What’s In My MakeUp Bag – War Paint for Mammy

There are three things I’d recommend anyone who has ever contemplated having a child start stockpiling now – coffee, baby wipes and a good concealer. It’s a hectic time of life, no doubt about it, and most days I find myself waking up more tired than I was when I went to bed thanks to a night time visitor who likes to practice his karate moves in his sleep. In an attempt to avoid people screaming with horror when my pale, red eyed face hits the world, there is the introduction of makeup. Before becoming a Mammy, I wasn’t hugely into everyday makeup. Nights out, yes, and as a teenager I lived for my eyeliner, but on a day to day basis I could take or leave it. It’s not that I had flawless skin and “was born with it”, no, I just wasn’t bothered. Motherhood seems to have given me a sense of needing to try new things, and in the early days of parenting, makeup was my mask to the world that showed them I was fine and doing well (even when I wasn’t).

makeup for parents who have not slept

Full disclosure; despite following numerous beauty bloggers and youtubers, I still have very little knowledge of techniques or the advantages to brush types. My knowledge is basic. Basic. But it does the trick.

Base of Face


Pollyfilla for the pores; this definitely does make a difference and makes my skin look smoother, dewier and definitely like I’ve never ever gone to bed without taking my makeup off. Ahem. My personal favourite at the moment is The Porefessional by Benefit – I got a sample of this in the Benefit Christmas Box that himself was so lovely to gift me, and fell in love instantly. I’ve tried others in the meantime but found that this one works best with my skin. A close runner up is Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer; again a trial from a box of sample sized makeup bits. Both last ages and really help the makeup stay on that bit longer.



Once the base is laid, we’re onto foundation, the proper makings of the mask. So long wrecked skin and dark circles; hello consistent colour on my face. Just after having E I was a massive fan of Estee Lauder Double Wear for its industrial strength coverage (my skin was really crap); but now that it has cleared up I prefer something a bit less gung ho (and less pricey, EL does not come cheap). Last year I discovered No 7 Match Perfection range, and ever since I’ve been using their Lasting Finish foundation in Cool Vanilla. I love it. It’s matched to my skin tone, so I don’t have that battle of “Crap, I look like a ghost/oompa loompa” to deal with first thing in the morning. I tend to apply it with a flat foundation brush from Eco Tools (when I can find it handy), or resort to applying it with my fingers.

concealer, mascara and primer - everyday makeup


The all important hider of how little sleep I’ve gotten in the last 14 months. While the EL Double Wear concealer is still a favourite of mine for seriously bad days; the much more affordable Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer in Ivory brightens up under my eyes and makes me look like my child has discovered the gift of sleeping through the night. A girl can dream.


Once we’ve coated my face in a beautiful could-be-my-skin mask, it’s onto keeping those eyes looking open and alert. Do not give the impression that you could take a nap at any minute, employers do not appreciate it, neither do small children, I’m not sure who penalises you more for it. I have an everyday eye makeup look of liner, shadow and mascara that I don’t really deviate from – it suits me, it’s quick, easy and I can do it without really concentrating which is best when you have a toddler holding your leg while you’re applying mascara.

eyeshadow in a neutral palette and a black eyeliner for an everyday makeup look


Forever terrified of liquid eyeliner after a scary incident with Benefit’s They’re Real (lots of scrubbing and four coats of concealer later and you could still see my mess up), I tend to stick to pencils. At the moment I am loving Rimmel’s ScandalEyes in Black.


After flirting for a time with different mascaras including Benefit’s They’re Real (another one which never comes off – my poor lashes), I’ve come back time and time again to Smashbox Full Exposure mascara. It just makes my lashes seem a lot longer and gives them loads more volume, which is great when I’m trying to look like I’ve got it all together. I’ve got the mini size at the moment from the same Try This kit as the primer (definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something new, I loved it). I’ve discovered that it now comes in Waterproof so when this one runs out, I’ll be upgrading – might as well make it as life proof as possible.


