5 Fashion & Beauty Hacks for Busy Mums


(thisismothership.com // @thisismothership)


For the first few weeks of motherhood, I neglected myself; my skincare regime went out of the window, I didn’t wash my hair (hello, dry shampoo) and I certainly didn’t wear make-up. Then once the after-effects of the brutal bombshell that is childbirth wore off and I’d recovered from the impact, I blow-dried my hair, applied a facemask and put on mascara. And I felt a million times better.

But looking like you’ve got your act together when toting around a toddler or two is a struggle. Your pre-baby beauty regime doesn’t cut it in the two minutes your new mum morning allows yet you still need to look like you’re totally handling life.

This is where a sneaky #MumCheat comes in. We’re pretty au fait with the idea of a gel manicure (no drying time, lasts for weeks, no chips) but were you aware that you can apply the same long-lasting solution to the rest of your beauty regime?

If you’ve ever run out of the door without a swipe of a hairbrush let alone a blusher brush, this is for you. These ‘smart beauty’ tricks and treatments are all about reclaiming back vital minutes from your morning so you don’t start every morning in a mad rush….


In the same way that a pair of nude heels makes your legs look longer, lining the inner rim of your eye with a flesh-toned eye pencil creates the illusion of wider, brighter eyes. It’s a backstage trick that’s used on models worldwide because the nude eradicates any red, creating the illusion of rested eyes. It’s the equivalent of a nap in a stick.
The best bit is that there’s one to suit all skin tones. Find yours and don’t let it go…

Pale skin Cool-toned nude with a hint of pale pinkiness: Rimmel Scandal’Eyes Waterproof Kohl Liner
Medium/Olive skin A warmer, yellow-toned eyeliner: Nars Larger Then Life Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte   (LOW STOCK)
Asian skin Peachier than the others: Stila Kajal Eyeliner in Topaz
Universally flattering Lighter than beige but not as stark as white, brightens tall skin tones: Benefit Eye Bright


Blue neutralises red tones. That’s a colour theory FACT. So switch your regular mascara to one that’s dark navy and the tell-tale redness that comes with tired eyes will disappear. Easy.
These are my favourites, they’re so inky blue that they could pass as black so you won’t feel too out of your comfort zone.

Max Factor Masterpiece MAX Mascara in Blue // Diorshow Mascara in Navy // No 7 Intense Volume Mascara in Navy //


We swear by a sneaky at-home spray tan to help us look alive when we’re feeling far from it. Once the kids are in bed, instead of collapsing on the sofa, our spray tanner arrives and sets up camp in our spare rooms, pop-up tent and all. The trick here is to ask for a speedy tan – Fake Bake do one called the 60 Minute Spray Tan – it’s a rapid developing formula infused with specialist tanning accelerators. Leave it on for an hour for a subtle glow or three for a deep, dark tan. The main point is that you can wash it off before bed so there’s no stained sheets, just total glowiness come morning. (Secret Spa)
If you’d rather DIY it, we swear by this no-wait fake tan, NKD SKN Pre-Shower Tan, £13.95. There’s been a few ‘in-shower’ tanners launch recently but the problem is that you have to hang around in the shower for three minutes getting cold. This one you apply 10 minutes before you shower. Here’s how I do it: once Leo’s in bed, I run downstairs, pop the dinner in the oven then run back up to apply it; it feels slightly gloopy, not like the usual airy mousses. I stand on the landing in my knickers checking Instagram or folding washing then I shower it off by which time, my dinner is ready. The formula continues to develop for four hours so you can go to bed without smelling of biscuits or staining the sheets and wake up with a healthy looking glow. Genius. Also great for those still breast-feeding who can’t wait the prerequisite eight hours until they can wash a regular fake tan off before latching their babe to their body.


