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Woman applying mascara

As any new parent will tell you, it’s hard enough to find time to have a shower let alone attempt your pre-baby beauty regime – that’s why we asked make-up artist and mum of three, Abby Ireland, for her super-quick tips

In 5 minutes: the bare necessities

When you’re really pressed for time, just focus on the essentials.

Start with a good cleanser and moisturiser for a clean base, and then add a primer – they’re a great way to give a bit of a glow to your skin.  Next, use a tinted moisturiser – it’s easier to apply and blend than foundation. “Forget brushes – tinted moisturisers are perfect for a quick, finger application,” says Abby. “Just squeeze out a pea-sized amount, and apply all over the face.” For more coverage, look for one with good pigmentation.

Lastly, Abby suggests adding a bit of cream blush with your fingers, and a slick of mascara. “This will help perk up the skin and eyes,” she says.

In 10 minutes: make-up to wake up

Start with the same cleansed, moisturised base and follow with a primer. As you have a bit more time, you can either stick with a tinted moisturiser or step it up to foundation. “To combat dark circles, use a lightening concealer under the eyes,” says Abby. “To wake up the whole eye, create an even skin tone by applying a flesh-coloured eye base to cover the lid.”

Spending time on your eyebrows can help frame your whole face – yet achieving sufficiently symmetrical eyebrows can be time-consuming. For great eyebrows in a snap, Abby suggests first using a clean mascara wand brush to groom your eyebrows into the shape you want them. “Next, glide the pencil in small hair-like strokes to fill in any gaps,” she says. “Finally, give them another brush through to keep them neat and natural.”

As you’ve also got time for pencil eyeliner, try this quick tip: “A navy-blue liner will make you look more awake by bringing out the whites of your eyes,” says Abby. For a wide-eye look, avoid putting it on your waterline and instead smudge along your lashes. Finish with a volumising mascara, and something quick and easy on the lips, like a tinted balm.

In 20 minutes: a little luxury

A whole 20 minutes to yourself, hurrah! Again, start with a good base, then take your foundation to the next level. “Apply two concealers,” says Abby, “one brightening and one to cover any blemishes. You can add a little powder blush and bronzer, then set your make-up with powder. A translucent, pressed powder applied with a brush is the most fuss-free way.” Flawless!

Now it’s time to focus on your eyes. “Try blending one or two eye shadows over a cream base,” suggests Abby. “A liquid liner can take more time than you have spare to get right, so try an easy-to-control felt-tip version.

Highlighter adds a glowy finishing touch. “Use a liquid highlighter, which you can take on your finger and dab on your brow bone, down the centre of your nose and even on your décolletage,” says Abby. “For long-lasting lip colour, try lining your lips and filling with lip liner.” Finish with your favourite lipstick and you’ll be date-night ready!


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