Sunday, 29 January 2017

My Makeup Story

Makeup table
If I was to look back on my teenage years at my past makeup routines, there would be a lot of Rimmel’s Heather Shimmer lipstick, Max Factor Pan Stick and a good deal of black kohl eyeliner.
If I look back at my Debs picture – which will never be shared here or on my social media – ever, even now I cringe at my attempts at a night time makeup look - and let’s not even start on the hair..
After graduating university and starting a job in a Corporate environment, I tried to make a bit more of an effort in terms of presenting myself and doing up the face, but I still wasn’t very good at it! 
My Mam was big into makeup back then and never went anywhere without her face on.

Unfortunately she’s not well enough these days to put on a full face every day but the lessons she taught me have always stuck with me and she still makes as much of an effort as she can because for her it’s also about making her feel better about herself on an otherwise rough day. You may have already read my post on the beauty lessons I learned from my Mum but if not I will link it here


It’s only in the few years – perhaps coinciding with entering my thirties – that I’ve started to figure out what really suits me and what products work best for me. It might also coincide with becoming a Mum for the first time.  I suddenly had this huge, overwhelming responsibility and now I wasn’t just Claire anymore, I was Mammy. I was surrounded by burp cloths, nappies, bottles and all the other baby paraphernalia and would end up not putting makeup on out of exhaustion or just lack of interest. When I took the baby out, I felt frumpy and like I looked exhausted all the time – which I probably did, let’s face it.

When Little Man was a few months old and the two of us started to get into a bit of a routine of sorts, I found myself going back to reading beauty blogs and watching YouTube tutorials and trying to rediscover some of myself and make me feel more “human”. It was then that I placed my first ever order from Cult Beauty and it was all downhill from there!

To some, writing about beauty and makeup might seem trivial and superficial. But for me, it is about more than the latest colour trends and latest releases. I’m excited about these of course, but for me, makeup is capable of making you feel much more confident when otherwise you feel like a dog's dinner. It’s not so much a mask as a way of enhancing what you have and minimising what you don’t like. For instance, I will never get rid of the last few post-baby pounds and I’ll never be a member of the “fit fam” no matter how many skinny teas I drink. I’m just not built that way. But maybe if I lash on a few coats of my favourite mascara and a slick of eyeliner then people won’t notice my wobbly bits so much!

These are some of the tricks I've learned to help make a little better of what I've got and make me feel more human and ready to face the day head on:

Makeup revolution concealer palette and catrice concealer

 Invest in the right concealer for your skin tone and type to help cover up the under eye shadows that never seem to go away when  you become a Mum. If it is in a shade lighter than your foundation then it will really help brighten the entire area.

Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara

A couple of coats of mascara will make all the difference and really open up your eyes even if you really have only had 3 or 4 hours sleep. Even if you don’t have time to do a full face in the mornings, don’t skip the mascara.

Estee lauder double wear foundation

Use the makeup that you’re keeping for a “special occasion”. Unless of course it’s full on glitter and you’re going to work. For ages I wouldn’t use my Estee Lauder foundation on a weekday, and used the more affordable options I had instead. We all do this a lot – keep either makeup or clothes for “good use” and in fact that day mightn’t come for months. And you deserve to wear what makes you feel good every day! Also, all makeup and beauty products have a certain shelf life so there’s no point in letting them gather dust in your drawer!

Favourite nude lipsticks

If you have an important business meeting or a job interview which you are nervous about, wear that favourite shade of lipstick that makes you feel like a badass.  While it may seem unimportant, it can make you feel so much more “put together” going in there.

Only ever let professionals shape your eyebrows. I over-tweezed (a lot!) during my early twenties and they never quite grow back. If you have a professional create the best shape for your brows it can make all the difference to your overall makeup as brows really do frame the face. Once they have been trained into shape it will be much easier for you to maintain at home using gels, powders or pomades etc.

Bronzer, blusher and highlighter will also make you look much more awake and radiant than you are feeling. If you are only starting to experiment with makeup, then you can pick up one of the three in one kits such as the ones from Sleek or Makeup Revolution. Sleek blushers are some of my affordable favourites too and they have a great range of colours.

DIY gel manicure Wonder Gel and Gelly polishes

Keeping your nails in good shape – whether you paint them yourself or have your fortnightly manicures at the salon – will also help you feel a bit more put together. I don’t have time or spare cash for frequent salon visits so most of the time I do a DIY manicure. If you are strapped for time then I definitely recommend the new Wet n Wild One Step Wonder Gel Polishes or the Barry M Gelly Polishes. Both give a high shine finish which looks like a professional manicure without the need for a top coat and both are chip-free on my hands for a good 3 or 4 days – which rarely happens usually without a top coat.

For me, sitting down to put on my makeup in the mornings is sometimes a calming process in itself. As busy Mums or just busy women in general, we don’t often get much time to ourselves and I think it’s important to take those ten minutes or whatever to put on the face and make you feel that little bit more armed and able to face the day ahead. I'm hoping others can relate to this too and maybe find some of my tips useful :)

If you would like to share your own makeup story in the comments below you are as always welcome to chat x

Bye for now,


Catch up with even more ramblings of Mama Voom over on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. You can also check out what I've been up to throughout the day on my Snapchat, mamavoom.

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