A Mom’s Guide to Looking Effortlessly Chic

Whether you’re a brand-new mama who equates showering with insta-chic or a veteran parent who can’t so much as pee alone, it’s hard not to look at put-together moms like Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Obama and wonder how they find the time to look so amazing. Answer: an entourage of stylists and makeup artists. But even if your entourage only consists of little ones, these quick tips will help you look paparazzi-ready in a flash.

Set up a beauty station by the front door.
Ever dash out of the house only to catch your reflection later and wince? To the rescue: Set up a mommy beauty station by the door. Simply hang a mirror and fill a basket (ideally out of reach to your kiddos) with your get-ready-quick essentials. A few suggestions: a hairbrush and dry shampoo to instantly upgrade your locks, concealer to mask any under-eye circles, blush or bronzer for a sweep of color, mascara to open up your eyes, and a box of facial tissues for quick beauty touchups.

Add stylish accents to your go-to outfits.
Guess what? You can maintain a uniform of cotton shirts and jeans as long as you accessorize smartly. A colorful, patterned scarf can add interest to a V-neck and boyfriend jeans (not to mention mask any spit-up or food stains). Skinny jeans and a plain top are instantly date-night-ready with a touch of costume jewelry and glam heels or fun flats. Invest in easy statement pieces, like a bright blazer, you can throw on before a parent-teacher conference that will instantly elevate your ensemble.

Streamline your makeup routine.  
Ah, if only you had the time to labor over creating the perfect cat eye. But you’d be surprised how far a minimal look -- with minimal products -- can go toward boosting your confidence. Opt for multitasking makeup, like a BB cream, an above-and-beyond tinted moisturizer that also contains SPF, antioxidants and other antiaging components. Instead of stressing out about perfectly applying lipstick, opt for a simple tinted lip gloss or stain. If you’re constantly on the go, an eyelash curler can do wonders to instantly give eyes a lift without the mess of mascara.

Borrow from Baby.
If your beauty budget has given way to a college fund, take note: There’s a treasure trove of goodies already in your nursery. Use your little one’s lotion for the eau de bébé that everyone absolutely loves. Your baby’s chemical-free shampoo will leave your hair super-soft without stripping it of essential oils. Can’t find time to shower? Even if you don’t use baby powder at the changing table, dabbing it on your scalp and the shiniest areas of your hair can hold you over in between washings.

Have a signature style.
One of Gwynnie’s biggest chic secrets? This mama has confidence. But if the baby drool on your shoulder has you feeling not-so self-assured, here’s a quick trick: Add something to your look that’s only yours. Tie a fun kerchief to your purse that you rotate every so often, and never leave the house without swiftly applying a bright lip color. Crumbs all over your clothes? Check. Signature statement necklace? Hey, you’ve got something going for

Beauty Tips 101: How to Apply Self-Tanner

After a long winter, you’re ready to toss the extra layers. But while the spring brings longer days, you won’t get any color from the five-minute walk from your car to office. Besides, you know that spending too much time in the sun can expose you to harmful UV rays.

The solution? Self-tanners are a safer option, and you can apply them at home. Whether you’re a self-tanning pro or novice, our guide will help you achieve an even golden glow without the streaks. Get ready to transform your complexion from ghostly white to a sun-kissed glow.

Step 1: Get prepped.

For the self-tanner to set in evenly, your skin should be as fresh as possible. Shave your legs and exfoliate any area that you’re self-tanning, with a liquid exfoliating scrub.

Step 2: Apply self-tanner from bottom to top.
Wearing latex gloves, gently apply self-tanner onto your skin. Start at your feet and slowly move up your body to avoid awkward positions, and make sure everything goes on smoothly and evenly. Keep a box of facial tissues on hand to wipe away any excess.

Step 3: Smooth out streaks.
Areas with thinner skin -- your feet, knees, elbows, wrists and ankles -- are susceptible to streaking. Go over these areas carefully to ensure the tan doesn’t look patchy. To avoid streaks on your palms, wipe them down with a tissue after you’re finished.

