Working Mom Series: The 5 Minute Makeup Routine

This is the third in a four part series about Working Moms. The first one was about being organized at work and dressing for success which you can read about it HERE and HERE. This post is about a quick and painless makeup routine to help tired mommies look and feel good without sacrificing precious time in the mornings.

I was never one for makeup, and only started wearing it in my mid-twenties. One of the reasons was, I had heard that it’s not good for your skin, plus didn’t know very much about what goes where and how. Throughout my work life I would go through phases where I’d wear makeup for a few weeks, then get tired of the extra effort and stop. Once my maternity leave finished and it was time to go back into the workforce, I realized that I could use makeup to help hide the circles under my eyes and (hopefully) shed the “tired mommy” persona.

The problem was, a lot of my makeup was old and needed replacing since I had not been wearing much since the twins were born. That motivated me to only buy what I need in smaller quantities and good quality products. I also identified which products were still unopened or that I was saving for a special occasion. Those are the ones I do not need again in my makeup box.

After several visits to Sephora, some makeup consultations at MAC and Smashbox, and a few months of practice, I have the following quick and painless makeup routine for the mornings which takes under five minutes:

1. After washing, drying and moisturizing my face, I spread primer on my skin. I love the Smashbox Primer, it feels cool on the skin and hydrates my dry skin.

2. While I am waiting for the primer to set, I’ll put on eyeliner. I like using a cream-based eyeliner either by MAC or Smashbox. Pencil smudges too much and you need a very steady hand for liquid liner, not ideal if you are in a hurry or just waking up. The cream eyeliner is a good compromise.

3. Next up, its time for foundation. I use the Makeup Forever Matte foundation which anyone who is prone to breakouts and skin sensitivity swears by. Since my actual skin colour is between shades, I will mix the 2 different shades for a more natural look.

4. Then it’s time for some blush (MAC) and face powder (INGLOT or MAC) to finish the look.

5. If I have time, I will apply lipstick when I am at work or before a meeting. Although I carry lipstick in my purse, I always forget to put it on!


– Before applying any cream or foundation on your skin, place it on the back of your hand between the thumb and index finger. The Smashbox makeup artist advised this is a warm part of your hand and once you see the foundation melting, its ready to be applied

– Many people swear by their mascara but I am not a fan of coating my lashes in black goo and I am also afraid of them falling out. I find eyeliner has the effect I am looking for, that is I don’t look as tired at work.

– I also replaced my makeup brushes. They say you can keep them for a few years if you take good care of them and wash them regularly. I bought a travel set from Sephora which I use daily, and a complete “Pro” brush set from INGLOT which I have not opened yet!

– There’s no reason why you can’t use different products for different areas or mix brands. Also, your skin needs change throughout the year. For example, you may need to moisturize certain areas more in the dry winter months.

Now I am not a professional makeup artist, but these are my tricks. By taking an extra 3 to 4 minutes each morning, I can look both professional and awake at the office!

Do you have a makeup routine? What are some of your favourite products?

Next up in this series: Managing Your Time. Stay tuned!

About the author

Ambereen is mom to two cute twins Mister and Missy, now with a third baby on the way! She’s Canadian eh, and lives in Canada’s capital with her husband, Mr. Mama. Between travelling and a busy social life, she works full-time in the public sector in IT policy. She enjoys writing short stories interjected with subtle humour about life adventures, sharing recipes, and coming up with fun yet simple activities to do with the kids. After a short hiatus where life got in the way of writing, she is back blogging at 2Cute – Adventures in Twin Parenting. She is looking forward to sharing her experiences here about life with twins + 1. And yes, it’s only one this time!

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