Hasn’t it been a long and lovely summer this year? For lots of us, now it’s back to reality as the school year starts. We’re busy getting the books covered, the uniforms ordered, the school lunches sorted and trying to settle ourselves before the dreaded commencement of the school-run rush. I’d love to say I am super organised and perfectly coiffed for the early morning drop-offs, but the truth is that I’m usually thrown together and looking pretty dishevelled.
While I don’t feel any pressure to look good at the school gates – I think the idea of mums judging other mums is a fable – on the mornings that I do have to get it together, I’ve found multi-usage make-up products that can be applied with my fingers are the niftiest way to put together a look in a few seconds. Pencils, crayons, chalks and products that require no sharpening or faffing about with brushes and are easy to bung into a small make-up bag, are key. Keeping a hair brush, coloured lip balm and mascara in my car also can be a life-saver on busy mornings.
10 of the best school-run products
● Eye candy
Eye shadow can be fiddly and time-consuming to apply, but eye shadow crayons and chalks are fast-action alternatives. My favourite is Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon Eye Shadow Crayons, €25 (Amber Haze shade is so gorgeous). Simply run along the top and bottom lash line, slightly smudge with your finger to soften and you’re done! From Brown Thomas, BT2 and Arnotts. Other lovely options are YSL Eye Duo Smoker, €33.50, and Bobbi Brown Sparkle Stick, €30, from department stores nationwide.
● Blush crush
A subtle tint to the cheeks and lips can bring life to our faces in seconds. Maybelline Baby Balm and Blush, €7.50, is such a lovely product. Try 01 Innocent Peach. Very subtle, it can be applied with your fingers – no mirror required – in seconds. From pharmacies and Boots stores nationwide. Another nice option is the Lancôme Blush Stick, €30, which can also be used on lips. From department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
● Beauty warrior
If you’ve zero time for showering and blow drying your ‘do, reach for a good dry shampoo instead. Try Warrior Botanicals Powder Shampoo, €16.50. This 100pc natural, organic, vegan and talc-free powder shampoo comes in two different types: Chamomile Powder Shampoo for lighter hair shades, and Cocoa Powder Shampoo for dark hair shades. From heath food stores nationwide and skinfullaffairs.ie.
● The write stuff
This jazzy pen is an all-in-one applicator for eye and lip make-up, with four coloured pencils: three for the eyes and one for the lip contour. Use it as an eyeliner, smudged eye shadow, eyebrow definer and lip contour! Clarins 4 Colour All-In-One Pen, €36, Brown Thomas. Another lovely luxe option is the YSL Couture Chalks Kit, €68, with four coloured chalks for lips, eyes and cheeks. From department stores.
● Have a lash
We all know the dramatic effect a touch of mascara can have – that’s why over 90pc of women wear mascara. Benefit has some gorgeous options and has put together another brilliant value little kit – the Benefit REAL Big Steal, €27 – where you can get long lashes beyond belief with a full-size They’re Real! Mascara and free mini one.
● We’ll always have Paris
Benefit is well-known for its all-in-one make-up kits and travel-sized products. The new Benefit Parisienne Pin-Up Kit, €35, has put together a pile of their best sellers ( BADgal BANG 36-hour mascara, Gold Rush Shimmering Blush, Ka-Brow Cream-Gel Brow Color & High Beam Liquid Highlighter) in one cute little portable bag – perfect for school run mornings.
● Wow brows
There is a seemingly never-ending array of options to groom your brows now, from waxes, mousses, pencils and crayons to shadows and kajals. The easiest ones to use always have a spoolie (brow brush) at one end. This brilliant product also has a retractable pencil, so no rooting around for a sharpener in the mornings. Wet ‘n’ Wild Retractable Eyebrow Brush, €2.95, from pharmacies nationwide.
● A touch of magic
If your hair is screaming for a root coverage, and you just can’t fit in a salon visit, try this spray root concealer. L’Oreal Magic Retouch Instant Root Retouch Spray, €8.70, comes in five shades (from blonde to black) and washes out. Apply to dry, styled hair. Hold can approximately 10cm from the hair and spray the roots in a light stream. Don’t over-spray. A tiny amount is enough. Allow to dry before touching your hair.
● Solid foundation
If you’re looking for a foundation that is easy to chuck into your bag, lasts all day and has a built-in applicator, look no further than NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick, €39. Available in 20 shades, this can also double up as a concealer. From Brown Thomas. A good alternative is Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra Foundation Stick, €30, but it doesn’t have a built-in applicator. From department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
● The power of three
No time to apply perfectly applied primer, concealer, SPF and foundation? This little gem might be the answer. Max Factor Face Finity All Day 3-in -1 Foundation, €17.99, is a primer, concealer and foundation (with SPF 20 included, so its technically a four-in-one). From supermarkets and pharmacies. Another great natural choice is Kiehl’s Skin Toning Correcting and Beautifying BB Cream SPF 50, €41.50, from department stores.
Corina Grant is a model, bridal make-up artist and blogger (rebeccaandcorina.com). She is also a mum of two beautiful little girls. Here, she shares her time-saving school-run tips:
What’s your morning beauty routine?
I’ll pop on a bit of the pan stick and lip balm. I usually just throw my hair up in a ponytail or bun and it’s job done – mums don’t have time to look at each other at the school gates.
Your time-saving tips?
Max Factor Pan Stick is great for protection from the wind and cold on the school run. You don’t have to layer it on. Also, a lip balm with a hint of colour – it brightens your complexion and eyes. You can look instantly brighter and just ‘more awake’ by very lightly applying a pink-based blusher across the cheeks and nose. I have dark hair so L’Oreal Magic Retouch is a must.
Your Top tricks of the trade?
* Primers really do work.
* You only need two foundations: one for no tan and then a few shades darker. Mix them to suit your skin tone on any given day.
* Applying lipstick, blotting, then reapplying really does make it last longer.
* Keep a lip balm and a tube of hand cream in the car, you’ll always need them.
Biggest beauty myth?
Expensive products are the best products – not always! Also, don’t fall into the trap of updating your make-up every season. You’ll only fill your make-up bag with products you may never use.
Your favourite skincare products?
My skin gets dehydrated very easily, so water is a must for me. Elizabeth Arden Capsules are a treat, and then I tend to stick to the L’Oreal skincare line.
Your favourite make-up products?
● Benefit Porefessional Primer.
● Bourjois Healthy Glow Foundation, if I have a bit of a colour. Otherwise Max Factor Colour Adapt – it has a lovely semi-matte finish – perfect for when I’m pale.
● If I want my make-up to really last I use Esteé Lauder Double Wear foundation.
● MAC Select Cover-up Concealer.
● New Look has a great cosmetics range. The baked blusher has excellent pigment.
● For cream blusher you can’t beat MAC.
● Contours I love are The Ultimate Trio Contour from Suzanne Jackson, and Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow.
● Penneys has great eye shadows, as does Inglot. MAC has great pre-made palettes. I advise people to get their make-up done by a professional and then customise their own palette with the make-up artist’s advice.
● I don’t see the point in paying a fortune for expensive mascaras. Rimmel, Max Factor and No7 waterproof mascaras are great.
● MAC Hug Me is my favourite lipstick. Rimmel and Catrice have fantastic shades. Inglot also has beautiful lipstick pots – great for touching up and really moisturising.