Here’s a solid fact. If you do not make time to clean your face at the end of the day (even if you didn’t wear make-up, pollution, dirt and grime clings to your face) then you will never wake up looking glowy. But we’re mums. Time is not on our side.  In the evenings we’re so desperate to crawl into bed that all pampering plans are forgotten just so that we can get our heads on that pillow a few minutes quicker. Thankfully, the beauty industry has cottoned on. We all need This Works In Transit No Traces, £17 in our lives. No beauty editor will ever tell you to use a face wipe (they just drag dirt around your face rather than actually remove it. No matter what you think you see on the wipe). These are different. A tub full of super-soft face pads soaked in gentle rosewater, just one will remove an entire face of make-up and leave skin feeling fresh, like you’ve had a mini facial. Pricy but amazing – save them for those evenings when you’re so tired that even brushing your teeth seems like too much hassle.


We have a trick. It’s a very easy one which makes it a very clever one. Every mum should know this trick and because we are nice, today we are sharing our best beauty secret with you. Are you ready? Like a shot of caffeine for your face, a slick of red on the lips will make you look a thousand times more awake in just a few seconds. From a classic white t-shirt to a grey jumper, it goes with everything – and as an added bonus, the bright pop on your lips helps to detract from any coffee stains/banana smears/carrot dusty hand prints you might have going on.  Plus, the stark contrast of colour also means that the white of your teeth and whites of your eyes look much brighter.

If it all feels a bit high maintenance for you, swipe your finger over the bullet and pat it on for more of a lip stain finish. You can build the colour up as you get used to wearing it. To keep it looking modern, a tip I learnt from the make-up artists backstage at Fashion Week, is to diffuse (or smudge) the edges with a cotton bud (something all mamas have in their bathrooms) once you’ve applied it. This helps it to stay put and makes it look a bit more ‘lived in’, like you’ve been rocking that red for ages. Then, all you need to do it whack the sunglasses on and go. That’s it. No one will believe that you’ve got ready in under 30 seconds. People will be left wondering, ‘how the hell does she look so glam at 8am?!’  It’s so easy and work every time. Team it with a take-away coffee for a walk around the park with the pram. Done.


I’ve always been someone who needs to get up, put on a bit of a face and get dressed properly. Yes I love slobbing about in front of Love Island in leggings and a hoodie, but I feel a million times better if I put together an outift and accessorise. It sounds complicated and time consuming but it’s really not. A little added extra like a necklace, or a belt, can make you look (and more importantly, feel) a million dollars.

There are a few guidelines tips that can instantly alter how you wear your clothes, and can help you not feel as overwhelmed when you go shopping.

1) Ditch the white bra

There is no need to ever own a white bra. EVER. It will always show through a white top, and the outline is unflattering and dated. A black or nude bra will work in pretty much every situation.

2) A crisp white shirt

Everyone needs a crisp white shirt in their wardrobe. It instantly makes an outfit look chic without any effort involved. Tuck it into high waisted jeans, wear it open over a bikini/swimsuit to hide the bits of your mum bod that you aren’t too comfortable with or button it up and add a blazer to look really pulled together. Roll up the cuffs, tie it in a knot or just let it hang open – the options are endless but it will always look timeless.

3) The importance of great fitting denim

There is a shape or style out there for everyone. Try lots of different styles and once you find a pair that fit you like a glove, buy multiples. Don’t stress about the length, better to get the jeans fitting correctly everywhere else and then getting the length altered. Generally you should always go down a size. When you first put them on you should be able to JUST button them up. The thicker the denim, the less likely it is to lose it’s shape.

4) Spend money on shoes and accessories

They will always fit whether you are pregnant, have just given birth or if you’ve got your body back to the shape and size you are happy with. For bags it’s best to stick to neutrals (black, camel/nude and leopard print) as they will go with everything and won’t ever go out of fashion. Everyone needs some fabulous leopard print shoes in their life for the days when they can’t be bothered to make effort – great fitting jeans, a plain white shirt and some leopard heels takes minimal effort but will make you look like you are in control and pulled together. Jewellery can instantly brighten up an outfit – if you are too tired to think beyond jeans and a t shirt, a statement necklace will bring your outfit to life.

5) Shop with care

Only buy things you LOVE. You need to look in the mirror and think ‘Yes, I look great!’ and then you will be excited to wear it, rather than hide it in the back of your wardrobe. Consider about wear and care – don’t buy anything you can’t look after. If you won’t have time for dry cleaning or hand washing then it’s not worth spending the money on it.