I don’t do big smoky eyes or statement colours; I prefer a nude palette – a childhood in stage schools and drama lessons means I associate big coloured eyes with costumes, which while my everyday costume is Mammy-who-has-her-shit-together, is not the effect I’m looking for. Both palettes I use are very similar; one is the Naked 2 Palette which I’m adoring (in particular ), the other is the dupe by Soap and Glory, The Perfect Ten, which they released last Christmas as a gift available in Boots. Both are great, lasting colours and are enough to do me for both daytime and night out looks – while I don’t do a smoky eye for fear of looking like a panda, the darker browns give a more nighttime formal look than I’d wear during the day.

The Rest

Now that we’ve covered up the pale tired face and made me suitable for public consumption, time to put a little life into it – blush and lip time.


I tend to use Benetint or the Catrice Illuminating Blush. Both help bring colour into my cheeks, literally, without looking like clown face.

for the life proof as well as kiss proof lips, Rimmel Provocalips is a winner


I haven’t found anything that beats Rimmel Provocalips yet. It. Does. Not. Move. Pure amazing, and in gorgeous colours – I own at least four of these, and will be buying more – Little Minx, the hot pink, is great for a confident day, whereas Dare to Pink is a far more subtle look, and of course, Kiss Me You Fool – the red lipstick that doesn’t move that I looked for for so long. These are in my desert island bag along with a lot of books, some chocolate and a never-going-to-die music player.

So, with all of this applied, in the three minutes I tend to be given by my tiny tyrant in the mornings, I go from “Should you really be out of your bed?” to ready to head out the door looking like I’ve got it together. Nothing shy of a miracle. And thats before a hairbrush has ever hit my head… but thats a tale for another day.

fit for the public


What are your makeup essentials to get you through the day without scaring small children? What are your Mama makeup tips? Let me know in the comments, I’m mad to know what other people do!


This post is part of the Barefaced Beauty/Makeup on Three Hours Sleep linky set up by the lovely Bumbles of Rice. Click on the image below to see her post and join in the fun or read the others who have joined in!



  1. Some nice products there and I love the poster/infograph thingy! I’ve come through the young child sleepless nights but now have full blown adult insomnia ones instead. Dark baggy under eyes is my new look. I use `Touche éclat by Yves Saint Laurent and have recently discovered Boots No7 ‘Beautiful Skin Dark Circle Corrector’ which is cheaper and has a cold roller ball applicator.

  2. Some really nice products in your bag! I love that rimmel concealer, its a lifesaver! I cannot live without it!

    1. It’s fab! Yeah it’s taken a long time to hone the products that work for me but I think I’ve found my zone now 🙂 Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. I do wear make up but non of this, however I would love to try the Rimmel Concealer as I currently dont wear any. Would cover up my freckles in the summer. x

    1. I’ve only gotten into it since having a baby 17 months ago – decided that since the rest of my life was all taken up with someone else I may as well treat myself for a little bit most days and feel good! I’ve yet to discover good techniques or elaborate makeup but it’s a start! Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Fab post! Primer, for some reason, makes my face sweat. Oh how i wish i could wear it. I also steer clear of smoky eyes – think it’s a mum thing!

    1. I steer clear of them because I wind up looking like a panda – simple and easy to do on the run is generally my style!

  5. I am not that into makeup and usually leave without any on but never without lipstick. Of the products you’ve shared I have used and loved porefessional, it is a miracle worker.

    1. Lipstick is a must, it’s why I love the Rimmel one because it doesn’t move! Porefessional is like Polyfilla for the face, amazing stuff. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  6. Fantastic post with lots of my favourites. My personal favourite mascara is benefit roller lash, I use a highlighter from mur (you can never have too much highlighter when tired) lol

    1. Highlighter is a godsend! One day I will learn to contour! I’ve not tried Roller Lash but I’ve heard good things…

  7. Brilliant post, ha mammy war paint! I agree though even just a little makeup makes me look and feel better a after a bad nights sleep. I also agree with Kelly on the roller lash, it’s by far my favourite to ever mascara and that is a statement!

  8. Ooh, I have most of these products in my makeup collection and I love them <3 I couldn't live without my Porefessional primer!!

    Louise x

  9. Its so true about the concealer isn’t it. I was the same , never really wore much daytime makeup before kids but now i look half dead without it,on, especially around the eyes. Would you believe I’ve never used a primer before, i must try this,one out. Thanks for,all the tips x

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