5 Minute Mommy Face

5 Minute Mommy Face

You’ve got baby toys on the floor, hip cocked out to the side, baby gripped tightly in one hand, mascara in the other…sound familiar anyone? It’s no secret that when you have a baby, mom’s personal needs tend to come last. For example, going to the bathroom usually involves company, forget about shaving your legs in the shower, oh and the time you spend on yourself getting ready each day…lets sum that up to about 6 minutes and that includes choosing clothes and getting dressed!

To keep your sense of “self”, and to not end up on some show similar to “What Not to Wear”, you need to make your appearance a priority and make those 6 minutes you do have count! There is something about washing your face, putting a little makeup on and dressing yourself, in something other than yoga pants, that gives you a little boost of confidence. Mom’s need to be role models for their kids and I believe confident moms raise confident children. To make time for yourself, I think it’s always best to have a game plan in mind – your baby is on a schedule with structure, why can’t you be too? So below, I will outline my best makeup products and tips to keep mommy looking fresh, not frazzled.

The last thing you want someone to tell you that you “look tired”. If that doesn’t make you want to shove your little one’s tube of Butt Paste up someone’s you-know-what, I don’t know what will. Of course you’re tired and you probably haven’t showered in a day (or two), but that does not give you an excuse to look like a train wreck! Read on to find out how you can look like you have your $&*# together, even if you totally don’t.

The list may seem long and intimidating, but PLEASE read the whole post and see that getting ready each day does not have to take 20+ minutes, as long as you have a simple routine you follow with products that you know you love. Just put your baby down on the floor with a few toys and before they even realize what you’re doing, you will be done!

Prepare Your Skin

microdermSo, my first advice is to put the baby down to bed night and do a mask or a micro-dermabrasion. It takes about 3 minutes total and it will be 100% worth your while. My favorite one is by Rodan+Fields Dermatologists and its called Micro-dermabrasion Paste. Yes, its pricey, but the container is pretty big and it will probably last you at least 6-12 months. It basically provides a clean canvas by exfoliating and removing any dead skin and improving skin tone and texture – a must have for mamas! You can’t be looking fresh with a pile of dead skin on your face!! Plus, when hormones are raging after pregnancy and birth, this will help to eliminate any rough patches, acne scars and even that horrible pregnancy “mask” some people see on their skin. If you do this twice a month, you’ll definitely see your skin start to glow again and you won’t believe how soft it gets (comparable to your sweet baby’s bottom!).

If you don’t want to purchase this exact peel/mirco-derm, find something similar at a store like Ulta, Sephora or Target – but definitely find a way to exfoliate on a regular basis!

Makeup Routine

You NEED to have a makeup routine established if you are going to have any kind of success doing your makeup in a hurry. I will outline the specific products and steps I take each day for my daytime/mommy face. Obviously, if you are going out for a night on the town, you can boost this routine and add some sexy to it, but for a day-to-day face, this works really well for me and literally takes less than 5 minutes (once you get it down pat); TRUST ME!

Feel free to swap the products for something that works best for your skin (or budget). This is literally exactly what I use, but feel free to tweek as necessary.

Oh, and always start with a moisturizing sunscreen on your face before applying makeup! Skin cancer is a real thing and you do want to be around to see your baby grow, so protect yourself mama!


1) Eye Shadow Primer – You cannot expect your eye shadow to stay on without this. I don’t care what anyone says, you need to prime your eyelids for your eye makeup to stay in place for any period of time. My favorite product is by Too Faced and its called Shadow Insurance. Throw a small amount of this on your finger, wipe it across your lids and, that’s it, you’re done.

2) Always do your eye makeup first, before foundation – the exact colors (in order) that I use every day are Gleam on the entire lid and Shroom under the brows and in the corners – both are made my MAC. The Gleam is peachy and goes really well with my blue eyes, but is pretty neutral and would look great with most eye colors. TheShroom serves as a highlighter and really brightens up your eyes, especially when you put it in the corner and line underneath your bottom lashes, it really makes you look refreshed.

Eyeshadow3) Line your eyelids next – A really great neutral color that’s not too harsh for everyday is calledBuried Treasure, also by MAC. I. LOVE. THIS. EYELINER. because I don’t need to use eye makeup remover to get it off (I hate that extra step!) and it does not smudge, smear or run. I only line the top of my lids, sometimes doing the bottom can be too harsh for daytime.

4) Apply mascara, hopefully not with baby in hand (as I mentioned before)! My favorite is by Clinique and its called High Impact Mascara. I love it because it’s a nice, rich black color but it also comes off without eye makeup remover!! Go over the top lashes first, then just barely tap the bottom ones (just to give them a tiny bit of color) and then go over the top ones again.

mascara5) Last step for the eyes – fill in your brows! For goodness sake, please do this ladies! It really helps shape your entire face and gives you that “I’m polished” look. It won’t make them look bushy, as long as you don’t go crazy filling them in, but it just helps them to look a little less sparse and more defined. My favorite is by MAC and its called Brow Set and the color I use is Beguile and remember, you don’t need a lot just quickly brush it on and fill ‘em in.

Skin, Cheeks and Lips

face1) Apply Foundation – My absolute favorite foundation is by Sephora’s Makeup Forever and its called Matte Velvet. This foundation is a little on the full-coverage side but its awesome for staying put throughout whatever the day brings, such as rain, sweat, tears, etc. It has a matte finish and comes off quite easily with a good cleanser. I just use my fingers to put it on (I wear #55 in summer and #35 in winter in case you wanted a frame of reference), but you can also use a foundation brush if you’d like. If you don’t want a finish that’s so heavy, you can mix it with some moisturizer to thin it down.

