I rarely do this but this post has nothing really to do with teaching. Recently I spent some time looking for a makeup routine that really worked for me and how busy I am, and I’m so pleased with what I found that I decided I must use my blog voice to share it.
I have three children ages 4, 16 months, and 5 months, and let me tell you, I am tired. As this school year began I felt my frustration and stress compounded every time I passed a mirror and thought, who is that sad, tired woman? Where did ‘me’ go? There isn’t a lot I can do quickly to affect the changes brought about by being pregnant and/or nursing for the last 24 straight months but there were some things I could change. First, I got a haircut. A really good, not-too-short, just-enough-layers professional-looking bob haircut. Then, why not some new makeup too? It’s a struggle to get out of the house in the morning and I knew that one of the reasons I looked so tired and worn was that I didn’t have time for a whole makeup routine. My reasoning was, if I never put it on, it doesn’t do me any good, so what’s the fewest number of products I can use that might make me look a little more put together? I narrowed it to three: tinted moisturizer, bronzer, and tinted lip balm. I thought, if I can only put those three products on, at least it will be something.
Then, I did what I always do when I’m in the market for something: I hit Google and read reviews. I looked up “best tinted moisturizer” and learned that such a product is also often called BB (usually ‘blemish balm’) cream and can be super expensive. I searched “best tinted lip balm” and “best bronzer.” I had a few stipulations: I wasn’t willing to spend $50 on one item of makeup and I wasn’t going to order anything online and I wasn’t going to set foot in Nordstrom’s (not that there is even one here, but my teacher wallet can’t handle it!) In the end, here’s what I made part of my morning routine:
1) Tinted moisturizer
E.L.F. tinted moisturizer is by far the best bargain out there, according to reviews. At about $3 at Target, it gives you moisturizing tinted coverage. However, when I visited the Clinique counter, the very capable saleswoman gave me a sample of their BB cream and the moisturizing feel and SPF is so much better than e.l.f. that next time I’m going to spring for the $35 or so to get the Clinique. But on a budget, really, the e.l.f. will do you fine. Incidentally, I also love their blush ($2!) because it’s sparkly and somehow manages to achieve this without making me look like I think I’m 16.
The e.l.f. version came up recommended again here, ostensibly because of its value, but when I tried it, it made me look and feel like a mannequin. No thank you. I loved the $25 Clinique bronzer (which I purchased at Macy’s and received a nice free gift package). The sun kissed shade is perfect for any skin color (the saleswoman was black and she looked great in it). FYI: it came with a nice brush but my favorite brush set is the Ecotools mineral set, about $10 at Target.
3) Tinted lip balm
Ever since I was a teenager and my mom perpetually told me I looked “dead” without lip color, I’ve tried every lip stick “revolution” there is. I hate them all. They dry my lips and wear off so fast I don’t get the point. So when I heard of tinted lip balm, I thought, this is the answer! Lip balm I can do! (I’m addicted to Carmex cherry click stick.) I ended up buying three different kinds, and I keep one in my van, one in my teacher bag, and one in my purse, so I know I always have one with me. My favorites are Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm (about $6), which has a nice hint of color but feels just like lip balm, and the fantastic Clinique chubby stick, which has more color but is also super moisturizing. The Burt’s Bees sits by the radio in my van so whenever I get in and get out, I run it across my lips, and just those few seconds make me feel more put together, at least.
So, perhaps not the most beneficial teaching post, but taking care of ourselves makes us more effective overall, so if you’re a busy teacher mom (or know one) I hope you find something useful here.
If you want more teacher style, check out one of my favorite blogging teachers, Pernille Ripp, at Style Teacher (among her other fantastic blogs). It’ll give you good practice in squelching jealousy. I think, sure, I could look that great if I weren’t in my 30’s and having been pregnant three times in four years… oh wait, we’re the exact same age and she’s done that pregnancy thing (and is doing it) too. Guess some people just have the right genes for the right jeans. 😉