Step 4: Wait and see.
You need to give the self-tanner the chance to seep in and do its thing, so avoid showering or sleeping (unless you want streaked sheets) for at least six hours afterward. To avoid getting the product on your clothes, wear a loose, old T-shirt. Once your tanner has set, be sure to moisturize each day. Keeping your skin hydrated will extend the length of that gorgeous glow. 

Summer’s Here! Shake up Your Makeup Routine

We all have our favorite tried-and-true shades and products in our daily makeup routine. But if you’ve been using the same eye shadow or lipstick since high school, it’s time for a change. Switching up your makeup is one of the easiest ways to update your look -- without having to invest in a whole new wardrobe.

Fortunately, there are a number of new hot-off-the-runway trends, like bold lips and pops of pastel, which are both fun and wearable. With my tips for makeup application, you’ll be able pull off a fresh new look -- without much effort.

Makeup Routine Shake-up: A Bold Lip

A colorful pucker is one of the easiest ways to brighten up your entire face. But what if that fire-engine red lipstick makes you feel more clownish than couture? Opt for a poppy or coral color. These shades have the same oomph, but they’re more versatile -- and they won’t overpower your face.

To take the vibrancy down a notch, swipe on your lipstick in a thin layer. Blot after each swipe with facial tissues, which are gentle on lips’ sensitive skin Then reapply; repeat until you reach your desired shade. Or make your own tinted lip balm for a gentle glow: Using a well-sharpened pencil instead of lipstick, lightly sketch color onto your lips. Then blend all over with a lip balm. Revlon has an excellent selection of lipstick options available on Amazon.

Makeup Routine Shake-up: Pastel Eyes

For a summery twist, consider using one of the pretty Easter egg–hued eye shadows that are popping up at makeup counters. When done right, these shades can add dramatic pop of color or create a subtle, romantic smoky-eyed look.

If you want a natural, understated look, use shades that are in the same color family as your eye color -- for instance, a mint shade for green eyes. Prefer a more dramatic look to make your eyes pop? Consider this color guide for makeup application:

· Green or hazel eyes: lavender

· Blue eyes: peach creamsicle

· Warm brown eyes: cornflower blue

· Cool brown eyes: mint green

At the drugstore or makeup counter, look for a shimmer instead of matte shadow. Because these products contain less pigment, they’re easier to blend and produce a more subtle effect.

How to apply: To keep the shadow from falling under the eyes or onto your cheeks, place a facial tissue beneath your eye to catch any of the loose powder. Then brush a thin layer of shadow across the entire lid. Moving the brush back and forth, blend a second layer into the eye crease. Finally, add a little highlighter (a lighter shade) to the brown bone and the inner corners of your eyes.

Makeup Routine Shake-up: Decorated Nails

Another way to wear these popular pastels: on your nails. The next time you’re in the drugstore, pick up a light green, yellow, pink or purple shade to instantly give your outfit a summery twist.

To go one step further, try an embellished nail. Although these designs look time-intensive, the application is surprisingly easy. Start by selecting two shades of peach polish. Paint your nails with the base shade. Once that layer has dried completely, take a toothpick and dip it into the other accent color. Dab off excess polish facial tissues, making sure that only a small amount is left. Paint dots onto your nails carefully; make sure to evenly space them out. Wait until the dots are dry, and then paint over the entire nail with a top coat.

Makeup Routine Shake-up: Creamy Cheeks

This season, all-over bronzer has taken a backseat to a blushing glow. But applying this look the old-fashioned way can miss the mark. That’s because powder blush is more visible, making radiant skin appear dull.

I suggest using a cream blush because you can control how much and where the product is applied. With two fingers, dot the blush onto the apples of your cheeks (to find them, smile). Then move your fingers in a circular motion to blend the dots of color into your skin. To make it look completely natural, go back with soft facial tissues, which will protect delicate skin on your eyes and cheeks, and smudge the blush even more.

Like this article? Get more by following us @FaceEveryDay or friending us on Facebook at Beauty & Confidence.

Get Gorgeous on the Go

Taking a vacation should be relaxing. But it’s all too easy to get stressed out about what to pack -- especially when it comes to your cosmetics. We asked makeup artist Elisa Tallerico, celebrity makeup artist and MTV hairstylist, for her tips for packing a beauty bag. Read on to find out what to bring to look flawless without weighing down your luggage.

