Friday, April 10, 2015

Dressing up for work in 10 mins

Yes, this sounds like a little drill!

But true enough, it has been my mornings for the past 16 months! Even when I wake up 2-2.5hrs ahead of my work reporting time, I could only manage to squeeze in 10 mins to dress up myself - make up, hair and change. There's always a diaper to change, something to pack and a baby to entertain, so I always keep things simple and minimal.

I ask not for a makeover but looking presentable, pleasant and groomed is something that tops my list. After being a mother, it's probably the only way to make me feel normal. I can't hide the fact that motherhood has gotten me - thinned and wavy hair, heavier eye bags, wider hip, "toned" arms, wrinkled tummy and the list goes on.

Along the way, I learnt to embrace my imperfections while slowly working towards my body goals. It's afterall the body that has nourished Emma for 37 weeks & 4 days and provided her with 14.5 months of breastmilk.

So, I trained to dress up in the most efficient way. Read how I rush through my morning routine to look a little more decent and 10 tips to save the days! Please share with me if you have more tips!!

This is my standard day to day look with slightly damp hair achieved in 10 mins.

1. Make up (6 mins)

I hardly post photos without make up but here's one specially for this post! 

I stick to the basics and apply on face really fast - face powder, blusher, eyebrow pencil, eye liner, lash curler and mascara. Lipstick is saved till I get to office so that I could kiss my 2 precious before I get off the car.

Tip 1: Lining and applying mascara over the eyes are great way to define the eyes. I lined only the right eye after applying face powder and blusher in the photo below. It isn't too obvious but it is slightly more alive even before adding on the mascara.

Try Maybelline impact express smooth felt liner - it's fine yet firm enough to draw smooth lines over the eyes. I saw how people tightline their eyes and am hoping to try them out once I get hold of a suitable eye liner. Do recommend if you know of any! Thanks!

Tip 2: Always shape and pencil eye brown unless you have bangs like me. A groomed brows never fail to make one look more polished! Go for eyebrow embroidery if you could, it really save time and make one looks good even without make up. I had mine 5 years back and they have very much faded but it was really convenient back then. 

Tip 3: Stash 1-2 make up items in the bag to enhance your look on the go. It's lipstick for me. A nicely tinted lips is always attractive.

2. Hair (2-3 mins) 

My hair suffered the most after pregnancy - thinner and wavy. It's no longer as thick, straight and manageable. I straightened my hair regularly until I got it rebonded after I stopped breastfeeding. Monthly hair treatment seems so far reached but I am really trying to do it more often.

Tip 4: Throw your hair into buns and ponies on bad hair days. It's certainly better than having a mess in your face.

Tip 5: Invest in good styling tool. Unlike some who advise to skip the hot tool when you are rushing, I recommend to use Jose Eber straightener to tame the mane . It is a great styling tool as it can be used on damp hair, heats up and straightens really fast. It takes around 5 mins to straighten my hair at mid length. The time taken these days are shorter as I just need to tidy up my bangs and curl in the ends. Skip the top and go only for the ends to avoid a overly flat look. #notadvertorial

3. Outfit (1 mins) 

Dresses are time savers and they look pretty without much styling! 2 pieces are usually set aside for days when I have a little more time or needed to get down in pants. I do plan my outfits for special occasions like dates and gatherings but it's just too time consuming for work. Having some standard match or pre-matched for certain 2 pieces also helps to save some time. 

Tip 6: When in doubt, always go for black. It somehow is always slimming and stylish. Besides, black always goes well with accessories in any colour. It's certainly my favourite colour for outfit besides blue and red.

Tip 7: Avoid baggy clothes and wear a belt if necessary. Comfy it might be, baggy clothes could sometimes make one appears heavier and  sloppier. Nicely fitted clothes look smart and bring more curves to the body. Try out hidden design to hide the extra inches - I particularly love peplum tops and dresses that hide the tummy. A line dresses work the same too.

4. Accessories and Shoes (1 mins)

I fall in love with bright and colourful bags as they make my classic (boring) outfits in black, blue and red, look more exciting. I also have an bright orange lanyard gifted by my ex colleague so I would look a little more cheerful even if I'm in all black.

As for shoes, give me a 3 inch comfortable black heels and I'll be happy. I used to have more fanciful shoes but I have lately chosen comfort over style. Nevertheless, I still believe that colourful shoes in red or white do wonders to the entire look. Time to update my shoe cabinets!

Tip 8: Be adventurous with the accessories and try out the bright colours for either shoes or accessories. You will be surprised by how much they could change a look.

5. More Tips

Tip 9: Have a mirror at the office desk. I know how crazy some days can be and my hair somehow tends to get messy when I get too engrossed in work. So, having a mirror reminds me to freshen up myself, smile and brace on.

Tip 10: Hydrate the skin. Drink more water - plain water! It helps to cleanse and flushes the toxins out of your body. And, not forgetting to step up on beauty regime to keep the skin clean and healthy. Reminder to self: apply eye cream and sleep earlier! I certainly don't need so much eye bags or I need to start using concealer, it a little over for them to be Aegyo Sal. 


Before you get all heads over heels about dressing up, don't forget that feeling good is as important as looking good.

You aren't never fully dressed without a smile!  

P/S: More on outfits and accessories again after I get the photos!


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