A Fresh Face: 88 Simple Steps

Written by Emily

While I nurse Sylvie through the night, I often troll the internet on my phone–it keeps me from clawing at the walls or crying. For several nights in a row, I stumbled upon bloggers writing about their make-up routines. There, in the dark with my child affixed to my breast for the fourth time, I thought “maybe I need a make-up routine. Maybe a make-up routine could freshen my face enough to mask the sleep lines and bags.” At the very least it might be enough to stop comments like this: “Oh, you look really tired.” or “Are you ok?” or “Did you get punched in the eye? No? Just dark circles? Are you sure?” or my personal favorite: a breathy, deep gasp–much like you would hear at the scene of a horrific accident.

I searched for more freshening advice. I tried not to be discouraged by the women who shared their “simple” “everyday” looks that included a minimum of 10 steps for their eyes alone. I’ve never been make-up savvy, but that seems extreme. Surely “fresh” and “bright” could be fabricated in fewer than 10 eye steps.

I went to a make-up super store to make this happen. I found the single employee who had not applied her make-up with a putty knife, and we set to work making magic.

I needed the following:

Moisturizer–I don’t really use one. But it’s time. I don’t want to wake one morning to my jowls grazing my kneecaps. I hope moisturizer can prevent that. The sales woman thought it would help. I opted for Lancome.

Foundation–I’ve never really used foundation, but Chloe has alerted me to the spots on my face that need to be covered. I’m not sure if she’s talking about pimples or knuckles (freckles). No matter.

Cover-up–I think I may have mentioned bags and dark circles? I chose Erase Paste–the name got me.

Blush–or something that might resemble a dewy glow. I think that’s a positive thing, although it does sound sticky. And as a mom of three, sticky is not my favorite. Tarte is not sticky, and I can use it for my cheeks and my lips. Check.

Eye Shadow–I bought eye shadow for $1 before my commitment to a fresh face. As I applied it, it fell like a powdery snow and settled beneath my eyes making my dark circles a deeper shade of gray. It had to be replaced. I chose a Stila purple and neutral palate. Nice.

That night I committed to freshness. I washed my face. Went to bed. Got up 47 times. Awoke looking like this:

No way. No pic here. I still have my dignity.

At 2:00, I was ready to freshen up. I stepped into the bathroom and like some strange magnetic force, my girls were on top of me.

Step One: Wash face.

Step Two:

DrawersMove out of the way.

Step Three:


Make sure one-year old doesn’t choke on a rogue lipstick lid.

Step Four:

BlushNoseProvide feedback.

Step Five:

ChinBlushOooo and ahhh over ingenious make-up application.

Step Six:

SylvieBlushWrangle new blush away from one-year old.

Step Seven:TPSylvieTry to prevent this from happening.


Step Eight:


Confirm my daughter put this scary doll here to avoid Chucky nightmares for the rest of my life.

Steps Nine-Eighty-Seven: Make snack. Change Diapers. Attend play-date. Play Princess Yahtzee. Have a dance party in the kitchen. Make dinner…

Three Days later:

Step 88:


Gratuitous Duck face.

What about you? Do you have any favorite products for a fresh face? Or maybe the number for a babysitter and a good sleep aid?

Categories: Emily

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. What a beauty regimen! Remember when your mother attacked you with a mascara stick? “Just try a little bit.” You screamed in terror and slammed the bathroom door.

    • It’s so funny you mentioned that because I was thinking about it as I sat down to write! I remember you holding me down on the bathroom vanity while you attacked me with make-up before the Christmas dance! Ah, yes. I was a treat.

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