 

Makeup Tip No. 1: Pack makeup palettes.  
Instead of hauling around every blush, bronzer and eye shadow that you might want to use on your trip, find your favorite shades in a quad or duo compact. "Many makeup brands offer palettes that you can build yourself," says Tallerico. "This allows you to swap out which shades you want to bring with you, and which you want to leave at home."

Makeup Tip No. 2: Simplify your brush set.  
“When traveling, pack one powder brush, one blush brush and a flat concealer brush," says Tallerico. Your blush brush can be used for contouring, and a concealer brush easily doubles as an eye shadow brush. Some makeup brands also offer travel-sized brushes, which are smaller and easier to pack. Instead of bringing sponges, you can use Puffs facial tissues to blend in your make-up.

Makeup Tip No. 3: Use multitaskers.
"Makeup doesn't have to be used for only one thing," says Tallerico. A pink, shimmery lipstick can double as a cream blush: Dab a small amount onto the apples of your cheeks and blend. To use a light, shimmery eye shadow as a highlighter, sweep it onto your cheekbones to brighten your look. Bronzer can also be used as a contouring powder for your face.

Makeup Tip No. 4: Avoid unnecessary tools.
Instead of toting your eyeliner and a sharpener, Tallerico recommends seeking out self-sharpening eyeliner, which has a sharpener built right into the cap of the liner. The right mascara will lift and curl your lashes, allowing you to leave your eyelash curler at home.

Makeup Tip No. 5: Bring travel-sized items.
One of the best ways to lighten your makeup bag is to bring your beauty products down to size. "Most brands make a travel-sized version of their products," says Tallerico. For example, instead of toting along a whole box of tissues for makeup touchups, just tuck a pack of Puffs to Go in your bag. Can’t find your favorite product in miniature? Invest in small reusable containers to fill up.

Pretty Summer Date Night Looks

After a long winter, it’s time to come out of hibernation. Summer is the perfect excuse for a date night. Whether you’re planning on outdoor cocktails or a backyard barbecue, you can look fresh-faced, sun-kissed and on-trend in a breeze. Celebrity makeup artist Amanda Shackleton shares her favorite beauty looks for an evening on the town in this easy-to-follow guide.

1. Go (nearly) bare.
Ditch the heavy, dark colors along with your thick sweaters, and think light. To get an instant healthy glow, Shackleton suggests applying a shimmer powder to the raised areas of your face, such as your cheekbones, brows and temples. (Steer clear of your T-zone, which can create an oily appearance.) Finish off with a swipe of waterproof mascara, and you’re ready to wow.


2. Get cheeky.
If there’s one feature you should focus on this summer, it’s your cheeks. To achieve a pretty pop of color without baking in the sun, use a Puffs facial tissue to blend in cream blush on the apples of your cheeks. Bonus: You can use a dab of this multitasking product on your lips too.

3. Celebrate your skin.
Summer is for eating lobster, not looking like one. To steer clear of a ruddy complexion, be vigilant about wearing sunscreen every time you step out. Shackleton suggests trying a sunscreen powder, which goes on like a face powder and feels lighter than greasy lotions. For a gorgeous glimmer without baking in the sun, try rubbing coconut oil on your legs, chest and arms. You’ll get a healthy shine while smelling like a tropical vacation.

 
4. Don’t sweat it.
Don’t want to bother meticulously applying makeup if you’re just going to “glisten” it all away? Shackleton swears by waterproof, silicone-based foundations, which stay perfectly intact beneath your facial powder. For eyes? In addition to waterproof mascara, try a gel eyeliner. “Unlike pencils, they won’t smudge at all -- even if you go swimming!” says Shackleton.

5. Say bye-bye to black.
Chances are, dark colors will be pushed to the back of your closet for the next few months, so why shouldn’t the same go for your makeup? One of Shackleton’s favorite trends from the ’80s, colorful mascara, is back. “Thankfully, it’s a little more muted this time around,” she says. Trade in your usual black lashes for a subtle pop of dark blue or purple.