9 Best Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms

Ask any busy mom what's on her wish list, and "more time" inevitably comes up. Turns out those extra hours may be right under our noses: Too many of us waste our precious minutes rounding up the kids, scrambling to pull together dinner and sorting through our email inboxes.

We asked the experts to give us their tips for streamlining daily routines. Try incorporating a few of these suggestions and you may actually find yourself with a little "me" time at the end of the day!

1. Start your day with mommy-and-me time.
Have a designated day of the week for each of your kids and wake him or her up 15 minutes early, says Tonia Tomlin, a professional organizer and the author of Chaos 2 Calm: The Moms-of-Multiples' Guide to an Organized Family. That way, you both know you'll have some special bonding time, no matter how hectic things get.

2. Take stock of your kitchen.
Each month, take a quick inventory of your pantry and do one big grocery shop to stock up on essentials. Even if you can't get to the market one week, at least you'll have the basics to whip together a few quick meals. (Consider using an app like Coupons.com, which keeps your list online.)

3. Invest in a slow cooker.
It's a mom's secret weapon: Toss a few ingredients into the pot in the morning, and your family can sit down to a home-cooked dinner with minimal prep in the evening.

4. Divide and conquer.
Delegating chores to every member of the family will save you time and stress. To keep everyone accountable, create a chore chart that everyone can check off, and put it up on the fridge, says Tomlin. Kids can tackle age-appropriate tasks, like helping to put away the dishes, feeding the dog, picking up toys and hanging up coats. “I also like to give incentives,” says Tomlin. “I schedule a special date with my daughters if the chore chart is completed at the end of the month.”

5. Take control of the calendar.
Keep a reusable wipe-off monthly calendar in a central place so everyone knows exactly what's going on and there won't be any miscommunications.

6. Have laundry day.
Designate a specific day of the week to do laundry so the load won't sit in the dryer and get wrinkled, suggests Tomlin. When you get it all done in one day, you won't have to dread coming home to a huge pile of clothes. Make the chore more fun by scheduling phone dates with family and friends.

7. Place trash cans strategically.
Children are notorious for leaving trash in the car (snack wrappers, water bottles), so keeping a trash can by the driver's side door can save you from having to clean out the car every week, says Tomlin.

8. Have a place for everything.
Getting out the door in the morning is no easy feat when your kids are hunting for schoolbooks and you’re rushing to get your makeup done. Designate an exact place by the door for your kids' school supplies, jackets and lunch bags so they won't go missing when you're leaving for school. Also set up a mommy beauty station at the same place: Simply hang a mirror and fill a basket (ideally out of reach to your kids) with beauty essentials, including a hairbrush, dry shampoo, concealer, blush, lipstick, mascara and a box of facial tissues for quick touchups.

9. Prioritize your inbox.
We all get way too much email, says Tomlin. Consider sorting your messages into simple categories like "To do today," "Follow up by week two," and "Unsubscribe from this email chain." Send email replies to only those who need them, and avoid hitting "Reply all" -- unless it's necessary.

Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

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5 Hot Spring Fashion and Beauty Trends

Flowers aren’t the only things popping up this spring. New trends are on the rise as we happily retire thick sweaters and tights. But putting together an in-season outfit is only part of the equation: Pairing it with the perfect makeup pulls your entire look together and ensures you pull off a daring trend. Not sure where to start? You’re in luck: We’ve taken out all the guesswork for you with this guide to the hottest spring trends and matching makeup.

1. Bold and Busy Patterns

This spring, you’ll see no shortage of statement prints, including snakeskin, stripes and embellished fabrics. When your clothes have a strong point of view, opt for more neutral makeup. Brooke Glaser, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City, swears by MAC’s paint pots to achieve a low-impact look with staying power, especially when she’s on the job at Good Morning America . Her two favorite shades that look the most natural but give a pop at the same time: Groundwork and Quite Natural. 

