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They say everything changes when you have kids. For me, that rings most true when it comes to getting ready for work in the morning. Juggling getting my little guy fed and dressed alongside my own routine, I've had to seriously streamline my make up regimen to get out the door on time.

This has required finding the right combination of multipurpose cosmetics to cut down the number of steps it takes to go from groggy to glam (well, semi-glam, anyways).

In this post, I'll share my weekday morning makeup routine and the products in my weekday capsule makeup kit that help me get my face done in under 10 minutes (all while getting my son ready in the morning).

The 'capsule wardrobe' has become a new buzzword over the last couple of years, and for good reason. What could be better than streamlining your clothing to just the essentials that make you look your best, while eliminating the time it takes just to choose what you're going to wear in the morning?

This concept translates very nicely to the realm makeup and I would argue that a capsule makeup kit, especially one for weekday/workday mornings, is even more useful than a capsule wardrobe. Especially for a working mom!

Below is what is in my weekday capsule makeup kit. I have combination skin (oily t-zone, drier cheeks) and a light-medium complexion. Depending on your skin type and tone, your ideal products may vary.

But, before I get into details, a trip down memory lane to what weekday mornings were like before kids:

I would typically wake up about five minutes before my alarm was set to ring, stretch, and hop out of bed looking and feeling (relatively) well-rested. I would then spend what now seems like a luxurious half hour brushing my teeth, washing my face and painstakingly applying makeup in just the right lighting at my vanity. (I don't bathe in the morning; I like a nightly, unhurried shower to wash the day off of me, literally and figuratively).

After kids: I wake in a daze to my alarm blaring and exhaustedly schlep to the bathroom, eyes half shut, to brush my teeth and wash my face.

I go to wake my three-year-old (which does not go smoothly) and we head to the kitchen for breakfast.

During the two minutes his quick oats are in the microwave, I plop him down in front of my laptop (set to Paw Patrol on Netflix) and hurriedly gather my makeup to the first floor powder room, where I can keep an eye on him. (There are no windows and the lighting is suboptimal, but who am I kidding? I don't have the time to need to see what I'm doing).

I quickly smear eyeshadow (1, pictured) on my upper lids with my middle finger, uncap my liquid liner (2) and-- beep beep beep--oatmeal's ready! I set the bowl down in front of my son, who is too entranced by Ryder's new gadgets to notice. I try to give him a spoonful (he eats surprisingly well in this tv-induced zombie state--don't judge!), but it's too hot and he recoils. I blow on it in a futile attempt to cool it down (something dentists don't recommend doing, by the way...), but it's still too hot.

So, I hurry back to the powder room and resume lining my eyelids, then apply my (very heavy duty) color correcting undereye concealer (3). This is literally the only thing that's ever been able to mask my dark circles.


1. Urban Decay's Naked Basics eyeshadow palette ( is like the little black dress of eyeshadow: basic, versatile, and almost everyone looks great in it. It has a good mix of workplace-appropriate, highly saturated shades with good staying power. I find it does well even without primer. Which, is not something I have time for in the morning. Bonus: it's small enough to take with me in case I need a touch up.

2. Revlon's Colorstay Liquid Liner ( in 'Blackest Black.' It's true to it's name and stays put all day. I find liquid liners with a marker tip like this one (instead of a brush) are easier to apply quickly and evenly.

It’s peachy color counteracts the bluish purple of dark circles. This is the miracle worker of my makeup kit. I use it in light-medium.


...By now, the oatmeal's cooled down and I coax a few spoonfuls into zombie kid's mouth. I transition the spoon to his hand and bring it to his upper lip. He takes over, not missing a beat, eyes glued to the screen.

I rush back to the powder room to smooth on some liquid lipstick (4). I then haphazardly spread a dollop of CC cream (an all-in-one moisturizer/SPF/color correcting foundation) (5) over my entire face. I glide a blush stick (6) over each cheekbone and give it a quick smear with my palm.


4. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovecraft ( Good staying power (I need only reapply once, after lunch) and it's not as drying as most other liquid lipsticks I've tried.

5. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream ( goes on smoothly with a light finish perfect for daytime. It leaves my combination skin dewy, but not oily. It also color corrects and doubles as sunscreen (SPF 30). So, it does what I used to need 3 separate products to accomplish.


6. Nars The Multiple in Orgasm ( leaves your cheeks with a translucent, slightly shimmery glow. And, blush in stick form is so much quicker and easier to apply. It's made for use on lips/eyelids/body as well, though I've never tried it that way...


...Last, but not least, I run a powder brow liner (7) through my brows to fill in the sparse spots.

7. Covergirl's Bombshell Brow and Line Eyebrow Powder ( does a great job of subtly filling in brows without giving you that tattooed look that many pencil liners do, and at a great price. I recommend choosing a shade or two lighter than your actual brow color to prevent heaviness--I use 'medium brown' even though my brows are black.

8.Cover FX blotting powder ( This isn't officially part of my morning makeup routine, but I keep it with me to sop up T-zone shine a couple of times a day. I haven't found anything better to absorb shine without leaving a thick, powdery residue.


You may notice I haven't mentioned mascara. That's because I don't use any! Instead, I have lash extensions, which I get refilled every 2-3 weeks. It takes about 30-45 minutes per refill (but, you won't ever hear me complain about time 'wasted' lying down with my eyes closed).

Lash extensions aren't for everyone, and they certainly aren't cheap. But, for me, they're definitely worth it. My natural lashes are almost non-existent and Latisse didn’t do much for me. I've always been the type of person who gets made up everyday, even if I don't have anywhere to go (I wouldn't want the Amazon delivery guy to see my bare face...).

With just lash extensions and my miracle-working under-eye concealer, I look (and feel) fairly polished even without any other make up on. Enough to answer the door and walk the dog without feeling self-conscious, at least. And, by cutting out mascara, I'm shaving off about 30 seconds from my routine each morning (more if you consider how often I used to have to wipe errant mascara off of my brow or cheekbone).

I feel like I've just divulged a deep, dark beauty secret...

Anyhow, from start to finish, this all takes about 8 minutes (and that includes getting my son's breakfast ready and making sure he eats it all).

Here I am with the aforementioned cosmetics on my face.

Excuse the selfie! I deliberated whether or not to post one, as I loathe putting pictures of myself in public forums. But, given the topic, it would seem amiss not to show the finished product. Kind of like blogging about throw pillows and not showing what they look like on the couch...sort of... (Given the sheer number of throw pillows I have, there should probably be a post on throw pillows at some point).

A caveat to implementing capsule makeup: by reducing the number of products used and time spent doing my makeup, my imperfections show through a little more. So, if you're going to simplify your routine, it becomes even more important to take good care of your skin.

It takes less time and product to cover a smooth, clear complexion than it does a dull, blotchy one. Coming soon, a post on the best, simplest ways to maintain healthy, young-looking skin.


Having a quick, reliable morning routine is just one of many habits you develop as a busy mom. For more on how to cultivate good habits, check out this awesome post on the Becoming Mom blog!

What's your morning makeup routine? Comment below!

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