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Quick and Easy Festive Look with Grace Timothy

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Grace Timothy is a lifestyle and beauty writer and mama to four-year-old Noémie Rae. She lives with her husband and daughter in Sussex and loves soft play. Just kidding – she hates it and will continue to do so until they serve a proper gin and tonic there. You can find her beauty tips on Mum Face and fuss-free tutorials on her Youtube channel – including the festive eyes and lips video.

 

It’s that time again. When the late nights, stained clothes and sheer exhaustion aren’t down to your kid alone – it’s party season. Whether you’ve got an office party this Christmas, a night out with friends or just the regular rota of family get-togethers, it’s a great excuse to update the makeup bag with some choice Christmas gifts to yourself. But rather than trying to cram a 50-minute getting-ready routine into what is realistically more like a 5-minute window (thanks, Hey Duggee), here’s how to keep it short and sweet, tackling the classic hallmarks of a ‘mumface’ and getting your Christmas spirit ON.

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If you have time, I am a big advocate of the sheet mask. Cleanse the day away with something juicy that leaves a softness behind (for me, it’s always Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm), then pop a sheet mask on while you do something else – coralle the kids into brushing their teeth, get them into the bath… Even if you only manage 5 minutes, the serum will have suitably plumped and hydrated your skin, so your makeup will glide on. Plus if it’s an Animalz Sheet Mask (£3.99 for a packet) with a Tiger face print, your kids will LOVE it. And there’s no need to rinse, so really you’re saving time, right?!

I am currently battling The Red Beard of Winter (dry, red patches around my mouth and chin) – those of you who have sensitive skin or are pregnant may well know the score! So like a lot of women during the colder months I’m after a stronger coverage – Kiko Skin Modernist, a brilliant concealer-foundation hybrid. That’s two steps in one product, so still speeding along! I concentrate a little more beneath the eyes and across the lid so it will also anchor my makeup. But go lightly there: too much and you’ll get a line of product pooling in the crease.

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Blush and highlighter give an instant boost when I’m feeling grey and tired – I like Mac’s Spellbinder Powder Blush and Hourglass Strobe Lighting Powder in Ambient brushed over cheekbones, jawline and brow bones for a flash of light. Basically to fake the dewy glow of youth. It works, trust me.  

KIKO SKIN MODERNIST 2IN1 FOUNDATION £18.90
MAC POWDER BLUSH IN SPELLBINDER £22.50
HOURGLASS STROBE LIGHTING POWDER IN AMBIENT £34

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I’ve always been bad at drinking enough water, but isn’t it about 10 times harder once you’re a mum? Add to that the probable sleep deprivation, and you may find your eyes are showing it all up front with fine lines and crinkly bits. I use a moisturiser right up to the eyes, and occasionally a bit of eye cream. I’m not under the illusion that anything topical will banish lines forever, but more because it’s refreshing after a long day, and keeping the skin dewy knocks out the appearance of most lines anyway.

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Then, the eye routine has to be super quick, to fit into the time it takes for my husband to read our daughter a story usually before my mum arrives to babysit. I like lots of light, shimmering textures for party eyes, all punctuated with a good black liner. Not only are light-reflecting shades more forgiving of a speedy hand and require less precision (you can whack them on with your fingers) but they also widen and wake up the eyes. I like a wash of Bobbi Brown’s Eye Shadow in Champagne Quartz over the lid, plus a little beneath the lash line. I then add a bit of definition with Bobbi Brown Sparkle Eye Shadow in Smoky Quartz, just in the socket line and along the lashline, both top and bottom.

This Christmas I’m finishing with a pop of the new NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Antares, just dabbed onto the centre of the lid and the inner corners for a flash of shimmering light. This is such a beautiful shadow, you can either wear a sheer wash of it during the day or build it for an almost glossy finish, so it’s definitely one that works way into the New Year. I finish with NARS Moon Kohl liner in Witching Hour along the upper lashline and waterline. It’s so soft it takes seconds to apply, and you can always tidy with a moistened cotton bud if you make any mistakes. Add lashings of mascara – my favourite is L’Oreal False Lash Telescopic. A strong brow will also add structure – I have an HD Brows treatment every 6 weeks which saves me time, and simply fill in any gaps with Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil, drawing light, hair-like strokes in the direction the hair grows. And that’s it – all done in under 5 minutes!

BENEFIT PRECISELY MY BROW PENCIL £18.50
NARS MOON KOHLINER IN WITCHING HOUR £18.50
NARS DUAL INTENSITY EYESHADOW IN ANTARES £21
BOBBI BROWN METALLIC EYE SHADOW IN CHAMPAGNE QUARTZ £17.50
BOBBI BROWN SPARKLE EYE SHADOW IN SMOKEY QUARTZ £24
L’OREAL PARIS FALSE LASH TELESCOPIC MASCARA £10.99

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Gone are the days of liners, primer and powdering my pout to make it last. I’m most likely chucking it on in the taxi or using the microwave as a mirror while my daughter finishes supper! I jump straight in, apply my lipstick straight from the bullet. This season I like the 90s throwback of a brown matte lipstick – my favourite for its wearability is NARS x Sarah Moon Lipstick in Indecent Proposal – but then I can’t resist a slick of NARS’ Velvet Lip Glide (shade NO.54) for a very sophisticated twist on a party lip.

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NARS MOON MATTE LIPSTICK IN INDECENT PROPOSAL £21
NARS VELVET LIP GLIDE IN No.54 £22

With thanks to Grace Timothy of Mum Face X

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