Inspiring Lives 05: Blogger Lauren talks mum confidence & battling tiredness
Because being tired doesn't mean you don't have to feel great.
Mother, blogger and Bobbi Brown Regional Sales Manager, Lauren, talks to us about going back to work after maternity leave, balancing it all, and how to feel confident when experiencing that new level of tiredness that comes with becoming a mum.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about you and your family?
I’m Lauren. 31 years old. Welsh. Fiancé to my Scotsman Colin, Step-Mama to 7 year old Archie (my mini Scotsman) and New-Mama to adorable little 9 month old Ollie. We Live in rural Cheshire with our old red haired dog Halle. I work full time, I blog, I bake, I take pictures I wish there was more hours in the day for Yoga and Gym sessions but that’s completely average right?
Tell us a little bit about your day job and what do you love most about it?
I started my working life on beauty counters selling make up. I worked for a few brands, as you do, but when I joined Bobbi Brown, I really felt like I’d come home. No longer did I have to layer lots of heavy makeup, or transform my look to match a current collection or trend. Bobbi taught me that the secret to great confidence and great make-up is to "be who you are”. Almost 10 years later, I’m a regional sales manager and still very much in love with the brand and my job.
I know it’s a tough decision for any mother to make, to work or to stay at home. Either way, I’m sure we’re all riddled with guilt. After speaking about this at length with so many women, I’ve come to believe that you need to do what makes you happy and healthy, a balanced and comfortable mama is surely one of the best things that you can be for your children.
For me, my job is part of who I am. I love that I work with such a talented and creative team of artists and we have the ability to transform how a woman feels about herself with knowledge and a few of the right products.
"A balanced and comfortable mama is surely one of the best things that you can be for your children."
And what is Hunters & Heels, and what inspired you to start it?
Hunters and Heels is my little corner of the Internet. My space to be creative, connect with other mums and brands I love, and to document these precious years of motherhood.
It all started with Instagram. When I downloaded that little app 3 years ago, I thought it was some kind of photo-editing tool. I had no idea that three years later it would be such a huge part of my life. I'm sure it sounds ridiculous to say that about a social app on your phone, but it’s true. Unlike other social platforms I find the sense of community on Instagram really overwhelming. It’s a melting pot of kindness and creative talent. Not only have I formed genuinely wonderful real life friendships through Instagram but I’ve also been inspired to create Hunters and Heels.
What was it like going back to work after maternity leave, and how do you balance motherhood, work and writing a blog?
Goodness, I really do wish I had some kind of magic recipe to share with you, but I don’t. I think it’s all a matter of priorities. Being a full time working mum is hard, emotionally and physically. There’s a lot of ‘plate spinning’, a lot of phones in the washing machine, remote controls in the fridge. I have learned that ‘Baby Brain’ is very much a real thing!
I was very confident and happy with my decision to go back to work. I want to be the best version of myself for Ollie, and to teach him that women are as strong as they are soft. That said, leaving Ollie every day that first week I went back to work really broke my heart. Of course I soon got into the swing of it, but I still feel that pang of heart ache when I kiss him goodbye, or think of him throughout the day. I don’t regret my choice though. As cliche as it is, there really is nothing better than seeing his face after a long day apart. That is everything. I make the most of our precious time together at bedtime and the weekends.
Sometimes I wonder how I’ll fit in any blogging at all, but it happens, with a great deal of support from Colin. I’m forever grateful for his enthusiasm for my blog, I’m sure I wouldn’t love it so much if he wasn’t such an encourager. I really try not to put too much pressure on myself with the blog, which is why you’ll often see a few weeks pass without a post. I think if I did, I’d end up quitting and I love it too much to do that.
You’ve spoken about tiredness on your blog since becoming a mum, and your struggle to hide your dark eyes in the morning so that you feel more confident and refreshed. We think a lot of mums will sympathise with this; it’s about feeling great not necessarily just about looking great, and finding time to do this. You seem to have cooked-up a miracle 8-minute routine for busy mums. What are the secret ingredients?
Yes! Motherhood might be the greatest gift I’ve been given, but it’s also shown me a whole new level of tiredness.
My skin is thirsty, my eyes are dull and shadowed, I definitely need a little help before I feel ready to take on the day. I don’t want my make up to ‘transform’ me, nor do I want to spend hours in front of the mirror each morning. I do know, however, that I feel a million times more confident and refreshed when I look a little more polished.
I put this together because know it’s sometimes difficult to find the time to put make-up on with a tiny baby and/or a busy life. So, I timed myself with a stop watch and without rushing, realised this make-up takes me tiny 8mins from start to finish. “8 hours sleep in 8 minutes” is one of the longest blog posts I’ve written on my blog, and I was worried people would find it too long and wordy, but I think it’s been the best received post yet!!
Some of the key elements are listed below, but I’d love you to come and have a read of the full post.
We all know that healthy skin looks smooth and glowing, tired skin looks dull, so despite my combination skin, I always avoid too much ‘matte’ and powder finishes. I’ve found that ‘shimmer’ or ‘pearl’ particles in make-up cling to dehydration caused by tiredness so I avoid those too. Instead, I like to get my ‘glow’ from hydrating products that plump and cushion my skin.
I always apply my under eye corrector concealer before foundation. It’s incredible the difference it makes, and how much less of everything else you feel you need once you’ve eliminated under-eye darkness. At Bobbi Brown, we call these products “the secret of the universe”. They’re essential for a tired mum.
Find a foundation that’s the exact match and a perfect formula for your skin. Unfortunately, I’m not blessed with skin clear enough for just a tinted moisturiser or BB cream. I do like coverage, but I like it light and radiant, that’s why I’m soooo thankful for Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation.
In my opinion, it’s really worth investing in a few great Brushes. I find I use LOADS less foundation with the brush and get more coverage. Our fingers are quite warm and waxy in comparison so work the product into the skin more.
I set with Powder (just where I need it) and warm my skin with bronzer.
Then it’s the essential ‘blush’. So many people don’t wear blusher, thinking bronzer is to be used “instead of”. I wouldn’t leave the house without it. Bronzer warms your skin, but it’s the blusher that perks you up and makes you look fresh and healthy.
Lipstick is so much fun, it’s a really quick and easy way to change your look and instantly makes a tired mama feel glamorous.
Take the time to frame your eyes. Eyebrows are so easy to get wrong which can scare people into thinking its best not to use anything to define them at all.
My brows are thick and dark but I made the terrible mistake in my teens of over-plucking my brows, and now they don’t grow properly. I really wish I hadn’t, so I had a more full and natural shape to work with.
Regardless of what you’re working with, a good brow frames your face and can really lift and brighten the eye area.
It’s quite difficult to choose the correct shade, so it’s best to get advice from a trained artist. A lot of brown shades (even ones specifically designed for brows) have a red undertone which doesn’t suit a lot of people.
Depending on how much hair you have, the thickness, colour, shape…etc, it might be that you just need a little brow shaper, or some brow pencil. I like to use an eye shadow with an eye-definer brush, as this gives definition, but really softly.
Finally, it’s lashes. Like many many women, I think a good mascara is a real ‘must have’. There are sooooo many great ones out there, so it’s a task finding one that suits you perfectly.
Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is AMAZING!! A jumbo brush and a rich carbon-black formula thickens and curls lashes instantly. You don’t even need a lash curler. It’s the best for opening up and lifting tired eyes.