2. See-Through Looks

This transparent trend will be hard to miss: Sheer fabrics and crystal-clear accessories become more and more popular. And a barely-there aesthetic applies to makeup as well. “Less is more,” Brooke assures. “A natural, fresh look is best for spring.”

3. Feminine Touches

Extra-girly looks involving lace and floral prints dominated the runway this season. And this ultra-femme look is the perfect excuse to go glam with your makeup. Glaser recommends adding a retro edge with a strong lip color in non-red shades: Bright orange and bold pink are both chic choices for springtime. Experiment with shades, she says, by picking up inexpensive tubes at your local drugstore.

Once your mouth is perfectly painted (don’t forget to blot with a facial tissue!), keep the rest of your makeup minimal. “A winged-out black line on top of the eyelid can polish off this retro look,” says Glaser.


4. Pastel Palette

Fun sorbet shades aren’t reserved for your clothes this season. “You can totally rock a pastel pink lipstick when wearing pastel clothes,” says Glaser. Her advice: Apply bronzer so the light lip color doesn’t wash you out. Her top pick is Dior’s Amber Tan, but she also recommends MAC’s Give Me Sun for blending the neck and chest and Scott Barnes’s Body Bling for an all-over tan that won’t wind up on your clothes (just be sure to blend!). 

5. Go Green 

When tastemaker Pantone declared that emerald would be the color of 2013, they weren't just talking about clothes. Gemstone green beauty products -- like eye shadow and nail polish—are a must-try. Wary of going green? "A little bit can go a long way," assures Brooke. "Line the top and bottom of the inner lash line with a waterproof green eye pencil for a more subtle pop of color."

Photo by Atikh Bana on Unsplash

Spring Makeup Trend: Brighten Up!

At last, spring is here! There’s something about the season that makes you feel daring and ready to come to life, just like the budding flowers. And your makeup should reflect that: This season, pops of bright color -- like rosebud red lips or an aqua-lined eye -- are in. 

Nervous that your makeup will look more clownish than starlet? Don’t be! With the following tips, you’ll look fresh and new for the spring.

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

Exfoliate. A smooth complexion is essential for evenly distributed color. Once or twice a week, use a gentle exfoliant to scrub away rough patches and dead skin. After drying off, wipe down your skin with a soft facial tissue to remove all traces of the exfoliating particles.

Powder up. Your skin becomes oily in warmer weather. To avoid smudges and smears, opt for powder instead of liquid foundation. The powder will absorb some of your skin’s natural oils throughout the day.

Put on primer. This silicone-based product helps smooth your skin, providing a perfect canvas for eyeliner and eye shadow. Apply a coat of primer to your eyelids before you put on makeup.

Step 2: Apply Bright Shades

Single out one feature. A rainbow-like assortment of colors is fine for sherbet, but not for your face. Instead, think one bright swipe. If you want to play up your eyes with an aquamarine eye shadow, use a neutral palette for your cheeks and lips. Coral-colored lips mean less color on the eyes. If you decide to highlight your lips, blot your lips on a facial tissue to set your lipstick and keep it from feathering.

Blend, blend, blend. Blending bright cheek and eye colors is key: It prevents a jarring look. Use a brush to blend that blush or shadow into the skin. Or if you’re in a pinch, wrap your pointer finger in a facial tissue and gently blend in the product.

Take a smaller step. Still not ready to embrace those vivid colors? You can achieve that playful look in a subtle manner: Try out a colored mascara, such as a blue or purple shade. (Just place a facial tissue beneath the eye during application to catch any falling pigment.) Or paint your nails a sunny orange or pink for an office-appropriate flash.

Photo by Boris Krizmanic on Unsplash

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Look Gorgeous During Allergy Season

Ah, spring. It’s a season filled with balmy weather, budding trees and -- for allergy sufferers -- a disheveled appearance. All too often, you’ll dress up for an outdoor concert or picnic only to return home with a red nose, under-eye circles and a pocket full of tissues.