2) Contour your Face – Adding bronzer, highlighter and blush to the right places on your face can be a game changer and, believe it or not, it’s not that hard to do! I found this guide on Pinterest that helped me learn how to do it. There are also countless tutorials on YouTube to assist with this as well. My favorite contouring kit is by Lorac and its called the Tantalizer. It includes contourboth a highlighter and a bronzer in one – which makes it easy, plus the bronzer does not have a shimmer to it (its matte), so its not too “summery”.

3) Apply blush – I use the color Fleur Power by MAC – it can be very bright, so I use it sparingly, but I find that its great for an everyday look and shows up nicely in photos. I just brush the apples of my cheeks with it, gliding the brush towards my temples/hairline in long-ish strokes.

4) Finishing Powder – Whether you’re just taking selfies with your little one or going to a photo shoot, this power by Makeup Forever is a MUST! It softens imperfections on your face while also hiding fine lines and pores for a nice radiant, matte look. You only need a dab and you just lightly brush it all over your finished face (yes, on top of all your makeup!); it’s translucent and won’t change the look of anything. It really makes your skin photograph well and really blends everything together very nicely.

lipstick5) Lips – Don’t forget about your lips!! My advice is to wear a light color that comes off without being too noticeable, especially because we all know we kiss our babies all day long and they don’t need big red lips all over their faces and clothes! My favorite go-to lip color is by MAC and its called Creme Cup. I love it because its light and feels nice on my lips. I read somewhere that wearing a light color on your lips makes you look younger, so (duh!), do it! Also, feel free to go with a gloss if you’re feeling like actual lipstick may be too much for you. I would suggest you go with a bright orange/peach color or something that is just a tad lighter than your natural lip color. My favorite gloss, even though I’m not a huge fan of gloss in general, is Mineralize Glass by MAC – all the colors are really pretty and it doesn’t feel sticky like most glosses do, it feels smooth; plus there’s minerals inside so it does not dry your lips out!

Yay! You’re done! I know it seems like a lot, but it’s really not. Once you get the hang of it, you will be ready in no time at all. And since there are NO decisions to be made and everything is there and ready to go you won’t find yourself confused or flustered.

Now, Take it Off!

CleanserIt is essential to take off your makeup at the end of each day mamas!

I read somewhere that each day you sleep with your makeup on, you age 7 days faster.

So, if you sleep with your makeup on for 3 days straight, you have just aged your face 21 days faster than you should have!! It has something to do with the makeup sinking into fine lines and making them larger and more noticeable. Ahh!! Not worth the risk!

So, find a good cleanser and take it off!! My absolute favorite cleanser is by La Roche Posay and its called Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel. It removes ALL my makeup and leaves my skin feeling very clean. I am also acne-prone and this has really helped to manage my breakouts too; it’s truly a winner in my book! I also keep makeup-remover wipes next to the bed, just in case I do doze off, so I can at least attempt to take off my makeup (I’m sure baby wipes would suffice for this… Lord knows we have those lying around the house).


That’s it; your 5 minute face! Its simple and easy but it looks great! I also included a few extra tips below to help you speed up this process even more, based on my experience:

Compartmentalize your products 

OrganizedI actually use a silverware drawer organizer that I got from Target to organize my makeup in my bathroom; it really helps when I need to find something fast. Any type of organization system will work, but I like this one best. This way when you need that tube of mascara quick, you know exactly where it should be. The trick to the whole thing is to actually put each product back in the right spot when you’re done with it, but with practice, you will just automatically do this and make things very easy for yourself!

Talk to Your Baby

As you’re doing all this beautifying, talk to your baby in between steps – it helps them to realize you are still paying attention to them. Also, talking with your baby can help with their language development, so tell them about what you’re doing, as you’re doing it.

Figure Out Your “I Only Have Two Minutes” Routine

There are days where you will only have 2 minutes to get ready, and it may be for something super important or it may be that you are just in a rush. But, either way, figure out the top three things you’d like to do to spiff yourself up and use these as your “go to” steps. For example, if I know I am running late and don’t need to have a “full face” on but I still want to feel a little “done”, I mix and apply my foundation with some SPF moisturizer, then apply mascara and some blush and then I’m out the door. Knowing these sorts of things in advance can be really helpful when you’re in a hurry.

What About My Hair?!?

My advice for hair is to find two or three different ways you can put your hair up but still look polished. Using braids or headbands with a little bling can really add to your look and also double as an accessory. Experiment, search Pinterest and try different things, but don’t forget about your hair!


So, there you have it… no more excuses about not having time to get ready because it really only takes about 5 minutes to pull yourself together. Take the time to find products you like, don’t be afraid to ask for help and purchase products that work best for your skin color and type. Practice, compartmentalize and establish your 5 Minute Face and you’ll be feeling fabulous in no time at all!



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Sara Brennan is the founder of WIRL Project and was also recently named as one of the Top 30 Under 30 Future Business Leaders of Charlotte, NC. In her spare time she loves to hang out with her Australian husband, Mitch, her toddler son, Mason, and her two dogs, Koby and Skeeter. She shares much of her life and thoughts in her writing and enjoying being around like-minded individuals who are authentic. Interested in contacting Sara about WIRL Project or other endeavors? Join the WIRL Project community or use the Contact form on the website to get in touch with her.

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