my time putting my face on, picking out my clothes and getting ready to face the day. I'm someone who has to wear make up to look normal, or at least the normal that everyone else expects to see of me. I have fair eyebrows that are quite sparse. My skin is so pale it's almost transparent. Never mind bags under my eyes, I have full blown suitcases. Oh, and an imminent big birthday means I'm counting almost as many lines on my face as I can expect to see on my birthday cake.

But of course, since I became a mum, my personal time has been cut down significantly. I shower with one foot practically on the floor, listening to see if Ethan has woken up early. I favour multifunctional beauty products and stick to the same make up routine each morning for speed. If Ethan is awake when I need to get ready, this is even more problematic these days as Ethan is scooting all over the place and has tried to take a few dives off our bed the second my head is turned.

If hubs is at home, I take myself upstairs to get ready without Ethan in tow, but this is a treat for weekends and I've been in need of speeding things up during the week, and of a new look as I'm getting a bit fed up of the same make up, day in and day out.

According to a recent survey by AOL, the average woman spends 55 minutes on her appearance every day – the equivalent of two weeks a year. Really? Every day? This sounds likely on special occassions, but who has the time to do this during an ordinary week?

Room To Grow, the children's bed specialists, thought this sounded unlikely too, particularly taking average mum’s into account, so they decided to ask a few mums of their own how much time they had to spend on their appearance. Their survey of 82 mums found that the average mum spends 10-15 minutes a day on her appearance - now that sounds more like it!

Armed with these stats, Room To Grow challenged me to put together a summer ready look in 15 minutes, providing some lovely new beauty bits and pieces and a stop watch. It was a case of 'challenge accepted' - I was keen to show that mums can look good even if they have little time and even if they have one eye on their baby whilst they apply their mascara. 

So, here's how I got on with pics in progress to show what I did and how long it took - no cheating allowed!

Stopwatch on. Right, after washing my face and brushing my teeth, it's time to moisturise. I use Vaseline Spray and Go on my body then apply Simple face lotion to my face, dab some Protect and Perfect eye cream around my eyes and after a few seconds letting this sink in, I try The Smoother Anti-Age Primer from Maybelline that's in the goody bag I was sent to help me get ready in next to no time. It goes on smooth and my skin feels ready for my make up.

Next, I blend my Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation over my face with my fingertips. I like this foundation as it gives good coverage and leaves me with a nice glow rather than a dry or greasy looking finish that some foundations can do. I then use Touche Eclat under my eyes and Collection Lasting Finish on any blemishes elsewhere on my face - luckily, today, not too many. 

This is the part of my routine that takes the most time - getting my base ready - and I take a look at the stopwatch to see that I'm just a third through the challenge. Not bad so far!

Now I use my new Clinque compact from my challenge pack to add some colour to my cheeks. I pencil in my eyebrows with my favourite stick from Soap and Glory, then use the pink and stone shades on my lids - one as the base, the darker shade in the outer corners to add shade and definition. I've decided that today, I'm going to ditch the eyeliner that has been a staple for longer than I can remember to my daily look. I want to try something new, something fresh and summer ready so I leave my black eyeliner in my make up bag and move on.

Without eyeliner to enhance my eyes, I'm relying on my mascara to the job now. I have fair eyelashes so need lots of layers to help make them stand out and my current favourite mascara is the Day To Night one from Rimmel. I skip the day brush and go for the full on night brush as it seems to really lift my lashes and add volume. I'm impressed how much difference this makes and feel less nervous about leaving the eyeliner behind. Ethan was playing in his Jumperoo but he's now joined me in the bedroom - and I'm grateful for a big mirror on my dresser to keep an eye on him!

The only thing left for my lighter, fresher summer look it a touch of lippy. I love lipstick, lip balms, glosses and tints and my new favourite form is lip crayons. The lovely Room To Grow people sent me a Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Tease to try. Now I have one of the matte shades already - a gorgeous, vibrant orange/red - which is my go-to lip look if I want to feel instantly made up, so I was excited to use this. Tease is a lovely peachy shade and it's easy to apply and lifts my look immediately. 

Very pleased with my pout - this makes my new make up look complete. Time for a quick time check...

So, I have two and a half minutes left to finish getting ready - just as well I have my clothes picked out! I whip on my new favourite slouch jeans from Next (they seem to think I am a size 10, I'm in love), and I choose a bright yellow tee to add some colour whilst keeping my look relaxed. I just have my hair to sort. It was washed yesterday so a quick blast with some Batiste, rubbing it through my roots with my fingers, then a few quick runs through the ends of my hair with my GHD's (which I turned on when I was putting my clothes on) and my hair is good to go. 

I pop on my jewellery, as I can't leave the house without my rings, bracelets, a necklace and some earrings in, and I believe I am done. Let's check the stopwatch and see how I've done...

I did it! And with a few seconds to spare - more so when you consider I was taking photos throughout the challenge. I'm really pleased with how I've done and like the new products I have tried too. I did feel the pressure, knowing I had 15 minutes on the clock, but I don't think I did any of my routine too differently and I'm pleased with the results.

This yummy mummy is good to go! 

Thanks to Room To Grow for giving me the chance to show how even busy mamas can still be stylish mamas, and for the lovely new products I was sent to try. I've been looking at Room To Grow's fab range of beds and their clever storage solutions and already have plenty of ideas for Ethan when he outgrows his cot bed...

Do you think you could get ready in 15 minutes or less? What are your time saving tips? I'd love to hear from you!

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