If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who battles seasonal allergies, there’s no need to become a springtime recluse. The following tips will help you ease those symptoms, so you can look fantastic all season long.

1. Cover up.
Allergies can cause dark circles to form beneath your eyes. To look awake and fresh, use a concealer that matches your skin type. Dab it on with your finger and use a facial tissue to remove any excess product. Keep an extra concealer in your purse so you can apply touch-ups on the run.

2. Look like Jackie O.
Before you head out of the house, put on a pair of wraparound shades. Not only do they cover up the dark circles, but they’ll also block pollen from entering your eyes.

3. Minimize your makeup.
During allergy season, some tears are inevitable. Make sure you use waterproof makeup, or go for a minimal look: Stick with tinted moisturizer or BB cream, concealer, blush and lipstick -- and skip the heavy eye makeup, which can run. Also keep a pack of tissues in your purse to wipe away smears and tears.

4. Pick soft tissues.
Constantly wiping and blowing your nose irritates the skin, creating a red Rudolf-like effect. Look for a soft facial tissue with lotion that’s gentle on your nose. And dab lotion on your nose throughout the day.

5. Drink up.
Being dehydrated causes blood vessels to get bigger, which can lead to an even puffier face. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and carry a reusable water bottle with you to make sure that you’re getting enough fluids.

Photo by Gabriel Silvério on Unsplash

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Get a Fresh Face for Spring

Life doesn't stop when you're feeling under the weather. That's especially true for television: Even if an anchor or reporter is battling a cold or allergy symptoms, the show must go on. As a makeup artist for “Good Morning America,” it's my job to cover up those telltale red noses and blotchy spots.

So the next time you're sick or suffering from allergies and have to face the world, try using a few of my tried-and-true tricks that’ll make you look fabulous!


1. Brighten sallow skin.
For a fresh complexion, wash your face with an exfoliating scrub to slough off dead, tired-looking skin cells. Don't have any scrub on hand? Try making your own by mixing coffee grounds and full-fat milk. The caffeine (which has popped up in plenty of skin care products) acts as an anti-inflammatory, tightening your pores and shrinking visible blood vessels.

2. Disguise a red nose.
Continuously blowing your nose can leave your skin dry and chapped. Be gentle on your nose by using only soft tissues, like those with lotion, and applying moisturizer regularly. Skip the petroleum jelly on your nose, though, since it can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

To mask the redness, apply a layer of foundation. A cream-based kind will give you an even skin tone, without that caked-on appearance. Using your finger or a makeup sponge, dab some concealer to cover up any remaining ruddiness on your nose.


3. Clear up tired eyes.
When the anchors come in at the crack of dawn, I often reach for eye-whitening drops, which mask tired, bloodshot eyes. One warning: Since the drops I prefer to use are tinted blue, I always make sure to have a tissue on hand to wipe up the excess moisture after use.

For dark under-eye circles, use a concealer with orange undertones. Steer clear of violet or purple eye shadow when you're sick or exhausted; the shade will draw attention to those purplish under-eye circles, making you look even more tired.


4. Moisturize chapped lips.
Slough off dead skin with an exfoliating scrub formulated for lips, or make your own by mixing sugar with a dab of olive oil. Rub the concoction on your lips, wipe it off and dab on some lip gloss or balm for a healthy-looking smile.

5. Clear your voice.
If you're meeting with clients or presenting to a group, the last thing you want is to sound congested. So try an over-the-counter decongestant, which helps temporarily clear up the gunk in your nose. Also sip some hot tea with lemon and honey, which can help soothe your throat and ease that husky voice.

6. Brighten up.
For a finishing touch, brush a little pink blush on the apples of your cheeks. Being sick can drain your face of color -- the blush will add a natural rosy glow. So even if you feel like crawling into bed, you'll still look energized.

Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

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